Tag Archives | Geoengineering

Let’s Just Re-Engineer The Climate

“Well, maybe not. Geo-engineering isn’t the easy and painless fix for climate change that many proponents say it is,” says Mark Buchanan, physicist and author, former editor with Nature and New Scientist, at Medium:

Harvard engineering professor David Keith is a big proponent of geo-engineering — using technology to save the planet from climate change. Maybe we’ll do some Solar Radiation Management (SRM) by injecting sulfate aerosols at high altitudes to “turn down the sun,” reducing the amount of its radiation hitting the Earth’s surface. Or we might instead find ways to suck the CO2 we’ve put into the atmosphere back out and pump it into the ground.

Cloud_Seeding 

To be sure, Keith thinks that the first and most important thing we can do to tackle climate change is to reduce CO2 emissions, but he thinks it would be crazy to be against exploring these other options as “Plan B.” Indeed, he has an analogy:

Imagine a doctor refusing to administer chemotherapy to a stage III lung-cancer patient out of fear that it would reduce his incentive to cut his smoking habit from two packs to one pack a day.

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Congress’ Hare-Brained Scheme to Shoot Rain From the Skies

dyrenforthThe headline sounds like the latest Snowpiercer-style geoengineering, but in fact it’s a history piece by Cynthia Barnett at Politico looking back at the original “Rain Maker”:

In August 1891, Robert St. George Dyrenforth, a Washington patent attorney, arrived by train to the small Midland, Texas, station in a desolate stretch of the southern plains. He had sent ahead a freight car with a bewildering assemblage of rabble: mortars, casks, barometers, electrical conductors, seven tons of cast-iron borings, six kegs of blasting powder, eight tons of sulfuric acid, one ton of potash, 500 pounds of manganese oxide, an apparatus for making oxygen and another for hydrogen, 10- and 20-foot-tall muslin balloons and supplies for building enormous kites.

Dyrenforth, his odd freight, and a small group of self-styled experts—“all of whom know a great deal, some of them having become bald-headed in their earnest search for theoretical knowledge,” joked a pundit—were met by local cattle ranchers.

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U.S. National Academy of Science Says Work On Planetary Geoengineering Should Start

While the U.S. National Academy of Science is saying that it’s too soon to actually geoengineer the planet to combat climate change, work on developing appropriate geoengineering technology should start, reports the Guardian:

Climate change has advanced so rapidly that the time has come to look at options for a planetary-scale intervention, the National Academy of Science said on Tuesday.

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“Cloud Seeding” by DooFi (CC)

 

The scientists were categorical that geoengineering should not be deployed now, and was too risky to ever be considered an alternative to cutting the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

But it was better to start research on such unproven technologies now – to learn more about their risks – than to be stampeded into climate-shifting experiments in an emergency, the scientists said.

With that, a once-fringe topic in climate science moved towards the mainstream – despite the repeated warnings from the committee that cutting carbon pollution remained the best hope for dealing with climate change.

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Planet Hackers: How Close Are We To Geoengineering Earth?

Geoengineering is either Earth’s savior or its destroyer. Motherboard‘s Brian Merchant investigates:

The scientists had whipped themselves into a frenzy. Gathered in a stuffy conference room in the bowels of a hotel in Berlin, scores of respected climate researchers, mostly middle-aged, mostly white, and mostly men, were arguing about a one-page document that had tentatively been christened the  ​“Berlin Declaration.” It proposed ground rules for conducting experiments to explore how we might artificially cool the Earth—planet hacking, basically.

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“SPICE SRM overview” by Hughhunt – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

It’s most commonly called ​geoengineering. Think Bond-villain-caliber schemes but with better intentions. It’s a highly controversial field that studies ideas like ​launching high-flying jets to dust the skies with sulfur in order to block out a small fraction of the solar rays entering the atmosphere, or sending a fleet of drones across the ocean to spray seawater into clouds to ​make them brighter and thus reflect more sunlight.

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Geoengineering Climate Change

Today’s New York Times has a lengthy front page (A1) story focusing on geoengineering “tools” to change our climate (hopefully for the better, although a devastating Snowpiercer-like scenario must surely be at the back of most people’s minds):

UTRECHT, the Netherlands — The solution to global warming, Olaf Schuiling says, lies beneath our feet.

For Dr. Schuiling, a retired geochemist, climate salvation would come in the form of olivine, a green-tinted mineral found in abundance around the world. When exposed to the elements, it slowly takes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Olivine has been doing this naturally for billions of years, but Dr. Schuiling wants to speed up the process by spreading it on fields and beaches and using it for dikes, pathways, even sandboxes. Sprinkle enough of the crushed rock around, he says, and it will eventually remove enough CO2 to slow the rise in global temperatures.

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Olivine. Photo by Psammophile (CC)

 

“Let the earth help us to save the earth,” said Dr.

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Chris Bovey, Chemtrails Conspiracy Troll

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What do you make of Chris Bovey? Assuming his story is true, does his fake chemtrail spraying video prove anything more than it is possible to hoodwink ardent believers of chemtrails / geoengineering theories? Vice presents his story as a debunking, while it seems to me more akin to claiming that because some crop circles are man made, then necessarily all crop circles are hoaxes…

The chemtrails conspiracy theory has been circulating for a while among the same sorts of people who believe that 9/11 was an inside job and celebrities are being controlled by the CIA. In brief, chemtrail enthusiasts think that those white trails of vapor you see pouring out of planes are actually nasty chemical or biological agents that governments are using to geo-engineer the weather, create a vast electromagnetic super-weapon, control the population, or—well, you get the idea. There’s no science or proof whatsoever behind this, but plenty of people are still willing to entertain this vaguely supervillain-esque notion.

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Researchers Warn Against Abrupt Stop of Geoengineering Method

Pic: BeckyQ (CC)

Pic: BeckyQ (CC)

It could be dangerous if we start injecting sulfate particles into the atmosphere to curb global warming and then suddenly stop.

Via EurekaAlert:

As a range of climate change mitigation scenarios are discussed, University of Washington researchers have found that the injection of sulfate particles into the atmosphere to reflect sunlight and curb the effects of global warming could pose a severe threat if not maintained indefinitely and supported by strict reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The new study, published today, 18 February, in IOP Publishing’s journal Environmental Research Letters, has highlighted the risks of large and spatially expansive temperature increases if solar radiation management (SRM) is abruptly stopped once it has been implemented.

SRM is a proposed method of geoengineering whereby tiny sulfate-based aerosols are released into the upper atmosphere to reflect sunlight and cool the planet. The technique has been shown to be economically and technically feasible; however, its efficacy depends on its continued maintenance, without interruption from technical faults, global cooperation breakdown or funding running dry.

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Geoengineers Can Hack the Environment Legally

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Pic: Stopsprayingcalifornia.com

Got a hankering to do a little weather modification? Wanna play the HAARP or Chemtrail your way across the clear blue sky? Feel free! According to researcher Jesse Reynolds, technical trials are at worst legally ambiguous and at best (for the would be geo-engineer) smiled upon by national governments.

Via New Scientist:

To find out the legal status of such trials, Jesse Reynolds of Tilburg Law School in the Netherlands went through the fine print of 15 major environmental treaties, including the CBD, the LCP and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. He found that apart from the LCP’s ruling on dumping material into the sea, which is legally binding, the language of the other treaties actually permits field tests. The CBD statement, for example, merely “invites” governments to ensure no geoengineering activities take place, rather than making it a legal requirement to do so (Washington and Lee Journal of Energy, Climate, and the Environment, ssrn.com/=2326913).

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CIA Backs $630,000 Scientific Study on Controlling Global Climate

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From reflective metal particles in the clouds, to HAARP, to dumping 100 tonnes of iron into the pacific ocean. Now the CIA wants in on the action, or are they just trying to protect us?

via Mother Jones

The Central Intelligence Agency is funding a scientific study that will investigate whether humans could use geoengineering to alter Earth’s environment and stop climate change. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) will run the 21-month project, which is the first NAS geoengineering study financially supported by an intelligence agency. With the spooks’ money, scientists will study how humans might influence weather patterns, assess the potential dangers of messing with the climate, and investigate possible national security implications of geoengineering attempts.

The total cost of the project is $630,000, which NAS is splitting with the CIA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and NASA. The NAS website says that “the US intelligence community” is funding the project, and William Kearney, a spokesman for NAS, told Mother Jones that phrase refers to the CIA.

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7.7 Earthquake Hits Where The World’s Largest Geoengineering Experiment Took Place

Source: USGS

Terry Wilson of the Canadian Awareness Network links the rogue geoengineering project by Russ George to a massive earthquake off the coast of British Columbia:

A 7.7 Earthquake hit the coast of British Columbia on Saturday night, and there has since been as many as 40 aftershocks today. Including one that measured 6.4 in magnitude. The quake sent many residents on the coast, fleeing for higher ground due to tsunami warnings. That where issued as far away as Hawaii.

The Earthquake originated on the island of Haida Gwaii, other wise know as the Queen Charlotte Islands region. The islands are located along the Queen Charlotte Fault, which is an active transform fault that produces significant earthquakes every 3–30 years. (the last major one happening in 1949, that measure 8.1 in magnitude)

As soon as I caught the news of this quake today, the first thing that came to mind was.

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