Rare Clouds May Be Harbinger Of Climate Doom Or Something

This is probably your fault for taking a long shower with the lights on, followed by a hearty breakfast with evil sausage. And your fossil fueled trip to work all alone? The climate gods want to have a word with you

Rare night clouds may be warning sign of climate crisis

Something magical appeared at night over London and other parts of Britain on 21 June: ripples of electric blue clouds shimmered in the twilight sky after sunset. These were noctilucent clouds, the highest clouds in the world, more than 80km (50 miles) up on the edge of space, and looked like something from another planet.

Noctilucent clouds form in the mesosphere, the rarefied upper atmosphere with little moisture and intensely low temperatures. The scant water vapour there can freeze on to specks of smoke from meteors burning up in the atmosphere, creating the crystals that form noctilucent clouds. The mesosphere is coldest in summer, allowing the crystals to form.

These clouds may also be a warning sign of the climate crisis. They were first recorded in 1885 and were rarely seen for years afterwards, largely in polar regions. But in recent times the clouds have appeared much further afield and are growing much brighter.

Much of the moisture needed to form the clouds comes from methane, a potent greenhouse gas that produces water vapour when it breaks down in the upper atmosphere. And as methane pollution has increased, so noctilucent clouds have grown more common and more widespread.

If you were expecting an explanation as to why this is Doom, nope, sorry, that is the entirety of the UK Guardian (when are they being cancelled for supporting slavery and being against Abraham Lincoln?) article. I will certainly agree that the increase of methane is problematic. I’ve been saying this for a long time. But, do we really know about prior to 1885, during the Little Ace Age? How about during the Medieval Warm Period prior to the LIA? This is not the first time that the clouds have been brought up.

NASA investigated this back in 2014. One of the things they noted

The model showed that the occurrence of noctilucent clouds had indeed increased from 2002 to 2011. These changes correlate to a decrease in temperature at the peak height where noctilucent clouds exist in the atmosphere. Temperatures at this height do not match temperatures at lower levels – indeed, the coldest place in the atmosphere is at this height during summertime over the poles – but a change there certainly does raise questions about change in the overall climate system.

Russell and his team will research further to determine if the noctilucent cloud frequency increase and accompanying temperature decrease over the 10 years could be due to a reduction in the sun’s energy and heat, which naturally occurred as the solar output went from solar maximum in 2002 to solar minimum in 2009.

“As the sun goes to solar minimum, the solar heating of the atmosphere decreases, and a cooling trend would be expected,” said Russell.

Wait, what was that part about a decrease in temperature?

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