Mystery clouds

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Abstract

‘Mystery clouds,’ recently observed to cover the earth's northern hemisphere, have caused speculation as to their origin. Apparently, they could be fallout from a nuclear explosion or from a meteor impact. A more likely probability is that the clouds are layers of fine particulates, probably a sulfuric acid water mist, released from volcanic eruptions. M.P. McCormick of the Langley Research Center, speaking in regard to its possible volcanic origin, stated ‘It had to be one that had little local damage but moved material high enough to get into the stratosphere, where it [could] travel around the world. Historically, information on the height of volcanic eruptions has proven unreliable due to, among other things, the difficulty of accurately observing them at night or through cloud cover.’

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