When, in the late 1970s, a group of scientists turned their attention to ozone depletionFew took them seriously. Fortunately, over time, they were proven right, so measures began to be taken to prevent our planet from being left to its fate. the most dangerous radiation from the sun. However, while science has been trying to find solutions, it has also advanced in other areas that have inadvertently brought the problem back on the table. This is about space travel.

According to a recently published study by scientists froml Christopher Maloney Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciencesif space travel follows the current trend, in just 20 years there will be very important changes in atmospheric circulation, and the ozone layer will be dangerously reduced, especially in the northern hemisphere.

This is due to the release of a substance known as black carbonwhich absorbs sunlight and retains heat. Thus, space travel causes its own greenhouse effect. And this is very bad news.

The sad story of the ozone layer

Mario Molina, Frank Sherwood Rowland, Joe Farman, Brian Gardiner and John Shanklin they are among the scientists who have done the most to raise public awareness of the depletion of the ozone layer.

After it was noticed that its thickness is drastically decreasing in some parts of the planet, the first two described one of the main causes of this problem: chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Although his research was downplayed at first, it was eventually taken seriously and the substances were banned in many parts of the world. They were also awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995 for their discoveries.

In 1985, a large hole in the ozone layer was discovered over Antarctica.

Between these two incidents, in 1985, Farman, Gardiner, and Shanklin described a particularly disturbing hole in the ozone layer. It was right over Antarctica And if something is not done to put him on his feet, the whole planet may suffer.

Since then, many measures have been taken, and thanks to them, the ozone layer has been gradually restored. In fact, it was announced in 2016 that the hole in Antarctica had begun to close. Although, unfortunately, in 2020 a new hole was announced, this time in the Arctic. Meanwhile, science developed in other ways.

The space race was unstoppable, and new plans to go to the moon or even set foot on Mars for the first time. Many ships and robots have also been launched to explore space. And even began to practice space tourism. But, unfortunately, the entire planet pays dearly for these space travels. Now it’s worth asking how far we’re willing to go.

Mschlindwein (Wikimedia)

The danger of space travel

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), rockets used in spaceflight eject an average of 1000 tons of black carbon per year.

This implies, on the one hand, the greenhouse effect, which is added to the one that already contributes to global warming. But, in addition, it was observed that can damage the ozone layer. One of the functions of this is precisely to prevent the most harmful radiation from the Sun from reaching the Earth’s surface. For this reason, on the one hand, warming would be even greater; but on the other side, will increase damage for these radiations. This means that, for example, the number of cases of skin cancer may increase.

Rockets used in space travel emit an average of 1,000 tons of black carbon per year.

Now what can be done to avoid this? Will space agencies and private companies like SpaceX want to cut your space flights? This is a difficult answer. Of course, attempts are being made to test new types of fuel, but so far none of them has proved to be sufficiently effective. efficient and profitable.

The most curious strategies were also developed. For example, there is a space tourism company that intends to launch a spacecraft powered by a hydrogen balloon. They want to continue this trend of sending millionaires off the Earth, but in a more sustainable way. Yes, at the moment his idea is nothing more.

We will have to wait to see if solutions are found. Meanwhile black carbon continues to accumulate in the atmosphere every time we take one of those small steps for a person, which can actually be a huge price for humanity.

Source: Hiper Textual

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