October 4, 2011

CLOUDY FUTURE FOR GROUND-BASED ASTRONOMY?



Today I recalled old news while checking e-mails of the year 2006. It was stating that the ground based astronomy will cease around 2050 due to the dramatic increase in cloud cover caused by Global Warming! I decided to share it again in this blog. The whole mail was as below:

“Ground-based astronomy may be almost impossible by 2050 as global warming causes a dramatic increase in cloud cover.

Clouds and aircraft condensation trails, or contrails, already hamper astronomy, says Gerry Gilmore, an astronomer at the University of Cambridge. Worries about cloud cover prompted a study, which Gilmore chaired, to look into how global warming and rising air traffic will affect the forthcoming 100-metre-wide Overwhelmingly Large Telescope in Chile. This is one of a planned series of extremely large telescopes designed to observe the skies in unprecedented detail.

Contrails and global warming feed off each other, Gilmore says. "Contrails increase global warming, and global warming helps larger contrails form."

Though they realized that increasing cloud was a potential threat, astronomers did not appreciate the scale of the problem before the study, Gilmore says. "The study shows that ground-based telescopes will be worthless by 2050."

Gilmore hopes to make the wider public aware of this overlooked consequence of global warming. "We can only go to the least affected places and try to make governments pass laws to protect these sites," he says. "But the future of cheap aero plane transport and climate change is out of our hands."

mail source: astronomyclubindia-normal@yahoogroups.com 

2 comments:

Akbar said...

No worries, we will switch over to radio astronomy...no surrender.

Rahul Zota said...

ya it is but radio astronomy doesn't give real fun as we get in visual astronomy!!