Debunking "Contrails don't Persist" with a Study of 70 Years of Books on Clouds

A 1905 book on clouds has been uploaded to Project Gutenberg, the scans of the illustrations are not perfect, but the show quite clearly that clouds back then look like clouds now.

Cloud Studies by Arthur W. Clayden (1905)

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/55126

The authors introduction recommends the book to meteorologists, artists and anyone who is interested in the sky.
 
Result: Every single book on clouds that I could find for the last 70 years says that contrails can persist for hours.


can persist for hours - --
I'm not sure that a few hours, but I'm sure that I watched 30-40 minutes ..
everything depends on the weather and the airplane.
 
can persist for hours - --
I'm not sure that a few hours, but I'm sure that I watched 30-40 minutes ..
everything depends on the weather and the airplane.

To see them persist for hours you usually have to look at satellite image, as the wind has generally carried them out of view after a couple of hours. They also spread out, and it's hard to distinguish them from other clouds.

I think more commonly people see contrail cover that last hours, and don't realize it's from different contrails. Like:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQekGClN5GE
 
One problem I have in telling people that contrails can actually persist, and can even spread out to cover the sky, is that people tend to be suspicious of random people on the internet. So I decided to simply let 70 years of books on clouds speak for themselves.
There are many things to consider when talking about contrail formation. Just off the top of my head, and not in any particular order:

1. Atmospheric profile (temperature, humidity, and pressure with respect to height.)
2. Partial vapour pressure with respect to ice.
3. Partial vapour pressure with respect to water.
4. Condensation (or sublimation) nuclei.
5. Cosmic radiation levels.
6. Fuel and exhaust gas composition.
7. Aircraft velocity.
8. Aircraft elevation.
9. Aircraft type
10. Engine types and configuration.
11. Wake turbulence.
12. Exhaust turbulence.
13. Exhaust velocity and volume.
14. Atmospheric winds
15. Season
16. Time of day
17. Latitude and longtitude
16. Angle of view
17. Sizes, shapes, and properties of constituent water droplets or ice crystals.
18. Additional layers of clouds or contrails)
.

Remember that all of these things determine what a contrail will look like from the ground. You cannot start with the "look" of or shape of a contrail and make statements about what all the determining factors are. That is pure silliness and is a trap that many fall into.
 
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This has been posted before, but the version I saw before was the reprint without the last paragraph. This is the original, from:
https://books.google.com/books?id=N...ts=bpfzssIufW&pg=RA4-PA13#v=onepage&q&f=false


Cloud Formation by Supercharged Plane

An altitude flight was made in the morning at McCook Field, recently, by Lieut. J. A. Macready in a LePere with supercharged Liberty. When the airplane reached a height of 26—27,000 feet at 11.50 a. m., a long feathery white streamer was observed forming behind a rapidly moving dark speck. The cloud was of the cirrus variety, well defined at its edges and apparently ten to fifteen times the width of the plane. The sky behind the first portion was clear blue with no other clouds in the near neighborhood. The first streamer seemed perhaps two miles long. Then a gap of one-quarter mile. The second streamer formed with a background of light cirrus cloud and after two or three miles the plane seemed to go into the cirrus background for the streamer formation ceased while an apparent path of blue continued beyond for a way in the cirrus cloud. The whole streamer may have been three miles long. After twenty minutes the streamer had drifted and spread until it merged indistinguishably with the other cirrus clouds visible. The weather conditions at the time were generally very clear, warm, with perhaps 0.1 of the sky in cirrus clouds.

The observer reported as having observed nothing unusual; occasionally the motor would give a burst of black exhaust gas. The pilot thought he remembered having passed through a stratum that felt damp. Clouds at this altitude are necessarily ice crystals, or needles, and it is difficult to determine the cause of the cloud formation under consideration. Possible contributing causes are: Water in exhaust; dust and carbon particles in exhaust serving as cloud nuclei; convective currents due to disturbance caused by passage of plane. Conditions of humidity were undoubtedly ideal for the formation of cloud at that altitude.

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It's interesting because even back then, in the very first few times that planes had flown at that altitude, the causes of contrail cloud formation were broadly understood.
 
Lieutenant MacReady was quite the badass back then, there's more detailed accounts of his flights here:
https://media.defense.gov/2011/Apr/25/2001330216/-1/-1/0/110425-D-LN615-004.pdf

With some early chemtrailing (Actually cropdusting, also in 1921):
Metabunk 2018-02-17 10-26-14.jpg

His own account of the 1921 flight (attached) is fascinating, although he does not mention the contrails — presumably not having seen them form behind him (or it might actually have been a later flight)
 

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Not a book, but a 1920 film (With modern royalty free music.) about clouds by the US Department of Agriculture, again it shows that clouds back then are no different from clouds now.

 
Ere
20181214_123335.jpg 20181214_123322.jpg 20181216_003058.jpg 20181216_003155.jpg Here are some photo records of an encyclopedia from 1988...describing "contrails".
This evidence was found in a "group buy" of cheap, nearly uselessbooks for theatre background decoration.
One of them was World Encyclopedia 1988.
 
Not a cloud book, but I'm reading the diaries of the politician Alan Clark (1928-1999), and this entry from summer 1983 caught my eye:

upload_2019-4-17_11-43-53.png

Google Books link

Clearly describing persistent spreading contrails over southern England.
 
Chemtrail advocates often say that they've only started seeing parallel lines of cirrus type clouds in the sky in recent years. Well...one of the things I inherited from a relative who was in the RAF Royal Observer Corps was a copy of the 1938 Meteorological Glossary. And here is what it says on cirrus clouds...


img163.jpg
 
One problem I have in telling people that contrails can actually persist, and can even spread out to cover the sky, is that people tend to be suspicious of random people on the internet. So I decided to simply let 70 years of books on clouds speak for themselves.



Result: Every single book on clouds that I could find for the last 70 years says that contrails can persist for hours.


The problem is that we're seeing persistent contrails in the dead heat of summer which is nowhere near -40 C.
 
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The problem is that we're seeing persistent contrails in the dead heat of summer which is nowhere near -40 C.
Many passenger airliners have information displays on the TV screens on board which show the current altitude, speed, location and often the external air temperature. Have a look next time you are on a plane. No matter how hot it is on the ground, chances are it will be somewhere in the -40C range or below when you are at cruising altitude.

1580991928214.png
 
Almost counter-intuitively, higher surface temperatures actually increase icing conditions at altitude. Specifically, small ice crystals affecting engines and sensors are more likely to form in relation to thunderstorm systems and tropical storms, two places with surface temperatures higher than normal. Most of the research right now is going into figuring out what size the ice crystals are and how, exactly, they're formed because they currently can't be tracked on radar.

https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JTECH-D-15-0246.1
Flights 12 and 13 were the only flights to be performed in the same long-lasting quasi-stationary system, a tropical storm, and for these two flights, the concentrations of large ice particles were found to be higher than in all other clouds sampled at the same temperature level. MMDs mostly exceed 500 μm and even reached 2 mm. Moreover, in these flights MMD tended to increase with increasing TWC, the opposite trend found for the classical shorter-lived oceanic MCS.
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What that's saying is that in the course of that particular study, that the areas around a tropical storm were producing more ice at altitude than regular thunderstorms, despite the temperature at altitude being the same. The higher water and surface temperatures under a tropical storm are lofting more moisture up to the level where ice can form, because there's a higher rate of evaporation.
 
Gosh. I've been interested in Meteorology for 50 years and even have some very rare 1930s Meteorology books that were handed out to the Observer Corps during the war. In 50 years of looking at and photographing clouds I've seen countless examples of contrails persisting, splitting, having morse code type breaks in them...and so on. The breaks are simply due to wave-like differences in atmospheric dew point. Sometimes a contrail can act as a seed for a large spreading out of cirrus that persists for hours. Anyone who claims contrails don't persist can't have spent any significant time observing them.
 
This thread is now almost 10 years old.

As new people discover the chemtrail theory all the time, so the date when it supposedly started shifts until it becomes more and more recent. There are lots of claims that it started around 2019 – or even as recently as 2021 (when air traffic started returning to normal after the pandemic).

An interesting side effect of this is that chemtrail websites themselves now become a handy source of debunking images.

Geoengineering Watch was started in 2009, and has masses of dated photos and videos, both on its main site and on its "Photo Gallery" Facebook group.

So when people claim "these trails didn't exist in [place X] before [date Y], you can often point them to photos showing exactly that.

They might even believe them if they come from a "trusted" source like Geongineering Watch!

From Twitter: the claim that trails have been different in Phoenix since 2020.

1706086049487.png

From the Geoengineering Watch Photo Gallery, photo posted in 2016.
1706086177527.png


Twitter itself is also quite a good source of these - with the caveat that embedded photos and videos weren't available in the early days of Twitter, so they used links, many of which will be broken.
You can find posts from before a certain date by adding until:YYYY-MM-DD to a search term.

For example if you want to find posts about chemtrails in London before Jan 1 2012:

https://twitter.com/search?q=chemtrails london until:2012-01-01&src=typed_query

brings these results:

1706086449739.png
 
As new people discover the chemtrail theory all the time, so the date when it supposedly started shifts until it becomes more and more recent. There are lots of claims that it started around 2019 – or even as recently as 2021 (when air traffic started returning to normal after the pandemic).
I've found people tend to think "chemtrails" started when the first noticed some persistent contrails and heard about the theory. A classic example being J. Marvin Herndon, who is convinced they started ove San Diego in 2014. Yet there were many pages from a local Chemtrail group that proved otherwise.

So here we have the most well credentialed scientist ever to back the chemtrail movement, someone with a Ph.D. and several published papers to his name, claiming that "chemtrails" in San Diego only started in 2014, and that before that you were luck to see one contrail a day, in the distance, maybe.

The problem with this, and the reason it disproves the more general "the skies don't look like I remember" claim of evidence, is that he is demonstrably and inarguably mistaken. Many people, including many chemtrail activists have seen persistent trails in San Diego prior to 2014. And there's documented evidence, from chemtrail activists that far more than one trail has been observed over San Diego, on many days of the year, dating back decades.

For example, take the chemtrail site "SoCal Skywatch", based in San Diego, has many images of multiple spreading contrails, very like the ones that Herndon first noticed in 2014, dating back several years to when the site was set up in 2010.

https://www.google.com/search?es_sm=119&biw=1066&bih=803&tbs=cdr:1,cd_max:2013&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=san+diego+contrails+site:socalskywatch.wordpress.com&oq=san+diego+contrails+site:socalskywatch.wordpress.com
2a07e73d6eda9fbdd9d55bc1d0c6c3c8.jpg
 
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