Asteroid Affirmative

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Asteroid Impact  Wildfires

A 1.3 km asteroid could disrupt the global climate, ignite massive fires, and wipe out a region the size of Europe.

Mone, 2003 (Gregory) (Popular Science, Sep2003, Vol. 263 Issue 3, p72, 8p, 1 Color Photograph,)

A BAD DAY Here's why attention to asteroid diversion technology is a smart bet, even if impact risks are tiny. The effect of an asteroid 1.3 km in diameter striking Earth would be catastrophic, though the degree of damage would depend on where it hit. If 2004SB were to strike land, it would excavate a crater some 20km wide, ignite fires stretching eight times that far, wipe out a region the size of Europe, and potentially disrupt the global climate. Atmospheric debris would cloud the skies, threatening agriculture worldwide. A water landing, which is more likely, would generate tsunamis capable of flooding coastal cities. In low-lying countries such as Bangladesh, this wave would take hundreds of thousands of lives.

Forest fires lead to severe infant mortality rate, we’re talking 20,000+ in just regional deaths.

Harrison et al. 09 [Mark E., Susan E. Page, and Suwido H. Limin. "The global impact of Indonesian forest fires." Biologist 56, no. 3 (August 2009): 156-163., PN]

Following the 1997 fires, an estimated 20 million people in Indonesia suffered from respiratory problems, with 19,800-48,100 premature mortalities (Heil, 2007). In severely affected areas, > 90% of people had respiratory symptoms and elderly individuals suffered a serious deterioration in overall health (Kunii et al, 2002). The Indonesian National Standards Institute classifies concentrations of particulate matter with diameters #10μm in concentrations of over 200μg/m3 as ‘very un- healthy’ and above 300 μg/m3 as ‘dangerous’. These figures are regularly exceeded in smoky years; for example, in Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan, air quality was rated as ‘unhealthy/very unhealthy/ dangerous’ on 81% of days from September-November 2006 and, in October 2006, 30 of 31 days were ‘dangerous’ (Board for the Control of Environmental Impacts in Palangka Raya Area, 2006), representing a clear health threat (Figure 4). Addition- ally, thick smoke impairs visibility, causing an increase in traffic accidents, and a general lack of public health service and the high cost of health insurance means that treatment is not typically received for smoke-related ailments.

Wildfire ! – Poverty

Forest fires destroy local and surrounding economic progress, as well as lead to regional poverty.

Harrison et al. 09 [Mark E., Susan E. Page, and Suwido H. Limin. "The global impact of Indonesian forest fires." Biologist 56, no. 3 (August 2009): 156-163., PN]

Estimates of the cost of uncontrolled fires to the Indonesian economy differ, but are invariably large. Varma (2003) analysed the costs and benefits of slash-and-burn to the Indonesian economy and conclud- ed that during 1997-1998 Indonesia lost US$20.1 billion as a result of this practice. Economic losses in heavily-affected rural villages can amount to as much as 50% of township income. Haze from the fires can extend to Malaysia, Singapore and Thai- land, shrouding them in smoke and affect- ing transport and economic activities for millions more people, resulting in billions more dollars of economic losses. Clearly, the economic losses associated with un- controlled fires are contributing to poverty and restraining development in the region.

Wildfire ! - deforestation

Forest fires lead to severely reduced plant production, decimating the food chain and set the grounds for future, forest fires.

Harrison et al. 09 [Mark E., Susan E. Page, and Suwido H. Limin. "The global impact of Indonesian forest fires." Biologist 56, no. 3 (August 2009): 156-163., PN]

Reduced temperatures and light intensity – Smoke blocks out the sun, reducing light intensity and temperature. Photosynthetically-active radiation can decline by up to 92% under thick smoke conditions, negatively influencing plant photosynthesis rates (Davies and Unam, 1999) and possibly reducing food security in the region. Potential influence on ENSO – ENSO has far-reaching effects on world cli- mate. The frequency of El Niño events is thought to have increased since the mid-1970s, due to global warming (Trenberth and Hoar, 1997). This could create a positive-feedback loop: in- creased burning increases atmospheric CO2 concentrations, which raises temperatures, and increases the frequency and severity of ENSO events, thereby increasing the incidence and severity of future fires, etc.
Forests are key to biological life and preventing rapid climate change.

Journal of Medicinal Plants in 09 ['Rapid Deforestation: Threat to a Balanced Atmospheric Composition' 2009, Journal of Tropical Medicinal Plants, 10, 2, p. 312, PN]

Forests play a range of roles: they help prevent desertification of surrounding areas by their water- retaining function, they provide shade, mitigate climate change through transpiration, and provide home for a variety of living organisms. If deforestation continues to progress, some areas will suffer more serious desertification, the atmospheric heat distribution will change, which will in turn change regional and global climates, and the balance of a number of ecosystems will be disrupted. Forests are thus useful in maintaining a balance in the Earth's ecosystems and are indeed important resources that need protecting.

Asteroid ! – Global Communications

Asteroid strike would shut down global communications

Marusek 07 (James Marusek is a Nuclear Physicist and Engineer “Comet and Asteroid Threat Impact Analysis,” Paper presented at the 2007 AIAA Planetary Defense Conference, 5-9 March 2007, TDA)

Large quantities of ionizing radiation will be produced by the impact and can severely change the environment of the upper atmosphere, producing heavily ionized regions, which can disrupt electromagnetic waves passing through those zones. The trapping mechanism for these high-energy electrons may be similar to that which produces the Van Allen radiation belts. This radiation will cause significant interruption of communications. This will interfere with all surviving telephone, television, computer and radio traffic. There will be so much static in the signal that it will be almost unintelligible. For a large impact, these disturbed regions can easily be global in size and can persist for tens of hours. This could essentially temporarily shut down all worldwide communications.

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