Supposed ‘chemtrails’ in the sky are just clouds left by planes

16 September 2022
What was claimed

An image on Facebook shows one contrail and one chemtrail.

Our verdict

This is not true. The image shows two contrails.

A post on Facebook shares a picture of two white lines in the sky with the comment “Contrail and chemtrail in he [sic] same shot”.

As we’ve said many times before, “chemtrails” are a reference to a false conspiracy theory that claims these white lines are evidence of a plot to spread poison or control the weather by spraying chemicals from aircraft.

Both the lines in this photograph are just normal contrails.

Planes leave white trails in the sky, known as contrails, because water vapour produced by aeroplane engines freezes at high altitude, forming long thin lines of cloud.

These clouds of ice crystals can behave differently, depending on the humidity of the air. Some change directly from a solid to a gas, and become invisible within a few minutes. Others can remain frozen in the sky for hours, long after the plane that made them has gone.

The chemtrails conspiracy theory claims that these clouds are actually chemicals sprayed deliberately, either as poisons or to influence the weather. This is not true.

Geoengineering—deliberately manipulating the climate on a large scale, perhaps by injecting aerosols into the high atmosphere—has been suggested as a theoretical possibility, but it is not already taking place, beyond some proposed small-scale experiments.

Image courtesy of Adrian Pingstone Arpingstone

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