Rutgers climatologist publishes paper about clouds in ‘The Scream’ painting

Posted: Updated:
NEW BRUNSWICK -

A New Jersey scientist has published a paper which offers a new interpretation of a famous painting.

Rutgers University climatologist Adam Robock and a colleague at Oxford University recently published “The Sky in Edvard Munch’s The Scream.”

The 1894 painting features a humanoid figure with its mouth wide open in a screaming fashion. There’s an orange sky in the background. The painting is widely interpreted to depict the aftermath of a volcanic eruption.

“Most people look at that and look at the face,” Robock says. “I look at the sky.”

Robock says that the sky in the painting may actually depict something called nacreous or Mother of Pearl clouds, which is an aurora-like phenomenon visible from southern Norway in the winter.

Robock’s paper states that the person in the painting may not be screaming about an imminent disaster, but something else going on inside their own mind.

Robock admits that he is not an art professor, but a scientist who usually focuses on climate and nuclear disasters.

“I spend a lot of my time trying to determine what would happen in the event of a nuclear war and how climate would change, so I can warn the world against ever using nuclear weapons,” he says.

“The Scream” sold for a record $120 million in 2012.

  • New Jersey SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • Notable deaths of 2018

    Notable deaths of 2018

    Photos of celebrities, politicians and other notable people who passed in 2018.

    Photos of celebrities, politicians and other notable people who passed in 2018.

  • Your 2018 New Jersey Holiday Lights Photos

    Your 2018 New Jersey Holiday Lights Photos

    Monday, December 10 2018 12:00 AM EST2018-12-10 05:00:41 GMT
    Alan Woinski's display on Pascack Road in Paramus.Alan Woinski's display on Pascack Road in Paramus.

    Do you think you have a great holiday lights display? Check out some of the submissions for the News 12 New Jersey Lights Up the Holidays series.

    Do you think you have a great holiday lights display? Check out some of the submissions for the News 12 New Jersey Lights Up the Holidays series.

  • Gift Guides: Gifts for everyone on your list

    Gift Guides: Gifts for everyone on your list

    Wednesday, December 5 2018 7:37 AM EST2018-12-05 12:37:03 GMT
    From Jack-Jack, of the "Incredibles," to the newest Fingerlings toy, we have a list of the hottest toys for the kids in your list!From Jack-Jack, of the "Incredibles," to the newest Fingerlings toy, we have a list of the hottest toys for the kids in your list!

    We have a list of the best gifts for everyone on your list!

    We have a list of the best gifts for everyone on your list!

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."