Noctilucent Clouds are Missing

Posted: December 29, 2020 by oldbrew in atmosphere, Clouds, solar system dynamics, Uncertainty
Tags: , ,

Is it a coincidence that we’re just past the end of the lowest sunspot cycle for over a century?

Dec. 28, 2020: Something strange is happening 50 miles above Antarctica. Or rather, not happening. Noctilucent clouds (NLCs), which normally blanket the frozen continent in December, are almost completely missing. These images from NASA’s AIM spacecraft compare Christmas Eve 2019 with Christmas Eve 2020:

“The comparison really is astounding,” says Cora Randall of the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. “Noctilucent cloud frequencies are close to zero this year.”

NLCs are Earth’s highest clouds. They form when summertime wisps of water vapor rise up from the poles to the edge of space. Water crystallizing around specks of meteor dust 83 km (~50 miles) above Earth’s surface creates beautiful electric-blue structures, typically visible from November to February in the south, and May to August in the north.

A crucial point: Noctilucent clouds form during summer. And that’s the problem. Although summer officially started in Antarctica one week…

View original post 237 more words

  1. JB says:

    “The polar vortex chokes off gravity waves, ”
    Had my interest until they wrote that nonsense.

    “Researchers don’t know.”
    I think that pretty well covers the entire matter.
    We can all observe and record. Someday, the light will come on in someone’s head and realize insight.

  2. oldbrew says:

    BoM says ‘LA NIÑA likely to be nearing peak’
    [updated every 2 weeks]

  3. oldbrew says:

    JB – Gravitational – as opposed to gravity – waves are certainly controversial, let’s say 😉

  4. Phoenix44 says:

    So it’s not even at a record yet? Wake me up when its actually something not seen before.

  5. oldbrew says:

    Although summer officially started in Antarctica one week ago, the southern stratosphere still seems to think it’s winter.
    – – –
    Where did it get that idea…
    At solar minimum, the largest ozone hole over Antarctica in years
    Posted: October 7, 2020

  6. Damian says:

    Gravity waves aren’t controversial. Gravitational Waves are science fiction.

  7. oldbrew says:

    Damian – yes, you’re right. I’ll amend my earlier comment.

  8. Damian says:

    I’ve made the same mistake. They should have named gravitational waves something different, I guess Spacetime waves sounds a little bit too skiffy.

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