Satellites use chlorophyll's green color to detect biological activity in the oceans. The lighter-green swirls are a massive December 2010 plankton bloom following ocean currents off Patagonia, at the southern tip of South America. Credits: NASA's Earth Observatory

Another unknown climate feedback – plankton blooms create brighter clouds

Marine plankton brighten clouds over Southern Ocean From the NASA/GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER New research using NASA satellite data and ocean biology models suggests tiny organisms in vast stretches of the Southern Ocean play a significant role in generating brighter clouds overhead. Brighter clouds reflect more sunlight back into space affecting the amount of solar…

Jet contrails as seen by satellite. Credit NASA Langley Research Center

No surprise here: Jet contrails affect surface temperatures

From Penn State High in the sky where the cirrus ice crystal clouds form, jet contrails draw their crisscross patterns. Now researchers have found that these elevated ice cloud trails can influence temperatures on the ground and affect local climate, according to a team of Penn State geographers. Video follows. “Research done regarding September 2001,…

cloud streets

The physics of clouds

From the University of California – Santa Barbara A UCSB physicist’s experimental results disprove long-held ideas about turbulence In 1941, Russian physicist Andrey Kolmogorov developed a theory of turbulence that has served as the basic foundation for our understanding of this important naturally occurring phenomenon. Turbulence occurs when fluid flow is characterized by chaotic physical…