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An upper layer of Earth's atmosphere recently shrank so much that researchers are at a loss to adequately explain it, NASA said on Thursday.
The thermosphere, which blocks harmful ultraviolet rays, expands and contracts regularly due to the sun's activities. As carbon dioxide increases, it has a cooling effect at such high altitudes, which also contributes to the contraction.
Emmert suggests that the increasing amounts of carbon dioxide making its way into the upper atmosphere might have played a role in the anomaly. Carbon dioxide acts as a coolant in the upper atmosphere, unlike in the lower atmosphere, shedding heat via infrared radiation. As carbon dioxide levels build up on Earth, it makes its way into the upper levels and magnifies the cooling action of the solar minimum, Emmert said.
Originally posted by TheOracle
That is very important. The same scientists have predicted a massive solar max for 2012- 2013 and now this.
The very layer that is protecting us is shrinking. As pointed out, it is the biggest contraction in 43 years!
The devastation that could happen in a couple of years is only left to imagination.
I strongly believe it is time to make preparations and vital reserves.
When solar activity is high, solar extreme ultraviolet rays warm and expand the thermosphere. When it's low, the opposite occurs.
is the planet's death around the corner?
though unlikely to affect the weather, can affect the movement of satellites, researchers said.
The researchers say they will continue to monitor the upper atmosphere, which is already rebounding.
Despite the puzzling anomaly, the collapse of the thermosphere is unlikely to have a direct effect on our daily lives, said Solomon.