A social media video displays public comments from a Shasta County Board of Supervisors meeting that occurred on July 15, 2014, in Redding, California. The comments assert that contrails lasting more than a minute are evidence of chemtrails. We fact-checked and found the claim to be Mostly False.
A social media user shared an Instagram video on Instagram featuring public comments from a Shasta County Board of Supervisors meeting held on July 15, 2014, in Redding, California. The video claims that contrails should not last longer than a minute and suggests that if they do, it is considered abnormal.
The speaker in the video states, “The contrails, not the chemical but the contrails, occur because of cold air, minus 30. It takes a high altitude around 30,000 feet plus. There is carbon dioxide and water vapor in that exhaust, that turns to ice crystals. That is what you see, the white stream behind it. Those white crystals of ice warm up, dissolve, and the smoke goes away – and it never lasts more than a minute.
What we are seeing now, and I first could not believe it and started looking at the skies. These are not normal, they are not natural, there is something going on. I do not know who it is or why they are doing it — all I can testify is it is not natural and it is not normal. It is got to be some outside influence doing that. Thank you”.
In this fact check, our focus is solely on debunking the claim that contrails lasting longer than a minute are unnatural and could be chemtrails.
We have attached a screenshot of how the video looks at the time of publishing the story.
Is it true that contrails lasting longer than a minute are chemtrails?
Not exactly. It is not necessary that contrails lasting longer than a minute are necessarily chemtrails. Contrails forms when hot jet engine exhaust cools rapidly in the cold upper atmosphere, causing water vapor to condense into visible ice crystals. The duration of contrails depends on various atmospheric conditions, such as humidity and temperature.
Chemtrails, on the other hand, is a conspiracy theory. It describes the belief that certain contrails are intentionally sprayed with chemicals or substances for undisclosed purposes. However, there is no credible scientific evidence to support the existence of chemtrails as a deliberate, harmful activity.
It is true that contrails do not form at low altitudes or in warmer temperatures, with most sources citing -40 degrees Celsius as the critical temperature. Ice crystals in a visible contrail can return to the gaseous state of water vapor through sublimation, without needing to warm up or melt.
However, the claim that normal contrails never last more than a few seconds, at most a minute, and any contrail lasting longer is evidence of something unnatural or abnormal is has a missing context. The relative humidity of the air where the plane is flying is a natural and normal external factor influencing contrail duration. This humidity can vary from day to day, change throughout the day, vary in patches, and differ at various altitudes. Therefore, it is possible to see two planes flying overhead, with only one leaving a contrail, due to differences in altitude or relative humidity.
Also, a website shows types of contrails and that they exists for different durations. These include short-lived, persistent (non-spreading), and persistent spreading.
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