Space tourists could wreck the planet

10/26/2010 | Hill, The

Exhaust fumes from commercial spaceships could have a dire impact on the Earth's upper atmosphere, potentially accelerating global warming, according to a study. If 1,000 tourist flights into space were made each year, the northern stratosphere could gain a persistent layer of black-carbon grime, according to a global climate model. This could warm some regions of the planet and boost ozone levels at the poles by about 10%. "We really don't know exactly what is going on here," notes one researcher. "Here is something we should probably learn more about."

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