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The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 30 Jan 2014, 20:28:14

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, 20:49:03

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, 18:34:43

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, 18:26:33

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, 18:41:49

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, 18:57:58

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, 19:36:17

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, 19:49:25

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, 20:44:23

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, 16:29:44

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, 01:17:40

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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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Wed 05 Mar 2014, 02:19:19

Nice pair of articles, G. The juxtaposition is striking. If anyone doubted just how f'ed we are, they would just have to read these two. (Of course, if they were already in a technofantasy mindset, they would just ignore the first one and jump on the second.)

We are an insane child throwing ever more blankets over ourselves while insisting that mom (scientists) find some fantastical way to cool us off since we're getting so hot--even as we continue to throw ever thick blankets over ourselves at an ever greater rate. Really, though, no analogy or comparison can capture the sheer inanity and horror of our idiocy.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby americandream » Wed 05 Mar 2014, 02:33:14

db

Never forget that we are all in the fishbowl of capitalist culture so thinking outside the bowl calls for a deep level of awareness. The ordinary man or woman on the street are essentially in the grip of a self reinforcing mindset that will be extremely challenging to penetrate. Whether we will be able to is debateable given the hold this culture has over minds.

This reminds me of the reactions I get when I get around the place...which I invariably do by walking in most instances. The startled looks of bewilderment that I am not driving say it all. So even though many of us are aware of the carbon issue, the all pervading culture still maintains a compelling hold over our minds.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 05 Mar 2014, 18:46:37

Soil as Carbon Storehouse: New Weapon in Climate Fight?

In the 19th century, as land-hungry pioneers steered their wagon trains westward across the United States, they encountered a vast landscape of towering grasses that nurtured deep, fertile soils.

Today, just three percent of North America's tallgrass prairie remains. Its disappearance has had a dramatic impact on the landscape and ecology of the U.S., but a key consequence of that transformation has largely been overlooked: a massive loss of soil carbon into the atmosphere. The importance of soil carbon - how it is leached from the earth and how that process can be reversed - is the subject of intensifying scientific investigation, with important implications for the effort to slow the rapid rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

According to Rattan Lal, director of Ohio State University's Carbon Management and Sequestration Center, the world's cultivated soils have lost between 50 and 70 percent of their original carbon stock, much of which has oxidized upon exposure to air to become CO2. Now, armed with rapidly expanding knowledge about carbon sequestration in soils, researchers are studying how land restoration programs in places like the former North American prairie, the North China Plain, and even the parched interior of Australia might help put carbon back into the soil.

Absent carbon and critical microbes, soil becomes mere dirt, a process of deterioration that's been rampant around the globe. Many scientists say that regenerative agricultural practices can turn back the carbon clock, reducing atmospheric CO2 while also boosting soil productivity and increasing resilience to floods and drought. Such regenerative techniques include planting fields year-round in crops or other cover, and agroforestry that combines crops, trees, and animal husbandry.


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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Wed 05 Mar 2014, 19:40:42

Permafrost alone constitutes about half of all carbon in all soils. So it is unlikely that adding carbon to soils is going to offset even this one feedback. And keep in mind that there is no guarantee that carbon stored in soils will stay there--in fact it is quite likely that most soils will degrade, dry up, wash away...one way or another losing most of their carbon to the air and sea.

Not that I'm opposed to these approaches. I think they are our pretty much our best hope on the carbon capture and storage front.

I just don't think we should ever think of any one strategy as being any kind of silver bullet.

Keep up the good posts and links, though, G. It's all good fodder for discussion.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 05 Mar 2014, 19:56:42

Here's a couple of quotes from the full article:

Scientists say that more carbon resides in soil than in the atmosphere and all plant life combined; there are 2,500 billion tons of carbon in soil, compared with 800 billion tons in the atmosphere and 560 billion tons in plant and animal life. And compared to many proposed geoengineering fixes, storing carbon in soil is simple: It’s a matter of returning carbon where it belongs.


As basic as soil carbon is, there’s much scientists are just learning about it, including how to make the most of its CO2 sequestration capacity. One promising strategy, says Goreau, is bolstering soil microbiology by adding beneficial microbes to stimulate the soil cycles where they have been interrupted by use of insecticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. As for agroforestry, programs with greater species diversity are better able to maximize the storage of carbon than monocultures. Many researchers are looking to biochar — produced when plant matter, manure, or other organic material is heated in a zero- or low-oxygen environment — for its ability to turn problem areas into productive sites while building soil carbon. Says Goreau, "Vast areas of deforested land that have been abandoned after soil degradation are excellent candidates for replanting and reforestation using biochar from the weeds now growing there."
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Wed 05 Mar 2014, 20:29:46

Thanks for the added info. Pretty much what I have heard. Permafrost has 1300-1700 Gt C, so half or a bit more than half that of all other soils combined and over twice as much C as in all plants and animals. Of course the fossil carbon we are un-sequestering every day dwarfs both of these in total potential size (and destruction). And we haven't even begun to talk about clathrates.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 06 Mar 2014, 18:26:44

Don't waste CO2, turn it into bottles and glue

IF HUMANITY is to avoid dangerous climate change, we need to capture hundreds of billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide. But what to do with it all? There is no shortage of places to bury it (see "Trailblazing power plant is first to bury its carbon"), but we can at least put some of it to good use. A few start-up companies view CO2 as a resource rather than a waste product. They are using CO2 as the raw material for making products including superglue and fertiliser.

Liquid Light of Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, showed off its prototype CO2 converter at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit in Washington DC last week. About the length and width of a coffee table, and a few inches thick, the module is a layer cake of steel and plastic. Inside it are catalysts that can produce more than 60 carbon-based chemicals, from just CO2 and electricity. By linking many of these devices together, a chemical plant could convert CO2 into hundreds of thousands of tonnes of products in a year, says co-founder Kyle Teamey.

Helping chemical companies switch their feedstock to CO2 does more than boost their green credentials. "Almost all of their expenses are based on buying oil or natural gas or biomass," says Teamey. So releasing it into the air is perverse. "It's not just pollution, it's actually losing the value of the stuff they bought in the first place."


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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Mon 17 Mar 2014, 20:32:55

One Solution to Climate Change and Growing Healthier Food Is Right Under Our Feet

Barbra Streisand !!!

Imagine if we could quickly reduce the threat of climate change and grow healthier crops at the same time, without the sacrifice the coal and oil industry tells us are inevitable! Turns out we can, and the solution is literally right under our feet.

As we know now, too much carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere is disastrous for our planet. CO2 traps heat and results in the ice caps melting, more extreme weather, sea levels rising and a variety of consequences that will disrupt life as we know it.

Much of the CO2 in the atmosphere (as much as 30 percent) is leaked by industrial farming. Climate scientists tell us there should be no more than 350 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere and we are already at 400 ppm. What does this mean? We are racing against the carbon clock to combat climate change.

However... CO2 in the ground, where it naturally occurs, is in fact necessary for fertile soil, and results in healthier and more drought-resistant cropland. We can keep CO2 in the ground through a natural process that traps it in a "carbon sink." That process is organic or "carbon farming."

We all remember learning about photosynthesis in school. Plants manufacture much of their food from sunlight, water and CO2, turning those molecules into food. The CO2 is exchanged with the fungi and bacteria in the soil that need it to make richer soil and, in turn, healthier plants. In doing so, the CO2 is captured in the ground. In this natural ecological barter system, carbon is sequestered, helping plants grow while keeping the soil healthy. Industrial farming literally prevents this underground transaction from happening by releasing the CO2 into the atmosphere.

Organic farms, like the famous Rodale Farming System Trial in Pennsylvania, showed that building up soil carbon has other benefits too. It also acts like a water sponge and helps maintain crop yields when conventionally grown crops are dying of thirst during droughts. Unfortunately, extreme droughts may become the new normal as climate change alters our weather patterns, giving us yet another reason to implement organic farming on a large scale. According to the USDA-funded Marin Carbon Project, the overuse use of insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers also release what is normally sequestered carbon -- adding to the problems of climate change.

The good news is that if humans get out of the way, CO2 can be tucked back in the soil to do good, instead of being trapped in the atmosphere doing harm. A U.N. report noted using carbon sinks through natural farming methods could reduce the carbon in the atmosphere to pre-industrial levels in just 50 years!


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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Tue 18 Mar 2014, 10:47:27

LOL--I thought you meant that Streisand was under our feet and was a solution to CC!!
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