Home Khoa Học Vũ Trụ The truth about space travel and climate The truth about space travel and climateSpace travel is not traditionally associated with global warming, but did you know that space missions contribute to green solutions on Earth and that rocket emissions work against global warming? Khoa Học Vũ Trụ 04/06/2023 by Space Navy 0 Comment Space travel is not traditionally associated with global warming, but did you know that space missions contribute to green solutions on Earth and that rocket emissions work against global warming? Space research benefits the green transition Yes Satellites provide humans with knowledge that allows them to use Earth’s resources more efficiently and sustainably; for example, measurements from them can possibly halve the irrigation needs in the USA, which is currently around 80% of the nation’s water consumption. Technological solutions in space benefit the earth Technology that has been developed for the cold, dark and limited resources of space has mostly found its way back to Earth, where the technology helps, among other things, to reduce energy consumption. Metal reflects radiation Spacesuits protect the astronauts from extreme cold. But with conventional insulation, the space suit would be a meter thick. That’s why NASA engineers in the 1960s developed insulation from a thin metal foil, which today is used in, for example, buildings to insulate both against cold and heat. Advanced filters purify water Water is important to humans, but it is too heavy to send into space. Therefore, all water on the International Space Station is recycled, including urine and sweat. This is done through advanced filters with, for example, nanofibres. Now the filters provide clean drinking water in, for example, disaster areas. LED stimulates vegetable growth LED lights illuminate as well as incandescent bulbs, but use ten times less energy. It got NASA interested in the technology in the 1980s. Now that knowledge is used to grow vegetables in high-rises and underground. “Heat rocket launch up the globe” No The number of space flights will multiply over the next decade, but that’s not necessarily bad news. Sure, rockets burn a lot of fuel to overcome Earth’s gravity, and the burn releases a lot of gas and particles. The most common types of gas are water vapor and carbon dioxide, the particles or dust consists mostly of soot and aluminum oxide. All of these substances affect the thermal economy of the atmosphere, and although scientists know very little about the effects of the emissions, one analysis conducted by the American Geophysical Union in 2014 suggests that the release of greenhouse gases in the emissions has a negligible effect. However, the impact of the arc is significant. The aluminum oxide is whitish and reflects sunlight into space, while the black soot absorbs the sunlight and converts it into heat in the upper layers of the atmosphere. Both materials thus reduce the amount of solar radiation that reaches the earth’s surface. As a result, the lowest layer of the atmosphere, the troposphere, cools and counteracts global warming. The exhaust changes the temperature Radiative forcing is the difference between the energy that the earth absorbs and the energy that it reflects back. When the radiation load is positive, the globe heats up. In 1750 emissions were negligible and the load was about 0 watts per square meter (w/m 2 ). In 1950, the total emissions were approx. 0.57 watts per square meter, in 1980 1.25, and in 2011 2.29 W/m2 according to the latest United Nations climate report. Rockets cool Rockets affect the entire atmosphere with CO 2 , water vapor (H 2 O), aluminum oxide (Al 2 O 3 ) and soot (C). Overall impact on climate: Cooling of 0.02 w/m 2 Cars heat up Cars act on the lower part of the atmosphere with particles, CO 2 , nitrogen compounds (NO x ) and ozone (O 3 ). Overall impact on climate: Heating of 0.2 w/m 2 Airplanes isolate Airplanes act on the lower part of the atmosphere with soot, nitrogen compounds, CO 2 and with insulating condensation of the exhaust which forms tiny ice crystals. Overall impact on climate: Heating of 0.08 w/m 2 “Angry Climate Research to space travel” Yes Measurements from satellites provide scientists with an overview and fill in the gaps between weather stations on the Earth’s surface. Information about temperature, precipitation, winds, forest fires, algal blooms and other things from uninhabited areas are of great importance for, among other things, climate models. Satellites in space have contributed a lot to estimating the annual loss of 82,000 km 2 of sea ice since 1980. In addition, satellites can measure the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and make it possible to assess the development of the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. Global satellite database monitors satellite missions. As of April 1, 2020, the number of satellites carrying out weather, climate and earth science measurements totaled 191. Satellites help, among other things, to measure the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and make it possible to show the extent of the Arctic ice as shown here where it was the largest on March 5 in 2020 and the smallest on September 15 in 2020. The yellow line marks the average minimum from 1988 to 2010.