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A Climate change and changes in astronomical viewing conditions...

  1. May 24, 2016 #1
    I'd like to read some articles, papers, or whatever scientific there is about the prospects and impacts of climate change for professional ground based astronomy and observatory sites. In particular, which locations which are now among the most suitable sites for observatories - especially building new ones - will suffer from more frequent cloud cover in 30 to 50 years and on the other hand, which locations that are now suboptimal will be the premier sites to build major professional telescopes. I couldn't find anything with any climate modelling scenarios in this regard, but would really get some insights in this. Thank you for any help.
     
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  3. May 25, 2016 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    I don't think there is anything that specific. Projected impact for climate change is currently (iirc) general.

    With that in mind:
    Currently ideal sites for optical observatories are on top of mountains (above cloud layers and away from cities) ... there does not seem to be any reason to think this will change.
    Optimum sites for radio and IR observatories have been large deserts ... mostly because of the large quantity of cheap flat ground away from cities. Again, this is unlikely to change with the climate for established sites ... though available desert may move around.

    Currently used sites that are close to coasts may have to move - you know, with everyone else - should sea-levels rise... but these are sub-optimal anyway.

    Current optial placement for any kind of telescope, however, is: in orbit.
    Contact with orbital telescopes can vary with the weather.
     
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