People are apparently not willing to pay the price to switch from an intensive fossil fuel based system in time to lower atmospheric CO2 by very much very fast. 2010 witnessed the most greenhouse gas ever released into the air by people. The next 5 years is critical as we begin to lock in the effects of carbon misuse.
For these reasons, it seems very likely that geoengineering options will be deployed in a last ditch effort to mitigate the effects of our activities. As a first step Geoengineering alternatives are close to real world testing. This page will follow the results of testing.
You will need an umbrella less often in the USA and Europe if Geoengineering decreases rainfall
Solar Radiation Management Experiment
Despite growing concerns over the effects of Solar Radiation Management, experiments continue. In Gates Foundation work, Harvard scientists are planning to spray sulfate particles
into the air 80,000 over Fort Sumner, NM. The experiment is to test the techniques and process used employed in CRM methods. It appears that this will happen.
The justification used for the experiment is classic: “David Keith, one of the investigators, has argued that solar geoengineering could be an inexpensive method to slow down global warming” … The Guardian. It is apparently all about the money.
Geoengineering to mess up rainfall patterns
A team of French, German, Norwegian, and UK Climate Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology concludes that climate modified by geoengineering will also seriously mess with rainfall. Ouch, hard on the crops.
Global rainfall would fall about 5%. Then, rain in big areas of North America and Eurasia
could drop by around 15%. The Amazon would get 20% less if results of this work are
correct. Ouch, hard on the rain forest too.
Carbon Sequestration becomes a possibility
The UK Institution of Mechanical Engineers claims to have carbon capture technology that will be operational by the year 2018. The tree sized device soaks up carbon over 1000 times more than an actual tree. Soaked up carbon can be removed and sequestered underground.
Researchers at Texas A&M are also working on a carbon absorbing device. They are working on a metal organic framework which is claimed to have the highest surface area of any known material. A half inch cube has the surface area of a football field. CO2 is stuck to that surface, removed, and sequestered. The frame will ready to deploy in 3-5 years.
The last carbon sucking method in the works is an algae paint. The paint works passively removing CO2. After saturated, it is removed and processed.
Ozone Layer Engineering
One area of potential geoengineering success appears to be a partial restoration of the Ozone layer. The method known as OLG or Ozone Layer Engineering aims to replace lost oxygen in upper atmospheric layers (9-21 miles high) with new oxygen. The plan involves unmanned planes discharging O2 into the layer.
Sulfate Injection – It will not work everywhere
Injecting sulfate particles into the atmosphere may not only work everywhere, and it might cause problems of its own.
The University of Washington has concluded that you can not just add aerosols to reverse the effects of CO2 on climate. After aerosol injections, there will still be areas not affected by the treatment.
Circulation patterns are complicated, and constantly changing as more CO2 is added. There could still be some big surprises, like large ice sheets melting.
2010 – The most greenhouse gas ever
Data just in: Global output of carbon dioxide rose record amounts says the U.S. Department of Energy. 564 million more tons (512 million metric tons) of carbon went into the air in 2010 than in 2009. That is a 6% increase in one year. People take note!
Oceans Will Continue to Acid Up
In one of the first not reversible trends of mocern increased atmospheric carbon concentrations, it appears that our oceans will become increasingly acidic. Acid content of ocean waters has gone up 30% since the start of the industrial revolution. The trend continues.
Geoengineering efforts presented here will not stop the lowering of oceanic pH levels. This is not good news.
Roofers Stick to Roofing?
One SRM alternative is painting roofs white to reflect sunlight back to space. Intuitively this seems like a great idea. New research results show however that light reflected from roofs could actually disrupt cloud cover. This actually increases the amount of sun hitting the earth which increases warming. Oh well.
This is an example of unintended consequences of a seemingly straight forward great idea.