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The above cartoon caught my eye, when it was going around in social media a few weeks ago, since I had just come back from a conference/holiday trip with some of my dear colleagues.

Travelling with fellow atmospheric scientist is always fun: at the Rocky Mountains field trip (see previous post) we were admiring the blue haze phenomenon; at the ICNAA conference banquet on a nice rooftop terrace we were observing the formation of airplane contrails; at the Empire State Building we were commenting on the air pollution, which was visibly accumulating in the street canyons. A few years back on a road trip to west coast of Ireland, we were all staring at the algae lying on the shore and thinking of new particle formation (but nobody was allowed to mention it).

It’s hard to let go of the scientific view, even on holiday. But knowing why sunset is red, doesn’t diminish its beauty. It just makes things even more interesting. As you can see in the cartoon, there is more questions than answers. And being aware of environmental issues, say air pollution, would be beneficial also for the ‘most people’ relaxing on the beach.

I will leave for my holiday now, hoping to observe some nice natural phenomena, like mist rising from the river in the evening and water vapor condensing on a cold beer bottle in the sauna.  Have a happy summer!

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