« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Mr. NEWELL. I could not do that without not only a sliderule, but without integrating the transmission path.
Senator PROXMIRE. Would it be likely or unlikely in your
view! Could you make an estimate that this increase in radiation could have an effect on radiation induced illness? I am not asking you that as a doctor. I'm just asking about what you understand about radiation and recognizing that you are not a doctor and I have communication with a number of doctors, I am pursuing this, but on the basis of what you know about it, do you think it is reasonable to assume if you increase the ultraviolet radiation it would increase the incidence of radiation-induced illnesses?
Mr. NEWELL. This is a very difficult question for me to answer simply from reading reports on this, the general consensus among physicians seems to be that ultraviolet is partly responsible for the introduction of skin cancer and one would follow that along if they are right that more ultraviolet gives more skin cancer, but this is something I would like to study myself, the mechanics of what happens in this process. I would like to refrain from making a statement on that.
SCIENTIFIC COOPERATION ON POLLUTION PREVENTION
Senator PROXMIRE. I imagine some other countries are as concerned about what happens to the planet as we are. You have a wide acquaintance. I take it you were born in England and you have a wide acquaintance in the scientific community particularly in your speciality, and I am not asking about the political problem because that is ours and not yours but do you think there would be international cooperation among scientists who would make their findings known in this area!
Mr. NEWELL. I think we could get scientists to cooperate on such prevention.
Senator PROXMIRE. Do you think such a concern is growing! ?
Mr. NEWELL. I think it is growing quite rapidly, yes. The United Nations conference, which is to be held in 1972, is itself an impetus in the sense that more scientists are being asked to look into these questions and in addition a number are looking into it under their own impetus.
ANSWERS TO UPPER ATMOSPHERE PHYSICS PROBLEMS
Senator PROXMIRE. You testified it would take 10 years to get an
you said we could speed this up in answer to Senator Case. But as I understand it, the deadline for determining whether to go into large scale production of the supersonic transport is 1973.
Is it conceivable that adequate answers could be achieved by 1973 or 1974 if we spent enough money?
Mr. NEWELL. I don't think so, sir.
Senator PROXMIRE. So, we would have to make that decision without the kind of answers that you think are necessary to determine what damage this would do to the upper atmosphere?
Mr. NEWELL. Yes,
Senator PROXMIRE. The Department of Transportation put into the record when they appeared before my Joint Economic Committee last year, they testified that the SST puts into the atmosphere on a passenger-mile basis more of every kind of pollutant by 33 percent than the 747 and two and a half times as much as the 747. That is of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and water vapor.
Do you have any reason to differ with these figures?
Mr. NEWELL. Yes, the figures I have shown show that we get something like 13 for SST and 22 for the 747. I can't understand how eliminating the water vapor from the fuel from the SST in those calculations
Senator PROXMIRE. I am glad to hear you have your own estimates on it because I will pursue it. That is the estimate the Department of Transportation gave to our committee last year.
Mr. NEWELL. This is going to be a function of the constituent. I regard water vapor as a pollutant and mostly other people do not. Senator PROXMIRE. Your response goes to water vapor purely? Mr. NEWELL. Yes.
SST POLLUTANT EMISSION Senator PROXMIRE. I have seen it argued that the SST travels at 1,780 miles per hour and emits fewer pollutants than three automobiles traveling at 60 miles per hour. Is this a meaningful comparison?
Mr. NEWELL. I don't think so, sir.
Senator PROXMIRE. The reason being, as you have explained so well to us, that the sea level atmosphere or a few hundred or 1,000 feet above sea level, the pollutant disintegrates much more readily and the
upper atmosphere is thinner and more stable. Mr. NEWELL. It is essentially residence time.
INJECTION OF WATER VAPOR INTO ATMOSPHERE BY TROPICAL STORM
Senator PROXMIRE. I have heard also that one tropical storm puts more water vapor into the upper atmosphere than a large number of supersonic jets would. I wonder about that, No. 1, because the number of tropical storms at 60,000 feet would not be very many. It seems to be up above the weather by and large and No. 2, this tropical storm is a natural phenomenon that would occur anyway and I would think that would not have any permanent, serious polluting effect on the atmosphere.
Can you explain the tropical storm argument?
Mr. NEWELL. I have not been able to find who originated that argument, unfortunately, but I have read comments in the press along these lines that one storm makes as much as the SST. Two million grams per second up to 60,000 feet and there are 1,000 going on at any one time and therefore, we have 1,000 times as much. If that was ever happening the stratosphere would immediately be flooded. There is no question about that. The stratosphere is dry, so we know
that it is not happening, but there are two or three additional red herrings in that argument, I think. There have been no good reported cases in the scientific literature of people flying through thunderstorms at heights above the tropopause. There have been a number of searches in connection with hurricanes to find clouds or strong thunderstorms above the tropopause.
There have been additional measurements in the literature so that no pilot has flown, but at 50,000 or 70,000 feet and said he was above the tropopause. One or two pilots thought they were above the tropopause by triangulation. This is another question.
There have been a number of radar measurements in the literature at tops of thunderstorms and they show it going above the tropopa use. If one looks at the radar measurements carefully, one finds there are all sorts of complications with beam width spreading and discussed by Professor Atlas at the University of Chicago to doubt these numbers as they appear in the literature.
The additional doubt would be if the storms are really penetrating to 60,000 feet in middle latitude and contributing significantly to the water vapor then these measurements that are being made should show much higher moisture concentrations in the stratosphere.
In summary, I don't see the details of this argument has not been substantiated, has not appeared in the literature. The test for these things is to look inside the literature. I put my comments on the water vapor after hearing comments from professors from Norway, Russians were there, having their comments. The Norwegians comment they were seeing the mother-of-pearl clouds in the stratosphere and no one has written into the literature and questioned this comment on the vapor literature. They have written how much is contributed by the volcano. That is a healthy item. There is nothing said in the water vapor hypothesis. It has been in the press. I don't like that trial by the press. It should be in the scientific literature.
Senator PROXMIRE. Thank you, Doctor.
NCAR RESEARCH ON STRATOSPHERE AIR PROBLEMS
Chairman ELLENDER. Senator Allott.
Senator Allots. You never utilized any of their findings or research or their models in your work at all?
Mr. NEWELL. Yes; I have not worked at NCAR. I have worked with the people at NCAR. Dr. Kellar, for instance, on the summer study last year of Williamstown. There were 40 scientists looking at environment problems. The results are written up in a book which I referred to in my testimony and at that stage not only Dr. Kellar from NCAR, but one of the top chemists was also there, Dr. Richard Cagle, and I have talked at length with Dr. Martell
, who is coming to MIT tomorrow to give us a seminar on methane measurements from the stratosphere. That is NCAR work.
I am aware of the work going on at NCAR. I have not worked there myself. I would not say there is any substantial difference in the physical items and the background and the comments I have made here and the comments that the people of Endcar made in the summer study. Senator Allott. The thing that prompted this, and this is all I will
I was a little astounded to listen to all of your comments and not hear one reference to the work that is being done at NCAR which, of course, is financed by the National Science Foundation and I believe there are some 500 scientists working at NCAR today. I was a little surprised not to hear any reference at all to the findings that they have made there.
Mr. NEWELL. Do you mean on the stratospheric air problem? Senator ALLOTT. Yes. Mr. NEWELL. I don't feel there is any fundamental slighting of NCAR because I have referred to the MIT summer study book for the details on the smog argument and the details on the measurement of stratospheric aerosols, and it is well known from the references in that book that the measures are being made presently by Dr. Cagle. I have a high respect for the work that is being done by Dr. Cagle at NCAR.
There is a limit, of course, to the amount that one should put in reference form directly and indirectly and I guess I have not made the references here as comprehensive as it should be. I would be perfectly willing to prepare for the committee a summary of where we stand on this subject if that would be desirable with references, but that is a much more comprehensive thing than making a summary statement and referring to references.
Senator ALLOTT. I have no further questions.
POLLUTANT FFFECT OF TWO SST PROTOTYPES ON ATMOSPHERIC POLLUTION
Senator PROXMIRE. Would the construction of two SST prototypes contribute significantly to the problems that bother you as far as the upper atmosphere is concerned !
Mr. NEWELL. Not altogether, because we have the U-2 measure-
Chairman ELLENDER. Are there any further questions?
Senator Case. During our hearings I asked and was granted unanimous consent to provide for the record expert comments on the testimony given by Professor Newell.
Those comments have been supplied me by Dr. S. I. Rasool, a senior research scientist at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. The Institute is a branch of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
In view of the shortage of time available for obtaining Dr. Rasool's statement, NASA has advised me that it has not had time to review it. NASA takes the position that Dr. Rasool's comments therefore are "personal."
NASA's position, in my view, takes nothing away from Dr. Rasool who has been described to me as a leader in his field of atmospheric physics.
I want to commend Dr. Rasool's statement to public attention. It corroborates and indeed expands on Professor Newell's admonition about flying supersonic transports in our delicate stratosphere before we know more than we presently do about the potential conse quences.
Of critical importance is the length of time it will take to acquire the information we need. Dr. Rasool agrees with Professor Newell that 10 years appears to be a “realistic time scale” if research continues at its present rate. However, Dr. Rasool believes the process can be speeded up
to bring a definitive answer in 5 years.
Before we get on with the job of acquiring the necessary facts, we need to establish a far more comprehensive program of research than is presently available. We should concentrate on this rather than on building SST prototypes.
(The comments referred to on p. 453 follow:)
COMMENTS ON PROF. R. E. NEWELL'S TESTIMONY BY S. I. RASOOL
The testimony by Professor R. E. Newell on the decrease in ozone amount and increase in ultraviolet radiation resulting from SST operations is consistent with my knowledge of calculations on this subject. I would like to mention three points in connection with this testimony which seem to require further emphasis.
(1) An estimate of the ozone decrease produced by the injection of water vapor into the stratosphere requires a detailed study not only of the chemistry of water and ozone molecules, but also of the motions in the stratosphere. Water vapor when introduced in the upper atmosphere does not remain localized over one region, but will "diffuse" or spread both horizontally and vertically. Ozone does likewise. The question then is how fast and how far these constituents difuse through the atmosphere, and what is the resultant concentration of ozone over various regions of the globe.
In particular, if the water vapor injected by SST's spreads uniformly over the globe, the average ozone decrease produced by SST's will be about 1 percent. The corresponding change in the 3000 Å ultraviolet radiation will be increased in intensity by about percent. However, if this water vapor remains concentrated near the airlanes, and is, for example, confined near these airlanes, then the ozone could be decreased in those regions of the globe by as much as 10 percent. The amount of 3000 Å ultraviolet radiation reaching the ground would then be increased by 30 percent, for the parts of the earth's surface under or near the airlanes.
A detailed calculation of diffusion in the stratosphere is needed to pin down the answer between these two extreme values. This is the most important point in my view.
So far no calculations on the effect of diffusion have been made. Consequently, at the present time there is a very large uncertainty in the magnitude of the ozone decreases caused by SST operations. The numbers quoted by Professor Newell, namely, a 4 percent decrease in ozone and consequently an 11 percent increase in the UV radiation at 3000 A at the surface of the earth, are based on assumptions regarding diffustion made by H. Harrison of Boeing Scientific Research Laboratories, which are reasonable but must be checked by exact calculations.
A project aimed at computing effects of diffusion accurately has been initiated at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. It is hoped that within 6 to 9 months we will be able to narrow down the uncertainty in the ozone concentration bs taking into account the vertical diffusion of water vapor in the stratosphere.
(2) In addition to the effect of water vapor, it is also possible that other exhaust products from the SST can cause a significant decrease in ozone. These products include nitric oxide, nitrous oxide and hydrocarbons, as mentioned by Professor Newell. Calculations have not yet been made on their effect, be. cause the basic chemical reactions are only beginning to be understood. This point requires emphasis because the additional effect of the above-mentioned constituents in the exhaust product could be as large as that of water vapor