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Scorpion Reef and Popcorn Clouds Over Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico

21.2N 88.8W

November 29th, 2011 Category: Clouds

Mexico - November 21st, 2011

“Popcorn” clouds, created by interactions between the forest and the atmosphere, hang in a uniform layer over the Yucatán Peninsula, in Mexico. During drier times, the tropical forest gets more sunlight. This causes plants to thrive and photosynthesis to increase, which in turn releases water vapor into the atmosphere. Water vapour is more buoyant than dry air, so it rises and eventually condenses into clouds like the popcorn clouds visible here.

Also of note, at the top of the image, appearing as a bright teal crescent, is the Scorpion Reef (Spanish: Arrecife Alacranes), a reef located in the Campeche Bank. It is the largest reef in the Southern Gulf of Mexico. The reef contains five vegetated islands; Isla Pérez, Isla Desertora, Isla Pájaros, Isla Chica and Isla Desterrada.

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