I first became aware of increasing contrail activity by accident after I unwittingly stumbled across a web culture built on the premise that "the government" is using airplanes to slowly poison us all.
Chemtrails they call them, Aerosol Crimes, or even the "attempt to implement the New World Order," depending on how deep you look. There is some horrendously outrageous stuff on those webpages.
I easily dismissed this as a conspiracy theory and even laughed about how crazy it was.
But then, one day as I walked down the road noticing many contrails criss-crossed in the sky, I started to think about it. I realized that I honestly couldn't recall ever having seen contrails stay in the sky like they do today.
So I started to wonder if the conspiracy theorists were on to something - not that they were right, rather that they had simply noticed something out of the ordinary before I had. It’s been known to happen - once in a while.
Reading Discovery News today I have found that this is indeed a relatively new climate phenomenon that scientists known as "contrail researchers" at places like NASA study. Their research regarding these "contrail outbreaks" and "contrail clusters" has been published in a recent issue of the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology.
Apparently colder air combined with an increased humidity at higher altitudes is producing contrails that persist rather than just evaporate like they have in the past. These contrails eventually expand to form an artificial layer of cloud cover which the scientists study to determine if they play a role in global warming, or visa versa.
Sorry for taking away the mystery chemtrail freaks, but all other things being equal the simplest solution is usually the right answer.