The Iceman Cometh
A Spanish scientist says that when giant gobs of ice fall from the sky, it’s a sure sign of global warming. Jesus Martinez-Frias, the director of planetary geography at Spain’s Astrobiology Center in Madrid, has spent the last two and a half years studying the ice meteors, known as megacryometeors. Although it may sound contradictory for global warming to produce balls of ice, Martinez-Frias has proposed that the cooling of the upper atmosphere (which results from the heating of the lower atmosphere, aka global warming) has led to lingering ice clouds, whose dense centers can fall to Earth. More than 50 megacryometeors weighing between 22 and 440 pounds have been found worldwide in the last decade, some of them after having blown through rooftops and windshields. Critics argue that the ice is nothing more than frozen airplane vapors, but one colleague told the journal Science that Martinez-Frias’s work was an “important advance in that it thoroughly documents and provides an explanation for a spectacular phenomenon.”
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