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The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

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Re: The Geoengineering Thread

Unread postby kiwichick » Fri 03 Jan 2014, 14:13:17

t

that makes sense for countries like canada , russia and norway/sweden/finland, greenland and iceland

maybe the uk and ireland

but how to explain denial in the us and australia?

is it the realisation that there is trouble ahead, but because people are invested in their housing /business/community they can't
admit it?
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 03 Jan 2014, 15:25:57

I can't answer for Australia but in the USA the average Joe6pack imagines Alaska to be a place full of oil where it is really cold and uncomfortable to live. Thawing out Alaska appeals to Joe6pack.
I should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, write, balance accounts, build a wall, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, pitch manure, program a computer, cook, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 03 Jan 2014, 15:41:12

kiwichick wrote:t

that makes sense for countries like canada , russia and norway/sweden/finland, greenland and iceland

maybe the uk and ireland

but how to explain denial in the us and australia?

is it the realisation that there is trouble ahead, but because people are invested in their housing /business/community they can't
admit it?


There seems to be some research that supports that idea.

http://environment.yale.edu/climate-communication/

I think they update the report and not all reports have all the core data. But one year I went through it in detail and found the deniers were older, more well educated, richer, home owners. The people that should know better but have a lot invested in the status quo.
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The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Fri 03 Jan 2014, 17:34:45

Who Needs Tar Sands Oil When We Have AirCarbon?

The company NewLight Technologies first came across our radar last year, when it announced a system for making plastic almost out of thin air. Instead of using petroleum, the feedstock is the airborne carbon emitted by sewage treatment plants, landfills, power plants, and other industrial sites, so in addition to reducing the need for petroleum the system also captures and recycle greenhouse gas emissions.

How’s that for a nice sustainability twofer? Now that NewLight Technologies is a star – just last month it made headlines in USAToday – let’s see what they’re up to now.


When we first met NewLight Technologies the company was using the name AirFlex for the plastic produced by its carbon capture system, which now goes by the name AirCarbon™.

According to NewLight, AirCarbon is the performance equivalent of a range of plastics that includes polypropylene, polyethylene, and polystyrene.

AirCarbon also lends itself to various manufacturing processes including extrusion, blown film, fiber spinning, and injection molding.

To top it off, AirCarbon plastic is biodegradable and recyclable, and to top that off, Newlight cites a third party verified cradle-to-grave analysis demonstrating that AirCarbon is a carbon-negative material:


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Re: The Geoengineering Thread

Unread postby americandream » Fri 03 Jan 2014, 18:35:38

Graeme wrote:Who Needs Tar Sands Oil When We Have AirCarbon?

The company NewLight Technologies first came across our radar last year, when it announced a system for making plastic almost out of thin air. Instead of using petroleum, the feedstock is the airborne carbon emitted by sewage treatment plants, landfills, power plants, and other industrial sites, so in addition to reducing the need for petroleum the system also captures and recycle greenhouse gas emissions.


So basically, the company locates itself by high carbon emitters and scrubs the air manufacturing the resulting bio-degradeable product?
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread

Unread postby Graeme » Fri 03 Jan 2014, 19:27:23

Yes, that is one of many "methods" we can use up until later this century when we can start using direct air capture. Here is another very important one:

'Our message to adults and global leaders: stop talking, start planting'

You were nine when you set up Plant for the Planet. How did it all begin?

It started as a small school project in my class seven years ago, when I had to give a speech about the environment. Inspired by Wangari Maathai, who planted 30m trees in Africa, I proposed that children could plant one million trees in each country of the world to create a CO2 balance.

It slowly grew from there. We planted the first tree in my school, and then some other schools joined in, planting trees as well. Children in other countries also found out about it and got active as well, doing similar things.

How does Plant for the Planet work now?

We have a worldwide network of 23,000 climate justice ambassadors, who work from regional clubs and academies to campaign for tree planting in their schools and among families and friends. We have a global board which is made up of one adult and 14 children, representing all the Plant for the Planet regions.

The board is re-elected each year, and votes on campaign matters, supervises and supports our regional clubs. We aim to plant 1 trillion trees around the world by the year 2020. To achieve this, we will need some help from adults, but we feel that children are central to success.


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Re: The Geoengineering Thread

Unread postby americandream » Fri 03 Jan 2014, 21:59:41

Graeme wrote:'Our message to adults and global leaders: stop talking, start planting'


These emotive appeals just don't work. Geldoff used the same tactic with aid to Africa and if anything, the situation has gotten worse. The French recently launched another of their invasions of an African country and nary a peep from the media or NGO's.

I can see that you are keen to make this work but the one thing that does not add up is running an infinite system with massive built obsolescence with the finite, even if some portion of it is renewable. And I can't see how you will be able to persuade companies to downsize when they are going in the opposite direction. Plus the turnaround of commodities from China is at lightening speed these days. Take a walk into the Warehouse and look at how fast they shift their shelves. You can't blame entrepreneurs. They are in the business of getting rich and you don't do that by taking a voluntary profit cut. As I am so often lectured on here, people are supposedly greedy. I really do feel sorry for these kids.

Straight talking is the only thing that will work. No messing around. People have got to know the hard facts. If they choose to ignore them, well, thats too bad. And I can tell you, people hate this truth but all you can do is sow the seeds. Change the system or prepare for calamity.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 29 Jan 2014, 18:00:54

Geoengineering, another haven for climate change denial

Even if humans miraculously halted all carbon emissions next week, the problem of climate change would be an inescapable and grim reality as most of the heat-trapping gas would linger in the atmosphere for decades or even centuries. The inertia in the world’s warmed oceans would prevent a quick return to cooler temperatures, even as the CO2 levels decrease. The most optimistic predictions for the rest of the century, cited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its 2007 assessment report, forecast a rise of 2.0 to 5.2 degrees by 2100, while the direst anticipate a rise of 4.3 to 11.5 degrees. Among the anticipated effects are rising sea levels, increasingly severe storms and droughts, and melting glaciers and permafrost.



Hamilton agreed that what was initially a Plan B is now a nearly inevitable course of action as mitigating efforts do not seem to be progressing forward at the requisite rate to stem drastic climate change. But he expressed a lot of reservations about the Promethean-like nature of this sort of intervention and the “technology will save us now” air to it. “In essence, this plan is being marketed as turning a drastic failure of the free enterprise system into a triumph of humanity’s ability to solve our greatest problems through technology.” In her recent article, Dr. Rachel Smolker took issue with what she perceived to be the normalization of geoengineering: “This insistence that we engage in debate over climate geoengineering is part of the process of ‘normalization’ that seems orchestrated -- perhaps deliberately -- with the intent of habituating people to the whole idea of climate geoengineering as an option.”
In a response, Dr. Simon Nicholson stated, “geoengineering is in fact entirelynormal. It is the expected response of a culture that looks to technological solutions to complex societal challenges. It makes far more sense, in that light, to have an active voice in the geoengineering conversation than to seek to suppress it.”


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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 30 Jan 2014, 16:42:23

10 Carbon-Storing Trees, and How to Plant Them

Which trees should I plant?
Studies have identified several optimal tree species for carbon storage, and botanists continue to experiment with new hybrids. Surprisingly, we should avoid trees such as the willow, which store comparably little carbon and emit more harmful volatile organic compounds. When choosing trees to plant, consider:

- Fast growing trees store the most carbon during their first decades, often a tree’s most productive period.

- Long-lived trees can keep carbon stored for generations without releasing it in decomposition.

- Large leaves and wide crowns enable maximum photosynthesis.

- Native species will thrive in your soil and best support local wildlife.

- Low-maintenance, disease-resistant species will do better without greenhouse-gas-producing fertilizers and equipment.

Consider these reliable and versatile star-performers. The “best trees” vary by region, so look around local parks to see what’s hardy in your climate zone.

1. Yellow Poplar (or Tulip Tree), the top carbon-storer in one New York City study, works hard under rough conditions.

2. Silver Maple can trap nearly 25,000 pounds of CO2 in a 55 year period, according to the Center for Urban Forests.

3. Oak (White Oak, Willow Oak, Laurel Oak and Scarlet Oak) has adapted to thrive in many climates, provides food and shelter to wildlife.

4. Horse Chestnut grows well in cities; its domed top provides exceptional shade which offers passive cooling benefits.

5. Red Mulberry provides the added benefit of delicious seasonal fruit.

6. London Plane is an excellent choice for urban planning, very tolerant of pollution and root-cramping, resistant to cold and disease.

7. American Sweetgum has brilliant fall colors, is large and long-lived. In the north, consider American Linden instead.

8. Dogwood offers lovely seasonal flowers; this and other particularly dense trees like Black Walnut can store more carbon in a smaller tree.

9. Blue Spruce, widely introduced as an ornamental, thrives in most northern regions; in the Pacific Northwest, Douglas Fir also excels.

10. Pines (White, Red, Ponderosa and Hispaniola) are the most carbon-effective conifer; find out which is right for your zone.

Where trees are most needed?
Cities and suburbs.
In urban “heat islands,” vast stretches of asphalt magnify and reflect sun, sending CO2 directly skyward and creating “dead zones” below. A tree forms an oasis of shade, provides wildlife habitat, and improves air quality. Adding street trees can actually lower summer temperatures through evaporative cooling.


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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 30 Jan 2014, 19:28:14

Nice info. Unfortunately, it looks like most of those are mid-latitude trees. In mid to upper latitudes (anywhere that gets snow at least some of the year and at least some winter sun), trees can be a net-global warmer because of shift of albedo.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 30 Jan 2014, 19:49:03

Yes, you're right as mentioned here. Can we focus on mid-latitudes then?
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Fri 31 Jan 2014, 17:34:43

I suspect that this will have an important bearing on geoengineering. Good excuse to burn more coal?

New catalyst to convert greenhouse gases into chemicals

A team of researchers at the University of Delaware has developed a highly selective catalyst capable of electrochemically converting carbon dioxide -- a greenhouse gas -- to carbon monoxide with 92 percent efficiency. The carbon monoxide then can be used to develop useful chemicals.

The researchers recently reported their findings in Nature Communications.
"Converting carbon dioxide to useful chemicals in a selective and efficient way remains a major challenge in renewable and sustainable energy research," according to Feng Jiao, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and the project's lead researcher.

Co-authors on the paper include Qi Lu, a postdoctoral fellow, and Jonathan Rosen, a graduate student, working with Jiao.

The researchers found that when they used a nano-porous silver electrocatalyst, it was 3,000 times more active than polycrystalline silver, a catalyst commonly used in converting carbon dioxide to useful chemicals.

Silver is considered a promising material for a carbon dioxide reduction catalyst because of it offers high selectivity -- approximately 81 percent -- and because it costs much less than other precious metal catalysts. Additionally, because it is inorganic, silver remains more stable under harsh catalytic environments.
The exceptionally high activity, Jiao said, is likely due to the UD-developed electrocatalyst's extremely large and highly curved internal surface, which is approximately 150 times larger and 20 times intrinsically more active than polycrystalline silver.

Jiao explained that the active sites on the curved internal surface required a much smaller than expected voltage to overcome the activation energy barrier needed drive the reaction.

The resulting carbon monoxide, he continued, can be used as an industry feedstock for producing synthetic fuels, while reducing industrial carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 40 percent.


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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Wed 05 Feb 2014, 17:26:33

http://theforeigner.no/pages/columns/th ... nightmare/

The Norwegian carbon capture and storage nightmare

the political focus on solutions which are not ready for deployment, and which can be used to legitimize continued reliance on fossil fuels in the energy sector, represent a dangerous decoy from the real efforts needed to combat climate change: Energy efficiency and renewable energy. These approaches already deliver huge emission cuts and have a huge future potential in implementing currently-proven solutions, as well as developing new ones.

We will welcome CCS if and when it may be developed to a stage where industrial scale implementation is feasible. Our recommendation would be to focus on capture and storage from cement and other industrial processes rather than coal and gas, as fossil energy needs to be phased out and renewable alternatives are ready to deliver.

But the most important point is that we cannot afford to base our climate policies on such complicated solutions while we have other tools already at hand. The disastrous Mongstad CCS “Moon Landing” should be seen as an important lesson learnt: Don’t dream up technological solutions, work with what we have.

Norway has lost eight years on this project. Don’t copy us.

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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby americandream » Wed 05 Feb 2014, 17:41:49

Graeme wrote:I suspect that this will have an important bearing on geoengineering. Good excuse to burn more coal?


Good excuse basically to continue fouling.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 12 Feb 2014, 17:57:58

The importance of soil carbon conservation in mitigating global climate change

The importance of soil carbon conservation in mitigating global climate change.

Following an extensive examination of the literature on soil-stored carbon published over the last 60 years a group of researchers from the University of Sussex, University of Cambridge and from Italy have collated estimates of global soil organic carbon stocks.
The study, published recently in the journal Carbon Management, draws attention to the extent to which changing the way land is used contributes to rising atmospheric CO2.

The study's leader, Dr Jörn Scharlemann, previously at the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge and now Reader in Ecology & Conservation in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Sussex, described his team's findings as a call to arms. He says: "It's really surprising—although the first soil carbon map we found dates back to the 1950s, we probably still know more about the moon than about soil carbon."


Maps of global carbon distribution show that most soil organic carbon is stored at northern latitudes, with a significant quantity locked up in permafrost regions. As co-author Dr Ed Tanner, of the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, explains: "If we're interested in conserving carbon, which we ought to be, we ought to conserve soils in temperate regions, and plants in tropical regions."


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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 12 Feb 2014, 18:36:17

Graeme wrote:Yes, you're right as mentioned here. Can we focus on mid-latitudes then?


I think they are driving at the tree line moving North. I doubt anyone here is in danger of disrupting that by planting trees.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Subjectivist » Wed 12 Feb 2014, 18:49:25

Newfie wrote:
Graeme wrote:Yes, you're right as mentioned here. Can we focus on mid-latitudes then?


I think they are driving at the tree line moving North. I doubt anyone here is in danger of disrupting that by planting trees.


I'd say that is a fair point, by the time we delibratley plant trees and they mature the wild tree line will have advanced miles further north every year.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 12 Feb 2014, 19:44:23

Highly porous organic polymer shows promise as CO2 trap

As the fight against global warming heats up, scientists around the world are in pursuit of ways to generate natural gas without compromising the environment and human health. But what if there were a way to separate and capture carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas and major contributor to global warming, before it even had a chance to wreak havoc?

A new material – created by a team of Virginia Commonwealth University scientists – may one day do just that. The team, led by Hani M. El-Kaderi, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry in the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences, has been examining materials in the laboratory to advance the clean energy initiative.

In a new study published in the Feb. 11 issue of Chemistry of Materials, a journal of the American Chemical Society, El-Kaderi and colleagues report on the synthesis of a highly porous organic polymer that is able to selectively capture CO2 from flue gas and natural gas. The research is highlighted on the journal's cover.

"CO2 capture from the burning of fossil-based fuels has been proposed as a medium-term solution for global warming until new sources of efficient renewable energies and zero emissions (solar and hydrogen) become available at reasonable cost," El-Kaderi said.

"Because our polymers show high capacity and selectivity for CO2 capture, they can be part of the solution and could inspire researchers in this field to adopt similar materials design strategy to mitigating climate change."


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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 25 Feb 2014, 15:29:44

Geoengineering Ineffective Against Climate Change, Could Make Worse

Current schemes to minimize the havoc caused by global warming by purposefully manipulating Earth's climate are likely to either be relatively useless or actually make things worse, researchers say in a new study.

Now, researchers using a 3D computer model of the Earth have tested the potential benefits and drawbacks of five different geoengineering technologies.

Will it work?

The scientists found that even when several technologies were combined, geoengineering would be unable to prevent average surface temperatures from rising more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) above current temperatures by the year 2100. This is, the current limit that international negotiations are focused on. They were unable to do so even when each technology was deployed continuously and at scales as large as currently deemed possible.

"The potential of most climate engineering methods, even when optimistic deployment scenarios were assumed, were much lower than I had expected," said study author Andreas Oschlies, an earth system modeler at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany.

One strategy, known as afforestation, would irrigate deserts, such as those in Australia and North Africa, to promote the growth of vegetation that can absorb carbon dioxide. However, this vegetation would also absorb sunlight the deserts currently reflect back into space, thus actually contributing to global warming. That finding supports the results of previous studies.

Another tactic, known as artificial ocean upwelling, would use long pipes to pump deep, cold, nutrient-rich water upward in order to cool ocean-surface waters and promote the growth of photosynthetic organisms that can absorb carbon dioxide. However, the scientists noted that if this strategy were ever stopped, the oceans would rebalance their heat levels, potentially causing disastrously rapid climate change.

One approach, known as ocean alkalinization, would dump lime into the water to chemically increase oceanic absorption of carbon dioxide. Another technique, known as ocean iron fertilization, would dump iron into the oceans to boost the growth of photosynthetic organisms that can absorb carbon dioxide. However, like other geoengineering strategies, the models suggest that both are of little use in reducing global temperatures.

The last method, known as solar radiation management, would reduce the amount of sunlight Earth receives, most likely by pumping reflective sulfate-based aerosols into the atmosphere. The subsequent dimming of sunlight on Earth would cool the planet, but the researchers note that carbon dioxide would continue to accumulate in the atmosphere. This suggests that if this strategy were ever halted, the globe would rapidly warm after the aerosols dispersed.

Possible side effects

All in all, these strategies are relatively ineffective; individually, they reduce global warming by less than 8 percent each, assuming carbon dioxide emission levels continue to remain as high as they are now. In all simulations, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels will still reach more than twice current levels by the end of the century, the researchers found.


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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 05 Mar 2014, 00:17:40

Climate engineering ideas no longer considered pie in the sky

As international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions stall, schemes to slow global warming using fantastical technologies once dismissed as a sideshow are getting serious consideration in Washington.

Ships that spew salt into the air to block sunlight. Mirrored satellites designed to bounce solar rays back into space. Massive "reverse" power plants that would suck carbon from the atmosphere. These are among the ideas the National Academy of Sciences has charged a panel of some of the nation's top climate thinkers to investigate. Several agencies requested the inquiry, including the CIA.

At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, scientists are modeling what such technologies might do to weather patterns. At the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., a fund created by Microsoft founder Bill Gates — an enthusiast of research into climate engineering — helps bankroll another such effort.

"There is a level of seriousness about these strategies that didn't exist a decade ago, when it was considered just a game," said Ken Caldeira, a scientist with the Carnegie Institution at Stanford University, who sits on the National Academy of Sciences panel. "Attitudes have changed dramatically."


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