Experiments by China and Russia to heat up the atmosphere cause concern


Russian scientists emitted a large amount of high-frequency radio waves into the ionosphere.

A Chinese satellite studied the data from orbit.
Potential military applications of this tech raise alarms.
A series of controversial experiments by Russia and China recently came to light, drawing concern from experts over their potential military applications. A newly published paper shows that in June 2018, Russian scientists emitted high-frequency radio waves in order to affect the ionosphere – the ionized section of Earth’s upper atmosphere that reaches from 50 to 600 miles above. They were able to heat it up by about 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit) while also causing a massive electric spike.

The ionosphere is used for military communication (specifically between submarines) and disrupting it can cut off the opposing side from its satellites. Critics of experiments in the high atmosphere warn they could lead to modifying weather and creating natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes.

The particulars of the new studies involved “a large amount of microwaves” being sent into the high atmosphere from the Russian atmospheric heating facility called Sura, as reports the South China Morning Post. This facility, near the town of Vasilsursk, to the east of Moscow, was built during the Cold War. Meanwhile, in a precisely coordinated effort, Zhangheng-1, a Chinese electromagnetic surveillance satellite, studied the resulting effects on plasma disturbance from orbit.