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Biotech Science

Geo-Engineering to stop Climate Change 551

MattSparkes writes "Following the latest report of the United Nations climate change panel, there has been a flurry of renewed interest in so-called geo-engineering. This is the theory of using technological schemes to stop climate change. These can range from sun-shades orbiting the Earth, to pumping millions of tonnes of sulfur into the atmosphere to the bizarre idea of painting the ground white to reflect more light. Let's reduce our emissions now, before I have to go and paint my roof bright white." Thanks to jamie for pointing out another potential solution of seeding the southern oceans with iron to spur plankton growth.
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Geo-Engineering to stop Climate Change

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  • by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <slashdot.keirstead@org> on Monday February 12, 2007 @11:52AM (#17983384) Homepage

    Well you must have a bad batch, I have had every light on my house running on CFLs for over 2 years now, not a single burnout. They should have had a 5 year warranty on them - why didn't you pursue it?

    As far as mercury content - I suggest you read up. Not only is the amount 1/5 of that found in a common watch battery, because you only replace the bulbs every 5-6 years you're using less mercury than someone who buys one AA battery in 5 years : s/questions-answers.cfm?attr=4#mercury []

  • by HoneyBeeSpace ( 724189 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @11:57AM (#17983440) Homepage
    The EdGCM [] project has wrapped a NASA global climate model (GCM) in a GUI (OS X and Win). Our goal is to 'democratize' climate change science by allowing anyone to run a global climate model. If you can attach some numbers to these geo-engineering techniques you can study their effects yourself.

    For example, to simulate the sun-shade, you can just turn down the sun a few percent with a checkbox and a slider!. Painting roofs would be equivalent to increasing albedo slightly, and I don't think the model would let you pump sulfur into the atmosphere (that is hard-coded, not exposed to the GUI interface), but you can change the amount of all the greenhouse gasses via the UI.

    Supercomputers and advanced FORTRAN programmers are no longer necessary to run your own GCM.

    Disclaimer: I'm the project developer.
  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @12:43PM (#17984048)
    All it took was about a 30% price drop in the price of gasoline and the hybrid companies have vehicle surplus. Even Prius has a marketing incentive now after years of dealer premiums.

    It took a sustained oil price increase like 1973-1983, to reduce oil usage. US consumption actually declined throughout the 80s until the invention of SUV which bypassed mileage contraints because they were trucks.
  • Re:anything (Score:5, Informative)

    by electroniceric ( 468976 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @03:22PM (#17986542)

    Twenty years ago, climate research became politicised in favour of one particular hypothesis, which redefined the subject as the study of the effect of greenhouse gases. As a result, the rebellious spirits essential for innovative and trustworthy science are greeted with impediments to their research careers.
    Evidently the scientist in Mr. Caldwell and yourself feels no need to produce repeatable evidence for this claim. Show us the data, or quit repeating hearsay.

    And while the media usually find mavericks at least entertaining, in this case they often imagine that anyone who doubts the hypothesis of man-made global warming must be in the pay of the oil companies. As a result, some key discoveries in climate research go almost unreported.
    Is that why a guy who assumed the title of State Climatologist so he could sow doubt about global warming appears on CNN at least an order of magnitude more often than one of NASA's most senior and respected scientists? That definitely sounds like a media cover-up to me. C'mon, man, if you're going to use the tobacco lobby's disinformation techniques, at least use them with some finesse so they aren't just flopping around in the open all exposed and gooey.

    He saw from compilations of weather satellite data that cloudiness varies according to how many atomic particles are coming in from exploded stars. More cosmic rays, more clouds. The sun's magnetic field bats away many of the cosmic rays, and its intensification during the 20th century meant fewer cosmic rays, fewer clouds, and a warmer world. On the other hand the Little Ice Age was chilly because the lazy sun let in more cosmic rays, leaving the world cloudier and gloomier.
    Clearly such mundane and well-researched explanations for warming as carbon-driven greenhouse effect must not be right, if far-fetched ideas like cosmic rays could be invoked to magically produce clouds that give us the explanation we hope is true. Who needs Occam's Razor when we've got Occam's Crazy Straw?!? As it happens, my father has spent years studying cosmic ray showers. His group, which works out of a ragtag lab called Los Alamos, is obvious unfamiliar with the power of Occam's Crazy Straw, so they have made no predictions of global temperature change whatsoever.

    So one awkward question you can ask, when you're forking out those extra taxes for climate change, is "Why is east Antarctica getting colder?" It makes no sense at all if carbon dioxide is driving global warming. While you're at it, you might inquire whether Gordon Brown will give you a refund if it's confirmed that global warming has stopped. The best measurements of global air temperatures come from American weather satellites, and they show wobbles but no overall change since 1999.
    Amazing - someone must have broken into your ISP and blocked: [], because it shows exactly the opposite effect (strong increases in surface air temps, offset by cooling in the stratosphere). Of course those silly NASA scientists are morons compared with some cold-fusion type cranks in a Danish basement producing unpublicable results. And as has been explained here countless times (though sadly without use of Occam's Crazy Straw), the word "global" next to "warming" means "averaging all over the globe", and therefore local cooling is not only permitted, it's often expected.

    You have done an amazing job researching and writing a book that incorporates absolutely no verifiable scientific fact, but relies exclusively on crackpots, unlikely theories, and misinterpretation of existing science, and you are to be roundly commended for your Herculean efforts. Move over Intelligent Design, there's a new pseudoscience in town.
  • Re:anything (Score:5, Informative)

    by Spoke ( 6112 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @03:25PM (#17986582)

    Enthusiasm for the global-warming scare also ensures that heatwaves make headlines, while contrary symptoms, such as this winter's billion-dollar loss of Californian crops to unusual frost, are relegated to the business pages.

    I stopped taking the author seriously after I read this line. The author obviously doesn't understand global warming, either and is using examples out of context to support his theory.

    Global warming will cause an overall warming effect across the entire planet. Over the entire planet, some areas of the earth will cool significantly, some will not change at all, and others will get warmer. Weather in general will get more extreme - This means more drought, more heatwaves and yes, more freezes and freak blizzards.

    While sea-ice has diminished in the Arctic since 1978, it has grown by 8% in the Southern Ocean.

    Nice, so give a hard number for how much ice has increased in the souther ocean, but decline to state by what percentage sea ice has declined in the Arctic. I suspect that Arctic ice has decreased by significantly more than 8%. I'm also sure that the collapse of that huge ice shelf in the Antarctic may have had something to do with the increase in sea ice in the southern oceans.

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"