Polar Mesospheric Summer Echoes

Posted: May 22, 2019 by oldbrew in atmosphere, Clouds, physics

Noctilucent clouds form when molecules from summertime water vapour stick to the microscopic debris of disintegrated meteoroids.


May 21, 2019: Every summer since the late 1970s, radars probing Earth’s upper atmosphere have detected strong echoes from altitudes between 80 km and 90 km. The signals come from noctilucent clouds (NLCs).  NASA’s AIM spacecraft is still waiting to spot the first NLCS of the 2019 season, but the echoes have already begun. Rob Stammes of the Polarlightcenter in Lofoten, Norway, detected them on May 19th and 20th:


“I detected these VHF signals from Eastern Europe,” he explains. “They reflected from the mesosphere back down to my receiver in Norway. The wave patterns were recognizable and very strong.”

Researchers call them “Polar Mesospheric Summer Echoes” or “PMSEs.” They occur over the Arctic during the months of May through August, and over the Antarctic during the months of November through February. These are the same months that NLCs appear.

The underlying physics of these echoes is still uncertain.

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  1. oldbrew says:

    At the end of this video the NASA commentator says:
    ‘Noctilucent clouds appear to be a tell-tale sign of important greenhouse gases’ – as the video shows a picture of cows in a field 😐
    But the only ‘important greenhouse gas’ here is water vapour.

    Unexpected Teleconnections in Noctilucent Clouds (2014)
    “we have found that the winter air temperature in Indianapolis, Indiana, is well correlated with the frequency of noctilucent clouds over Antarctica.”


  2. hunterson7 says:

    Thanks for picking out the climate corruption NASA promotes in nearly everything they do.
    Indulging the obsessions of the climate consensus makes us dumber, not smarter.

  3. hunterson7 says:

    Off topic, but best wishes for a free UK growing out of the upcoming election.

  4. EternalOptimist says:

    The Noctilucent Clouds season seems to be the opposite to that of the aurora

  5. oldbrew says:

    Hunterson 7 – thanks for your support.

    Re NASA – the big clue: ‘molecules from summertime water vapour’. But maybe there are more cow farts in summer as the grass they eat grows longer 😉

    EO – The auroras are linked to the equinoxes.

  6. P.A.Semi says:

    Noctilucent clouds are very probably linked to spacecraft starts… That is the only reasonable explanation of bringing water 80km aloft, as spacecrafts use hydrogen-burning motors producing water “polution” in high altitudes… (Which then drifts toward poles)

    > “winter air temperature in Indianapolis, Indiana, is well correlated with the frequency of noctilucent clouds over Antarctica”
    Contrails of airplanes seeding cirrus clouds, and spacecraft exhaustion seeding noctilucent clouds may thus well be linked to recent decades of warming…

  7. hunterson7 says:

    PA Semi,
    Except that noctilucent clouds have been around far longer than flying, much less space travel.
    Water vapor has always gotten that high.
    What is a bit pathetic in the NASA video is not identifying the ghg, but rather using a fear inducing term.

  8. oldbrew says:

    PA Semi says: Contrails of airplanes seeding cirrus clouds, and spacecraft exhaustion seeding noctilucent clouds

    Noctilucent clouds are a late spring and summer phenomenon. Spacecraft can fly all year round unless it’s really cold :/

  9. P.A.Semi says:

    Could it be, that the year time (late spring & summer) has to do with the circulation and durability of the clouds?

    You also write “noctilucent clouds have been arround far longer than flying” … Have you got some evidence for it?

    Wikipedia writes: “Noctilucent clouds are not fully understood and are a recently discovered meteorological phenomenon; … … The occurrence of noctilucent clouds appears to be increasing in frequency, brightness and extent”

    I’m not sure now, where I’ve read that information beside that, that they are remnants of hydrogen-based (water-exhausting) rocket engines, but it seemed quite logical, that the ordinary water cannot easily get 80km aloft just by itself… Now I see, the Wikipedia article writes about that…

    Therefore, even if they could _also_ occur naturally, they _also_ occur after space-shuttle starts, and that well may be the source of “growing” of their occurence…

  10. oldbrew says:

    No, it wasn’t me that said ‘noctilucent clouds have been around far longer than flying’.

    Sky watchers and even astronauts in orbit have long observed wispy electric-blue clouds glowing on the fringes of space. Theories abounded over the origin of these noctilucent clouds (NLCs), but a Nasa mission has found a clue: traces of extraterrestrial smoke. Researchers with the Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) mission can determine the chemical composition of NLCs by the way light reacts to the particles. “We’ve detected bits of ‘meteor smoke’ embedded in noctilucent clouds,” reports AIM principal investigator James Russell. Ice crystals grow around tiny bits of cosmic matter left behind when meteors burn up in the atmosphere; when sunlight strikes the haze, it scatters in short wavelengths, making the clouds appear to glow blue. – Joe Pappalardo
    [bold added]


  11. oldbrew says:

    Note re graphs below: year on year changes look small, and start/end quite sudden – in these examples at least.

    SOFIE data show that the season turns on and off like a “geophysical light bulb” going from no clouds to almost 100% in five to ten days.


    = = =
    NASA: Meteor Smoke Makes Strange Clouds

  12. P.A.Semi says:

    If it was anything meteor-related, it would not be centered on solstice or anything regular at all (beside Leonids or Persids can be regular, but on different dates!)…

    As I read the NASA article – I don’t believe them… Since they are suspects in seeding the clouds by space-ship starts, they just try to shift the guilt elsewhere… Also, if they claim it on “climate change”, they have got strong agenda interests in this… A one-degree °C difference does not move water 80km aloft…

  13. oldbrew says:

    Huge Blue Cloud Circles the North Pole
    MAY 31, 2019 / DR.TONY PHILLIPS

    A huge blue cloud of frosted meteor smoke is pinwheeling around the Arctic Circle. NASA’s AIM spacecraft spotted its formation on May 20th, and it has since circled the North Pole one and a half times, expanding in size more than 200-fold.

    “These are noctilucent clouds,” says Cora Randall of the AIM science team at the University of Colorado. “And they are going strong.”
    – – –
    From Spaceweather.com

    “It was a beautiful summer night with several small thunderstorms,” says photographer Laura Kranich. “Pale rippling noctilucent clouds appeared above the thunderheads as lightning struck the ground below. What an incredible sight!”

    What are noctilucent clouds doing in Germany? 2019 appears to be a special year for NLCs. The polar clouds are reaching down to southern latitudes, putting on a good show long before the summer season for NLCs nears its typical peak in mid-July. Studies have shown that noctilucent clouds sometimes intensify during Solar Minimum. Solar Minimum conditions are in effect now, and may be partly responsible for the unusual early-season sightings.

  14. oldbrew says:

    NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS INVADE THE USA: On June 8th and 9th, many people who have never previously heard of “noctilucent clouds” (NLCs) found themselves eagerly taking pictures of them–from moving cars, through city lights, using cell phones and iPads. “I have never seen clouds like this before!” says Tucker Shannon, who took this picture from Corvallis, Oregon: [see link below]

    “I heard that they may have been seeded by meteoroids,” says Shannon.

    That’s correct. NLCs are Earth’s highest clouds. Seeded by meteoroids, they float at the edge of space more than 80 km above the planet’s surface. The clouds are very cold and filled with tiny ice crystals. When sunbeams hit those crystals, they glow electric-blue.

    Noctilucent clouds used to be a polar phenomenon. In recent years, however, researchers have noticed their electric-blue forms creeping south. Is it climate change? Or the solar cycle? No one knows for sure. [bold added]

    http://spaceweather.com/archive.php [enter June 12 2019 in date]
    – – –
    Record-setting noctilucent clouds, NLCs seen over San Francisco Bay Area, California
    Posted by Teo Blašković on June 10, 2019

    As these clouds are typically confined to latitudes above +55 N and San Francisco is at +38 N, this marks one of the lowest-latitude sightings of NLCs


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