Carbon footprint of huge astronomy observatories raises climate change concerns
Author: Tereza Pultarova
Every year, the world's astronomical research facilities emit a combined 1.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is about five times more than the annual flying-related carbon footprint of the world's astronomers, the study's researchers said. "No study has ever tried to calculate the carbon emissions due to the construction and operation of all the telescopes and space missions that astronomers use to make observations," Annie Hughes, an astronomer at IRAP and one of the authors of the paper, said in the news conference. "So the results in our paper are the first quantitative estimate for the carbon footprint associated with those infrastructures. Their footprint is large, much larger than all other sources of our professional carbon emissions combined."