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Chairman ELLENDER. What was the origin of that?
Dr. NEWELL. No one knows where the nitric acid comes from. This is a very good doctor's thesis problem which I am sure people are thinking about right now. So we are at the age of uncertainty. There are some theories on this, but it is no use discussing them unless they have a firm base.
I might say we have a fairly firm basis for where the ozone comes from. It comes from molecular oxygen. Sunlight between 1,800 and 2,200 angstroms disassociates molecular oxygen. That is 0. It associates it into O and O combines with O2 to get 03.
That is where the ozone comes from. This has been studied for 40 years. Professor Chapman suggested this in 1930. We have a fairly good idea of the ozone budget, how much is produced as a function of altitude and latitude, how it is transported, and so on.
Several of my students have hopefully contributed to that. I might say that the NOAA model at Princeton has borne out essentially what we said 10 years ago, what we said about the ozone, our understanding
INTRODUCTION OF PARTICULATES IN STRATOSPHERE
My point about particles is, and it is also referred to in the testimony, if one introduces small particles into the stratosphere these particles can absorb solar radiation in the visible portion of the spectrum. What happens is the stratosphere gets warm. There is a graph in my testimony on page 42, which shows the temperature change in the stratosphere by the introduction of small particles from a volcanic eruption.
I might say that we don't know how these small particles got into the stratosphere. We don't know whether they were introduced as gases and then converted into particles, which is one hypothesis put forth in 1888.
We don't know whether they were small particles introduced directly as small particles. The point is that again there is uncertainty. But the certainty is shown in the graph, that the temperature increased by 5° to 8°, depending on where one was, and it is a function of latitude and season. But the temperature change persisted for several years I make the point in the testimony that this aerosol problem is a region where we again need a lot more work and we need to study the joint interaction between ozone and the other air constituents and the oxides of nitrogen.
CONTAMINATION IN THE ATMOSPHERE
I might make an aside at this point just to comment. It may sound odd to be commenting about contamination of the stratosphere. Supposing someone had come to a hearing like this 30 or 40 years ago and suggested that in 20 or 30 years there would be a possibility that there will be smog in Los Angeles, there will be a haze. Put yourselves in the position, if you can, of considering that testimony then. It would have probably sounded very unusual, and it may even have been discounted at the time.
The fact is that we now have the smog, that we have to tell schoolchildren that they are not allowed to go out at school to play, they are not allowed to exercise because of the
smog. This is a physical formation in the atmosphere which was not anticipated several years ago, even 20 or 30 years ago.
We now have much better information about the stratosphere. We know that we are planning to put in as much water vapor or comparable amounts as nature has put in. If we had known this factor about the smog in Los Angeles 30 years ago, we might have taken action to reduce the pollutants at that stage.
Chairman ELLENDER. Are efforts being made now to prevent that by putting devices on automobiles !
Dr. NEWELL. There are some efforts now; sir, yes.
Chairman ELLENDER. Don't you think the same thing might be feasible if you produce these airplanes? Is it your theory that if these airplanes fly at the height you state, that it may pollute the air? Would there be some possibility of modifying the engine to prevent that?
Dr. NEWELL. Right, sir. I did ask a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT could we put on devices to the SST which would remove all the water vapor so we don't have a problem as far as water vapor. Other people may ask to remove the oxides of nitrogen. It is then asking the plane to bring back to earth more mass than it takes up in fuel, because the amount of water vapor that is produced when one burns fossil fuel is a little bit greater, so the combined sum is greater by mass than the mass of the fuel that is taken up, because of the fact that one takes in air and converts some of the oxygen in the air into the water vapor.
DUMPING OF FUEL
Senator MAGNUSON. That is a little like the subsonic flights. In the early days of the jetplane they used to dump a certain amount of residue fuel rather than carry it with them. Now they decided, and we have it whipped, I think, that they are not going to do that, but carry it with them. It isn't much poundage, but it means something.
Dr. NEWELL. Yes. As you point out, in this case it isn't much poundage, but in the case of the SST we are talking about a poundage which is comparable to the amount of the fuel.
Senator MAGNUSON. I didn't know that.
DELICATE BALANCE IN STRATOSPHERE
Dr. NEWELL. I have been assured by mechanical engineers that this is the state. If one wanted to bring back the water vapor we know that the water vapor is equal in amount in mass to fuel. This would penalize the whole operation.
Certainly, if there were a closed-cycle engine, if we could produce a closed-cycle engine in the stratosphere, then I would have no objection to flights in the stratosphere on that basis. My objection is that we are adding components to the stratosphere in amounts comparable to the amounts already there, and this is a very dangerous thing to do. The
stratosphere is a very delicate region. It is a very delicate balance between temperature, chemical reactions
Senator Magnuson. Well, that is your opinion, yes.
Dr. NEWELL. I would say there would probably be unanimous opinion that it is a delicate balance between the components.
Senator MAGNUSON. I just want to ask one question. I apologize, but
Dr. NEWELL. Yes.
Senator Magnuson. Well, you have some respect for his professional ability, do you not?
Dr. NEWELL. Yes, sir.
Senator Magnuson. I won't ask you that last question, then. They are going to testify tomorrow. We do appreciate your coming because we want to get all the information we can on this and see what we can find out about it.
They have opinions, too.
Senator Magnuson. I am sure none of us are going to write that doctor's thesis unless it is Senator Proxmire.
Senator PROXMIRE. Senator Magnuson will do it before I do.
ANSWERS TO UPPER ATMOSPHERE PHYSICS PROBLEMS
Senator Case. I wonder if I can ask one question before I have to go. We shall read this with as much intelligence as we can muster. That is all I can say.
Dr. NEWELL. I am sorry it is complex.
Tell us in summary this: Are these questions that can be answered, in your judgment, in some fashion, after taking enough time and putting in enough work?
Dr. NEWELL. Well, Senator Case, in my opinion, they certainly can be answered over a long time period. When I started looking at upper atmosphere physics problems it was 1960, and we are still answering some of the questions I asked more or less in the first months that I entered upper atmosphere physics.
We were able to answer some in the last few weeks that I couldn't answer then. But in my judgment, it will be another 10 years we can answer the questions
pertaining to say, the details, what will happen in detail if we add water vapor in an amount comparable to the amount already there in the stratosphere.
The way in which we will have to go about these is first of all, we will have to make more observations of the components of the stratophere, all the components, not just a crash program to spend 6 months making a few minor measurements.
AERIAL AND OZONE MEASUREMENTS
And along those lines, I note that just last week there was a satellite from NASA which was funded, which was going to be making meas
urements of aerosols and ozone in the stratosphere, from which funding has been withdrawn.
If there are no satellites I am giving that as one example—if there are no satellite measurements in the stratosphere in the next 10 years, we may still have some of these problems in the next 10 years. They depend on detailed observations, not just at one place but all over the globe.
WATER VAPOR MEASUREMENTS
We have essentially 15 rocket flights of ozone between 30 and 80 kilometers. We get about one new flight a year. The first three flights were made by Dr. Johnson at the University of Texas in 1947 with the captured V--2's. There have been very few measurements since.
RATE OF ACCUMULATION OF DATA
The rate at which we are accumulating data in the upper atmosphere is such that I think it will be at least 10 years before we can give intelligent answers which are agreed upon by various leaders of the profession to these questions I am raising.
Senator Case. Can the rate be speeded up?
Dr. NEWELL. There are certain things that you just can't speed up. One is the intellectual process, the interplay between different scientists, the interplay between scientists and new observations.
One tends to speed up things by taking data in different form, by taking new observations. A host of new satellites might tend to speed things up.
I am not advocating these. I am just saying there is a possibility that if one went into observing the upper atmosphere in the same way that we went into, say, observing the radiation belts because we were worried about the possible hazards to the astronauts, then this would tend to speed things up.
There would be more people in the field and more interchange between the scientists.
At the present time, things are slowing down rapidly in this field. I am not propagating the field, I am just making the statement. Things are slowing down. The number of students involved has to be necessarily fewer each year because a number of people have had fixed budgets. The number of people working on this at leading universities have fixed budgets.
So I would say we are tending to slow down a bit in this field. It could be speeded up. I wouldn't make a better estimate than 10 years, but it could be speeded up if we put more funds into it. There would be an expense involved, training new people, taking new observations.
Senator Case. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for letting me interrupt
. I thank you, sir. You are a fascinating witness. There is no question about that.
Dr. NEWELL. Thank you.
SST FUEL PROBLEM
I should like to make one additional side comment on the pollution problem. We have to look at not just the pollution introduced by the SST alone, but the possible pollution introduced by the additional effects necessary to achieve the fuel necessary for the SST.
We have talked rather glibly for a long time about the SST fuel use. If one takes the numbers put out by the FAA or Boeing, and one uses 28,000 pounds of fuel per hour, per engine, then one could very easily calculate on the back of an envelope that this requires about 340 million barrels of fuel per year.
This is perhaps 20-percent accuracy. We can compare that with the present jet fuel production which is, taking numbers out of a newspaper, somewhere between 200 million and 250 million barrels per year.
So the future SST requirements for fuel will exceed the present jet uses. If we look at the various countries with which we have been concerned about the problem over the last few weeks on oil prices, what is the value of how much are they producing per day?
Just taking these out of the press, New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, Indonesia produces .9 million barrels per day; Libya, 3.2 million; Algeria and Iraq, 2.4 million; Venezuela, 3.7 million. Our total oil just is about 14 million barrels per day and West Europe's is about the same.
W have discussed building a pipeline from Alaska with all its environmental consequences. The amount involved is about 2 million barrels per day. We plan to use for the SST about 2 million barrels The SST could actually use all of the new production from Alaska
. We have been made aware of the additional environmental problems connected with this by the debate about whether we should use a pipeline or ships and so on. I think we should also ask whether this additional jump in the demand for oil is going to put the prices up even more.
I am interested in this as a homeowner. I think a lot of people are, There has been growing evidence of the squeeze on oil supply and prices in the past few months. One point about which I feel strongly is the rate of use of natural resources. It has gone too high over the past few years.
Our proved reserves in the United States are about 30 billion barrels. We use about 5 billion barrels per year. If we take the five and divide it into 30, we have a time of about 6 years.
If we go to the globe, the proved reserves are about 600 billion barrels, and if we take a global prediction use rate of about 17 billion, we get about 35 years. This number has not increased over the past 5 or 10 years, this number of 35 years ahead.