Thread: Global Warming
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Old 03-29-2006, 11:39 PM   #37
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APS wrote:
Don't you have that backwards?

The criss-crossing of commercial air traffic's wispy "contrails" reflect the sun's energy back into space, just as those "wispy" cirrus clouds do. When the contrails disappeared post-9/11, the Earth should have warmed up!
If I recall, and it's been a week now since I heard the piece, the earth's radiational heat is reflected off clouds, contrails, etc and bounces back toward the ground helping to keep us warm, especially at night.

It's most noticable during the winter, the temperatures are lower on clear nights than on cloudy tonights during similar weather systems because the earth's heat is lost on a clear night with nothing to reflect it back.

You're local TV weatherdude calls it "radiational cooling". I was surprised to hear that there is enough air traffic over the US that would have had a radiational cooling effect when it wasn't there suddenly.

The type of clouds that would prevent the sun's rays from reaching and warming the earth to begin with would be something you'd find after catastrophic volcanic eruption or in the extreme, a nuclear winter.
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