Study: ‘Climate Engineering': minor potential to reduce warming, major side effects

GEOMAR researchers show limitations and side effects of large-scale climate intervention

With global greenhouse gas emissions continuing to increase proposals to limit the effects of climate change through the large-scale manipulation of the Earth system are increasingly being discussed. Researchers at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel have now studied with computer simulations the long-term global consequences of several “climate engineering” methods.

They show that all the proposed methods would either be unable to significantly reduce global warming if CO2 emissions remain high, or they could not be stopped without causing dangerous climate disruption. The study is published in the international journal “Nature Communications”.

Despite international agreements on climate protection and political declarations of intent, global greenhouse gas emissions have not decreased. On the contrary, they continue to increase. With a growing world population and significant industrialization in emerging markets such as India and China the emission trend reversal necessary to limit global warming seems to be unlikely. Therefore, large-scale methods to artificially slow down global warming are increasingly being discussed. They include proposals to fertilize the oceans, so that stimulated plankton can remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, or to reduce the Sun’s incoming radiation with atmospheric aerosols or mirrors in space, so as to reduce climate warming.

All of these approaches can be classified as ”climate engineering”. ”However, the long-term consequences and side effects of these methods have not been adequately studied,” says Dr. David Keller from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. Together with colleagues the expert in earth system modelling has compared several Climate Engineering methods using a computer model. The results of the study have now been published in the internationally renowned online journal “Nature Communications”.

”The problem with previous research was that in most cases the methods were studied with different models using different assumptions and different sets of earth system components, making it difficult to compare the effects and side effects of different methods,” Dr. Keller says. He adds: “We wanted to simulate different climate engineering methods using the same basic assumptions and Earth system model”. For their study, the researchers chose five well-known climate engineering approaches: The reduction of incoming solar radiation, the afforestation of large desert areas in North Africa and Australia, and three different techniques aimed at increasing ocean carbon uptake. In parallel, the scientists also simulated future changes in the Earth system without climate engineering, based on the high-CO2 emission scenario used by the UN IPCC.

Even under ideal conditions assumed in the simulations, the potential benefits of the various climate engineering methods were limited. Only a continuous reduction of solar radiation could prevent the Earth from warming significantly. The afforestation of the Sahara and the Australian outback, however even caused some additional global warming: “The forests removed carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but at the same time the earth’s surface became darker and could store more heat,” Dr. Keller explains of this phenomenon. All of the other techniques showed significant side effects, too. For example, the fertilization of the oceans allowed plankton to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, but also changed the size of ocean oxygen minimum zones.

Another important question for the researchers: What happens if climate engineering is stopped after a few decades for technical or political reasons? ”For several methods we saw a rapid change in the simulated climate when climate engineering ended,” says Dr. Keller. For example, if after 50 years the sun’s rays were no longer partially blocked, the Earth warmed by several degrees within a few decades. “This change would be much faster than the current rate of climate change, with potentially even more catastrophic consequences,” says Keller.

The study is the basis for further research in the priority program “Climate Engineering: Risks, Challenges, Opportunities?” of the German Research Foundation (DFG), coordinated by co-author Prof. Dr. Andreas Oschlies from GEOMAR. “In addition to natural science studies, we also want to learn more about the potential social, political, legal and ethical aspects of proposed climate engineering methods. For one thing, this study clearly shows that there would always be many losers in addition to possible winners. Some side effects would even affect future generations. A decision for or against climate engineering thus would have to be considered carefully and be fully legitimized, and must thus be based on a much better understanding of possible effects, uncertainties and risks than we have today,” says Professor Oschlies.

Reference:
Keller, D. P., E. Y. Feng, A. Oschlies (2014): Potential climate engineering effectiveness and side effects during a high CO2-emissions scenario. Nat. Commun. 5: 3304, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms4304

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84 thoughts on “Study: ‘Climate Engineering': minor potential to reduce warming, major side effects

  1. there is a purpose to this study:

    25 Feb: Guardian: John Vidal: Geoengineering side effects could be potentially disastrous, research shows
    ***”The paper sounds a timely warning about the abject stupidity of relying upon climate engineering solutions when reducing our reliance on carbon-based energy systems is the only sensible option,” said Dr Matt Watson, a lecturer in geophysical natural hazards at Bristol University…

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/25/geoengineering-side-effects-potentially-disastrous-scientists

    ——————————————————————————–

  2. Did they run a cost-benefit analysis with the eco-loons preferred solu7tion of cutting emissions? I suspect environmental engineering would stack up very well under those circumstances.

  3. Roy Spencer will hardly be happy with this total misrepresentation of his & other sceptics’ positions.

    As Keith 1412 writes in the comments: “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.”

    24 Feb: UK Daily Mail: Ellie Zolfagharifard: Are YOU a ‘global warming Nazi’? People who label sceptics ‘deniers’ will kill more people than the Holocaust, claims scientist
    Claim was made by Roy Spencer, a professor at University of Alabama…
    INSERT 2 HEADING: WHERE DID THE HOLOCAUST LINK COME FROM?
    ***‘Deniers’ are termed people that believe that global warming is either not occurring, or is not associated with the man-made rise in carbon dioxide.
    They have been heavily criticised for being pseudoscientific, despite an alleged overwhelming consensus on the reality of climate change…
    Journalists and policitican – including environmentalist George Monbiot – have described such scepticism as a form of denialism…
    Monbiot wrote in his Guardian opinion column that he uses the term for those who attempt to undermine scientific opinion on climate change due to financial interests…
    In recent years the term has been associated with a series of views challenging the scientific consensus on issues including the health effects of smoking and the relationship between HIV and AIDS, along with climate change.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2566659/Are-global-warming-Nazi-People-label-sceptics-deniers-kill-MORE-people-Holocaust-claims-scientist.html

  4. Therefore, large-scale methods to artificially slow down global warming are increasingly being discussed.
    ===========
    I’ll let you in on a secret. Algae, the true rulers of this planet have got the situation well in hand. They have maintained the temperature of the planet in their comfy zone for a couple of billion years, while the rest of us are simply along for the ride.

  5. ‘Research Kiel have now studied with computer simulations the long-term global consequences of several “climate engineering” methods.

    They show that all the proposed methods would either be unable to significantly reduce global warming if CO2 emissions remain high, or they could not be stopped without causing dangerous climate disruption.’

    In their Playstation world, I’m sure that’s true. In the real world, who knows? But if it stops alarmists from spending money on hare-brained “climate engineering” schemes, that’s fine with me.

  6. As we said back in 1971 when I became Systemprogrammer…… bad input gives bad output…..
    Up to today there haven’t been one [single] so called model presented by AWG belivers taken more than 25-30% of all essential factors for analysing reel situation regarding the Climate of the Earth. What’s worse is that they haven’t understood that correct figures not corrected ones needs to be put into any given computermodel IF [reliable] data is to be reached in order to use Theories of Science methods to analyse the result of an analyse!

  7. I think that what they really want is an end to nearly all human life.
    There should be two people left after the eco-nuts have had their way. One person to observe what a wonderful success the policies were and then a second person to pat him on the back for a job well done.

  8. “The forests removed carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but at the same time the earth’s surface became darker and could store more heat,” Dr. Keller explains of this phenomenon.

    Then global warming should have happened a long time ago when there was more vegetation.

    “They include proposals to fertilize the oceans, so that stimulated plankton can remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, or to reduce the Sun’s incoming radiation with atmospheric aerosols or mirrors in space, so as to reduce climate warming.”

    Mirrors in space? ROFLMAO Who are these global engineers? Children. I would expect this in cartoons. If the amount of junk we already have up there circling the earth isn’t affecting anything, this is just insane. It’s stuff like this which is why nobody but the bought off politicians take these people seriously.

  9. Well I don’t know what it does, can’t figure out how it works…
    But I’m gonna fix it.
    Fix it real good.
    Sarc off.
    These are people I could willingly consider violent corrective action upon.
    As in a slap alongside the head as they get their pink slip.
    Perhaps even a toe assist to prevent them being injured by the front door closing.
    Perhaps there is nothing wrong with our weather, seems to be well within historic parameters .
    So why fix what is not broken.?
    Do-gooders, planet saviours, whats the difference.?

  10. As a successful engineer, all I can say is if “climate engineering” is the future of engineering I would rather be a lawyer………..

    “they could not be stopped without causing dangerous climate disruption”. Reminds me of the folks taking bets on if the first A-bomb test would ignite the atmosphere. If it did they would have needed one heck of a fire extinguisher.

    And just what the heck do they think they can do if they launch a bunch of free floating micro-mirrors into the atmosphere and their target temperature calculations where off by a few degrees (like their “climate models”) and the planet starts freezing ? Launch a couple hundred space shuttles “up there” to start scooping up all the mirrors ?

    Every system I have worked with that controls significant amounts of energy always has an “E-Stop” (emergency stop) button (usually BIG and RED so you can find it QUICKLY when the feces start hitting the rotating blades). And every “E-Stop” button has been hit at least once while debugging the system. Where are the “E-Stop” buttons on these crazy schemes……..

    Climate LOONS……….”CLOONS”.

    Cheers, Kevin.

  11. The major side effects to climate engerneering is weather modification = climate change. Temperature = electric potential at work , the faster the electron moves the heating potentially rises. All atmospheric gasses are floating around in a sea of electrons .

  12. If Trenberth’s tricksy heat can evade the surface of the oceans on its way into the abyss, then I’m sure it could easily dodge any number of orbiting vanity mirrors…

  13. If extensive climate engineering was tried, and adversely affected the climate, they would probably say it was the fault of climate change.

  14. “Climate Engineering” — brought to you by

    The Enviroprofiteers.

    Only the insane or the ignorant could believe such nonsense.

    The insane don’t tend to buy a lot of stuff, so, it must be the ignorant they are aiming their Super-doooper-Acme Ray Gun of a propaganda campaign at.

    This is all about money and or power.

    And that is all.

    (The most amazing thing about the above bizarre “study?” — how in the world they managed to do as much as they did…… they must have been doubled-up with laughter half the time…)

  15. Ryan,
    Mirrors in space? ROFLMAO Who are these global engineers? Children. I would expect this in cartoons.
    >>>>>>>>>>>

    Don’t laugh too quickly, there is actually a company in Japan trying to get funding to put solar panels on the moon and beam the energy to earth:

    http://www.space.com/23810-moon-luna-belt-solar-power-idea.html

    They figure they can get a few terrawats out of it. Probably right. I just wonder who gets to aim the beam…

  16. [snip – more crap from the banned Doug Cotton in NSW from the same IP block as before. Doug get the hell off my blog with your nutso theories and stay off. I’m going to lodge a complaint with your ISP – Anthony]

  17. These are the same kind of nutters that seek to design a time-release prion that kills people through sudden wasting before they become “elderly” and hence a perceived burden on society. Apparently a young society. Hell, what could go wrong?

  18. [snip – more crap from the banned Doug Cotton in NSW from the same IP block as before. Doug get the hell off my blog with your nutso theories and stay off. I’m going to lodge a complaint with your ISP – Anthony]

  19. ” They include proposals to fertilize the oceans, so that stimulated plankton can remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere”
    ———————————-
    That’s been done. The project was considered a CO2 sequestration failure because the increased plankton growth stimulated a feeding frenzy of sorts and everything was quickly gobbled up. While the effort drew lots of laughter and even international bans against similar attempts in future, the upshot was that the local food chain fattened up, which might not have been such a bad thing.

  20. Given that we are essentially clueless as to what really drives climate variability I find this climate engineering proposal frightening. In engineering you usually know how the components or materials behave, not so in climate.

  21. “Study: ‘Climate Engineering’: minor potential to reduce warming, major side effects”

    File this under Dispatches from the desk of Captain Obvious.

  22. Moderator,

    I am quite certain (he always uses the planet Uranus) that D J C (and also, Not CO2) is “Visiting Physicist”, a.k.a. D. Cotton — recently BANNED.

    Ugh. That guy is a NIGHTMARE.

    At least he isn’t pushing his book…. yet.

    Just thought you might want to know.

    Janice

  23. Moderator,

    I am almost certain that DJC and CO2 are both D. C–ott0n, recently banned. He always uses the planet Uranus. At least, he hasn’t pushed his book, …. yet.

    That guy is a nightmare.

    Ugh.

    Just FYI.

    Janice

    REPLY: I’ll look into it, yeah he’s a real piece of work – Anthony

  24. Better come up with better stuff than that, D J C (a.k.a. Not CO2 (a.k.a. V1s1t1ing Phys1c1st, a.k.a. D. C0T-T0N. I could spot you from 55 million miles away.
    [Good eye… ~mod.]

    You are pathetic.

    Two weeks, now, till that book comes out, huh? Yeah, I know, you are giving it away… .

  25. The First Law of Everything: If you interfere with Mother Nature she will always come back and bite you on the bum.

  26. This is insane, and that’s the right word. How about unforeseen consequences, even if you believe in the catastrophic theory? As an engineet, i know that there will be major surprises. Any proposed action that is not reversible should absolutely be ruled out, and those that are reversible should require absolute certainty that there is a major problem. And that will never be the case. How can any scientist or engineer belive this nonsense?!

  27. Hi, A. D.,

    I think you are right.

    btw: How is the book coming? I hope (andipraytoo) well. You have such a generous, kind, and insightful heart — it MUST make those pages of yours glow with appealing warmth and wisdom. I sure hope some publisher takes the time to give you a fair reading (for, that must almost certainly result in publication). Glad you take the time to write — here!

    Hang in there,

    Janice

  28. And Andrew M. Harding! At last. I’ve wanted to tell you “thanks” for letting me know about Rogers the bookseller (no longer in Newcastle Upon Tyne, apparently) but was always too far down the thread… . Thank you! And, so glad to know that you made it home safely and with no jet lag. Hope the rest of the family are well, too. I hope the floods aren’t threatening you, now.

    Take care, over there,

    Janice

  29. Belief in CAGW is insanity,,,,belief in Geo-Engineering (to stop it) is total insanity.
    Just as introducing cane toads to Australia to save sugar-cane was a stupid idea, attempting to change the climate with sundry pollutions will risk even greater disasters than cane toads.

  30. “OK, so that’s one modeled model special. Would you like fries with that?”

    From the upcoming e-book “How to Break the Speed Barrier on Glacial Inception”

  31. @ William McClenney — wahlllll, bust mah britches! lol
    (toldja ahv known a few o’ them tarheels)
    #(:))

    One person’s “modeled model special” is another person’s cow pie.

  32. Thanks for your warm wishes Janice, everyone here fine, no floods in NE England so unlike poor souls in SW we are OK. Hope California gets some rain, it was tinder dry when we were there, lovely part of the world though with lovely people. All the best to you and yours. Andy

  33. This can be a trick. If you accept that climate engineering is rich in unintended consequences and endangers the climate even more, then you might also think of pumping extra CO2 into the atmosphere as a form of climate engineering, and then have to necessarily agree that that’s not a good thing.

  34. That’s really scary stuff. They know what they are suggesting and they
    know not what is currently happening. That’s a perfect mix for disaster.

    Frankly, I would much rather take my chances with the present … `global
    warming’ … [grin]. Besides, I much prefer it warm than cold. And NOT
    interfering would mean no man-made disasters.

    Antarctica is cold and watching the weather systems traversing the Roaring
    Forties where the cold cold air meets the warm warm summer air is also scary.
    There has been and is some extreme weather down there at the moment, storms
    with pressures below 960 hPa (and maybe below 950!) and very tightly packed
    isobars (high winds).
    The NZ navy cocktail shaker (HMNZS Wellington) encountered 16m waves
    down there last week.
    (PS: anyone who can cruise on the Wellington and NOT suffer from sea
    sickness, the navy would like to meet!)

  35. @ Andy, good!

    Sure wish we in NW Wash. St. could send some of our rain south (grrr).

    And, thank you.

    Janice

  36. @ Sophocles — lol. Fear not.

    In essence, all they have is a bunch of tinker toys, the plans for a 1560’s windmill, …. and they are talking about building a Saturn V rocket.
    NO — CAN — DO.
    #(:))

  37. [The geoengineering measures] “could not be stopped without causing dangerous climate disruption”? I’m sorry, but before my very deep misgivings about geoengineering begin to abate, I’m going to need to see some very strong evidence that they can be started without dangerous climate disruption.

  38. Leslie says:
    February 25, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    “This can be a trick. If you accept that climate engineering is rich in unintended consequences and endangers the climate even more, then you might also think of pumping extra CO2 into the atmosphere as a form of climate engineering, and then have to necessarily agree that that’s not a good thing.”

    There are only two questions that remain:

    1) Would it be wise to strip the late Holocene atmosphere of heat-trapping gases?

    2. Would it be wise to deploy geo-engineering schemes capable of deflecting solar insolation at a half precession cycle old interglacial?

    At the end of the interglacial whatever you propose must be consistent with:

    “Furthermore, a 5000 yr lag in the CO2 decline relative to EDC temperatures is confirmed during the glacial inception at the end of MIS5.5 (120 000 yr BP).” http://www.clim-past.net/9/2507/2013/cp-9-2507-2013.pdf

  39. Yup,

    If you assume that GHG-emissions are the be-all-and-end-all of temperature-control, then climate-engineering which does not change GHG-emissions won’t change the temperature.

  40. Ryan says:
    Mirrors in space? ROFLMAO Who are these global engineers? Children. I would expect this in cartoons.
    ===============================================================
    Not a cartoon. Serious. But …

    Wily E Coyote (Genius), meet GEOMAR.
    (Beep Beep)

  41. people still trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist?

    An ex founder of Greenpeace Patrick Moore, Ph.D is saying before the
    Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight February 25, 2014
    “Natural Resource Adaptation: Protecting ecosystems and economies”

    “There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2)are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years. If there were such a proof it would be written down for all to see. No actual proof, as it is understood in science, exists.
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) states: “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid -20th century.” (My emphasis) “
    Extremely likely” is not a scientific term but rather a judgment, as in a court of law.
    The IPCC defines “extremely likely” as a “95- 100% probability”. But upon further
    examination it is clear that these numbers are not the result of any mathematical
    calculation or statistical analysis. They have been “invented” as a construct within the
    IPCC report to express “expert judgment”, as determined by the IPCC contributors

    http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=415b9cde-e664-4628-8fb5-ae3951197d03

  42. “Leslie says:

    February 25, 2014 at 11:36 pm”

    All well and good however, we know that “pumping extra CO2 into the atmosphere” will do nothing of any significance, and so far not even reliably measureable, to temperatures because we know the mximum “warming” potential of CO2 is expired beyond ~150ppm/v.

  43. at least Shell is continuing to do its bit to save the planet! don’t laugh:

    24 Feb: Guardian: Severin Carrell: Boost for North Sea oil and gas unveiled as UK cabinet meets in Scotland
    Energy secretary also announces carbon capture investment in Scotland as part of campaign against independence
    The new North Sea efficiency programmes could increase oil and gas production by up to 4bn barrels and £200bn over the next 20 years, said Ed Davey, the UK energy secretary, as he visited Peterhead power station.
    He confirmed on his visit that Shell’s gas-fired power station at Peterhead had been awarded about £50m to install new carbon capture and storage (CCS) equipment – the first time in the world a gas-fired power station would be fitted with this technology. He said it would capture 1m tonnes of CO2 a year…

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/feb/24/uk-invest-carbon-capture-alex-salmond-ed-davey-independent-scotland

  44. Geo-Engineering? I thought somebody said that mass hysteria & insanity was impossible! The architects (apologies to architects) of this lunacy will indeed be the destroyers of ecology & humanity by their own stupidity & arrogance! I recall reading a story by a German man who lived through the horror of Nazi Germany. He said that the reason Hitler was successful was because the people thought he was a crank & wouldn’t last five minutes before they through him out of power. Trouble was, he took the power away from the people from the off, so he couldn’t be thrown out. Remember Stephen Schneider’s comment about “maybe democracy has to be suspended for 30 years or more”??? to sort the Climate our? The deception is not a conspiracy, it is played out in front of our very eyes, fully in the open for all to see!

  45. According to the Guardian

    Geoengineering the planet’s climate: even when applied on a massive scale, the most that could be expected is a temperature drop of about 8%, new research shows.

    Oooo – scary – only 8%! (of what?)

    Jounalistic ignorance at its best on display.

  46. Aren’t we little people lucky that these eminent scientists at Helmholtz have an accurate computer model able to simulate different geoengineering outcomes to such precision? (sarc off)

    Sheesh.

  47. “””The afforestation of the Sahara and the Australian outback, however even caused some additional global warming: “The forests removed carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but at the same time the earth’s surface became darker and could store more heat,”””

    Cut down the trees in the world’s rain forests. Promote desertification. Earth cools… problem solved.
    You’re welcome. Mail me the Nobel Prize.
    btw
    Weren’t peanut butter milk shake boy, and the ship of fools ‘scientists’ planning to plant trees to offset their carbon foot print? Sounds like that might cause “some additional global warming”.

  48. sadly all this hippy co2 carnival is distracting resources away from study of Earth’s magnetic field. that has weakened by 15% with 5% in the last 10 years. If THAT trend continues warming is going to be the least of eco utopians problems.

    its only just dawned on people it might be a ‘good idea’ to look into it and have only just sent up 3 sats called Swarm to look at it
    “These data along with measurements of atmospheric conditions around the orbiting satellites will further studies into Earth’s weakening magnetic shield, space weather and radiation hazards. ”

    http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/The_Living_Planet_Programme/Earth_Explorers/Swarm/ESA_s_magnetic_field_mission_Swarm

    if the shield goes then if the infra red don’t get you the ultra violet will lol.

  49. jauntycyclist, the magnetic shield has no effect on UV – it’s the ozone that blocks that.

    We’ll get all our particles nicely exited by the solar wind and cosmic rays, tho.

  50. I launched a minor geoengineering project back in 1998. Actually, I just needed to urinate but I remembered reading about a proposal to spray water up nto the air to ncrease cloudiness. So instead of writing my name in a snowbank, I let fly up into the air. I didn’t think it would do much, but it’s been workin’ great! You’re welcome.

  51. steveta-uk
    thanks for the caveat- mind u having no power grid might be THE eco utopianism dream lol?

    as for uv IF the solar wind could get thro…..

    “The magnetic field of the Earth deflects most of the solar wind. The charged particles in the solar wind would strip away the ozone layer, which protects the Earth from harmful ultraviolet rays.[3] One stripping mechanism is for gas to be caught in bubbles of magnetic field, which are ripped off by solar winds.[4] Calculations of the loss of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere of Mars, resulting from scavenging of ions by the solar wind, indicate that the dissipation of the magnetic field of Mars caused a near-total loss of its atmosphere”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%27s_magnetic_field

    some are linking the weakening as evidence of polar reversal.

  52. So why doesn’t the advocates of CO2 reduction just have all those $billion swilling around in the climate change coffers be put to good use by –
    1. Intensively clean-up derelict industrial areas world-wide, and replant as gardens.
    2. Give nature a help in hand and replant indigenous tree in all available cleared land areas.
    3. Remove as much plastic and floating waste from the world oceans and seas, and assist with reintroducing indigenous flora and fauna to these environments.
    4. Investigate better methods of recycling all human used matterials.

  53. …For one thing, this study clearly shows that there would always be many losers in addition to possible winners. Some side effects would even affect future generations. …

    Only question you need to ask – is there money in this for an Eco-Loon? If so, geo-engineering will happen. No other issue needs to be considered…

  54. sophocles says:
    February 26, 2014 at 12:17 am

    Ryan says:
    Mirrors in space? ROFLMAO Who are these global engineers? Children. I would expect this in cartoons.
    ===============================================================
    Not a cartoon. Serious. But …

    Wily E Coyote (Genius), meet GEOMAR.
    (Beep Beep)
    ———————————————————————————–
    Is that same GEOMAR a division of Acme Industries?
    Aren’t they the ones that believe CO2 causes roadrunners (genus Geococcyx) to road run faster and mirrors in space will slow them down enough to catch them?
    I think I recall seeing that cartoon when I was young.
    cn

  55. Wouldn’t there still be enough LWR penetrating the atmosphere, reaching the earth and therefore won’t the SWR still be enough to hit all those CO2 molecules and keep the planet warm?
    How many mirrors are we talking about and how big an area in the universe will they be spread?

    The non-scientist – cn

  56. Really bad Assumption Numbr One :that CO2 emissions will continue at their current levels into the indefinite future. That is exactly the opposite of the direction that technology is heading. Humans are building nuclear power plants again. Lots of them and a whole lot more down the road. Electric cars are here en masse when batteries get somewhat better and cheaper. And that’s the ballgame.

  57. Janice Moore says:
    February 25, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    “@ Andy, good!

    Sure wish we in NW Wash. St. could send some of our rain south (grrr).”

    Janice, I’ve been thinking about that for a while. I think a pipeline would be a good possibility. Build a reservoir, put a pipe in and, with so much rain and snow melt, a continuous siphon could be in operation supplying California with good ‘ol northern water. Maybe supply the cities and let the farmers have the local stuff. I’m surprised this has not been considered. How’s that for benevolent Geoengineering.

  58. The biggest thing we could do would be to get the Chinese to clean up their power plants so that less soot is deposited on arctic ice.

  59. Murray Leinster invented the concept of climate engineering in a science fiction novella that was one of four in a collection called “The Planet Explorer”, written IIRC back in the 1950’s. In it, sodium was lofted into orbit around a planet and vaporized to form a kind of “permanent comet’s tail” around a planet — in the context of the story to prevent the FREEZING OUT of CO_2 in a marginally inhabitable ice world that would have killed its GHE altogether and caused its temperature at the poles to drop below the dew point of oxygen and nitrogen, at which point the atmosphere would have fallen as a deadly rain and turned the planet into an airless iceball. Basically, the tail formed an additional, permanent, solar heated GHG layer that reradiated in the VISIBLE, brightening the entire sky more than it diminished direct incoming sunlight via a higher albedo.

    Whether or not the concept is plausible or could be reworked for the Earth, it is enormously risky. In the book it didn’t matter. The people who tried this had nothing to lose — they were days away from a liquid oxygen bath that would have exterminated all life human or otherwise on the planet permanently. On the Earth, it would be difficult to predict the sign of the effects of such a cloud, presuming we could afford to loft enough ionic material to create one.

    We still do not know or understand the ice age that occurred during the Ordovician-Silurian transition, which was actually colder than the present (which is the second coldest planetary age in the last 600 million years, ALMOST as cold as the OS transition). It happened when atmospheric CO_2 was 7000 ppm, and peaked with the CO_2 at 4000 ppm — that would be 10x the current level. There are various “theories” to explain it, but they are (frankly) out there in the advanced science fiction level, since we have absolutely no way to go back in time to validate any of them — the Sun drifted through a huge cloud of interstellar gas that blocked sunlight; the Sun is slowly varying variable in the long term much more than we think possible or can detect now, even with astronomical observation of Sun-like stars; dark energy or dark matter “matters”; complicated orbital resonances — who knows? We don’t know why the Pliestocene (the current ice age) began — how could we know what started the one at the OS transition?

    Monkeying with this system is dumb, in both ways! Yes, it is dumb to bump CO_2 concentrations without any real understanding of the consequences, but this is a cliff we’ve already jumped off and it will take us decades to understand the trajectory we are following or the landing point (if any, in an ever-changing climate WITHOUT CO_2 complicating the issue). It is even dumber to take any action that is supposed to “cancel” an effect of the CO_2 when we don’t even know what the effect we are trying to cancel really is.

    Yesterday I posted remarks about properties of Lotke-Volterra (predator-prey) and other sets of linear or nonlinear coupled ODEs that produce quasi-cyclic orbital trajectories around one or more strange or normal attractors, as this is the general class of differential systems to which the climate system belongs. In such a system measures one might take — such as increasing the number of foxes relative to rabbits because one perceives that the current trajectory of rabbits is “catastrophic” — can have unintended consequences, such as kicking the existing trajectory into a trajectory that represents an even LARGER orbit around the attractor, one that will actually carry the system eventually even CLOSER to a true catastrophe (extinction of both species).

    One day I might make a few remarks about control theory and positive or negative feedback as well — how enormously difficult it is to artificially balance dynamic nonlinear systems that are supposed to be naturally stable once they deteriorate to where they are not naturally stable. This is basically what physicians have to do with very old people — they treat high blood pressure, but the treatment affects something else, and when they treat that it affects something ELSE, and when they threat THAT it screws up their blood pressure — and all the time the patient is at risk of one or another of these subsystems collapsing as a consequence of the overall attempt to keep them all in the comparatively narrow range of values that are normal enough to sustain “life”.

    Empirical therapy on the basis of a linear empirical model is all well and good in the short run, but in the longer run it can easily be a cure worse than the disease.

    rgb

  60. Actually one major value of a sun-blocking climate engineering test would be as an experiment to test Willis Echenbach’s theory. Wouldn’t it be a shock to the Climate-Forcers to see the earth adjust and let more energy in to compensate for the albedo change as in the case of the recovery and compensation for temporary cooling effect of volcanic aerosols that Willis discovered? What would happen would be clouds would disappear in the Tropical Convergence Zone and allow what sun gets through to do its counter engineering work.

  61. At least some news sources are asking others before publishing the Geo-nightmare stories.
    Seen on Drudge about three 1000′ high x 150′ wide x ??? miles long ‘Tornado Blocking Walls’ across ND, OK and TX. (Cheap at $600 Million per mile). http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2014/02/25/giant-walls-tornado-alley/5808887/

    Can they at least get a few Construction Engineers and Material Handling specialist to review their hair brain ideas before pouting off their idiocy.

  62. There isn’t anything here that needs studying, whether there are side effects or not; the very idea of manipulating the atmosphere is insane. What is this… The Truman Show? Me personally, i would rather be dead.

    No thanks, i like my arctic high pressure cold,clear and blue.

  63. Stephen says: February 26, 2014 at 12:11 am — Precisely.

    ****************************************************

    @ Gary Pearse — How are you, ol’ WUWT buddy ol’ pal? Long time, no “connect.” LOL.

    Sounds GREAT! I’m going to apply for a grant today!

    Grant App.: “O Mighty, Omniscient, Science Bishops, May You Live Forever, we come before you today humbly beseeching…… and this will almost certainly stop the very likely warming effect of human CO2 because water is a catalyst and moving it around reduces its flux capacity and so forth. The End.”

    What will we build that pipeline out of? LOL, PLASTIC (heh, heh, you see, it is actually a secret plan by the petroleum industry to make money — bwah, ha, ha, ha, haaaaaaa —
    — and, so long as there is significant free-market competition, I say, God bless them!).

  64. Wasn’t the Gulf oil spill a living experiment of “ferilizing” the ocean? What happened? The oil was eaten up with organisms naturally… Maybe that’s what caused the pause /sarc.

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