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The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby onlooker » Mon 23 Nov 2015, 10:49:40

http://climate.diplomacy.edu/profiles/b ... ate-change
I include this link, which pretty thoroughly covers some of the proposals for geoengineering. Notice how these proposals suffer from three different problems. One, some are very expensive/energy intensive, Two, some would not address the problem of current CO2 in air and thus ocean acidification and three, some have dire associated risks.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Subjectivist » Mon 23 Nov 2015, 13:36:24

onlooker wrote:http://climate.diplomacy.edu/profiles/blogs/geo-engineering-and-climate-change
I include this link, which pretty thoroughly covers some of the proposals for geoengineering. Notice how these proposals suffer from three different problems. One, some are very expensive/energy intensive, Two, some would not address the problem of current CO2 in air and thus ocean acidification and three, some have dire associated risks.


I saw one scheme back in the early 1990's where they wanted to bale all the corn stover left behind after the harvest. These large bales would then meet one of three fates, if the region was arid they would simply be stacked out in the desert where the low humidity would preserve them mummy style. If the region was like Iowa or other Midwestern states the bales would be hauled to the giant coal or iron strip mining locations and used to fill in the space formerly filled with minerals so that the surface contours could be restored to their prior shape. Because of the deep burial the carbon would be sequestered just as if the coal had never been mined in the first place. The third scheme was for use in coastal regions on salt water, in those places the bales would be weighted and dropped far out to sea in deep water where they would suk to the bottom and be sequestered there.

Naturally all three present problems with collection and transportation. Even worse corn takes a lot of fertilizer and petrochemical pesticide/herbicide input to grow so there would be losses to the soil from sequestered nutrients and organic carbon.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby onlooker » Mon 23 Nov 2015, 13:51:33

Seems to me the problem is also one of simply scale. To truly mount a world-wide geoengineering scheme in terms of logistics and energy required could be daunting. We may try anyway though if the climate gets too bizarre. But I do not have the expertise to make too many comments other than my own layman opinion.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Tanada » Mon 23 Nov 2015, 14:12:44

onlooker wrote:Seems to me the problem is also one of simply scale. To truly mount a world-wide geoengineering scheme in terms of logistics and energy required could be daunting. We may try anyway though if the climate gets too bizarre. But I do not have the expertise to make too many comments other than my own layman opinion.


The biggest problem with all geoengineering schemes is fundamental, the climate like the ecosystem is a dynamic system. That means you can push or pull or change factors for a while with very little obvious response. Once you pass a threshold value which is both unknown and unknowable for all practical purposes you experience a step change. The last time this obviously happened was the Younger Dryas event when the climate suddenly returned to ice age norms over a period of 4 decades or less and then required the better part of 1400 years to return to prior climate norms. There is some evidence that the cold period was caused by a very large postglacial lake bursting through an ice dam and pouring into the north Atlantic creating a layer of very cold fresh water on the surface that easily froze over the next winter changing the albedo of the North Atlantic substantially overnight.

Right now the denial people, both the well known and the average voter point out the window and say nothing much is really different than it was 50 years ago. When the step change takes effect they won't be able to do that any more, however we will already have changed the climate to a different state and it will take hundreds or even thousands of years to change it back if we decide to put forth the effort and have the ability to do so.

I find it far more likely that a radical step change in climate will disrupt harvests badly enough that people will be concentrating on growing and hauling enough food to keep as many from starving as possible. Which will not leave any excess energy around to play climate engineer with.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby onlooker » Mon 23 Nov 2015, 14:44:56

Interesting Tanada, thanks for that primer. I also read about tipping points in climate and also ecosystems. In fact I have encountered some information that certainl fundamental ecosystems seem to be at the precipice of tipping points. All in all, very disturbing times we live in now especially heading into the future.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby careinke » Mon 23 Nov 2015, 20:30:01

onlooker wrote:http://climate.diplomacy.edu/profiles/blogs/geo-engineering-and-climate-change
I include this link, which pretty thoroughly covers some of the proposals for geoengineering. Notice how these proposals suffer from three different problems. One, some are very expensive/energy intensive, Two, some would not address the problem of current CO2 in air and thus ocean acidification and three, some have dire associated risks.


Planting trees has none of these faults, and it doesn't take a government to start. Planted any trees lately?
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 23 Nov 2015, 21:44:51

Lots, and I let my trees plant trees.

The problem is that none of these schemes, organic or not, are no where near the scales of magnitude necessary for addressing the problem. Not that we shouldn't do them (well, the relatively organic ones anyway--planting trees and native grasses). But in any area that gets both snow and sun in the winter, planting trees in what otherwise would be grassy areas is likely to be counter productive because of the albedo shift that they introduce.

Generally, our overwhelmingly main problem is that we are continuing to bash holes in the hull of our listing ship, and ever bigger ones at that.

If all people truly realized that this is exactly what every use of ff and every ounce of meat does to the sustainability of the planet, perhaps we would see change in time... but probably not. Time is pretty much out.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby 35Kas » Wed 25 Nov 2015, 17:15:41

I figure that it is possible to "easily" geo-engineer against warming by approaching the issue from the other side.

There is no way currently in which we can chemically scrub or recycle the greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. This means that the planet is slowly gaining heat from the sun, and the overall heat-loss to space is being reduced, or at least, cannot keep up. Slowly the oceans are storing it.

So, we can reduce the incident solar radiation on the surface of the planet. By launching enough reflective metal/ceramic dust in orbit, eventually significant (~+10%) radiation could be diverted and this would allow for the planet to quickly "bleed-off" heat, before the dust fell back to Earth. Some draw-backs are that, the further away, the more dust would be required, so this would essentially prevent satellites from orbiting w/o being armored in LEO.

This would be expensive, but I think its doable. In fact, it appears that "chemtrails" already achieve this to a degree.

Another one, would be to assemble a gigantic solar shade at the Sun-Earth L1 point. I think this would be much more challenging technologically and economically. But if possible, the shade could be used to adjust incident solar radiation in order to fix the incoming-outgoing heat equation.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Lore » Wed 25 Nov 2015, 17:22:58

35Kas wrote:I figure that it is possible to "easily" geo-engineer against warming by approaching the issue from the other side.

There is no way currently in which we can chemically scrub or recycle the greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. This means that the planet is slowly gaining heat from the sun, and the overall heat-loss to space is being reduced, or at least, cannot keep up. Slowly the oceans are storing it.

So, we can reduce the incident solar radiation on the surface of the planet. By launching enough reflective metal/ceramic dust in orbit, eventually significant (~+10%) radiation could be diverted and this would allow for the planet to quickly "bleed-off" heat, before the dust fell back to Earth. Some draw-backs are that, the further away, the more dust would be required, so this would essentially prevent satellites from orbiting w/o being armored in LEO.

This would be expensive, but I think its doable. In fact, it appears that "chemtrails" already achieve this to a degree.

Another one, would be to assemble a gigantic solar shade at the Sun-Earth L1 point. I think this would be much more challenging technologically and economically. But if possible, the shade could be used to adjust incident solar radiation in order to fix the incoming-outgoing heat equation.


You forgot about the unintended consequences. While it may rain in California that could mean drought in Russia. The climate is a complicated system that works best when not fiddled with, one way or the other.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby 35Kas » Wed 25 Nov 2015, 19:24:33

I am not so sure. If it comes between unforeseen consequences and certain death I'll roll the dice. It is much too soon to take desperate measures. In twenty years perhaps, when coastal cities start being submerged, migrations in the tens of millions cause mayhem, equatorial zones become uninhabitable, the stakes will be higher and peoples... predisposition to not consider certain options will be considerably softened.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 17 Apr 2016, 22:08:46

Dr. Paul Beckwith has spoken, he believes nuclear winter is a valid option to stop runaway warming before its too late to stop the tipping point.

https://youtu.be/EP5J3NFUjiw?t=6m20s
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Sun 17 Apr 2016, 22:23:05

He's just embarrassing himself more and more these days.

But I think this kind of thing does show just how utterly desperate people who have been following developments as they unfold are feeling.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby onlooker » Mon 18 Apr 2016, 04:31:05

dohboi wrote:He's just embarrassing himself more and more these days.

But I think this kind of thing does show just how utterly desperate people who have been following developments as they unfold are feeling.

Yes, I think we should give them a pass, climate scientists have to bear the weight of what they know unequivocally and suspect. They do not get to hide their heads in the sand. :shock:
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Subjectivist » Mon 18 Apr 2016, 09:25:12

dohboi wrote:He's just embarrassing himself more and more these days.

But I think this kind of thing does show just how utterly desperate people who have been following developments as they unfold are feeling.


This is a silly solution, there are dozens of types of jet aircraft that can fly at 55,000-65,000 feet altitude. By flying planes way up there burning high sulfur jet fuel you would get SO2 injected directly into the stratosphere without a volcano or nuclear war being needed.

Not that I am in favor of geoengineering, but if you are going to do it use a method that can be stopped quickly that will dissipate in 18-24 months, not something that causes massive overnight cooling and destroys crops world wide. You could even select aircraft with multiple fuel tanks so they can burn clean low sulfur fuel for take off and landing while burning the high sulfur stuff cruising way up where it won't rain out as acid rain over the next few weeks. You could also do the sulfur dioxide cooling effect selectively, over just the north in May-September and just the Southern Hemisphere in August-March.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 18 Apr 2016, 09:39:14

There seems to be something about the power of nukes that makes some people think that they are some kind of last resort to every single problem. I remember people talking about using them to stop the oil spill in the gulf a few years ago. Just stupid (and of course if these idiots had any power...dangerous!).
Don't know quite what the psychology is there.

As to using planes, you have to be careful. My impression is that, generally, the higher the clouds, the more likely that they will block more outgoing radiation than they block in coming (but someone should check me on that).

In any case, unintended consequences are pretty much certain to ensue, no matter what.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Subjectivist » Mon 18 Apr 2016, 09:51:55

dohboi wrote:There seems to be something about the power of nukes that makes some people think that they are some kind of last resort to every single problem. I remember people talking about using them to stop the oil spill in the gulf a few years ago. Just stupid (and of course if these idiots had any power...dangerous!).
Don't know quite what the psychology is there.

As to using planes, you have to be careful. My impression is that, generally, the higher the clouds, the more likely that they will block more outgoing radiation than they block in coming (but someone should check me on that).

In any case, unintended consequences are pretty much certain to ensue, no matter what.


The idea of using stratospheric altitude SO2 injection is to simulate the cooling effects of volcanos like Mount Pinatubo without all the even worse ash and radiation effects of nuclear explosives. You are right, there would no doubt be unintended side effects, which is why I oppose all geoengineering schemes. I am just saying, if we are going to do it, do it as safely and gently as possible.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Timo » Thu 21 Apr 2016, 12:21:34

I've actually given this question some thought recently about geoengineering. In some other thread here at PO, there's been a discussion of heroes for the 21st Century, and who we each consider to be a hero. My candidate for "hero" status was Elon Musk, and that stands even for his geoengineering scheme on Mars, which is to create an atmosphere by detonating thermonuclear bombs over both poles. I'm certainly not suggesting we try that here. I'm only wondering whether Elon Musk would be in favor of geoengineering here on Earth, or not, and if so, then how.

The reason i have so much respect for Elon is because he walks the talk, and his talk is spot on the issues that we face right now, and far into the future. Elon is extraordinarily successful in nearly everything he does, aside from staying married. I'd be curious to hear him speak on this issue, geoengineering Planet Earth to ensure its continued habitability with minimal consequences. Can it, and should it be done?

That same curiosity also applies to Stephen Hawking, too.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Timo » Fri 17 Jun 2016, 11:29:02

Some food for thought. Geoengineering is simply a band-aid, but a band-aid can stop you from bleeding to death. Sometimes, a band-aid is necessary if you want to survive.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2016-06-15/blocking-out-the-sun-to-fight-climate-change
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby JV153 » Sat 18 Jun 2016, 03:16:04

Timo wrote: Elon Musk, and that stands even for his geoengineering scheme on Mars, which is to create an atmosphere by detonating thermonuclear bombs over both poles.


This isn't some kind of Alfred E. Neuman like statement, is it ?
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 18 Jun 2016, 06:31:41

Timo wrote:Some food for thought. Geoengineering is simply a band-aid, but a band-aid can stop you from bleeding to death. Sometimes, a band-aid is necessary if you want to survive.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2016-06-15/blocking-out-the-sun-to-fight-climate-change


Two major problems with every geoengineering scheme.
#1 the law of unintended consequences ALWAYS bites you! When you are talking about a world covering technology those consequences will be very large.

#2 the world economy is already bouncing around helter skelter with everything else going on, so how exactly are you going to pay for this stuff? You can print or digitize money out of thin air, but that doesn't mean the new money is stimulating the economy. To pay for these geoengineering schemes you will have to cut somewhere else, and everywhere else has a constituency that is loud, proud, and determined to keep their slice of the pie.
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