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The height dependence of the mass density anomalies suggests that they are attributable to a combination of lower than expected exospheric temperature (−14 K) and reductions in the number density of atomic oxygen (−12%) and other species (−3%) near the base of the diffusive portion of the thermosphere.
Originally posted by Phage
In other words changes in the lower parts of the atmosphere as well as those above the thermosphere. It's just as complex as weather on the surface. A lot going on. A lot to learn.
To calculate the collapse, Emmert analyzed the decay rates of more than 5,000 satellites orbiting above Earth between 1967 and 2010. This provided a space-time sampling of thermospheric density, temperature, and pressure covering almost the entire Space Age.
Emmert suggests carbon dioxide (CO2) in the thermosphere might play a role in explaining the atmospheric collapse.
This gas acts as a coolant, shedding heat via infrared radiation. It is widely-known that CO2 levels have been increasing in Earth's atmosphere. Extra CO2 in the thermosphere could have magnified the cooling action of solar minimum.
"But the numbers don't quite add up," Emmert said. "Even when we take CO2 into account using our best understanding of how it operates as a coolant, we cannot fully explain the thermosphere's collapse."
Originally posted by crazydaisy
I think satellites are being affected as some have been getting errors on the net and today I found out that a lot of the processors in my town were not operating - at all. People were unable to use debit cards, food stamp cards, etc. I think we are entering some interesting times for our planet.