Canadian researchers bring up a rather old cliché that could find meaning on a scientific level in the near future. According to the study, climate change could be exacerbated by satellite constellations.
The constellations of satellites indicated
Older people today continue to claim that satellites are the cause of current climate change. If not so simple, these kinds of claims could really make sense in the future, as explained in a study published in the journal Scientific Reports on May 20, 2021. According to Aaron C. Boley of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, the satellite constellations could pose a problem for the climate after their final placement.
Asked by space.com, the stakeholder mentioned the ozone layer that protects our planet from harmful radiation from the sun. However, it can suffer, as it has in the past. In question, SpaceX’s Starlink constellation, which will eventually include: between 12,000 and 42,000 satellites in a low orbit. Let’s also mention competing projects, such as OneWeb and its 600 satellites or those of the Chinese government – almost 13,000 objects.
According to Aaron C. Boley, the satellites would eventually end their orbit in our atmosphere. And if the Earth’s atmosphere has long been accustomed to harbor many objects, satellites integrate materials very different from meteorites and other classical celestial bodies.
A problematic material: aluminum oxide
The study authors explain that the first-generation Starlink should be the source of: two tons of out-of-service satellites enter the Earth’s atmosphere on a daily basis. However, if the meteorites are mainly composed of oxygen, magnesium and silica, the satellites are made of aluminum. If meteorites also contain this material, the proportion is still very low: only 1%.
The fact is that burning aluminum produces alumina (aluminium oxide). However, the two tons a day in question could be a fair value climate problem from the earth. First and foremost is the ozone layer, which is already being depleted during rocket launches because aluminum oxide is released when certain fuels are consumed. For example, the combustion in the atmosphere of discarded satellites can: accentuate the presence of aluminum oxide and unfortunately form new holes in the ozone layer.
Finally, the scientists raised another point. According to them, this future precipitation of alumina will represent the most important unsupervised geoengineering experience of human history. The consequences of this phenomenon for the climate are of course very difficult to predict, so it is possible that they could be catastrophic.