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"Anthropogenic Space Weather Change" Topic


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244 hits since 19 May 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Martin from Canada20 May 2017 7:47 p.m. PST

Humans have long been shaping Earth's landscape, but now scientists know we can shape our near-space environment as well. A certain type of communications very low frequency, or VLF, radio communications have been found to interact with particles in space, affecting how and where they move. At times, these interactions can create a barrier around Earth against natural high energy particle radiation in space. These results, part of a comprehensive paper on human-induced space weather, were recently published in Space Science Reviews. […]


VLF signals are transmitted from ground stations at huge powers to communicate with submarines deep in the ocean. While these waves are intended for communications below the surface, they also extend out beyond our atmosphere, shrouding Earth in a VLF bubble. This bubble is even seen by spacecraft high above Earth's surface, such as NASA's Van Allen Probes, which study electrons and ions in the near-Earth environment.

The probes have noticed an interesting coincidence the outward extent of the VLF bubble corresponds almost exactly to the inner edge of the Van Allen radiation belts, a layer of charged particles held in place by Earth's magnetic fields. Dan Baker, director of the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics in Boulder, coined this lower limit the "impenetrable barrier" and speculates that if there were no human VLF transmissions, the boundary would likely stretch closer to Earth. Indeed, comparisons of the modern extent of the radiation belts from Van Allen Probe data show the inner boundary to be much farther away than its recorded position in satellite data from the 1960s, when VLF transmissions were more limited.

link

In other words, it looks like the VLF frequencies that are used to communicate with submarines are affecting the altitude of the Van Allen belts.

Martin from Canada20 May 2017 7:48 p.m. PST

link

Abstract

Anthropogenic effects on the space environment started in the late 19th century and reached their peak in the 1960s when high-altitude nuclear explosions were carried out by the USA and the Soviet Union. These explosions created artificial radiation belts near Earth that resulted in major damages to several satellites. Another, unexpected impact of the high-altitude nuclear tests was the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that can have devastating effects over a large geographic area (as large as the continental United States). Other anthropogenic impacts on the space environment include chemical release experiments, high-frequency wave heating of the ionosphere and the interaction of VLF waves with the radiation belts. This paper reviews the fundamental physical process behind these phenomena and discusses the observations of their impacts.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP20 May 2017 8:16 p.m. PST

Hmm. It wasn't until we put a man on the Moon and reflectors there that we discovered the Moon was moving away from Earth.

Could that mean that the Moon is moving further away also because of our submarine tests?

Dan
PS. Causality games are fun. ;)

JSchutt21 May 2017 4:52 a.m. PST

…..speculates that if there were no human VLF transmissions, the boundary would likely stretch closer to Earth.

I pretty much dismiss science that used the words "speculates" and "would likely" in the same sentence. Sounds like my 6 year old did years ago trying to talk his way out of some nonsense.

Since when has science come to use so many "weasely/drively" words. There are either facts that support a conclusion that do not need these words…or not. What ever happened to "evidence shows that " bla bla bla " is happening" so we can at least feel the author has at least a little bit of confidence in their own work?

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2017 9:36 a.m. PST

Yes, but what do ancient astronaut theorist surmise.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2017 10:03 a.m. PST

I pretty much dismiss science that used the words "speculates" and "would likely" in the same sentence. Sounds like my 6 year old did years ago trying to talk his way out of some nonsense.

Right.

Or it sounds like what intelligent scientists would say when they are speculating.

You may have missed this part:

The probes have noticed an interesting coincidence the outward extent of the VLF bubble corresponds almost exactly to the inner edge of the Van Allen radiation belts, a layer of charged particles held in place by Earth's magnetic fields.

The scientists are essentially making a simple correlation between two sets of observations. As your proverbial 6 year old would know by now, "correlation does not equal causation". Let them watch these phenomenon a little more so they can make some more conclusive findings. Then they can make you happy with a more definitive, "Evidence shows that bla, bla, bla" comment.

As of now, they just noticed an interesting pattern and hence produced a statement which contains what you characterize as "weasel words". From my reading, I see it as they are being cautious.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2017 10:30 a.m. PST

Could that mean that the Moon is moving further away also because of our submarine tests?

First off, they are not submane tests. Very Low Frequency radio waves are how you communicate with a sub that's deep underwater.

As to your question, it's highly doubtful. These radio waves can deflect charged particles like electrons and protons, like those found in the Van Allen belts. Moving a rock that weighs 7.342 X 10^22 kgs is a bit of a stretch.

A good explanation of the Moon's fate:

link

You'll be happy to hear, in this case, human intervention has nothing to do with it.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2017 3:12 p.m. PST

This just in. Studies have shown that the Red Spot on Jupiter is due to Climate Change.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2017 3:14 p.m. PST

Bowman. I might be dead by then.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2017 4:26 p.m. PST

Winston, your first comment is a non sequitur, but I agree with your second comment. But it was actually brought up just to show Dan why the Moon is separating from us at a rate of 4 cm/year.

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP22 May 2017 11:51 a.m. PST

So we are causing Global Warming in Outer Space as well.

Martin from Canada22 May 2017 12:46 p.m. PST

Just in case you missed it…

Dan Baker, director of the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics in Boulder, coined this lower limit the "impenetrable barrier" and speculates that if there were no human VLF transmissions, the boundary would likely stretch closer to Earth. Indeed, comparisons of the modern extent of the radiation belts from Van Allen Probe data show the inner boundary to be much farther away than its recorded position in satellite data from the 1960s, when VLF transmissions were more limited.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP22 May 2017 5:02 p.m. PST

Wait. A few years back there were no erupting volcanoes on Europa. So are we causing that too? :)

What about the break up of the Shoemaker-Levy comet? Ours too?

Dan

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP22 May 2017 6:08 p.m. PST

Yup, both due to Humans causing Global Warming in Outer Space.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP22 May 2017 6:52 p.m. PST

Dang, we bad!

Dan
PS. I for one can't wait for "Waterworld". Gore said 10 more years, right? :)

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2017 11:05 a.m. PST

That was nearly 15+ years ago.

He was wrong then and he is still wrong today.

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