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Name: Stevie
Status: other
Grade: other
Location: Outside U.S.
Country: USA
Date: Winter 2012-2013


Question:
With the recent meteor explosion, how likely is the damage to the layers of the upper atmosphere and will it affect future weather?


Replies:
Stevie

The recent meteor event occurred over such a small time period and small physical area (compared to the rest of the Earth) that no permanent, widespread damage occurred to the atmosphere. The very small, local area (compared to the total planet?s atmosphere) along the path of the meteor and at the site of its break up (explosion) heated the atmosphere up for a short period time, but that was localized at a very small area that the heat quickly dissipated in the rest of the Earth?s atmosphere.

Here are two comprehensive articles you might find interesting:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/17/russian-meteor-size-blast-bigger-nasa_n_2704164.html

and

http://cosmiclog.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/15/16969092-nuclear-like-in-its-intensity-russian-meteor-blast-is-the-largest-since-1908?lite

Sincere regards, Mike Stewart


HI Stevie,

The likelihood is low for the future/climate weather to change drastically. There may be a focal, highly localized area of temporary (hour or so) disturbance.

The meteor was too small to exact critical factors of weather disturbance. It was certainly large enough to exact damage to humans and structures.

Peter E. Hughes, Ph.D. Monadnock NH Radio Observatory, Milford, NH


Hi Stevie,

Thanks for the question. I would expect that the only major change to the atmosphere would be the addition of particulates of metal oxides and other debris from the breakup/explosion of the meteor. These particles may produce a fine haze and block some sunlight and lead to a slight cooling for a short period of time. However, I expect these particulates to coagulate and eventually settle out of the atmosphere. Based on my knowledge, I would not expect any serious long-term affects.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have more questions. Thanks Jeff Grell


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