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Cold war; WW2 RAIDS CHANGED THE WEATHER OVER ENGLAND.

Byline: MIKE SWAIN

IT wasn't just their heroic wartime deeds which sent a shiver down the spine.

Allied aircraft hurtling across the skies during the Second World War actually COOLED ground temperatures, new research has shown.

Scientists have studied the huge formations of British and US bombers which gathered en masse at 16,000ft before cruising at 30,000ft, causing huge vapour trails in the moist air. While some disappear quickly, others can form widespread clouds.

Prof Rob MacKenzie, who led the research, said: "Witnesses recall that the sky was turned white."

They studied 20 separate raids between 1943 - when the United States Army Air Forces joined the bombing campaign - and 1945.

The biggest effect on the weather came on May 11, 1944, when 1,444 Allied planes took off from airfields across South East England into a clear sky.

The team from the Environment Agency, who have published their research in the Climatology journal, found the raid caused a 0.8C drop in temperature under the flightpath.

This may now help scientists understand climate change. Prof MacKenzie said: "By looking back at a time when aviation took place almost entirely in concentrated batches for military purposes, it is easier to separate the aircraft-induced factors from all the other things that affect climate."

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 8, 2011
Words:226
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