Spaceflights, a Scourge for the Climate and Ozone

Addressing vulnerability and promoting security
Jan 26, 2023 | Open Mind BBVA

According to the US Space Surveillance Network there are more than 28,000 objects larger than five centimetres in Earth orbit, of which only about 4,000 are operational satellites; the rest are junk. Many of these objects are old satellites and rocket stages containing fuel. Javier Yanes warns in his article for Open Mind BBVA that humans now face a climate emergency, with environmental impact a key consideration in all human endeavours. Against this backdrop, scientists are questioning the potential environmental and climate effects of space missions, as the climate impact of these emissions is comparatively much greater than terrestrial emissions. The conversation about regulating the environmental impact of the space launch industry must start now to minimise harm to the stratospheric ozone layer and the climate.

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