The Casimir effect is a phenomenon in which two neutral surfaces attract or repel each other when…
The weather forecast was for sunny weather and temperatures reaching 20C, but instead we got three days with clouds and max temperatures of 17C. This hadn’t been anything to write about if it wasn’t for the fact that the clouds were yellow with dust from Sahara. Everything was tinted yellow as a consequence.
The reaction from the global warming crowd has so far been muted, maybe because the event has shown that dust storms cool things down. If we are seeing more dust storms as a consequence of climate change, we’re going to see a lot of days with relatively low temperature. Maybe sufficiently many to offset the predicted increase in temperatures. Climate models that don’t include Sahara dust cloud can be dismissed. It would be back to the drawing board for a lot of climate experts.
However, the climate does in fact seem to be changing. Weather patterns in Portugal, where I live, are shifting towards less stability. Summers have not been uniformly sunny with blue skies, as they used to be. There has been clouds and rainy days too, and this has been going on for several years. Dust from Sahara, although not that unusual in countries farther east, hardly ever reached Portugal. Three days of yellow clouds is simply unheard of.
It’s interesting to note that the storm that caused this event isn’t described as particularly strong. It wasn’t the ferocity of winds that caused the clouds to become as widespread as they were. Something else kept the dust in the air long enough to spread as far north as England and Scandinavia.
With news of Sahara dust storms becoming increasingly common, it appears that the mechanisms involved are becoming stronger. If Gerald Pollack is right in his theory that clouds are kept in the air by mutual repelling charge between Earth and clouds, we can pose the hypothesis that Earth is becoming more charged as of late. Dust that is swept up from ground is kept suspended in the air for longer due to stronger electrostatic repulsion between ground and clouds.
This hypothesis is not as easy to test as it may seem because electric instruments regard Earth as neutral, regardless of its actual charge. If Earth has become more charged as of late, no instrument would have picked up on this. It’s only through careful measurements of the electric gradient of our atmosphere that this hypothesis can be tested, and I don’t think this gradient is sufficiently well monitored for anyone to have noticed a change.
However, if there is a link between charge and gravity, as I believe there is, the above hypothesis can be verified indirectly. The gravitational force, which is closely monitored, should give an unusually high reading. The orbit of our moon would also be impacted. An increase in Earth’s charge would push it farther away from us, while an increase in gravity would pull it closer to us. The moon is known to drift slowly away from us. That too is presumably monitored closely, and there too, there should be a change.