By David Tulis
Paul Barys is Chattanooga’s perennial weather newscaster who tells it like it is. In a “Paul Says” explainer segment on TV3, he puts to rest the annoying but trivial controversy over U.S. coalstriping of the skies.
Mr. Barys comes down firmly in the sky tattoo agnostic camp. He is not merely a skeptic about the existence of the weather modification story and a possible war on global warming. He offers an affirmative theory and some simple science to put the matter to rest.
“What you are seeing are ‘contrails,’ or condensation trails,” he says. “We first discovered them during World War II when the bombers would fly at high altitudes from Great Britain to Germany. *** Some people think these are chemicals produced to change the weather called ‘chemtrails.’ I assure you they are not that. They are the product of a simple physical act.”
Jet fumes merely condensation
Mr. Barys explains that the white stripes in the sky that usually linger and spread into cirrus cloud cover come from the innocuous ways of nature.
What you are actually seeing is water vapor condensing out of a hot jet engine. It is the same principle you see out of your car on a cold winter day. Jet planes are flying in our skies every day at high altitudes over 30-thousand feet. The temperature is well below 40 below zero!
Sometimes you see the trail and sometimes you don’t. It all depends on how humid the air is at these high altitudes. If the air is very dry you will not see a contrail. If it is very humid the contrail will not dissipate and will sometimes form a high thin overcast of cirrus clouds.
This can change naturally changing temperatures. Sometimes highs will be cooler and lows will be warmer because of these jet-induced clouds.
Mr. Barys’ job title at Channel 3 Eyewitness News is chief meteorologist. He’s been in that job since 1985, having begun his career in weather forecasting in 1975 when he obtained, in the basis of a bachelor of science degree, the American Meteorological Society’s television seal of approval.
The Chattanooga TV personality is as little impressed with the coalstriping story as is EPA. That agency declares that the white stripes by jet traffic are mere water vapor. Its widely noted 6-page “Aircraft Contrails Factsheet” has been unchanged since 2000, undergoing a revision in 2012.
The only admission Mr. Barys makes in favor of the stratospheric aerosol geoengineering story is that the jet-caused smog tends to flatten weather, cooling off high temps, keeping lows from going as low. These clouds, then, modify the weather.
Source: Environmental Protection Agency, “Contrail fact sheet,” September 2000. http://www3.epa.gov/otaq/regs/nonroad/aviation/430f00005.pdf