contrails


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contrails

A long trail of visible moisture left by an airplane as it flies at a high altitude through very cold air. The trails are formed by the condensation of water vapor in the exhaust gases leaving the engine. They appear at a slight distance behind the aircraft exhaust. Their longevity can vary from a fraction of a second to a few minutes. The minimum flight level at which these trails occur is called the MINTRA level, which meteorologists obtain from a tephigram. Also called vapor trails or exhaust trails.
References in periodicals archive ?
Contrails were largely ignored in the decades following.
Researchers are most interested in persistent contrails because they create long-lasting, and sometimes extensive, clouds that would not normally form in the atmosphere, and are believed to be a factor in influencing Earth's environment.
Many long-lived contrails were expected from the traffic in the North Atlantic flight corridor.
The theory first gained popularity in 1996 when the US Air Force was accused of spraying the population with mysterious substances from aircraft generating unusual contrail patterns.
Currently, the physics behind the formation of contrails is relatively well understood.
If we can predict the regions where contrails will form, it may be possible to mitigate their effect by routing aircraft to avoid them," Emma Irvine of the university's Department of Meteorology said.
Just like natural clouds, contrails reflect some of the Sun's incoming energy, resulting in a cooling effect, but also trap some of the infrared energy that radiates from Earth into space, therefore having a warming effect.
BEIRUT: The straight horizontal white contrails left by Israeli jets criss-crossing Lebanese skies on a near daily basis are a common sight.
The Allied bombing of WI represented an inadvertent environmental experiment on the ability of aircraft contrails to affect the energy coming into and out of the Earth.
2] lingers for decades, the warming effect of contrails dissipates immediately if flights are grounded, as happened after the September 11 attacks and last year's volcano eruption in Iceland.
Contrails form when the temperature is cold enough (below about -40[degrees]C) but the air is humid--in a similar way to when you breathe out on a cold day and can see your breath.
Contrails over the Mojave: The Golden Age of Jet Flight Testing at Edwards Air Force Base by George J.