Noctilucent clouds alarmed scientists

Серебристые облака насторожили ученых

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Summer in the night sky you may notice something truly magical, and is a silver clouds and mesospheric clouds. The name of this rare phenomenon was due to a flicker in the twilight sky. However, despite their beauty, these clouds can be alarm bells.

Noctilucent clouds form in the mesosphere — the rarefied upper atmosphere with a small amount of moisture and low temperatures at an average altitude of 82 kilometers. The nature of this phenomenon is not fully understood, but scientists speculate that the clouds are formed due to the scarce water vapor, which freezes, creating crystals. Since the mesosphere is the coldest in the summer, these clouds are observed during this season.

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The reason why this phenomenon is not well understood, lies in the fact that the history of these clouds relative young. First reported in 1885, and immediately scientists talking about the fact that they could occur due to climate change.

Now experts again consider this a possible cause, as for many years these clouds were mostly only in the polar regions. But in recent years they pass much further and look much brighter. So on June 21 residents of the UK have seen this beautiful phenomenon, although it is quite unusual for these places.

Most of the moisture required for the formation of clouds comes from methane — a greenhouse gas — which produces water vapor when it is destroyed in the upper atmosphere. And as the methane pollution increased, noctilucent clouds have become brighter, and most importantly visible in new places.

Noctilucent clouds are being studied by scientists, both from the Ground and from space, as they are high enough. However, to understand the true cause of the phenomenon experts have a long job.

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