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Earth Space Science

Global Warming Felt By Space Junk and Satellites 224

An anonymous reader writes in with a story about another side effect of increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. "Rising carbon dioxide levels at the edge of space are apparently reducing the pull that Earth's atmosphere has on satellites and space junk, researchers say. The findings suggest that man made increases in carbon dioxide might be having effects on the Earth that are larger than expected, scientists added... in the highest reaches of the atmosphere, carbon dioxide can actually have a cooling effect. The main effects of carbon dioxide up there come from its collisions with oxygen atoms. These impacts excite carbon dioxide molecules, making them radiate heat. The density of carbon dioxide is too thin above altitudes of about 30 miles (50 kilometers) for the molecules to recapture this heat. Cooling the upper atmosphere causes it to contract, exerting less drag on satellites."
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Global Warming Felt By Space Junk and Satellites

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 12, 2012 @06:48AM (#41955141)

    Because there's no extra heat coming in from the sun (indeed, slightly less), but because the CO2 is trapping heat in the lower atmosphere, the heat input to the upper atmosphere is reduced.

    And what happens when heat input is reduced?


    What happens in the lower atmoshere, where the heat input is increased?


    Indeed, one of the fingerprints that shows it ISN'T the sun doing it is the cooling upper atmosphere: in a warming sun, the entire atmosphere is being warmed because the heat input and throughput is increased.

    Whereas the fingerprint of a greenhouse effect is that there is no extra input, but the throughput has changed.

    In other words, this is yet more evidence of AGW.

  • by Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Monday November 12, 2012 @07:51AM (#41955301) Homepage

    They have a global warming potential thousands of times higher than CO2 and are being released into the atmosphere in large quantities. HCFCs replaced CFCs because they don't react with ozone so don't destroy the ozone layer. The downside of that is they don't react with ANYTHING in the atmosphere so no one has an idea how they will ever be removed. This is a potentially major issue which isn't being taken seriously enough.

  • by khallow ( 566160 ) on Monday November 12, 2012 @10:08AM (#41955843)

    HCFCs replaced CFCs because they don't react with ozone so don't destroy the ozone layer.

    HCFCs do react with ozone and more so than CFCs. But since they're more reactive, they're more likely to decompose before they get to ozone-destroying altitudes.

  • by tmosley ( 996283 ) on Monday November 12, 2012 @11:02AM (#41956221)
    In my experience, no-one wants to take corrective measures to reduce global temperatures because "that would be the easy way out" or some such nonsense. They instead want to shut down industry and starve Africa.

    I don't think that CO2 causes global warming (from my own calculations, for which I have been repeatedly ridiculed by simpletons who don't even know what IR and Raman spectra represent, but which seem to match what is happening in the upper atmosphere), but I wouldn't be opposed to a little geoengineering to reduce global temps by a half a degree. Much better than trying to artificially limit CO2 emissions.

    If you REALLY want to get rid of CO2 emissions, you have to find a CHEAPER source of energy. Doing anything else will simply drive industry to non-compliant countries, or, lacking those, will shut it down, or make all goods more expensive, especially food commodities, which means Africa starves.
  • by tmosley ( 996283 ) on Monday November 12, 2012 @11:13AM (#41956309)
    "World-raping, destructive assholes" that provide you with everything you eat, drink, wear, and use in your entire life, from the cradle to the grave. If "they" are evil, it is because YOU are evil, and produce demand for what "they" are selling.

    How about you stop framing things in terms of "good" and "evil"? No human sees himself as a villain in his own life story. Those people who burn fossil fuels don't do them so they can audition for a spot in the new Captain Planet movie. They do it to produce the goods and services that people need to live. If you increase their costs to stop global warming, you WILL make those goods and services more expensive. This WILL result in additional starvation among marginal populations, like, say, all of Africa.

    If you want to stop CO2 emission WITHOUT causing mass starvation, you need to start advocating for non-CO2 emitting technologies, namely LFTRs, or whatever other promising technology tickles your fancy. Just don't demand that "they" simply stop. People will die if they do.

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford