Space Tourism: We’re Doomed

Posted: October 22, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Let us now rightfully agree to wring hands.

Why?  Because nature news is relaying the idea space tourism will accelerate “climate change.”

The findings, reported in a paper in press in Geophysical Research Letters, suggest that emissions from 1,000 private rocket launches a year would persist high in the stratosphere, potentially altering global atmospheric circulation and distributions of ozone. The simulations show that the changes to Earth’s climate could increase polar surface temperatures by 1 °C, and reduce polar sea ice by 5–15%.

The hypothesis is space tourism will release “black carbon” in the upper atmosphere and therefore, will change the world’s climate.

The black carbon layer caused the temperature to decrease about 0.4 °C in the tropics and subtropics, whereas the temperature at the poles increased by between 0.2 and 1 °C, he says, emphasizing that the exact details would have to be refined with further models. The black carbon also caused ozone reductions of up to 1.7% in the tropics and subtropics, and increases of 5–6% in the polar regions.

So wait…not so hot in the tropics and warmer at the poles: what’s not to like?

Still, who would have thought Richard Branson was an environmental terrorist?  It’s like the neighbors on TV talking about the mass murderer next door: “He seemed like a normal guy…”

I know: maybe he should buy some carbon credits in order to plant trees in outer space.

Seriously–no really, seriously–since there’s money at stake, Virgin Galactic may want to fund some meteorological studies to challenge those already being done via the government-academic complex.

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