Home Page Science Frontiers

No. 6: February 1979

Issue Contents

Other pages

Other Interesting Sites











Strange high-level haze in the arctic

Every March and April, the supposedly pristine air of Alaska is defiled by a peculiar haze concentrated at about 10,000 feet. The sky has a whitish, diffuse look; from an airplane the horizon seems to disappear entirely. Is the haze due to pollutants in this remote region? Recent studies indicate two components in the haze:

(1) Dust, and (2) Sulfuric acid droplets.

Both of these must be imported because there are no sources of such materials in the arctic.

Violent wind storms in the Gobi Desert may carry some dust into the arctic. Strong winds might also transport sulphuric acid from Japanese industries to Alaska. These are speculations, though, and no one is sure where this haze comes from or how far it extends beyond Alaska into the stable, stagnant air over the Arctic Ocean.

(Anonymous; "Alaska's Imported Haze," Mozaic, 9:41, September/October 1978.)

From Science Frontiers #6, February 1979. 1979-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987