1. Aircraft produce about 10 trillion cubic feet of water vapor annually
It’s true that jet airplanes are larger, have more powerful engines and fly more frequently than ever… about 700 million passenger flights per year in the US alone.
For each gallon of jet fuel burned, aircraft produce a gallon of steam, because H2O is one of the two chemical byproducts resulting from the combustion of hydrocarbons. Current jet fuel use is about 60 billion gallons per year.
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At the sub-zero temperatures where contrails form, steam from the exhaust freezes and expands to about a hundred times its sea-level volume in the low air pressure of the stratosphere. 60 billion gallons of fuel = 60 billion gallons of water = approximately 10 trillion cubic feet of steam producing ice crystal clouds.1
But there’s more to artificial clouds than just water.
2. Weather modification programs affect contrail cloud formation
Weather modification means cloud seeding with silver iodide (AgI)— hygroscopic metallic aerosols that provide a dense field of cloud condensation nuclei (CCNs) to thicken clouds and induce precipitation. Condensation nuclei are the basis of cloud development.
When mixed with moisture, silver iodide promotes cloud formation by providing CCNs that jet exhaust moisture can bond with.
The invisible cloud-seeding chemicals are dispersed in the atmosphere at around 20,000 feet, in front of incoming moisture fronts, enhancing contrails from jet air traffic and often spawning cloud cover prior to the storm’s arrival.
Silver iodide aerosols are invisible once dispersed, and the contrails from the planes burning the flares are minimal and usually disappear because these are small jets that are already at their cruising altitude; that is, using relatively little fuel.
However, when large aircraft ascend through the seeded fields of silver iodide at these higher altitudes, their contrails become instantly visible.
The extreme photosensitivity of the crystalline-shaped silver iodide aerosols combine with the highly-reflective ice crystals from the exhaust to form bright white contrail wakes behind the plane that tend to persist rather than disperse.
Documentary Film – Thousands of planned weather modification events occur every year in the U.S. and worldwide.
They are not isolated, low-altitude events; they are prolific, ongoing high-altitude programs in an industry that has been growing since the 1960s.
This short film gives a glimpse into weather modification and the effect it’s having on our world.
“Even small changes in the abundance or location of clouds could change the climate more than the anticipated changes caused by greenhouse gases.” — NASA