Polar Stratospheric Clouds : Captured Images
Weather watchers have captured images of rare Polar stratospheric clouds over Scotland, northern England and the West Midland.
- Polar Stratospheric clouds (PSC) are also known as nacreous clouds or mother of pearl, due to their iridescence.
- These are formed in very cold conditions over Polar Regions and within the stratosphere, around 12-19 miles (19-31 km) high, far above our normal clouds.
- These clouds are made of smaller ice particles than those that form more common clouds.
- These small particles help to scatter light in a different way, which gives them their unique appearance
- PSCs typically make their first appearance in January.
- The frequency of these clouds is often a harbinger of ozone depletion, as they play a crucial role in stratospheric chemistry.
- PSCs provide a surface for chemical reactions where benign forms of chlorine are converted into reactive, ozone-destroying forms.