Condensation trails in an autumn sky

Tiny water droplets forming vapor trails at a high altitude.

Relative humidity. Saturation point.
Rapid condensation.
A walk with a point and shoot camera under late afternoon skies. Point up to the tree at brown leaves and branches. Compose and click one exposure. Recompose and click once more.

An older gentleman walking past asks, “Something up in the tree?” I reply, “Something up in the sky.” He looks up. “Oh, so I see. A contrail from a jet.”
“Yes, water vapor trailing behind the jet making thin frozen water lines into the tree branches.” I trace a line with my finger.
He gives me a serious look, “Well, you hope it’s just water vapor and not a chemical agent. The government doesn’t always disclose that kind of stuff to us.” I check the old guy out a bit closer to make sure he isn’t a total nut job walking around in his slippers and a bathrobe. “I guess, in a way, anytime we burn fuel we are poisoning the planet just a little bit.”
“It’s for solar radiation management. It’s a stratospheric sulfur aerosol released in the vapor of jet engines.” He says looking right at me. He looks completely serious. I don’t even think about chuckling or laughing it off. "Maybe, it’s corporate sponsored, " I suggest, “I mean, these chemical agents could just be harmless aerosols that subconsciously persuade us to buy their products? Like, right now, I could kill for a Pepsi.”

written by grifflander on 2012-09-08