The ocean really takes on the color of the sky

I guess it’s kinda obvious that the ocean always appears to be the color of the sky. On grey days, the ocean looks grey. If the sky is blue, so is the ocean. But if the sky is two-colored? See for yourself!


Waves in the clouds

On my way back from London I had an almost equally interesting flight as on my way to London, which I talked about here and here. Except that most of the excitement this time round came from discovering that I wasn’t, in fact, sitting next to the person I thought I was, but that I was booked on a different flight from a different terminal. Which isn’t so terribly exciting in itself, but seeing that Terminal 5 is quite a distance away from the other terminals and the discovery itself happened at security some 20 minutes before boarding was supposed to start, it made for an interesting race across Heathrow.

But at least I ended up seeing pretty waves in the clouds:


Cloud waves – wave clouds

Another one of those days where I kinda wish I had taken at least some meteorology at some point (only “kind of” because I wouldn’t want to miss any of the stuff I actually took…). But on my way to work I saw the clouds below:


The internet says they might be cirrocumulus undulatus clouds.


In any case, the wavy clouds started to disintegrate into cirrocumulus-like clouds.IMG_1822

But whatever they were, they were very pretty!
IMG_1837Meteorologists out there (Torge! :-)) – what kind of clouds were they and why did they form?


Internal waves in the atmosphere

A photo of internal waves in the atmosphere.

Internal waves exist on the interface between fluids of different densities. In the ocean they are mostly observed through their surface imprint. In the tank, we could also observe them by looking in from the side, but this is hardly feasible in the ocean. But luckily vision is easier in the atmosphere than in the ocean.

On our research cruise on the RRS James Clark Ross in August 2012, we were lucky enough to observe atmospheric internal waves, and even breaking ones (see image above). This is quite a rare sight, and a very spectacular one, especially since, due to the low density contrast between the two layers, the waves break extremely slowly.

It is really hard to imagine what it looked like for real. This movie shows the view of Jan Mayen – the volcano, the rest of the island and then the atmospheric waves. Please excuse the wobbly camera – we were after all on a ship and I was too excited to stabilize properly.