The anthropogenic impact on the terrestrial landscape has long been well known. Now it turns out that human activity can also affect the immediate vicinity of our planet.
Radio communication with submarines is hampered by the fact that, for obvious reasons, they spend most of their time under water. Not all radio waves penetrate there, but only with a wavelength comparable to the size of the planet itself - hundreds, and better thousands of kilometers (extremely low and ultra-low frequencies). In order to use at least this opportunity, the powers with large submarine forces - the USA and the USSR - built several transmitters during the Cold War, each of which is a rather large engineering structure. We will not reveal military secrets, giving this to Wikipedia, we will only note that it is possible to build an antenna of the required length by deepening it into the earth's bowels for tens of kilometers, and the installation requires a separate power plant, albeit not very powerful, but nevertheless. And, of course, it is fundamentally important that this technique continues to be actively used.
NASA experts reported that the above radio communication affects the parameters of the Earth's radiation belts to the extent that it changes the value of the energy required by cosmic particles to overcome the earth's magnetic field.
“A number of experiments and observations have shown that, under the right conditions, ultra-low-frequency radio communications can affect the properties of the high-energy radiation environment around the Earth,” said Phil Erickson, associate director of the Haystack Observatory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Westford, MA).
A short video clarifying the essence of the matter. Video NASA Goddard's scientificVisualization studio
Radio signals for submarines, of course, go far beyond the depths of the sea and are received even by NASA's Van Allen Probes space probes, which study electrons and ions in the near-Earth environment. According to their measurements, radio signals form a kind of bubble around the planet, the outer edge of which almost exactly coincides with the inner edge of the Van Allen radiation belts - a layer of charged particles held in place by the Earth's magnetic field.
Dan Baker, director of the University of Colorado's Atmospheric and Outer Space Physics Laboratory at Boulder, suggested that if it weren't for the ultra-low frequency radio transmissions, the layer boundary would likely be closer to Earth. Indeed, comparisons of the current extent of the radiation belts with the data of James Van Allen show that the inner boundary has moved much further than it was in the 1960s, when ultra-low frequency transmissions occurred less frequently.
It is possible that radio transmissions at ultra-low frequencies can be used to purposefully influence the radiation belts of the Earth, for example, to remove excess particles from them, the energy of which is insufficient to overcome the Earth's magnetic field in any direction in a natural way.
The results are published in Space Science Reviews.