Scientists evaluate Earth-cooling strategies with geoengineering simulations

Posted: August 24, 2022 by oldbrew in aerosols, climate, geo-engineering, modelling, pollution, Temperature, Uncertainty
Tags: ,

Layers of Earth’s atmosphere

Q: What could possibly go wrong? A: Even the sky’s not the limit.
– – –
A group of international scientists led by Cornell University is—more rigorously and systematically than ever before—evaluating if and how the stratosphere could be made just a little bit “brighter,” reflecting more incoming sunlight so that an ever-warming Earth maintains its cool, says

Their work is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Solar radiation modification—or solar geoengineering, as it is sometimes called—is a potential climate change mitigation strategy that involves injecting sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere, so more sunlight bounces off the Earth’s atmosphere.

In conjunction with other strategies, like cutting greenhouse gas emissions, this could help keep the planet’s temperature from rising too high.

“Even if we act aggressively on climate change, it will still get worse,” said lead author Doug MacMartin, senior researcher and lecturer at Cornell’s College of Engineering and a faculty fellow at the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability. “We face difficult decisions in the coming decades on whether or not to complement other climate-change mitigation strategies with methods for reflecting sunlight.”

While cooling the climate with the help of a known pollutant could reduce some of the impacts from climate change, it would also have other effects, from precipitation shifts to acid rain, leading to trade-offs that remain unclear.

There would also be significant challenges regarding how the world would make decisions surrounding deployment. A more systematic assessment of these trade-offs, comparing the impacts associated with a range of different choices, could inform these decisions.

“Anybody who has not heard of this strategy before, the first reaction should be ‘Wow, you can’t be serious. That sounds horrible,'” MacMartin said. “And it might be, but climate change isn’t good either. We might be past the point of easy solutions. If we want to be able to provide future decision-makers with the best possible information, we need to compare the risks of using this technology with the risks of not using it.”
. . .
Over Earth’s long geologic history, volcanic eruptions have occasionally thrown sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere, cooling the planet.

“In that sense, we’re not talking about introducing something completely unnatural,” MacMartin said.

Full article here.
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National Science Foundation:
Injecting Sulfate Particles into Stratosphere Could Have Drastic Impact on Earth’s Ozone Layer (2008)

  1. […] Scientists evaluate Earth-cooling strategies with geoengineering simulations […]

  2. catweazle666 says:

    Heh, what could possibly go wrong…

  3. Gamecock says:

    Project to be led by Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

  4. JB says:

    Then the earth’s atmosphere will try to correct such insult, making things worse than ever.

    Does a person have to go to college to become this stupid?

  5. oldbrew says:

    In the paper, the scientists list several scenarios that explore different choices, and present new climate model simulation results.

    Climate models. Hmmm…
    . . .
    For starters, it would require a small fleet of specialized, high-flying aircraft, and none currently exist with the ability to deliver an adequate payload of sulfur dioxide, which would naturally be converted to sulfate aerosols, at a high enough altitude.

    We’re saved – for now. Unless they use rockets? Probably too expensive.

  6. oldbrew says:

    This 2008 article from the National Science Foundation (re. a study by NCAR) kills the plan?

    Injecting Sulfate Particles into Stratosphere Could Have Drastic Impact on Earth’s Ozone Layer

    Much-discussed climate change mitigation strategy may do more harm than good
    . . .
    “Our research indicates that trying to artificially cool off the planet may be a perilous endeavor,” Tilmes says. “While climate change is a major threat, this solution could create severe problems for society.”
    . . .
    The study found that injections of small particles over the next 20 years could reduce the ozone layer by 100 to 230 Dobson Units. The average thickness of the ozone layer in the Northern Hemisphere is 300 Dobson Units. (A Dobson Unit is a common measure of ozone.)

    So, not a solution or mitigation.

  7. Hasbeen says:

    No academic worthy of lecturing engineering at any university could possibly believe this crap.

    Thus these suggestions prove that some, probably many, academics will do anything to increase their grant funding, no matter how dangerous to us.

  8. Saighdear says:

    @ Hasbeen, “No academic worthy of lecturing engineering at any university…” Yes that’s kinda what I’ve been saying for years: even about our current flock of EVs and Windpower. but more especially about that all important plant food gas, Theory into practice for research and future development is fine: but the reality? Quantum mechanics, etc and recent “surprising” discoveries .. Hmmm.

  9. Coeur de Lion says:

    The present ‘climate change’ warming is entirely beneficial. These idiots will trigger a Younger Dryas and we will all be sorry

  10. Chaswarnertoo says:

    I like the Pacific cloud ships idea. And if it cocks up you can just turn them off.

  11. ivan says:

    @ Hasbeen. Are there any academics worthy of being called engineers in any university? I ask because a company I consulted for got a new crop of so called engineers and there wasn’t one of them qualified to do anything other than sweep the floor. As an example one of the drafting graduates was asked to modify a set if drawings because a client wanted a smaller unit – what did he do, he opened autocad, pulled up the drawings and made the unit smaller by reducing everything which made it impossible to machine the mounting for some of the parts required.

  12. oldbrew says:

    You couldn’t make it up…

    Europe’s record-breaking heatwave will be an ‘average’ summer sooner than you think
    Thursday 25 August 2022

    The heatwaves will kick in even if countries stick to their current climate targets, but refreezing the Arctic could curb dangerous changes, former chief scientific advisor Sir David King says. [bold added]
    – – –
    Climate change: Scientists call for ‘refreezing’ of the Arctic after several ‘never before’ events
    CCAG researchers call for urgent research on refreezing the Arctic, and say many other solutions already exist.
    29 July 2021

    One of the ways to manage it involves attempting to refreeze the Arctic. Sir David [King] along with many others are exploring the possibility of creating white cloud cover that will come over the Arctic Sea during the three months of the polar summer .

    They hope this would reflect sunlight away so that the growth of ice over the Arctic sea during the previous winter is retained through the summer.

    “And if we could just repeat that every year for the coming 20 or 30 years, then we might manage to create the ice cover that is needed to protect the Arctic Sea,” he told Sky News.
    – – –
    He has, inadvertently or not, admitted cloud cover is a key climate factor 😎

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