Early Global Climate Warning? By Len Bourret. (Copyright 2007)
Noctilucent, "night-shining" clouds, are so engaging,
so bright, yet from darkest depths of polar regions,
constantly on the move, their travels so far-ranging,
attracting the curiousity of researching legions,
with signs that earth's atmosphere is changing,
indications of cloud alterations that are so clear,
not understanding how, why, or what they mean,
causing consternation, worry, and fear on the earth,
as well as 50 miles above the earth's surface,
in the upper layer's mesosphere,
appear like soft cottonballs of water vapor,
scatters of moonlight or sunlight in different angles,
reflect and refract,
bouncing off ice crystals in the atmosphere,
displaying spectacular sightings of exquisite halos,
above northern and southern hemisphere's poles,
akin to the technicolor images of prismic rainbows,
so how much are these conclusions worth?
figuring out why the "night-shining" clouds form,
how the clouds relate to global climate variance,
as compared to a global climate norm.
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A new NASA satellite has recorded the first detailed images from space of a mysterious type of cloud called night-shining or noctilucent."
The clouds are on the move, brightening and creeping out of polar regions, and researchers don't know why.
"It is clear that these clouds are changing, a sign that a part of our atmosphere is changing and we do not understand how, why or what it means," said atmospheric scientist, James Russell III, of Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. "These observations suggest a connection with global change in the lower atmosphere and could represent an early warning that our Earth environment is being changed."
The Aeronomy-of-Ice-in-the-Mesosphere (AIM) satellite first imaged the noctilucent clouds May 25. People on the ground began seeing them June 6 over Northern Europe.
The clouds form 50 miles above the Earths surface, in an upper layer of the atmosphere called the mesosphere. The puffs of water vapor and crystals appear during summer months above the Northern Hemisphere's pole as well the Southern Hemispheres pole in summer.
AIM will record two complete cloud seasons over both regions, effectively documenting an entire life cycle of the shiny clouds for the first time. Researchers hope to figure out why noctilucent clouds form and how they might be related to global climate change.
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