Basic Aviation and Chemistry vs. Loony Paranoia

This is Mr. Water Drop:

droplet icon

Mr. Water Drop freezes at 32 degree Fahrenheit.  When Mr. Water Drop is Way Up in the Sky, where it is very cold, he and billions of his friends freeze into tiny crystals to form Mr. Cloud.

You may wonder where Mr. Water Drop comes from. Well, I will tell you.

Sometimes Mr. Water Drop evaporates from the Big Ocean and becomes an invisible gas for a while, till he floats up and then cools down Way High Up in the Sky Where it is Cold and becomes either ice crystals who make up Mr. Cloud, or else liquid that makes up Mr. Rain.

But there is another, more wonderful place that Mr. Water Drop comes from: Mr. Fire!

Does that surprise you?

It’s true. When Mr. Fire burns things made out of carbon and hydrogen (like the wax in that candle), then oxygen in the air combines with those two elements to make a gas called “carbon dioxide” that plants think is yummy. But it also makes another gas called “H2O”. And guess what H2O is also called? That’s right! Mr. Water Drop!

Now here’s a funny thing: When Great Big Jet Airplanes fly Way Up High in the Sky, they have to burn something called “jet fuel”. Jet fuel is made of carbon and hydrogen too, which burns very well. It’s like the gasoline mommy and daddy put in your car!  And when the jet fuel burns, it gets blasted out of the jet engines to push the plane along through the sky! Here is a pretty plane full of nice people flying through the sky:

Do you notice something funny about that plane? That’s right! It’s making two lines of clouds! Want to know why? Because it’s Way Up High the Sky where the air is colder than 32 degrees! So the moment Mr. Water Droplet leaves the engine where he was born when the jet fuel burned, he gets cold and turns into Mr. Ice Crystal! Brrrr! And he joins with all his other Ice Crystal friends to make Mr. Cloud! Only this Mr. Cloud is not big and puffy, but is a straight line.

Those kind of clouds are called “contrails”. Now, some people, called “Mr. and Mrs. Crazypants”, will try to frighten you that contrails are really “chemtrails” and are Bad and Scary and the Jews and Obama and the Pentagon and the Lizard Creatures in the Vatican are trying to kill you with them. But now that you know what they really are and can see that they are just the same thing as any other kind of cloud, you don’t have to be afraid of Mr. and Mrs. Crazypants when they try to scare you. Isn’t it nice to know how things work?