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10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
- 10 April 2014 11:44 am , Vol. 344 , #6180
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ScienceShot: Contrails Warm the Globe
27 June 2011 2:52 pm
The white, cloudy contrails airplanes often leave in the sky may be full of ice crystals, but they're warming the globe, according to a new study. By flying in the wake of various aircraft—ranging in size from the 47-metric-ton Airbus A319 to the 508-metric-ton Airbus A380 (contrails of two Airbus A340s shown)—and analyzing their less-than-10-minute-old contrails, researchers have found that fresh contrails tend to trap outbound infrared radiation, slightly heating Earth. Based on 2005 air traffic figures such contrails, if their effect were to be evenly spread out across the globe, would continuously trap 15.9 milliwatts of power per square meter, the researchers report this month in Geophysical Research Letters. That's about 1% of the amount trapped by the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
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