http://articles.latimes.com/2012/nov/12 ... s-20121112increases in carbon dioxide in the hard-to-measure portion of the upper atmosphere known as the thermosphere, which can't be reached by balloons and aircraft.
In that region, more than 50 miles above Earth's surface, carbon emissions cause cooling rather than warming because carbon dioxide molecules collide with oxygen atoms and release heat into space. Because such cooling makes the planet's atmosphere contract, it can reduce drag on satellites and debris that orbit the earth, possibly having "adverse consequences for the orbital debris environment that is already unstable," the researchers wrote.
It’s not entirely clear why low solar activity causes our thermosphere to collapse — or what it might be doing to our planet.
But when it happened back in 2008-2009, scientists suggested that climate change might be adding to the cooling and contracting in the upper layer of our atmosphere.
The thermosphere begins at a height of about 53 miles above humanity’s heads.
The International Space Station orbits the Earth in the middle of the thermosphere.
Elsworth reckons it will be 2019 before we reach the peak minimum
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