NPR logo

Contrails

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1148005/148005" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Contrails

Contrails

Contrails

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1148005/148005" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The terrorist attacks in September actually helped scientists conduct some unique research on contrails - the white vapor streams that jet plane engines emit in the air. Before the attacks, scientists thought contrails were changing the climate's temperature. When air traffic was suspended on Sept. 11, they got a chance to test their hypothesis. The results are published in the latest issue of the journal Nature. NPR's Joe Palca reports.

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.