Polar stratospheric cloud

Polar stratospheric cloud

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Credit: DAVID HAY JONES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Polar stratospheric cloud (white) with other clouds coloured by a sunset. This is a nacreous or mother-of-pearl type of polar stratospheric cloud (PSC). PSCs are high-altitude icy clouds that are found about 24 kilometres up in the polar stratosphere. They only form during winter when the temperature drops below around -80 degrees Celsius. PSCs play a key role in the destruction of ozone by chlorine. They convert harmless forms of chlorine into highly-reactive forms. Chlorine is carried into the stratosphere in CFCs (chloro- fluorocarbons), gases used as refrigerants and during foam plastic manufacture. Photographed over Swedish Lapland in early January.

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Keywords: arctic, climate, cloud types, clouds, cloudy, depleting, european, hole, ice, icy, lapland, meteorology, mother-of-pearl, nacreous, ozone depletion, polar stratospheric, scandinavian, stratosphere, sunset, sweden, swedish, weather

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