John Mashey points me to this site, which claims that microwaves from satellites are causing global warming!
Satellite antennas transmit UHF and higher microwaves frequencies all over the planet. Because orbiting Satellites are in the vacuum of space, the microwave transmissions are scattered through our atmosphere at an accelerated rate. The Earth is a rotating electromagnetic field containing a dielectric material called water. Sending oscillating microwaves from an antenna inside a vacuum through an electromagnetic field through a dielectric material, such as water, creates radio frequency heating (also called RF heating) at the molecular level. Since our atmosphere is made of water and the Earth is covered with water and ice, Microwaves absorb into our atmosphere, oceans, and ice caps. Here we will learn briefly about Global Warming, how satellites work, the principles behind the microwave oven, and how the satellites are causing Global RF Heating. During the last 15 years the earth has rapidly increased in temperature and a great portion of the polar ice caps have melted away. This fact has caused great alarm all over the world. Scientists have been puzzled about how the temperature is increasing. One global warming theory is the “Green house Gas” theory. These gases are emitted from fossil fuel burning vehicles and block longwave radiation from leaving the earth causing global warming. Because longwave radiation reflects from solid surfaces, the earths water could not be warming for this reason. The fish the polar bears eat are leaving due to rising water temperature. “Greenhouse gasses” DO NOT raise water temperature. It was not until SPUTNIK was launched and the “Space Race” began did Global Warming become an issue. Since “Sputnik” in 1957, there have been thousands of satellites launched into outer space. These Satellites orbit Earth in “Polar” and “Geo Stationary” orbits. Global Warming history completely coincides with the history of artificial satellites and the use of microwave frequencies from outer space.
I hope it’s obvious that satellites can’t be putting out enough to energy to have any effect, but in case it’s not, Mashey did a back-of-the-envelope calculation of the flux
According to UCS Active Satellite database, they know of 873 active satellites, for which those whose total power is known average ~3,200W (that’s W, not KW). The biggest was 18,000W.
To be generous, let us assume there are 1,000 satellites averaging 5,000W. That yields 5MW total, i.e., about 5 big (but not biggest) windmills.
Suppose they were all orbiting about 6500km from the center of the Earth (i.e., Very Low Earth Orbits :-)), and all the power was being radiated at the Earth (it isn’t).
The surface of a 6500km sphere is about 530M sq km (= 4πr²) which means the incoming energy would be 5MW/(530M km²), or ≈ 1W /km², or about a millionth of a Watt/m².
The IPCC AR4 (Figure SPM.2) gives Total net anthropogenic forcing as 1.6 W/m² [0.6 to 2.4].
So, I’m afraid James is only off by a factor of ≈million.
Actually, it’s worse than that, because the satellites generate their energy with solar cells which are much less than 100% efficient at turning solar energy into microwaves. So they reduce the solar flux by more than the amount that they increase the microwave flux and produce, on net, a tiny negative forcing (of the same order of magnitude to the positive forcing Mashey calculated above).