Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

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Professor Penner discusses contrails with WXYZ

Posted: November 27, 2013

Professor Penner discusses contrails with WXYZ

Professor Joyce Penner spoke with WXYZ-TV about contrails, the trails of condensation left behind by aircraft.

Conspiracy theorists believe these trails may be made up of aluminum, barium or strontium and are used by the government to slow down climate change.

Penner, an expert on cloud and aerosol interactions and cloud microphysics, told WXYZ that the trails are made up of “black carbon, soot and sulfate particles.”

Penner also explained these trails would not be used to cool the atmosphere.

“The contrails that are spreading, that you can identify as contrails, those would tend to warm the atmosphere.”

Watch the full clip on WXYZ here.

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