October 16, 2021

World War 2 Bombing Raids Caused Climate Change

“A new study has revealed that allied bombing raids leaving Britain during World War II may have affected the weather.

World War 2 Bombing Raids Caused Climate Change

Rob Mackenzie of the University of Birmingham, and Roger Timmis of the British Environment Agency studied weather records between 1943 and 1945. They found that the areas the planes flew over when conducting the huge air raids were cooler than nearby areas.

The vapor trail (contrail) left by an airplane is the result of hot exhaust fumes blasting into the cold air in the upper atmosphere. They can block the sun’s rays, causing the area underneath the contrails to become cooler.

The researchers studied the areas in England where the bombing raids originated. Commercial and civilian air traffic was rare in these areas, but when the bombing raids began, there was a huge increase in traffic in a specific area. This made it easy to distinguish between climate data in this area compared to unaffected areas nearby. They found that the area below the airplanes’ path was an average 1.44 degrees F cooler than the surrounding areas.

This data can be used to study the effect that airplane contrails have on contemporary climate.”

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World War II Bomber Contrails Show How Aviation Affects Climate