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Scientists claim rocket launches are going to damage ozone layer

Junk science: This week NOAA government scientists published a paper claiming that the upcoming increase in rocket launches worldwide is a threat to the ozone layer and will also — my heart be still — promote climate change!

The study found that a tenfold increase in the amount of soot injected into the stratosphere every year would after 50 years lead to an annual temperature increase in that layer of 1 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.5 to 2 degrees Celsius). The stratosphere is the layer of the atmosphere just above the lowest troposphere. The study found that the projected warming would slow down subtropical jet streams, bands of strong wind circling the planet at the lower edge of the stratosphere that influence the African and Indian summer monsoons.

Warmer temperatures in the stratosphere would also degrade the protective ozone layer, which blocks harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun from reaching the planet’s surface.

The paper’s abstract also said this:

We show that the rocket black carbon increases stratospheric temperatures and changes the global circulation, both of which cause a reduction in the total ozone column, mainly in the northern high latitudes. Comparing the amplitude of the atmospheric response using different emission rates provides insight into stratospheric adjustment and feedback mechanisms. Our results show that the stratosphere is sensitive to relatively modest black carbon injections.

This is garbage science, and I wouldn’t bother posting a link to it if other news sources weren’t promoting it. These predictions — based on a very simple computer model — are nothing more than guesses, and are apparently designed to both attack the growing space industry as well as garner funding for more such junk science, as illustrated by this quote from the NOAA press release:

“We need to learn more about the potential impact of hydrocarbon-burning engines on the stratosphere and on the climate at the surface of the Earth,” said lead author Christopher Maloney, a CIRES research scientist working in NOAA’s Chemical Sciences Laboratory. “With further research, we should be able to better understand the relative impacts of different rocket types on climate and ozone.”

For almost a half century climate scientists — many working for government agencies like NASA and NOAA — have been publishing junk papers like this, predicting climate doom in only a few decades unless we do as they say, while funneling boatloads of cash into their pockets. Almost none of those predictions have turned out to be correct.

This report is equally suspect, especially because it touts the false statistic that “launch rates have tripled in recent decades.” The number of launches has not tripled from its long-term average since Sputnik. The only way you can get manufacture that fake statistic is if you compare last year’s total (134) with the launch numbers from the early 1960s, before the space race had even begun. And while the launch numbers are likely to rise dramatically in the coming years, the numbers will still be infinitesimal compared to other industries. Going from 50-100 launches to 200-500 launches is hardly the end of the world.

It really is far past time for the press and the general public to stop listening to these fake papers.

Conscious Choice cover

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From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

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  • BtB’s Original Mark

    Mr. Z. – As a Historian, you surely understand the history & power of Propaganda from the last 100 years+.
    Why then do you plaintively end your well written Post with this statement: “ It really is far past time for the press and the general public to stop listening to these fake papers.”?
    Since Propaganda successfully works to bend the minds of the American populace & mainstream media are willing accomplices, why would the average person stop listening to the latest lies of ‘Climate Science’?

  • Original Mark: What the average person should do is read my stuff, so they can recognize the fake propaganda coming from the government and mainstream sources. :)

  • Gary M.

    Oh no here we go with that ozone layer thing again. That got debunked the first time around but what the heck let’s try it again. Geez.

  • John

    Pretty sure a little UV light from the sun and the oxygen already in the stratosphere, and nature will handle the ozone.

    “The stratosphere is the layer of the atmosphere just above the lowest troposphere”. Not sure what that means, I’m breathing the lowest troposphere right now. It doesn’t matter climate change all the things.

  • pzatchok

    Has any climate change prediction ever come true?

    I am starting to think NASA has a better original on time schedule than the climate change proponents do.

  • Edward

    From the article:

    The study found that a tenfold increase in the amount of soot injected into the stratosphere every year would after 50 years lead to an annual temperature increase in that layer of 1 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.5 to 2 degrees Celsius).

    Didn’t they tell us, half a century ago, that the increase in soot in the atmosphere was bringing on an early Ice Age? Soot was a cooling factor, not a heating factor, and we needed heavy regulation on American industry to stop the ice caps from becoming two miles thick and extending all the way down to Minneapolis. I remember this quite clearly, because I lived in a suburb just north of Minneapolis, at the time, and went outside, looked up, and tried to imagine my home and school under two miles of ice. My family had previously lived in Phoenix, and I wondered whether they would take us back when the ice came.

    Oh, man, did they ever have me fooled, once!

    These days we are told the opposite. Two decades ago they said that the temperature would rise 3 to 9 degrees Celsius and that the seas would rise 10 to 40 feet, engulfing many port cities. We are a fifth of the way to that prediction, and the temperature has increased by mere fractions of a degree (the exact fraction depends upon who you listen to), and the seas have risen so much that we hardly notice it (has it risen at all?). Now soot is a heating factor, not a cooling one (when did physics change?), and we are all going to die of massive sunburns from the lost ozone layer. We were never warned about that before, were we?

    “We need to learn more about the potential impact of hydrocarbon-burning engines on the stratosphere and on the climate at the surface of Earth,” Christopher Maloney, a research scientist at NOAA’s Chemical Sciences Laboratory and lead author of the study, said in a statement.

    Need to learn more!?! Maloney just told us that the end was approaching, with us baking and burning to death under a thick layer of soot-filled atmosphere, but now he says he is not so sure? Where did he go to school, and did he learn anything about science there?

    Half a century ago we had to stop American industry from freezing us all in order to save the planet (or the whales, depending on which Star Trek movie we are watching), and now we have to stop American industry from baking us all in order to save the planet (or the piping plover, depending upon which company we have to shut down).

    With a success record like these guys have (not to mention that time they permanently and sneakily changed the past temperature data in order to better match the average of their many failed models; what is that behavior called?), when are we all going to realize that these Chicken Littles are feeding us road apples (horse dung). And now we see that they really are just scaring us in order to increase their funding, because they don’t yet know what they are talking about.

  • Chris

    You got climate …. It will change.

    Injection of soot into the stratosphere … huh.
    I wonder if any of these VOLCANOS could do that?

  • Jeff Wright

    Now I am a fan of hydrolox for other reasons. One proposed Energia payload was for ozone replenishment-as per

  • Steve Richter

    The soot comes from the launch. What about the intense heat generated by Starship as it uses the atmosphere to decelerate. Will that heat cause unnatural, irreversible chemical reactions to take place?

  • Fred Friar

    by now the ozone layer is punched with so many holes it looks like a chunk of Swiss Cheese, as long as there is no acid rain all that dirt, CO2 (no doubt) and rocket ashes we’re safe after all the temapature won’t be going up until we are in the happy hunting ground. Who paid for this stupid study tax payers of course.

  • Mike Puckett

    Starship will produce virtually no soot. Problem solved.

  • Espo

    How much carbon does one average volcano put into the atmosphere? Compare that with the totality of past, current, and projected launches.

  • Ignatz

    The biggest weapon the climate liars and government Liars in general have is that most folks have no idea of the relative SCALE of any of this. One rocket launch it’s a tiny tiny tiny tiny fraction of any kind of gaseous or particulate matter in the atmosphere which is much vaster than the human mind can conceived without using mathematics. So rockets are an extremely small, in fact infinitesimal, influence on anything going on in the atmosphere.

  • Star Bird

    Who pays these eggheads to come up with such sloppy research anyway? Remember Back with DDT,CFC’s Sacarin, Etc all that Junk Science stuff?

  • Edward

    Mike Puckett noted: “Starship will produce virtually no soot. Problem solved.

    Shh! Don’t give away the secret, otherwise the Musk haters won’t have as much ammunition.

    NOAA’s press release failed to mention that methane is the new fuel of choice but assumes that kerosene will continue to be the preferred fuel:

    Kerosene-burning rocket engines widely used by the global launch industry emit exhaust containing black carbon, or soot, directly into the stratosphere, where a layer of ozone protects all living things on the Earth from the harmful impacts of ultraviolet radiation, which include skin cancer and weakened immune systems in humans, as well as disruptions to agriculture and ecosystems.

    Ignatz wrote: “One rocket launch it’s a tiny tiny tiny tiny fraction of any kind of gaseous or particulate matter in the atmosphere

    How many trillions of tons of air is in the atmosphere? At 15 lb/square inch, 144 square inches per square foot, and 25 million square feet per square mile, that is 60 billion pounds per square mile, or 30 million tons (27 million tonnes, metric). With 196,936,994 mi² of surface area, that makes for around 6,000 trillion tons (~5,400 trillion tonnes, metric).

    From the abstract:

    Rockets used by the global launch industry emit black carbon particles directly into the stratosphere where they accumulate, absorb solar radiation, and warm the surrounding air. We model the climate response of the stratosphere to an annual, black carbon emission source from rocket launches. We initially examine emissions at a rate of 10 Gg per year, which is an order of magnitude larger than current emissions, but consistent with extrapolations of space traffic growth several decades into the future. … We show that a 10 Gg/yr rocket BC emission increases stratospheric temperatures by as much as 1.5 K in the stratosphere.

    10 Gg is ten gigagrams, or 10 million kilograms, or 22 million pounds, or 10 thousand tonnes, metric. My math show this to be about 10/6th part per trillion (ppt), and it might take a thousand years for enough to accumulate to be measurable. Assuming the particles don’t eventually fall out of the stratosphere.

    “Several decades into the future.” Assuming we don’t use methane as a fuel but continue to use kerosene. And assuming that the model is a skilled model, although I’m not sure what experiments they conducted to test the model’s skill. If this model is like the climate models of the 1990s, then NOAA could always change the temperature data, in several decades into the future, to better fit the model’s predictions, just as they did for the models of the 1990s.

    Chris wondered if volcanos could do the same thing. Yes, and even more so, tossing cubic kilometers of particulates, aerosols, and soot into the stratosphere. How many gigagrams are in a cubic kilometer of volcanic emissions?

  • Mike Puckett

    Edward, the whole thing is like arguing the environmental effects of horse poop when the first Model T production line is about to come online.

  • Edward

    Mike Puckett,
    Of course, if we just went back to horses then we wouldn’t have all this global warming. Why can’t our fearful leaders figure out that simple solution? Plus, we would have plenty of free horse manure all over the streets to grow all the oats that the horses would eat — cartloads and cartloads of it.

    I’d better head off to the doctor, since my tetanus booster shot is decades out of date.

  • Jeff Wright

    Another slap to global warming

    A new study led by the Helmholtz Center Hereon now says: Phytoplankton can migrate back and forth between deeper layers and the water surface. If this were confirmed, it would have enormous consequences for the calculations of the natural carbon pump and thus for current calculations of the carbon budget. The study’s results were published today in the journal Nature Climate Change.

    Oh, and treaties are useless

    We were told volcanoes were not responsible for ozone thinning. I remember Spurr and Redoubt in the 90’s opening up a small hole up north—and Antarctica is home to a volcanic lake at Mt. Erebus.

    Now confirmed

    To fight bone-loss…eat cheese

  • Jeff Wright

    Another find
    “contrary to widespread expectations, an international team of scientists led by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and Princeton University has discovered that oxygen-deficient zones shrank during long warm periods in the past.”

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