Skip to comments.Scientist Says Ice Meteors a Sign of Climate Change (Environut alert)
Posted on 09/27/2002 9:06:27 AM PDT by narby
MADRID (Reuters) - A Spanish scientist says global warming ( news - web sites) may be to blame for giant blocks of ice which fall from clear skies and rip gaping holes in cars and houses.
Jesus Martinez-Frias has spent the last two-and-a-half years investigating so-called megacryometeors -- ice meteors -- which tend to weigh more than 22 lb and have been known to leave five feet holes in houses.
He fears the formation of these hailstone-like blocks on clear days could be a worrying symptom of climate change.
"I'm not worried that a block of ice might fall on your head ... but that great blocks of ice are forming where they shouldn't exist," said Martinez-Frias, director of planetary geography at Spain's Astrobiology Center in Madrid.
"Components of the atmosphere, like ozone and water, are changing in different levels of the atmosphere...We think these signs could be evidence of climate change," he said in a telephone interview with Reuters.
While Martinez-Frias said he was far from certain as to why the ice meteors formed, he said they were neither hoaxes nor blocks of ice falling from the bars or bathrooms of passing aircraft, as skeptics have suggested.
"We're not talking about hoaxes," Martinez-Frias said. "It's very easy to tell real and false ice blocks apart."
"It's not water from airplane toilets...Its isotopic composition bears the signature...of Iberian rain."
Ice clouds made from crystallized vapor trails of aircraft are well known to pilots, but Martinez-Frias suggests that because global warming involves one level of the atmosphere getting colder while another gets hotter, some ice clouds now remain longer.
Their centers then fall through the atmosphere, bouncing and gathering mass, to end up smashing through a car windshield or, more usually, landing softly in a field, he suggested.
The first megacryometeor found this year in Spain -- by a startled farmer riding his tractor in Soria -- weighed 35.27 lb.
Three others were found later, bringing the world total over the last decade to more than 50. But Martinez-Frias said only around a fifth of the ice meteors are ever found.
An ice meteor weighing around 440 lb has been found in Brazil, Martinez-Frias said. Other blocks have been found in Mexico and Australia.
The blocks form between two-and-a-half and six miles above ground, he said.
Some scientists doubt whether hail can form on a clear day.
"Solid ice cannot form in the absence of thick, highly visible clouds," Charles Knight, a hail expert at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado was quoted as saying in a supplement of Science journal.
But geologist Roger Buick of the University of Washington in Seattle told the same publication that a model created by Martinez-Frias and his team showing ice can form on a clear day was an "important advance in that it thoroughly documents and provides an explanation for a spectacular phenomenon."
Don't you understand science at all man. The great ice shelves in the sky are receeding and its all because you drove your SUV to work today.
Like most popular news articles on scientific topics, the journalist has sensationalized and distorted the actual issues.
That aside, I don't know why Martinez-Frias calls them 'megacryometeors' since he is theorizing that they are hailstones, not meteors.
One of my favorite stories of 'scientific ignorance' involves meteorites. Aristotle reported stones (and frogs) falling from the sky and had his own theories. By the Enlightenment, Aristotle had been discarded and scientists assumed that falling rocks and frogs were ancient myths. When occasional reports would come in about falling rocks they would be discounted as tales from ignorant farmers.
In the late 18th Century there was a meetings of scientists in a French provincial city which coincided with a meteorite shower. The scientists finally believed that stones could fall from the sky when they saw it themselves. They literally had to be hit over the head with the evidence.
(Frogs and fish really do fall from the sky too.)
They are idiots and they hope we are too.
Oh save us, Algore, please save us! (I watched video of this on TV last night -- it was awful).
Typhoon No. 21, which is predicted to be the most powerful storm yet this year, was moving northward in the Pacific Ocean toward Japan Monday night, and is expected to affect the Tokyo metropolitan area Tuesday evening. It likely will land in the Tokai or Kanto areas between Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, the Meteorological Agency said.
The agency is calling for those in the metropolitan area to be prepared for high winds, heavy rain, tidal waves and landslides, as the typhoon might be one of the most powerful to hit the metropolitan area since the end of World War II.
Typhoon No. 21 was moving northward at a speed of about 30 kph in the Pacific Ocean west-southwest of Chichijima island of the Ogasawara Islands as of 6 p.m. Monday. It had an atmospheric pressure of 940 hectopascals at its center and winds of up to 162 kph.
...and COWS too. Really!