According to research published in the Nature Astronomy magazine, Earth’s climate changes have hindered the performance of telescopes in several observatories around the world. An example of the phenomenon has occurred in the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory, in Chile.
Climate change, in addition to having a negative impact on ecosystems across our planet, is making it difficult to study other celestial bodies.
According to ScienceAlert, the sudden increase in the average temperature of the Earth, in addition to other changes in climatic conditions, began to disrupt instruments for observing space, blocking its view.
Basically, when the temperature rises too much, the air inside the observatory’s dome becomes turbulent and impairs the image quality during observations.
The astronomers and physicists who participated in the research have not yet been able to prove their suspicions, and link the problem directly to climate change. However, his statements are based on previous experiences.
In the case of the VLT, it is located in the Atacama Desert, the driest place on Earth, outside the Antarctic region. In that locality in Chile, the average temperature has risen by 1.5 ºC in the last four decades, while in the rest of the planet, the increase in average temperature has been 1 ºC since the pre-industrial era.
It is not just the rise in temperature itself that has caused problems at the observatories: scientists have also discovered the increase in the incidence of extreme weather phenomena – which are also associated with climate change – also contribute to blocking the view of telescopes.
These phenomena have occurred with ever less noticeable patterns, generating winds and climatic situations that change so quickly, that astronomers are unable to readjust equipment in time, even when their observatories are far from the storm itself.