Latest Global Warming Worry: Megacryometeors


As if we didn't have enough to worry about when it comes to our slowly but persistently heating planet, Mark at 3r Blogging points to a couple of stories about megacryometeors. Mega-wha? Huge (as in 30 pounds and up) balls of ice that are falling from the sky; see the impact of one above (left) and the damage done on the way down (right). Having determined that the mega-ice-balls are not falling from aircraft or breaking off from passing comets, and, based on their composition and structure, scientists are postulating that we have global warming to thank for what amounts to huge mutant hail. As the globe warms, temperatures on Earth's surface and in the atmosphere increase, creating colder conditions in the stratosphere, the uppermost layer of the atmosphere. Scientists have linked megacryometeors to unusual conditions in the "tropopause," the boundary between the troposphere (the lower atmosphere) and the stratosphere. Located five to nine miles above the surface, the tropopause marks the limit of clouds and is important in the development of storms. Global warming may be making the tropopause colder, moister and more turbulent, creating conditions in which ice crystals grow like ordinary hailstones in thunderclouds, but much, much bigger. We recommend watching the skies and stocking up on umbrellas. ::The Star via ::3r Blogging