Saturday, January 27, 2007
Ice Chunk Crashes thru Home
CBS 3) WOODLYN A Delaware County family narrowly avoided injury after a chunk of ice came crashing through their home Wednesday evening.
The incident happened shortly after 8:00 p.m. in the 1300 block of Donna Drive in Woodlyn.
Ed and Penny Myers said they were getting their 4-year-old daughter ready for bed when the icy object tore a 3-foot hole through the roof.
"There was this explosion in the room. At first I thought it was the T.V. shattering and glass, then I looked up and saw the hole in the ceiling and I was afraid the whole ceiling was going to collapse," said Penny.
Penny and her daughter were both hit by what they thought was glass, but they soon noticed icy debris on the ground. While there were no major injuries, Penny said she scraped her leg and her daughter Lindsay had a scrape on her stomach.
"A huge amount of ice shot to every corner of the room and it was just a complete disaster," said Ed Myers, adding, "It is just very unnerving to think that you were standing right next to that when it happened."
Myers added a plane will occasionally fly over their home, which is located a few miles from the end of a runway at the Philadelphia International Airport. The family believes the ice was either waste water or fell off of a plane’s landing gear.
On Thursday afternoon, officials from the FAA were at the home investigating the incident in hopes of determining the origin of the ice.
Ridley Township and Delaware County Council have been in an ongoing struggle with the FAA to kill a plan that would flare more takeoffs over Delaware County to alleviate congestion on the airport's runways.
"We are worried about debris coming off from the airlines, we worried about safety with the residents," said Delaware County Councilman Jack Whelan.
"We believe it would affect over 400,000 residents in Delaware County," said Whelan.
In the meantime, the FAA in continuing its investigation into the incident and attempting to determine where the ice came from.
Falling Ice Perplex Scientist
Are falling ice balls a product of global warming?
By Michael Woods, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
BARCELONA, Spain -- A Spanish-American scientific team will be scanning the United States this winter for what might be one of the weirdest byproducts of global warming: great balls of ice that fall from the sky.
The baffling phenomenon was first detected in Spain three years ago and has since been reported in a number of other countries, including the United States. So scientists now plan to monitor in a systematic way what they call "megacryometeors" -- or great balls of ice that fall from the sky.
"I'm not worried that a block of ice may fall on your head," said Dr. Jesus Martinez-Frias of the Center for Astrobiology in Madrid. "I'm worried that great blocks of ice are forming where they shouldn't exist."
Ice balls, which generally weigh 25 to 35 pounds but can be much bigger, have punched holes in the roofs of houses, smashed through car windshields, and whizzed right past people's heads.
Incidents like those may be just the beginning, according to Dr. David Travis, who chairs the department of geography and geology at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
"If megacryometeor formation is linked to global warming, as we suspect, then it is fair to assume that these events may increase in the future," Travis said.
Martinez-Frias pioneered research on megacryometeors in January 2000, after ice chunks weighing up to 6.6 pounds rained on Spain for 10 days.
At first, scientists thought the phenomenon was unique to Spain. During the past three years, however, they've accumulated strong evidence that megacryometeors are falling all around the globe.
More than 50 falls have been confirmed, and researchers believe that's a small fraction of the actual number, since others may hit unoccupied areas or melt before discovery.
Travis said most megacrymeteor falls occur in January, February and March.
Researchers were able to analyze ice samples from the 2000 incidents, thanks to witnesses who kept the material cold. Martinez's team quickly ruled out obvious explanations.
The ice balls, for instance, were not frozen water from toilets flushed on jetliners. The ice contained no human waste and none of the blue disinfectant used in airplane toilets. Air traffic control records showed that no planes flew over the areas near the ice falls, so the ice had not been shed from aircraft wings.
Chunks of debris from a comet? Again, lab tests showed that ice in megacryometeors had the distinctive chemical signature of ice in ordinary terrestrial hailstones.
Hail forms in the updrafts and downdrafts of thunderstorms. The updrafts carry droplets of super-cooled water, which freeze. More droplets hit the frozen particles as winds toss them around. The water freezes instantly and the hailstone grows, layer by layer.
Most hailstones weigh a fraction of an ounce, with 27 ounces the U. S. record.
Megacryometeors show the telltale onionskin layering seen in hailstones. They also contain dust particles and air pockets found in hail. But they are formed in cloudless skies, a notion that defies research on hail formation.
"Scientists are naturally reluctant to say something never can happen," said Charles Knight, a hail expert at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. "But oh, dear. I would be tempted to say 'never' on this."
Knight has reviewed scientific papers on megacryometeors, and thinks the explanation that cites unusual atmospheric conditions possibly linked to global warming, is probably wrong, although he doesn't have a better one.
Global warming involves higher temperatures on Earth's surface, but creates colder conditions in the stratosphere, the uppermost layer of the atmosphere, according to Travis.
He has linked megacryometeor events to unusual conditions in the "tropopause," the boundary between the troposphere (the lower atmosphere) and the stratosphere. Located 5 to 9 miles above the surface, the tropopause marks the limit of clouds and is important in the development of storms.
Global warming may be making the tropopause colder, moister and more turbulent, Travis said, creating conditions in which ice crystals grow like ordinary hailstones in thunderclouds.
Its been my theory that the warming of our oceans has been the result of underwater volcanic activity, after researching the topic I found an interesting site supporting the idea. Check out: Ice Age Now
Its based on the premise that the science portrayed in the movie the Day After Tomorrow is real, which I have also proven through governmental research documents. Very interesting indeed.
Posted by Michelle Collier at 8:54 PM