26th September was a day of very heavy chemtrailing in all of Greece, triggering a barrage of complaints to meteorologists, air traffic controllers, the military, the media. So strong was the reaction that the newpaper Proto Thema, which itself expressed concern initially in a prominent article, replaced the article with a different and more reassuring text after only a few hours. And the head of the National Meteorological Service was also given the task of reassuring the public, which he tried to do as follows.

Here is an English translation:

7 scientific questions and answers about the spraying

The director of Greece’s National Meteorological Service Thodoris Kolydas explains everything about the phenomenon that has upset many citizens

Seven scientific questions and answers about the spraying

Are we guinea pigs or not? What are the artificial clouds we see in the sky? How are the white chemical trails in the Greek skies produced? The director of the National Meteorological Service Thodoris Kolyydas explains everything about the phenomenon that has upset many citizens.

What are contrails? Are they caused by aircraft? Do they influence the climate and if so, should we be concerned?

A contrail will form behind a jet when the exhaust gases freeze and mix with the ambient air, and that happens when the level of humidity is sufficiently high and the temperature sufficiently low. The air must be supersaturated and the temperature generally below  -40 ° F , something which usually happens only in the upper levels of the troposphere, above 25,000 feet. Under these conditions, with the passage of the jet, the water vapour solidifies and a few dozen metres behind the aircraft the water drops freeze and form the snowy white clouds that are called contrails. The climate is affected locally because the level of incoming sunlight is reduced but there is no reason for concern.  Still, contrails can increase average surface temperatures enough to generate a rising tendency in temperatures as occurred in the USA between 1975 and 1994. Some climatologists (such as Minnis and his colleagues) believe that the effect of contrails on the planet is likely to have been overestimated.

In a study published in 2005  James Hansen of NASA’s Goddard Institute and his colleagues ran models which increased the contrail cover in a study by Minnis by a factor of five. Even with this significant increase, Hansen’s group found that the global mean temperature change was in the range of  0.03 ° C ( 0.05 ° F) – that is to say, a small figure.

How long do contrails last?

That depends on the level of ambient  humidity. If the atmosphere at that height is dry, then no contrails at all form or they disappear almost immediately after being generated. If the level of humidity is high, as was the case yesterday when we had the advent of cirrus clouds, then the clouds take some time to disappear and spread out over the sky. One study showed  that  contrails from just six aircraft can spread over 7,700 square miles (David Travis of the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater and  two colleagues).

It has been heard that cloud seeding is being carried out. Is that true and why is it happening?

Yes, it is true. This is done to avoid the generation of hail and protect crops. As soon as the stormclouds appear the pilots receive a signal for immediate takeoff from the meteorologists at the ground station. The aircraft that will drop silver iodide flies low (below the bottom of the clouds) and, guided by the meteorologist, locates the areas where there are strong rising currents (turbulence). As soon as the pilot feels the shaking he activates the generator of silver iodide dust, spraying the cloud with the dust. The dust spreads and is absorbed by the rising currents, reaching heights of thousands of metres. At the same time a second plane flies at a much greater height (around five kilometres) towards the blue of the cloud and releases dry ice. Dry ice works better at low temperatures than silver iodide does.

The water accumulates around each condensation nucleus and forms  micropic droplets or ice crystals (artificial condensation nuclei).  In this way more, and smaller, hailstones are formed than would be formed  without this intervention. The hail melts before it reaches the ground or (in the worst case) lands in smaller quantities and with a smaller size than if it were falling naturally. “Bombing” operations of this kind have been going on for at least thirty years.

Why do we want  to control the weather?

Mainly for economic reasons but also for social reasons. Let’s start with some absolute figures: eight million people died every year globally from drought, with the greatest danger in Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, etc. And if it seems that extreme weather phenomena threaten only Third World countries, one has only to mention that in the U.S.A. 300,000 people every year die in tornadoes and other extreme weather phenomena, with one trillion dollars having been paid for restitution of damage from tornadoes between 1980 and the present day. So how would it be if we had the opportunity to reduce or even to stop all this? To bring rain to where there is drought? To weaken storms that have the power to kill?

How can we cause artificial rain?

Bombardment of clouds has been carried out to bring rain from stratiform clouds or some kinds of cumulus clouds (dense high-altitude clouds), with mixed results. This method of bringing artificial rain is ineffective because it presupposes the existence of clouds of suitable density. In 1990 Greece participated in a program of this kind at a time serious drought, but the results were absolutely negligible.

We can prevent rain, though. The most recent demonstration of expertise was during the 2008 Olympic Games, where 30 aircraft, 4,000 rockets and 7,000 anti-tank weapons were deployed to avert very heavy rain on the day of the opening ceremony and during the games. The Chinese managed to do it through weakening the powerful storms 100 kilometres from Beijing. The results were impressive.

Are there military applications?

Yes. One project of the Cold War period was “Project Cirrus” in America. Its aim was to seed condensation nuclei in typhoons for the purpose of regulating their movement. In October 1947 a warplane (in the context of Project “Cirrus”) flew over a typhoon and dropped silver iodide (about forty kilos). Materials have been developed that absorb water to the amount of a multiple of their mass and this can affect the humidity of parts of the atmosphere, with immediate repercussions on the weather. Another project of this kind was Operation “Popeye”.

Modification of the climatic conditions was utilized in the wars in Vietnam and Laos. Between 1966 and 1971  there were over 260 cloud-seeding sorties for the purpose of producing continuous rain and bogging down the Ho Chi Minh trail to obstruct the Vietnamese supply lines. It seems (without there being absolute proof of this) that the American army accomplished its objectives. Operation Popeye was exposed by the journalist Jack Anderson of the New York Times.

It has been heard that weather modification can be carried out using lasers? Is that true?

Three years ago a research team from the University of Geneva succeeded in producing weather modification using lasers. It was in May 2010 that Dr. Jerome Kasparian came across the result of a pioneering research study using high-powered lasers to cause rain. But the results have so far been meager and the methods cannot be implemented operationally. There are many other geoengineering techniques also which at the moment are at the research stage (such as use of the Van Allen belts in the ionosphere, ocean fertilization, and other techniques).

Translation by Wayne Hall


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