Pat Shingleton: "Frog Hail and Good Pollutants..."
The Centre for Ecology and Hydroplogy in Wallingford, England noted years ago that aerosols that include air pollution may be helping vegetation. Their research found that pollutants decrease the amount of light falling onto a tree but also scatter the radiation and illuminate more leaves, especially those under the tree’s outer canopy. Nature Magazine also noted that worldwide vegetation soaked up carbon dioxide more efficiently under polluted skies than it would under an absolutely clear atmosphere. From 1960 through 1980, Earth’s land plants stored 440 million metric tons of carbon but from 1980 to 1999 only 300 million metric tons was captured. Volcanic eruptions toss fractured rocks and droplets of sulphuric acid into the atmosphere. The particles scatter incoming radiation and temporarily cool the climate. In closing, on this date in 1882, Dubuque Iowa’s Monthly Weather Review noted that “frog-hail” was recorded following a thunderstorm. Residents reported that melting hailstones
disclosed small living frogs while larger chunks of ice also contained living frogs. The ice chunks measured between one and seventeen inches in diameter, varying from an inch to the size of baseballs and the biggest chunk weighed nearly two pounds. The Monthly Weather Review believed that the objects may not have been legitimate hailstones but a cluster of larger stones melted together. In Pontiac, Canada, in 1864, falling ice between an inch and two inches contained small frogs and in a town that no longer exists, Bovington, Mississippi, a six-by-eight inch gopher turtle fell from a thunderstorm, entirely encased in ice.