It Has Come To My Attention

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Name: Simon Quellen Field
Location: Los Gatos, California, United States

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Big useless telescopes

Now that even the last holdouts are admitting that global warming is real, and is largely the result of human activity, we can look at the effects of climate change on human activity.

Much of the concern has rightly been about losing coastal areas where most of the human activity takes place, or would like to. The effects on food production, weather, and biodiversity have gotten much attention.

But what caught my attention recently was something of less economic impact, but disturbing nonetheless. A synergistic combination of increasing jet aircraft contrails and global warming. each increasing the other, will increase cloud cover so much by 2050 that earth based telescopes will become useless.

People around the globe are working hard to build extremely large telescopes of over 100 meters in diameter. But all that work may have a short-lived benefit if the telescopes can't see through the clouds a decade or two after they are built.