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Is Space Junk aiding Global Warming?

  1. Feb 10, 2006 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 10, 2006 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    It couldn't. I'm not sure what would make you think that it would. Could you elaborate on what you are thinking?

    edit: if you are thinking that that photo shows a cloud of debris so thick that it provides a barrier, consider the scale of the picture. If you were to spread those objects (most of which are toaster-sized, few are larger than a bus) out evenly over the earth's surface, each would get 38,000 square km of space. Put another way, two toasters 200 km apart don't make for a very thick cloud.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2006
  4. Feb 10, 2006 #3
    At first I thought it would act just like the particulates of a volcanic eruption or the gases from pollution where heat from the sun is locked in and warms the atmosphere... but now I realize the junk would probably act more to reflect the light of the sun and cool the planet... so... my premise is wrong here. I wonder what effect, if any, the space junk is having on our climate. I know its probably posing a risk to the shuttle and satelites at an increasing rate.

    But if they're really shiney toasters they'll either reflect enough sunlight to cool things down or blind an astronaut/cosmonaut/bejingianaut!:surprised
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2006
  5. Feb 10, 2006 #4


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    Thinking about it more, I think you're right that it would act to cool, not heat the earth (just not significantly) and just to make sure we're on the same page, I'll elaborate:

    The greenhouse effect works because gases like water vapor and co2 let the high energy visible and UV radiation through to the ground, where it is absorbed and re-emitted as low energy ir radiation, which those gases then trap. If something outside the atmosphere absorbed that high energy radiation and re-radiated ir, that ir radiation would not penetrate the atmosphere and the net result would be a cooling of the planet.
  6. Feb 10, 2006 #5
    So, the atmosphere is saying "send more toasters"?:bugeye: Space junk may be an answer to global warming yet will curtail satelite efficiency and endanger the lives of people in orbiting habitats. Are there other drawbacks associated with space junk?

    from: http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/planetearth/space_junk_000901.html
  7. Feb 10, 2006 #6


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    I read once that a paint chip on an opposing orbit penetrated 4 of the s6 (not certain of those numbers) panes of glass on the Columbia's windshield. :bugeye: A toaster on an opposing orbit would utterly destroy a shuttle.
  8. Feb 10, 2006 #7
    You mean a toaster on an opposing orbit would make "toast" of a shuttle, ISS etc... Not funny really.

    This whole global warming trend is threatening to make toast of quite a few species on earth... including humans, polar bears, fish the whole gamut. We can all have an opinion on the matter...

    like mine is that it is either a large climate cycle that we haven't been able to model due to lack of pre-historical records etc........ or... my pet opinion on the subject is that the sun is increasing in size or radiation by some miniscule amount, thus, creating a very large toaster-oven out of the solar system.

    I find it hard to believe that the amount of hydrocarbons, CO2 or CO or CFCs from hair spray have had as much of an effect as to melt the north/south poles and perferate the ozone.

    You know, the south has been screaming for drinking water and, with the amount of precipitation calculated to result from melting planetary poles... they're gonna get lots... we're already seeing too much in the north.

    If GW is a result of unethical fuel and modes of industry and transportation then it only proves that you get what you pay for.... consequences of action... or... to use the (eastern) Indian word for Motion.... Karma.:eek:
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2006
  9. Feb 10, 2006 #8


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    Don't assume that global warming is true either, there is no consensus on it, and global warming hypothesis and its causes are of much debate.

    Read this: http://junkscience.com/Ozone/ozone_seasonal.htm
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2006
  10. Feb 11, 2006 #9
    Thanks Mk. Your link is a great example of reason and calmitude in the face of hysteria and misinformation. The only thing is that we can't be sure and you can't believe what anyone writes. You have to do the math and the experiments yourself to prove to yourself, and only the self, that something is indeed true.

    The very convincing article you point out could have been commissioned by Clarol or Pam Non-Stick Spray or any number of proponents of CFCs.

    The articles written against CFCs and about a thinning, non-seasonal ozone condition could have been written by the KGB or equivilent to maintain a level of hysteria in the population and to punish companies like Johnson and Johnson or Lysol because they didn't pay their protection money.

    Integrity starts with the self and that's where to find out the truth about most subjects. This can be acheived by visiting labs or making your own.

    If I wrote about or told you about some of the obsurd, misleading and Menglesque profiteering practices going on in the CancerTreatment Industry you'd say I was nuts. You'd have to work in the industry for as long as I..... and you don't want to do that.... to find out the truth.

    Still, I agree that there is manipulation going on with statistics and data from experiments and data gathering. Private interests and Govt. ones are stirring up the kettle and if we want truth, we have to initiate a blend of all the data and decide what harmonizes with our own awareness of our experiences.

    I'm still trying to figure out how a ficticious "global warming" benefits any sector of the Govt or the Private Interests. If the idea was initiated by "environmental clean up companies" then I could believe that... but, I really doubt they have the budget to pull of the hype we've seen... of late.:rolleyes:
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2006
  11. Feb 13, 2006 #10


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    Thanks, Carl, if that is your real name... :tongue2:

    Well, for this, I suggest you read: https://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=770165&postcount=40

    I can't find the link I was looking for, but one thing I remember it mentioned was that physicists don't mind supporting global warming hypothesis, for it also gives a good reason to provide more funding for nuclear fusion power plant design and experimenting. Environmentalists like it because it raises more awareness for nature.

    Also, it has been posed that global warming is something that helps us pull together, and that humans need something to fear so we can pull together and produce better results. After the fall of the Soviet Union, what was there left that was a big fear to EVERYBODY? The media is also successful in this spreading of fear. In a nutshell.
  12. Feb 14, 2006 #11


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    Wow! I was just re-reading it, and I caught something I missed:
    Yikes! I didn't hear that one on the news!
  13. Feb 14, 2006 #12
    Mk, if that's your real moniker:zzz::surprised I don't mind a nice dose of radiation myself. Sunscreen sales jumped through the roof when that whole "dissappearing ozone thing came out. Its such a marketing scam and what's worse... everyone went for it... fear+hype=money.

    There's this chick... er... extremely adventureous woman... who likes to ride her VelocetteMotoBike through Chernoble in Kiev or Ukrane or wherever the nuclear-melt-down killed so many people and other animals and plants. The protection she wears is her leather riding gear and helmut. She takes a video camera and a geiger counter and radiation-sensitive tinfoil, too.

    She gets a major buzz checking out the deserted streets of Chernoble. She interviews people still partially living there. She gets these shots that are so eerie, the mutating cats and dogs and goats, the dead landscape. She trys to stay in the middle of the road on her research trips because the radiation has soaked into the buildings and surroundings. She rides hard and fast. I think she is a mutation herself in that she is springboarding off the effects of radiation. All in the name of science and of recording a disaster that's to be avoided in the future... if anyone wants a future. She's making lemonade out of the yellow glow of a nuclear lemon.

    We better hope she buttons up her ”översvämmningar”:bugeye: .

    Actually, here she is in more formal wear and on a Kawasaki....


    Edit: here is her own site... she'll send CDs of her adventures in the Ghost Town of Chernoble... and other stories.

    Last edited: Feb 14, 2006
  14. Feb 17, 2006 #13
  15. Feb 18, 2006 #14


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    All I can say is that I wouldn't do that.
  16. Mar 12, 2006 #15
    Here's something that suggests how space junk is helping us to observe the changes in climate around Greenland.

    From: http://boards.conservativelife.com/viewtopic.php?t=75015

    What this article illustrates is that Greenland is experiencing a warming of its climate. This is not a "slam-dunk" indication of the effects of what is called "Global Warming". In fact, 80,000 years ago Magnetic North was situated over Greenland. This is when it began to accumulate its snowpack and experienced a subsequent glaciation.


    "Earth is presently in the middle of an Ice Age"? Or,conversely, are parts of earth moving into the polar regions... thus, experiencing cooling... while other parts of the earth are, at the same time, moving into warmer areas, thusly, experiencing warming or what I'd call "Regional Warming"?

    Magenetic North has migrated to such a degree (since its stop in Greenland) as to be entering Alaska of the USA, leaving North-North-West Canada behind (not a moment too soon).

    I would advise everyone I know in Skagway, Hanes, Nome and Ankorage to make a bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics since it's my own personal forecast that they'll be experiencing record snowfalls by then!
    Greenlanders, on the other hand, may want to take up water sports or golf... and buy umbrellas.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2006
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