Researchers have recognized for a long time that the particulate emissions from ships can have a dramatic effect on lower-lying stratocumulus clouds higher than the ocean. In satellite photos, areas of the Earth’s oceans are streaked with vibrant white strips of clouds that correspond to shipping lanes. These artificially brightened clouds are a end result of the very small particles created by the ships, and they replicate much more daylight back to house than unperturbed clouds do, and a great deal much more than the dim blue ocean underneath. Given that these “ship tracks” block some of the sun’s electricity from achieving Earth’s surface, they reduce some of the warming that would usually manifest.
The development of ship tracks is ruled by the very same basic concepts guiding all cloud development. Clouds naturally appear when the relative humidity exceeds 100 per cent, initiating condensation in the atmosphere. Specific cloud droplets