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Home :: Archive :: 2013 :: May ::
Sun, Coal, Fog, Smog

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0232  Thursday, 9 May 2013

 

[1] From:        Gerald E. Downs < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         May 8, 2013 9:06:33 PM EDT

     Subject:     Sun, Coal, Fog, Smog 

 

[2] From:        JD Markel < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         May 8, 2013 9:37:55 PM EDT

     Subject:     Re: Fog-Smog 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Gerald E. Downs < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         May 8, 2013 9:06:33 PM EDT

Subject:     Sun, Coal, Fog, Smog

 

Donald Bloom seconds Larry Weiss:

 

>> Fog is a natural phenomenon, occurring over

>> coastal areas whenever air and water temperatures

>> and wind speed and direction are right. The burning

>> of fossil fuels neither produces nor inhibits fog.

>> There would be fog over the Thames estuary even

>> if there were no city there.”

>

> Just so

 

Say, it isn’t just so. According to Wikipedia and my own experience, 

 

Fog begins to form when water vapor condenses into tiny liquid water droplets in the air. . . . Water vapor normally begins to condense on condensation nuclei such as dust, ice, and salt in order to form clouds. Fog . . . is a stable cloud deck . . . . Cloud condensation nuclei . . . are small particles . . . on which water vapour condenses. Water requires a non-gaseous surface to make the transition from a vapour to a liquid . . . . In the atmosphere, this surface presents itself as tiny solid or liquid particles called CCNs. When no CCNs are present . . . in above freezing temperatures the air would have to be supersaturated to around 400% before the droplets could form.

 

A typical raindrop is about 2 mm in diameter, a typical cloud droplet is on the order of 0.02 mm, and a typical cloud condensation nucleus . . . is on the order of 0.0001 mm . . . or greater in diameter. The number of cloud condensation nuclei in the air can be measured and ranges between around 100 to 1000 per cubic centimetre. There are many different types of atmospheric particulates that can act as CCN. The particles may be composed of dust or claysoot or black carbon from grassland or forest fires, sea salt from ocean wave spray, soot from factory smokestacks . . .

 

My understanding is that the famous London fog was finally controlled by controlling pollution. That is certainly the case for the (once) foggiest place on earth, my hometown, Bakersfield, Ca. As they finally learned, the fog condensed on CCNs from area winter agricultural burning. And no ocean in sight. Ocean-side, fires near roads are dangerous. 

 

A friend driving me home one night opened his door to see the white line of the road. I wondered what might happen if someone coming the other way resorted to the technique and he said, “Don’t worry, we’re the only ones dumb enough to be out here.”

 

Whether Shakespeare knew about CCNs, I haven’t the foggiest; but the burning of coal or wood causes fog. Hope this clears the air.

 

Gerald E. Downs

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        JD Markel < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         May 8, 2013 9:37:55 PM EDT

Subject:     Re: Fog-Smog

 

Don writes,

 

>Just so. In the fall of 1542 Cabrillo became the first European 

>to observe the “smog” of Los Angeles, which almost never 

>gets true fog farther inland that 14th Street in Santa Monica 

>(as best I recall)...Somebody needs to shed some light on this.

 

Two different phenomena. Cabrillo observed prevalent “smoke” either at San Pedro or northern Santa Monica Bay. Usually attributed to native domestic fires, it could also be due to seasonal brush fires. Likely a very low inversion layer (not atypical for the area) kept the smoke tamped down and concentrated. The smokiness could have also been due to an autumnal Santa Ana wind condition compressing interior wild fire smoke down into the coast, a condition which Cabrillo attributed to coastal native fires.

 

Most of the year it is the coast dumping its foul pollutants inland. L.A’s winds trend from ocean into interior. Therefore the coastal regions generally have cleaner air by grant of nature, not by any local eschewal of SUVs. For example, the oceanic advection fog and associated air mass of Santa Monica Bay is propelled inland from the ocean, generally pushing eastward or upward L.A.’s filthy air. Regarding L.A.’s pollution, and in contemplation of its infernal burning, including lots of smoky pictures, I composed for a film journal, “Welcome to the Hot-Hell California: Los Angeles as the Underworld in Film.” http://brightlightsfilm.com/78/  It includes a picture from the film “Battle: Los Angeles” showing Santa Monica burning, its smoke traveling eastward and upward but flattening when it hits a low inversion. 

 

Yes, a dense surface fog usually dissipates around 14th street at Wilshire due to higher elevation, but intrudes inland much farther south and southeast of that main boulevard, due to lower elevation.

 
 

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