White House Science Advisor Holdren suggests "climate engineering with particulates"

Here’s an excerpt of an AP story posted on Brietbart by President Obama’s science advisor, John Holdren, suggesting putting particulate matter into the air to reflect sunlight.

https://i1.wp.com/farm1.static.flickr.com/21/29613190_4a33d2366d.jpg?w=700

It seems like we’ve already tried that and then cleaned it up in the last century.

Excerpt:

The president’s new science adviser said Wednesday that global warming is so dire, the Obama administration is discussing radical technologies to cool Earth’s air.

John Holdren told The Associated Press in his first interview since being confirmed last month that the idea of geoengineering the climate is being discussed. One such extreme option includes shooting pollution particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun’s rays. Holdren said such an experimental measure would only be used as a last resort.

“It’s got to be looked at,” he said. “We don’t have the luxury of taking any approach off the table.”

Full story here

Note to commenters, while this is a political story also, please keep the discussion limited to the science. – Anthony

h/t to Mark Danner

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218 thoughts on “White House Science Advisor Holdren suggests "climate engineering with particulates"

  1. …shooting pollution particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun’s rays…
    But I thought the sun had nothing to do with the current warming?

  2. Oh well – at least we’ll know who to blame for the global cooling.
    There’s a favourite tabloid newspaper expression here in the UK that seems apposite: “You couldn’t make it up”…

  3. checkout an April 8, 2009 article by Kyle Swanson and Anastasios Tsonis from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as http://www.worldclimatereport.com.
    Seems arosols may not be so important after all – “So if aerosols don’t play a large role in the 20th century temperature behavior, then the models get things right for the wrong reasons and, when fed the right reasons, they would get things wrong (i.e. produce too much warming—an indication that their climate sensitivity is too large).”
    d

  4. This is an attempt to take credit for the natural cooling for whatever reason that has been seen in the past 9 years. See, we fixed it now give us your money and stop doing anything that we don’t tell you to do.
    They had better be careful because it might backfire and cause something else much worse like an ice age.

  5. lol, particulate matter. That’s what we had for few hundred years, lots of it pollution until the 1950s- 70s. As it cleared up with advances in technology and the Clean Air Acts, sunlight penetrated more and more to ground level. That’s where a third of the warming trend has come from over the last 150 years. Now some idiot says “Hey let’s put particulates back in the air!”
    If the person in question was a decent science advisor they would know that a third of the global warming trend is from cleaning up our smog filled towns. That heat was always around (solar activity) but couldn’t penetrate the pollution.
    Then we’ve got another third that comes from poor surface stations that pick heat up from buildings, vehicles and asphalt. The last third of the warming trend is anthropogenic greenhouse gases and natural terrestrial cycles.

  6. So should I drive my car and pollute and dim the sun or should I ride my bike, reduce pollutants and let the sun shine brighter? A rock and a hard place.

  7. Is it ok if I summarize things like that:
    – Holdren never said the sentence which is proclaimed in the title
    – He only said that at last resort, geoengineering should be considered.
    What is the scientific word for “trying to spread a rumour by lying about someone’s declarations”?
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  8. So, we have spent the past 30 odd years removing particulates from the atmosphere that were put there from the industrial revolution and now they want to put them back????

  9. Holdren is the president’s science advisor?!? We are in deep guano, folks.

    One such extreme option includes shooting pollution particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun’s rays. Holdren said…

    Holdren’s astonishing idiocy will no doubt make him propose that China should build a new coal-fired power plant every week until at least 2024. Oh, wait…
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  10. My brilliant idea — What we really need is a giant atmosphere washer that can wash all the atmospheric CO2 out and turn it into rocks. Rain? .. Hey wait, oh never mind.
    Brings back an old story from the 70s when the plan was to spread carbon black made from old tires on the polar ice caps and Greenland to stave off the ‘for sure coming ice age’. WOW, you know what, that sounds about as stupid today as this plan does.

  11. What goes up will come back down, in what form… who knows!!!
    The dinosaurs were wiped out because of too much particulates in the atmosphere.
    But let me see… particulates will offer more nucleii for chemical reactions and precipitation… hmmm, more clouds… possibly faster warming or cooling, depending on the altitude of those clouds. They will offer also nicely catalytic surfaces for atmospheric chemistry.
    If you don’t know what the consequences could be, don’t ever do it.
    Leave the science to grown men.

  12. Sorry off topic,
    This may be a subject already discussed on this site but if not then it is piece to the puzzle definately worth it’s own post.
    I came across the subject by chance while looking at brett andersons latest post on accuweather.
    The question is what effect would a large ozone hole over the arctic have on temperatures, weather patterns etc etc.
    Some links for you too get your teeth into.
    http://www.atmosphere.mpg.de/enid/20c.html
    http://www.theozonehole.com/arcticozone.htm
    Hope this starts a healthy debate 🙂
    Great website Mr Watts and co.

  13. Well since the current U.S. administration is going to run the American automobile companies, they can just put dirty diesel engines in all our vehicles. Although I’m not sure that the particulate pollutants from those engines will have the desired effect.
    The longer this government operates the more obvious it becomes that “astonishing idiocy” is becoming its SOP.

  14. Damn you’re fast. Just mentioned this bit of silliness on the preceding post.
    I just took another look at that AP story and it’s interesting the way Holdren says one thing, yet it comes out a bit different the way the wire service reports it. No matter which way you slice it {or spin it}, it’s still a lame idea. We spent decades cleaning up real pollution and this guy wants to dump tons of it back in the atmosphere? This fantasy is really getting out of hand.

  15. The easiest way to do that would be to go back to high sulfur jet fuel for intercontinental jet flights who fly at or near the stratosphere.
    Some how I suspect the Green Lobby would have a problem with that.
    Remember all the gnashing of teeth over the “pollution” the SST would pump into the stratosphere?
    Not to mention how many tons of sulfur particulates would you need to inject to dim a world wide shell of atmosphere enough to make any difference?
    Even if you could what is the back out option if they see too much cooling from such an attempt (same goes for similar options involving small mirrors in space etc.).
    How much fun will it be to get consensus in the UN over who puts how much particle matter in the atmosphere. Russia will want to keep the warming to improve wheat harvest, as will Canada, the near desert countries in Africa will want to cool things to slow down desertification — except for that minor problem of less precipitation during cooler periods.
    Simply suggesting that is a viable option indicates to me that some of our senior advisers are in never never land when it comes to reality.
    You think carbon cap and trading is expensive wait until you see the bill for lofting all that stuff into the atmosphere and the bureaucracy necessary to manage the concentrations to fix an undefined and poorly understood problem that may in fact not even exist.
    Larry

  16. So how precisely are Holdren’s daft experiments going to be confined to American territory? For example, we have naturally pure air and clear skies in New Zealand, in the main, and are working hard on eliminating the small pockets of urban air pollution by banning open fires and the like. We don’t need this kind of ‘help’, thanks.
    Perhaps the Obama administration might like to focus on saving America from its economic difficulties, which are real, before worrying about ‘saving’ the rest of the world from a non-problem.

  17. I don’t think we have to worry about them pulling this stunt. They’d be absolutly terrified that we’d get a cold snap, like last week for instance, and everybody would blame it on them. In about 30-40 years if, and only if, temps have gone up at a rate of .2-.3c or more per decade in actual observations, then we can have that discussion.

  18. When Saddam ordered the oil fields of Iraq set on fire, what was the estimated volume of soot particles spewed into the atmosphere during that time? How much of that got into the upper atmosphere and spread? What effect did that have globally? Are we talking about many times that volume?

  19. A year and a half ago, when I was with the hoi polloi trusting the science of the AGW crowd, my first thought was that if there was such a great danger, geoengineering would be the solution.
    Even animals engineer their environment so why not humans? But I would hope for smarter solutions that would take into account that one should not go onto an irreversible path. Suppose that there really is a danger of over heating, and they do fill up the atmosphere with particulates in the stratosphere, like volcanic debris. What would happen if a real volcano of Cracatow size errupted? An ice age?
    I think the most rational geoengineering solution is the one where artificial cloud seeding is done, the one with the screw type robot ships spewing sea water on the cloud level to increase albedo. That can be turned off on a penny, if necessary.
    I know now there is not problem of overheating, but since the administration does not know this, it is best they are advised on nondestructive solutions.
    These new explorations might be building a way for giving up on cap and trade gracefully, since the economy is so bad and the legislating bodies recalcitrant.

  20. As I just said in the sea level post: but there is no need of it, nature and its volcanoes are already working in 24 hours non stop shifts to reach the next temperature negative feedback tipping point.
    So the Hauytaputina eruption VEI=6 heralded the Maunder Minimum.

  21. Adam (London, England) (11:43:53) :
    So, from your links, it seems to me they are looking for other reasons than warming to tax us to death on carbon dioxide emissions. The CO2 warming theory failed miserable, so now they are looking at other reasons to still blame CO2.
    When will it stop?

  22. Holdren’s aerosols would cause severe economic damage to all concentrating solar power plants! See:
    A Hitch in Plans for “Sunshade Earth”

    The Philippine volcano ejected about 15 million metric tons of sulfur-dioxide–laden dust into the air, cooling the planet’s average temperature by about 0.6°C for nearly 2 years. Based on that event, some scientists have advocated replicating it artificially to help offset greenhouse-gas buildup in the atmosphere. . . .The geoengineering scheme would also mean 3% less sunlight reaching flat photovoltaic collectors that generate electricity. But the aerosols would cut the available solar radiation even more to dish- and tube-shaped collectors that use mirrors to concentrate sunlight. Murphy’s research, reported in this week’s issue of Environmental Science and Technology, shows that for every watt per square meter of sunlight diffused by the aerosols, as much as 5 watts per square meter would be made unavailable to mirrored collectors on the ground..

    i.e. The 3% reduction in solar insolation would cause a 15% reduction in concentrated solar thermal power.
    It would also severely harm farm production and food availability. With growing world population, Holdren’s aerosol efforts would be directly responsible for causing millions of deaths from malnutrition and starvation.
    Mao Tse Tung reduced China’s population by 60 million by 30 million famine deaths and consequent 30 million lower births caused by his “Great Leap Forward” in 1959-1961.
    Today’s grandiose misguided efforts to control climate change will likely cause much greater famines from the economic harm and reduction in agricultural output.

  23. Flanagan:
    If this is a rumour, it was started by Holdren. In the full article, linked above, Holdren said he had raised the idea in Administration meetings.
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  24. Smokey (11:35:00) :
    Holdren’s astonishing idiocy will no doubt make him propose that China should build a new coal-fired power plant every week until at least 2024. Oh, wait…

    And the ultimate irony will occur when environmentalists unite to propose further polluting the planet to save the planet from… pollution.*
    Mark
    * They call CO2 pollution, not me. 😉
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  25. How arrogant is man. First we believe earth is the center of the universe, and hold this belief as a ‘conscientious’ for centuries, now we believe we can set the planets thermostat like we do in our homes. This is only the 5th most idiotic thing I have ever heard, but that does not make it a good idea.
    “Brawndo has what plants crave. It’s got electrolytes, brought to you by Carls Jr.” Secretary of State in 2506
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  26. I’m having alot of trouble thinking of anything scientific to say about such an unscientific idea, so maybe I’ll just ask a question or two. Do scientists have anything comparable to the Hippocratic Oath that doctors have? Is there anything within that document (if indeed it exists) that says, first, do no harm?
    Thanks,
    Mike Bryant
    PS This approach is like speeding toward a cliff in the fog with no brakes.

  27. Throughout his career Holdren has predicted catastrophes that never happened. Maybe he needs help to resolve some deep anxieties that he keeps projecting onto the environment. Paying for his shrink would be a lot cheaper than geoengineering.
    Pair this with Romm’s meltdown online over his failure in his little TV debate with Morano and its beginning to look like the global warming crowd has issues and should not be leading anyone anywhere.
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  28. I seem to recall that “the father of modern climatology”, Reid Bryson kind of kicked off the whole anthropogenic climate change thing with his concerns that all of the dust kicked up my mankind’s activities could plunge the Earth into a new ice age…It would be almost funny if we did do just that sort of thing in an effort to avert an imaginary anthropogenic greenhouse gas-driven global warming.
    People like Holdren are dangerous. He hasn’t been an actual “scientist” in abou 40 years. He’s spent most of the past four decades running a “touchy-feely” interdisciplianary program at UC-Berkeley. UCB’s Energy and Resources Group is essentially a program for non-science majors to learn how to sound scientific whilst advancing political agendas. It’s even worse than Jeffrey Sach’s Earth Institute at Columbia (not to be confused with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory).

  29. Flanagan [11:28:57]
    Yes, Holdren does in fact suggest shooting pollution particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun. Try reading the excerpt once again.
    That said, I don’t know why Holdren thinks the US should go that route: the IPCC says the suns has no influence on golbal climate and in any event China and India are already putting enough particles up there to cover all of usl…
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  30. So just think how long the cooling effect of a Mt St Helens type eruption was, and how much energy was involved in that eruption.
    So how often does Holdren plan to set off one of these dirt bombs. It will take more energy to do than we will have available; given all the prohibitions on using existing US energy sources.
    This is what happens when you don’t have adults running the ship.

  31. “Another geoengineering option he mentioned was the use of so-called artificial trees to suck carbon dioxide—the chief human-caused greenhouse gas—out of the air and store it. At first that seemed prohibitively expensive, but a re-examination of the approach shows it might be less costly, he said.”
    Hmmm, I guess real trees are out of the question. Too bad Freeman Dyson is not available for the science post.

  32. I know, Why don’t we get a volcano to do this for us…. Oh wait Mt. Redoubt already did that.

  33. “”” Flanagan (11:28:57) :
    Is it ok if I summarize things like that:
    – Holdren never said the sentence which is proclaimed in the title
    – He only said that at last resort, geoengineering should be considered.
    What is the scientific word for “trying to spread a rumour by lying about someone’s declarations”? “””
    What’s the scientific term for lying about the clearly available evidence that what you (Holdren) are claiming is wrong. How about the scientific term for the most senior science advisor to the entire United States government proposing a solution to a non problem; that even an 8th grade high school science student would know is quite ridiculous; even insane; and certainly isn’t going to work.
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  34. The politicians and greens have to do something QUICKLY — so they can take credit for the coming cool decades.
    Otherwise, the coming coolness may cause people to “wise up” to AGW extremism — and all that carbon-credit tax money will be lost.
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  35. Holdren said such an experimental measure would only be used as a last resort.
    Would that last resort be similar to a final solution ?
    From the book Ecoscience Holdren co authored with Paul Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich.
    “Such a comprehensive Planetary Regime could control the development, administration, conservation, and distribution of all natural resources, renewable or nonrenewable…not only in the atmosphere and oceans, but in such freshwater bodies as rivers and lakes…The Regime might also be a logical central agency for regulating all international trade…The Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world and for each region and for arbitrating various countries’ shares within their regional limits…the Regime would have some power to enforce the agreed limits. (p. 943.)”
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  36. Fortunately Jim Hansen has given us permission to take direct action if we don’t approve.
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  37. Obama is a bright, high IQ person, but he has surrounded himself with “science” advisors who are over-the-edge believers in the carbon dioxide warming theory, so there is no chance he will hear contrary views from within the administration. He will only be told realistic climate facts by political opponets, whom he will automatically not believe. What can start the enlightenment?
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  38. I hope that they are watching the effects of mt Redoubt. It seems to be seeding the atmosphere with plenty of particulate matter. A real science experiment in real time.

  39. This looks like a great way to demonstrate the Law of Unintended Consequences. “Shooting pollution particles into the upper atmosphere”?
    Obviously, nothing could go wrong with that.
    Silly me, I thought April 1 was last week.

  40. I have much respect to John P. Holdren as the physicist that he is. Nonetheless, and exactly how Jack Green has pointed on his comment (11:17:44), what about the biological side effects? Plants have evolved under specific regimens of insolation fluctuations. Let’s talk about the photosynthetic organisms, like cyanobacteria, phytoplankton, plants, etc., which will be receiving a smaller amount of energy than the load for which they have adapted for their development. Photosynthetic organisms have radiated through two billion years under normal oscillations. How we are going to destroy this evolutionary thread merely because we do not like the heat?
    On the other hand, the atmospheric particles would make more delicate the visual perception in animals, humans included, besides respiratory problems which could be generated by atmospheric particles.
    In another aspect of this kind of panic attack, we know that particles in the atmosphere could act like agglomerative substrata and, even, like condenser agents in where really injurious substances for all living beings could be spontaneously synthesized. I had warned on the failure of iron “fertilization” of the sea and I was right. These terror measures against natural changes are really alarming.

  41. “These terror measures against natural changes are really alarming.” It seems to be an army experiment… Heh!
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  42. Why even consider such stupid ideas that could trigger a cascade of unintended consequences. The best approach if you want to hedge against warming would be to restore our wetlands. Over 50% of our global wetlands have been lost and a greater number of stream channels degraded. The relatively enormous heat capacity of water vs air, increased wetlands could absorb much of this unwanted heated while saving habitat for a tremendous array of species. And it hedges against cooling by storing the heat and moderating temperatures in the event of continued cooling. The loss of wetlands is not even figured into their climate models. As Pielke often states land use is too often ignored in our understanding. Instead we get these total pseudo-scientists wanting to shoot pollution into the atmosphere. Has the world gone crazy?

  43. The original idea is from “Geo engineer” Paul Crutzen.
    He too is a Nobel price Laurate.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/27/science/earth/27cool.html
    They were planning for a field test to put SO2 in the atmosphere when a volcano eruption made the test obsolete (Kasatochi Volcano).
    It blasted over 1 million ton of SO2 in the atmosphere which amount was equal to that of the set experiment.
    According Crutzen it is the cheapest and most effective way to cool the atmosphere.

  44. If they would check the data they would see the earth is cooling. No need to spend any money to stop warming.

  45. “Douglas DC (12:59:34) :
    Yellowstone- Darn it
    Retired Engineer (12:59:56) :
    Unintended Consequences. ”
    Wolf problem? Or human problem?

  46. China is absolutely full of factories pumping out particulates at a rate that dwarfs our efforts from 60-70 years ago. The idea that aerosols/particulates ceased to be an issue long ago, which seems to be what GCM modellers imply, strikes me as very erroneous.
    That aside, the idea is bonkers. Particulates have a horrible side effect – they cause breathing problems & pulmonary diseases. When London was cursed with smogs 60 years back, thousands of people had their lives cut short as a result. But perhaps this would not be a problem from the Green point of view – their stated aim is that there should be fewer people in the world.
    P.J. O’Rourke got it right – modern day Malthusians who worry about over-population are really subconscious racists: “there are just enough of us, but far too many of them” – “them” being brown people in the third world.

  47. “Things are worse than they can possibly be.”
    ~Energy Secretary Steven Chu
    You sure Steve? There’s no room for anything worse?
    Yawn. 😉
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  48. The climate models say we are already running this experiment on a pretty big scale.
    I think the newest climate model simulations will have -0.4C to -0.5C built in for Aerosols impacts.

  49. Let’s see….we need to have more spending for solar energy while at the same time reduce the intensity of sunlight reaching the ground. I’m sure that combination will work wonderfully. Wow…the collective IQ of the so-called science advisers must be in the single digits.

  50. Scientific American magazine recently ran an article about this sort of thing. The costs are unbelievable high and the prospects of success unbelievable low.
    O/T Now for an off topic question: GM and Segway are planning an electric scooter built for two and Obama wants to cut out fossil fuels. Does this mean the UHI effect will begin to diminish in about 10 years and all the temperature data will have to be adjusted in some unspecified manner? Just asking?

  51. Ray (12:06:21) :
    The reason for the I made the post is because I remember somewhere reading that the ozone hole over antartica helps keep it colder. As far as I know there hasn’t been a large ozone hole recorded over the arctic.
    http://www.atmosphere.mpg.de/enid/20b.html
    Note pararaphs 10 onwards especially
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1200/is_1_174/ai_n27927991/
    Look through them trying to say antartica will catch up with the rest of the world, the basis of the article is the ozone hole helps keep things cold in antartica.
    http://global-warming.accuweather.com/2009/04/march_satellite_measured_tempe.html
    note point 1 and 2 under the stratosphere diagram.

  52. I think our volcano’s are doing the job alright.
    From Alaska to Chili volcano’s are erupting at this moment in time:
    1. Redoubt.
    2. Chaitén never stopped erupting since May 2008.
    It has been active all the time.
    http://inglaner.com/volcan_chaiten.htm
    3. Llaima in Chili, http://volcanism.wordpress.com/2009/04/04/llaima-eruption-pictures-and-report-from-povi/
    4. Nevado del Huila, Colombia, http://volcanism.wordpress.com/2009/04/04/alert-status-raised-at-nevado-del-huila/
    5. Arenal in Costa Rica http://volcanism.wordpress.com/2009/04/04/arenal-increased-activity-causes-concern/
    6. The Tonga volcano eruption is still going strong building a new Island.
    http://scienceblogs.com/eruptions/2009/04/too_many_tourists_in_tonga.php
    7. Mount Popocatepetl, 70 km from Mexico City
    http://scienceblogs.com/eruptions/2009/04/popocatepetl_continues_to_puff.php
    8. http://scienceblogs.com/eruptions/2009/04/active_volcanism_in_the_kuril.php
    These are all eruptions taking place right now.
    Besides that, I think we are cold enough.

  53. I do so very much wish that people like Holdren would actually say why they want to do these things: they think the Earth is overpopulated and needs a decrease in the number of living humans. The reason why he doesn’t put it this way, of course, is that people would think he’s insane.
    Massive “geoengineering” experiments like this proposal and the one carried out in the South Atlantic with iron put into the ocean are a recipe for disaster. Evidently Holdren subscribes to the arrogance of those who fail to see the unintended consequences of such experiments are almost certain to be worse than leaving things be.
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  54. I find geoengineering frightening. One of these things might work and we understand so little about the earth’s systems that there will most likely be unintended consequences.
    Don B (12:48:28) :
    “Obama is a bright, high IQ person”
    Is there any actual evidence for this? Aren’t his college records sealed?

  55. They say that nuclear testing in the 50’s and 60’s caused cooling.
    They say that erupting volcanos cause cooling.
    Let’s nuke Redoubt and see what happens.

  56. There’s nothing new in the thinking processes…..Isn’t this idea along the same lines as previous ones…i.e. to send up large reflector mirrors to illuminate Vietnam at night so that you could see your enemy and using nuclear bombs to blast a path across the US for a new highway.
    Of course you could solve two problems at the same time – nuke lots of unstable volcanoes around the earth…that would put an end to AGW and as a by-product, produce some beautiful sunsets viewed from your quad-glazed apartment!
    Stupid, flipping stupid! And how many years would pass before it was discovered that the particles were getting into the lower atmosphere and were carcinogenic?

  57. Can someone tell me just how much “particulates” we’d have to put into the atmosphere? Are we even capable of doing such a thing?

  58. Nature seems to have its own way of sorting things out by itself. What if this idea has unexpected results , its wont be easy to push the genie back into the bottle.Better not mention the chemtrail conspiricy.

  59. Ron de Haan: Hope you keep on updating your list each week, with a new one, so Dr.Holdren won´t have to worry about.
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  60. The Obama administration is laboring under the delusion that two inherently volatile systems, the economy and the climate, can be “managed” by pulling a lever here, pushing a button there, adding a pinch of this, or taking out a dash of that.
    The problem in both instances is that the models they use for the economy or the climate both assume there are changes to one or two variables, and all else is ceterus paribus.
    Whether you call it the Law of Unintended Consequences, the failure to acknowledge interrelated and interdependent variables, or the inability of ANY model to adequately predict a stochastic system, spending a bunch of time and resources to control the uncontrollable is just plain moronic.
    That is not to say that you should not describe some types of behavior that are not permitted – passing laws criminalizing dumping poisons in the water supply, or passing laws criminalizing securities fraud, for example, but there is a big difference in trying some minimal regulation of a market or a system, and somehow controlling the same system.
    In both cases, the economic market and the climate will seek its own equilibrium point, which will very likely be in a different place than the models predicted.
    Even if you could control the climate, like setting a thermostat in your house, what is the right temperature? Some fruits get the best results after being exposed to freezing temperatures. The same freezing temperatures kill some flowers. Who decides which prevails, the fruits or the flowers?
    Further, are we better off with the current temperature, the temperature in 1979, the temperature in 1879, or some other temperature?

  61. So lets see.
    1) AGW Theory: A tiny incremental growth in a life-giving gas over the past 100 years has set us on a path towards runaway Climate Catastrophe.
    2) The Solution: Introduce a massive shock of extremely unhealthy particulates into the atmosphere in a very short space of time.
    There that should settle things down.
    In my next article I will show how you can dump 1000 VLCCs of Crude Oil in the northern Gulf of Mexico to remove those pesky Algal blooms…
    Meanwhile, I’m off to do my tax returns with Elmo. La la la la.

  62. “Things are worse than they can possibly be.”
    How does that work, then? Are secretaries of state no longer even literate?
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  63. “Last year we said, ‘Things can’t go on like this’, and they didn’t, they got worse”
    Will Rogers
    Reply: Would be flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics, but it’s funny~ charles the moderator

  64. How are they going to get enough tons of junk up there to block the sun? Is there anything that man could do to compete with even a small volcano?
    What is so “dire” about Global Warming that such extreme measures must be considered NOW? I think that the Ogallala going dry should be a far greater concern for the US, and that is a certainty in that it will happen, and there is nothing that can stop it, and global warming/cooling will not help it, unless the climate does change to make it just just right for dry land farming.
    World has been hotter, and its been colder, life soldiered on, but without water there is no life.

  65. I thought that particulates was one of the main problems with coal. Is this the same crowd that went nuts over the proposal to seed the south Pacific with iron in order to increase the amount of life there, and to thus capture and remove more CO2?
    These folks are dangerous.

  66. Adam (London, England) says:

    As far as I know there hasn’t been a large ozone hole recorded over the arctic.

    Surely, you are wrong. Since most CFCs are produced in the Northern Hemisphere, I am sure that the Ozone hole over the Arctic would have to be bigger than the one over the Antarctic.
    It is probable that in order to avoid panic the MSM have been covering up the fact of the large Ozone hole over the Arctic.

  67. I have written in the past how wrong it is for man to attempt to play God. To me even seeding clouds is essentially wrong. When man ’steals’ moisture / precipitation from the atmosphere then the course of natural events is interrupted. The natural destination of the precipitation is then denied it.
    One thing that we know for certain; man has a tendency to play God and his actions have unintended consequences. Face it… we are not as smart as we think we are. We do not understand nature and the climate as well as some think we do.
    Regarding the thought of injecting particulates into the atmosphere;
    What happens if they successfully did so and directly following the is a natural large volcanic eruption? They would have no way of knowing that nature, via the eruption, was going to alter the climate. Put man playing God together with the natural infusion of particulates into the atmosphere and what is the result? Cooling far below what nature intended. Potentially rapid and deep cooling. A deadly event.

  68. So when can we start construction on giant atmosphere processing stations like the one on LV-426?

  69. Can I ask some one to inform the American President that there are other countries in the world apart from America sharing this planet. Can we have a say? Please? (or we wont keep on lending you our money!)
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  70. Cloud seeding has been practiced over Colorado for many years to try to bring more rain to the plains. It really hasn’t been that effective.
    Volcanoes are effective, so I think it would take a volcano size nuclear bomb (2-300 megatons) covered with what ever type of material you wanted in the atmosphere. Then set the thing off!…do that often enough and your bound to help the weather!
    Oh ya, fallout? maybe engineer a clean bomb, no problem!

  71. I’m still trying to deal with -” the discusion on Global Warming is over.” I wonder if thats what they said to Galileo when he was placed under house arrest for saying the Earth was not the center of the universe. What are these folks up too?
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  72. As well as just America, can the American President cool the air above my hometown of Brisbane Australia from November through to March? It gets pretty hot during those months!

  73. One other item, The political blogs are saying that Congress has killed Cap and Trade, looks like maybe some sanity returning to our elected representatives here in the United States.
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  74. John Coleman testifies before the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands (from ICECAP)…
    Testimony of John Coleman to the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands April 7
    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Testimony_of_John_Coleman.pdf
    SurfaceStations is cited in the testimony.
    I come before this Subcommittee with no allusions or expectations. I am aware that for the majority of the Committee and most involved government officials my conclusions will run counter to your interests and agenda and will be ignored. None-the-less, I have made the effort to be here today because I feel what I have to contribute should at least be in the record.
    Here is what I know as scientific fact: There is no significant man-made global warming or climate change at this time, there has not been any in the past and there is little reason to fear any in the future.

  75. didn’t we just spend gazillions of dollars cutting SO2 emissions because they were implicated in causing acid rain? does the president’s science advisor not know that?
    this all feels more and more like alice’s wonderland.

  76. This post is silly. The people who are pushing the most for global warming are the ones who hate this idea the most. The agenda isn’t combatting global warming, it is controlling people’s lives.
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  77. Re “last century”, yeah and the one before. Read about Pittsburgh, St. Louis, etc, particularly when wood burning was the primary source of house heating.
    I’ve always wondered if the last thirty year warming trend line is significantly steeper (which gives an artificially alarming view of the future since it is that trend line which is being extrapolated forward) than it should be because we got rid of a whole lot of man-made “global dimming” starting in the 1970s by both pollution control and the collapse of the USSR.
    On the other hand, China still has that process to go thru. . .

  78. I will concur with those who have said that if the administration actually pursues this, they will use this to take credit for the coming cooling -which they have nothing to do with. I am guessing they probably recognize the true cyclical nature of temperature variation & are figuring out how to exploit the next cool cycle to their benefit (heros that saved us from burning up).
    Cynical? Maybe.
    True? Maybe.
    Chance of implimentation? Next to none.
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  79. John F. Hultquist (13:34:19) :
    “Scientific American magazine recently ran an article about this sort of thing. The costs are unbelievable high and the prospects of success unbelievable low.
    O/T Now for an off topic question: GM and Segway are planning an electric scooter built for two and Obama wants to cut out fossil fuels. Does this mean the UHI effect will begin to diminish in about 10 years and all the temperature data will have to be adjusted in some unspecified manner? Just asking?”
    John, I’ve just read that the carbon footprint of an electric vehicle including the battery swaps is bigger than driving a Hummer.
    So don’t worry too much.
    “Now, let’s compare the electric car to a similar but gasoline powered car. According to Lotus the Elise should get 21mpg city/27 highway or 24 mpg average. Spending the same $8,000.00 the gasoline powered Elise has a range of 48,000 miles @ $4.00 per gallon gasoline. At $3.00 per gallon for fuel the range is increased to 64,000 miles and, by paying the taxes for the gasoline, you have also paid the state for the right to use its roads. The Obama Administration will fix this mathematical flaw by making sure that gasoline returns to a minimum of $4.00 gallon.
    This is why electric cars are not feasible economically. Despite the fact that the government is giving buyers $30,000.00 tax dollars to make the Tesla more attractive, reducing its initial cost to $79,000.00 from $109,000.00. These cars cost more to operate, they pollute more than a Hummer when you figure in the costs of mining, recycling, charging, transportation, replacement, etc. of the battery pack”.
    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/04/more_electric_car_follies_1.html

  80. Wouldn’t the best way to achieve this be to remove the particulate extractors from our coal power station chimneys??

  81. “”” Don B (12:48:28) :
    Obama is a bright, high IQ person, but he has surrounded himself with “science” advisors who are over-the-edge believers in the carbon dioxide warming theory, so there is no chance he will hear contrary views from within the administration. He will only be told realistic climate facts by political opponets, whom he will automatically not believe. What can start the enlightenment? “””
    What is your scientific basis for making such a claim; “bright high IQ ” since his entire scholastic records have been sealed and are available to no-one; not even how he paid for any education he ever received (if any).
    It’s not a very scientific analysis, but I would say we have never had a dumber person elected to the White House. So he thinks the people in Austria, including his Austrian Government hosts actually speak “Austrian”.
    He tells the Scottish Prime Minister of the United Kingdom how special is the US relationship with “England” and how much he admires their Queen.
    Telling a Scotsman you like “their” Queen is like telling Iranian President AmandaJihad that you like King Richard (the Lion Hearted). I happen to like the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, and Northern Ireland; but most Nationalistic good Scotsman have a different view.
    So I would say that the current marionette in the white House, is about the dumbest person to ever live there; but then American States chose him for their leader; so he is my President too. Which doesn’t mean I have to agree with his ideas.
    Holdren is a known radical. and if you think Dr Hansen is a bit daft; he’s a genius compared to Holdren; so get used to a lot of pseudoscientific mayhem from him, and also the new EPA Czarina.
    Anybody working on any real science that is grant funded by the Federal Government; in whatever field; ought to be quite angry by the misapplication of valuable research funds. I don’t happen to be in that boat; and I make no value judgements of the merits of those that do and their projects. Time will tell if their funds were well spent; but this boondoggle is going to hit them, before it hits me; so if you are one of those scientists; you have a stake in this too. My only stake is the destruction of the credibility of science in the eyes of the people who used to look up to us; and are being let down by run amok hoodlums.
    We barely have scratched the surface of explaining how this chaotic ocean/atmosphere system even works; and people are talking about re-engineering a system that nobody understands fully; and have an unlimited budget to try and do that.
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  82. Adolfo Giurfa (13:50:15) :
    “Ron de Haan: Hope you keep on updating your list each week, with a new one, so Dr.Holdren won´t have to worry about”.
    Adolfo,
    It’s only because the Dalton and Maunder Minimum were characterized by
    seismic and volcanic activity and a solar minimum that makes me focus on volcanic eruptions.
    I really think that under the current circumstances of a negative PDO, a negative AMO
    a solar minimum and rising ice cover we are only a single VE7 eruption away from disaster in terms of food availability.
    If you have a look at http://www.iris.edu/seismon/ you will see that there is quite a lot of sesmic activity as well.
    That’s all.

  83. A.Syme (14:24:26) :
    “Cloud seeding has been practiced over Colorado for many years to try to bring more rain to the plains. It really hasn’t been that effective.
    Volcanoes are effective, so I think it would take a volcano size nuclear bomb (2-300 megatons) covered with what ever type of material you wanted in the atmosphere. Then set the thing off!…do that often enough and your bound to help the weather!
    Oh ya, fallout? maybe engineer a clean bomb, no problem!”
    A.Syme,
    Look at the SO2 dispersion model from Redoubt here: http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2009/08apr09/gome2_so2_anim_big.gif?PHPSESSID=1j6k0tdgjffrfgr7lt4mr784b5 and the rain clouds here: http://www.accuweather.com/news-story.asp?partner=rss&article=1
    Is this a coincidence?

  84. Ok. So no one got the terraforming fusion powered Atmospheric Processing Station LV-426 Aliens reference.
    Reply: Yes we did ~ charles the moderator

  85. Climate information is even coming from financial advisor Bob Hoye of Institutional Advisors. (Hoye is a true guru who predicted the current financial mess long before others did.) Anyway, if enough of this type of information is spread from enough sources, maybe it will even get over the climate wall high-IQ Obama has erected around his administration.
    http://www.safehaven.com/article-13044.htm
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  86. Chris Ballance (15:36:27) :
    I snickered a bit….however, if we had the fusion we wouldn’t need the atmosphere processor! LOL

  87. I’m with you Rasmin!
    I find this whole proposal for geo-engineering of the global climate by an American presidential adviser to just plain bloody arrogant and stupid in the extreme but not particularly out of character for some of the current American leadership!
    The underlying assumption is that the American political and scientific hierarchy who comprise the leadership of less then 400 million humans or about 6% out of the earth’s 6.8 billions, have the god given right to unilaterally go ahead with a potentially catastrophic attempt at modifying and changing the global climate.
    This purely on the basis that some of the political and scientific cadre of leaders believe that a predicted climate catastrophe based only on the outcome of some very dodgy, non proven American created climate models is leading to a “potential” global climate warming disaster.
    They arrogantly assume that they have the right to do what they wish and can just go ahead in attempting to change the global climate regardless of the needs, wishes and life threatening consequences for the other 94% of the human race.
    Those other human inhabitants of this planet, particularly the poorer and non influential people who with only very limited resources to protect themselves from the consequences of such an experiment and who may face the ultimate fate from a massive global climate changing experiment going wrong, will not even be asked if they want such an extremely dangerous climate modifying experiment to proceed with all it’s completely unknown long term consequences.
    I am pro-american and admire much about America but sometimes like this time, the sheer gall, hubris and utter arrogance and ignorance of the American leadership is just a little too much to swallow for anybody who is not an American and I suspect for a lot of thinking Americans as well.
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  88. Re: Don B (12:48:28) : “Obama is a bright, high IQ person”
    Bright, yes; high IQ, no way of knowing. What we do know is that Obama is ignorant in many areas. He is downright stupid, an acquired trait, in addition to being a serial lying sociopath. His selection of advisers is consistent with his persona.
    Regarding Holdren’s idiocy, he proposes a challenge for engineers and geologists. They need to identify the places in tectonic plate systems where well placed H-bombs can be detonated to cause earthquakes and trigger volcanic eruptions sufficient to precipitate the next ice age.
    I know that the “Fallen Angels” hypothesis was plausible. Now I know how it occurred.
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents primarily heavy politics ~ charles the moderator

  89. Ron de Haan:
    Thanks. Huaynaputina the heralder of Maunder Minimum was catastrophic, VEI=6. You know, the bigger ones are the ones which has been dormant for many hundred years, as it was the case with the Chaiten (900 years). Near the Huaynaputina there is one dormant by : The Misti volcano, it has not erupted since more than 700 years ago; it has a city at his base with more than one million inhabitants (Arequipa city).
    A VEI=7 you are expecting for, it would be really too much.

  90. ROM (16:27:03) :
    “I am pro-american and admire much about America but sometimes like this time, the sheer gall, hubris and utter arrogance and ignorance of the American leadership is just a little too much to swallow for anybody who is not an American and I suspect for a lot of thinking Americans as well”.
    Rom,
    Unlike the EU and the British Government that already have surrendered to Cap&Trade and 80% CO2 reduction schemes by 2050, the US Congress recently rejected similar proposals from the Obama Administration budget.
    I still see the US as the most vibrant democracy in the World and I am still confident that common sense will prevail.
    It will be a hard fight but it’s winnable.
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  91. What are the odds that the neo-malthusians want to plunge us into an ice age to reduce population and consumption. That man is even contemplating messing with global climate with our dismal understanding of the science is horrifying. Reminds me of my attempts at the age of 8 to improve some household appliances with a screwdriver and hammer. Lost my allowance for a year to pay for my mistakes
    Reply: Flagged for possible deletion because contents not discussing the science, but politics ~ charles the moderator

  92. I agree about being cold enough. I am cold enough. Done with cold actually. Want cold to go away. Want warm.

  93. Adolfo Giurfa (16:43:38) :
    “Ron de Haan:
    Thanks. Huaynaputina the heralder of Maunder Minimum was catastrophic, VEI=6. You know, the bigger ones are the ones which has been dormant for many hundred years, as it was the case with the Chaiten (900 years). Near the Huaynaputina there is one dormant by : The Misti volcano, it has not erupted since more than 700 years ago; it has a city at his base with more than one million inhabitants (Arequipa city).
    A VEI=7 you are expecting for, it would be really too much”.
    Well Adolfo,
    During the little ice age there were on average five major volcanic eruptions per century.
    I was thinking about a Mount Tambora like eruption (1815, Year without a Summer 1816) 140 Giga tonnes (This makes it a VE7 eruption)
    The same goes for the Laki Eruption (also a VE7) see:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laki#1783_eruption.
    Some geological statisticians are convinced that a VE7 or even a VE8 is on the menu soon.
    Many of the volcano’s that were active during the Maunder and Dalton Minimum
    are still active today.
    Volcano’s are the absolute wild card.

  94. Richard Sharpe (14:13:30):
    Adam (London, England) says:
    As far as I know there hasn’t been a large ozone hole recorded over the arctic.
    Surely, you are wrong. Since most CFCs are produced in the Northern Hemisphere, I am sure that the Ozone hole over the Arctic would have to be bigger than the one over the Antarctic.
    It is probable that in order to avoid panic the MSM have been covering up the fact of the large Ozone hole over the Arctic.

    Richard… Adam is right; it’s not an ozone hole but an ozone layer depletion.

  95. Regarding Volcanic/seismic activity concurrent with grand solar minima: We should be asking ourselves if correlation exists between the two, and if yes, is this more than coincidence?

  96. So when did polluting and destroying your environment become good for the earth?
    As a matter of fact, this is criminal and would reverse any REAL positive steps we have taken in the last 50 years to clean our environment and make our planet a better place to live on for both us and nature, on REAL issues.
    It sounds more like criminal negligence’s to the environment, ignoring extreme consequential damage that might be caused, based on a belief or religion.
    Kind of like the Exxon Valdez captain running a ground because he heard there might be mermaids in the water.
    We’re living in bizarro times.

  97. Mike Bryant (12:18:19) :
    I’m having alot of trouble thinking of anything scientific to say about such an unscientific idea, so maybe I’ll just ask a question or two. Do scientists have anything comparable to the Hippocratic Oath that doctors have?
    Mike here’s something interesting about the science of medicine I found today:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123914878625199185.html
    “Dr. David Sackett, a pioneer of “evidence-based medicine,” where results from clinical trials rather than anecdotes are used to guide physician practice, famously said, “Half of what you’ll learn in medical school will be shown to be either dead wrong or out of date within five years of your graduation; the trouble is that nobody can tell you which half — so the most important thing to learn is how to learn on your own.” Science depends upon such a sentiment, and honors the doubter and iconoclast who overturns false paradigms.”
    Too bad they can’t think like that concerning climate science.

  98. I love this plan! Use “good pollution” to battle “bad pollution” kinda like Mothra vs Batra!
    This wingnut scientist is a leftover from the days of eugenics, conservationists and Gaians and has been a doomsayer for about 30 years or more. Never right once, but hey being right has never qualified anyone to be the Science Adviser!
    Never watched any doomsday movies? The Science Adviser is always a pompous ass who ignores the facts, distorts the science or caused the problem… life imitates art.
    From “The Core” ( most under-rated doom film of the century)
    Astronaut: “What if we get there and the core is thicker or thinner than we expect”
    Science Adviser Guy… “What if the core is made of cheese! Best guess that is all science is”
    Astronaut : “I will take that as you don’t know”
    Roughly transcribed my memory may not be perfect and I am too tired to hunt for movie dialog right now.

  99. All this disparagement of Advisor Holdren’s intelligence is uncalled for and misses the mark. I once had a fellow working for me who had a PhD in nuclear physics and an I.Q. probably beyond measure. I discovered the bleary-eyed scientist spent his nights walking our high voltage power lines while equipped with special electronic gear of his own design intended to detect flying saucers. Apparently, the man had convinced himself that our transmission line losses were the result of flying saucers feeding off those lines at night when no one was watching.
    I think of that fellow often these days. I.Q. and the innate ability to spot the difference between truth and fiction are two entirely different things.

  100. Claude, you said, “I think of that fellow often these days. I.Q. and the innate ability to spot the difference between truth and fiction are two entirely different things.”
    It seems like many of the people here have extremely high B.Q.s (Bullsnip Quotient).

  101. Charles the moderator, Thank you for restraint in NOT deleting some very pertinent comments here, political or not.
    I have followed Holdren for at least 20 years now, and have long recognised that he is a first class wacko!

  102. This would be a disaster. One tiny mistake (like doing the calculations in Liters and the application in gallons, see: NASA) and we are screwed. Why in the world would you tinker with something you barely understand?
    This reminds me of a clip from a song where Dr. Frankstein and Igor are wild with glee saying “We’ve done it! We’ve done it!………… Uhoh……..”

  103. Lee Kington touched on what is most important about this idea of using particulate distribution to cool the atmosphere. IMO, we are well within “natural variation”, even if it can be proven that man is having an affect on the global temp. To “engineer the atmosphere” is most assuredly going to result in unexpected consequences. Look at the recent “iron filings” experiment in the ocean. Results that NO ONE foresaw. The one surety in all this is that the result will be drastically different than what was intended. No one should be allowed to experiment with humanity in the balance.

  104. This thread is about John Holdren suggesting that releasing particulate matter into the atmosphere will help slow global warming.
    I read all of these “flags” here Charles and I appreciate what you are trying to do that is keep things on focus….
    But in this case [as in many others] science and politics are bound together inextricably…because EVERYTHING is bound together.
    “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act” George Orwell
    And that is what this site is about. TELLING THE TRUTH. And so when one has to make a political statement to do so [without making an ad hominem], then I would say…many of the “flags”..are inappropriate.
    I am expecting a “flag” for my post [but I hope not]. Regardless…it is important to remember: That the topic of this thread is less scientific [in an of itself] than it is political [because John Holdren is involved].
    Sorry. He is the WORST possible candidate for any science advisor for any presidency because he is EXACTLY what you are trying to prevent here: politicization at its zenith!
    Thanks for your consideration of my thoughts here. I appreciate what you all are trying to accomplish here…and am definitely a fan.
    But the thread topic “Holdren suggests Climate Engineering with Particulates”… can not be commented upon without some occasional political inference.
    Best,
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  105. Several comments have touched on the effect previous levels of air pollution might have had on surface temperatures. I have to confess that this is not a point I had heard or thought of before.
    It seems obvious that air pollution would reduce surface temperatures in the areas it affects for the simple reason that the nice warm rays can’t get to us because of the nasty fug. That seems to be the reasoning behind the current proposal and if it’s true now it must follow it was true before. But I have no idea to what extent this might have affected historic temperature readings nor whether it is taken into account in Dr Hansen’s computer game.
    I don’t recall ever hearing of Outer Mongolia or Borneo being affected by smog as a result of steel factories in Yorkshire or Pittsburgh pumping grime into the air. Smog seems to be enjoyed predominantly by those who create it. If that is so, I would expect to see suppressed temperatures in the industrialised countries during the smoggy years with an increase when the sky turned from black to blue as de-filthing measures came into effect. These are, as I understand it, the very countries that have the longest and most reliable surface temperature measurements.
    Of itself, that would suggest that we should have seen warming over the last fifty years or so as cleaner air has allowed more of the Sun’s nice warming juices to dribble down to our bounteous lands and the thermometers thereon.
    Is there any learning on this subject?

  106. Just light off a few volcanoes like Pinatubo, Krakatoa, or even a super volcanic erruption from Yellow Stone, and we could get all the cooling we could ever want and then some!

  107. George E. Smith (15:19:32) :
    We barely have scratched the surface of explaining how this chaotic ocean/atmosphere system even works; and people are talking about re-engineering a system that nobody understands fully; and have an unlimited budget to try and do that.

    This sounds eerily like the Army Corps of Engineers at work, George.
    Mark

  108. Obama has no choice but to publicly accept whatever the ‘consensus’ is regarding climate change. Remember, much of his popularity in America and abroad comes from his message of collaboration with European authorities and the United Nations. We will probably never know what he really thinks about climate change, although we all suspect that he really believes in AGW.
    If Obama becomes suspicious of AGW, I don’t think that he will publicly express his doubts unless the IPCC does so as well, which is unlikely in the next 4 yrs. However, he may well decide to delay or minimize expensive energy policies, blaming his obfuscation on the economy.

  109. On the other hand it might be that Holdren ha seen a vision of the truth: no heat down the pipe.
    Offering the geoengineering option solves the political problem: “look we are getting ready to intervene if it is necessary”, to all those voters,and an out for the president from all the high promises of tackling the climate.
    Actually I think humans should study how to avoid ice ages too, since an ice age is the only inevitable prophecy and demonstrably CO2 does not have the strength and sensitivity to stop even a cooling PDO.

  110. “Dr. David Sackett, a pioneer of “evidence-based medicine,” where results from clinical trials rather than anecdotes are used to guide physician practice, famously said, “Half of what you’ll learn in medical school will be shown to be either dead wrong or out of date within five years of your graduation; the trouble is that nobody can tell you which half —…..”
    This is a bit glib and designed to shake students out of their complacency. The key to any science based course,biological,meteorological or other, is a good thorough grounding in the basic sciences. In my profession,the materials change,often rapidly, but the science behind them and its biological compatibility can be figured out.
    Climate science is based in the physical sciences ,Lovelock mixed with it with biology with varying success.

  111. Holdren was talking about the “upper atmosphere,” so presumably those of us here below wouldn’t be affected by smog, and the particles would eventually precipitate out by forming the nucleus of raindrops.
    JFH wrote:
    “GM and Segway are planning an electric scooter built for two and Obama wants to cut out fossil fuels. Does this mean the UHI effect will begin to diminish in about 10 years and all the temperature data will have to be adjusted in some unspecified manner? Just asking?”
    Heat from the exhaust of passing autos is a minor factor (5%?) in the UHI effect, so a shift to Segways wouldn’t make an impact. Most of the UHI effect is due to nearby masonry or asphalt heat sinks (roads, buildings, and roofs-beneath-weather-stations), or to stationary heat sources like air conditioner exhausts, chimneys, sewage treatment plants, etc. (I’ve probably missed a few.)

  112. Mark T, just wanted to point out that the army corps of engineers tried to fix the levees in New Orleans for 5 years before Katrina, but were blocked by “environmental groups”. As a Canadian, I am always impressed by the interstate highways in the U.S. Was just wondering if you could tell me who maintains these to such a high standard. Wish they worked on our highways, ……

  113. @FatBigot (20:08:42) :
    New learnings? I guess not.
    Might also remind people on a massive experiment almost 20 years ago. When the armed forces of Iraq withdrew from kuwait they gave the term “Scorched Earth” a whole new meaning.
    Global temperatures would drop, worldwide effects on health and enviroment, it would take decades to put all fires out, and so on.
    It did not work quite the way that some had predicted, the effects where rather limited, only local and it certainly did not take decades to put the fires out, more a matter of months, in fact when the last well was put out it was actually one that was set on fire again because it was on a more convinient spot (closer to the city, no unexploded bombs and mines).
    And now this mister Holdren want’s to do this on a global scale, all he has to do is to make the president to push the big red button labeled “Armageddon”.

  114. I agree with Robert Wood and think we should use this foolish suggestion against these nuts leading us. Not only remove the scrubbers but demand they immediately open up reserved lands for coal mining and build coal plants to increase our output of soot and electricity! We’ll need the electricity no matter which path they take, especially if it gets colder. How can they argue against their own suggestion? It’s been clear for a long time that the cleaning of our skies would have to allow more sunlight to penetrate to the earth’s surface, causing much more long wave radiation and surface heating. I thought we had scientists who knew these facts working in our government. I guess I didn’t pay attention in school and learned the real facts.

  115. Holdren should fly to North Dakota and have a town hall meeting where he explains that he wants to make it colder.
    He just needs to make sure that he has the Secret Service with him.

  116. This is the definitely a worst case scenario. We’re already in a period of cooling and then we take action to exacerbate the situation. It’s one thing to saddle our children with $20K debt even before they are born; it’s a far different thing to bring on an ice age.

  117. Steven Goddard wrote: “Holdren should fly to North Dakota and have a town hall meeting where he explains that he wants to make it colder. He just needs to make sure that he has the Secret Service with him.”
    Haha nothing like juxtaposing the foolishness against the obvious. Bravo.

  118. David Ball (20:35:34) :
    Mark T, just wanted to point out that the army corps of engineers tried to fix the levees in New Orleans for 5 years before Katrina, but were blocked by “environmental groups”.

    Yes, but their meddling is the reason several towns had to relocate in the early 90s because they tried to hard to constrain the Mississippi River. I suppose you get the good with the bad.
    Anyway, my point wasn’t as much an attack as it was more of a “here again we have the ACoE trying to re-engineer the planet” toungue-in-cheeck.
    As a Canadian, I am always impressed by the interstate highways in the U.S. Was just wondering if you could tell me who maintains these to such a high standard. Wish they worked on our highways.
    Hehe, apparently you don’t drive them much, eh? 🙂 Department of Transportation. I think each state has one and the government funds them to do the work. They are always under construction, however. I-25, which runs N/S in CO is currently being widened to 3 lanes for most of the trek between CO Springs and Denver. The part across our city took several years, and somehow they are working on it again near Garden of the Gods Rd. (Pkwy?). It’ll probably take 25 years to complete. Perpetual cone dodging in the mean-time.
    Mark

  119. When they say they will “look at it”, it probably means they are going to do it.
    It will backfire horribly, and the survivors will surely hang the offending Dr. Frankensteins who had no business playing Mad Scientist with the lives of every human being on Earth.
    Beware.

  120. Perhaps they mean to reduce the Earth’s population a wee bit.
    Like about 50%.
    GeoCide.
    Global Genocide, just add chemicals.
    Better living through chemistry.

  121. MarkT, agreed. In Canada, we have only 2 seasons. Winter and Construction. :^) I invite you to take a road trip on the Trans-Canada Highway through Saskatchewan. You may gain a much better appreciation for your own road ways. I was under the impression that the ACoE were the ones who maintained the Interstate routes, as they are of strategic importance. I am I incorrect in this assumption? Always eager to update cerebral files.

  122. Just like the Bomb, once they had it, it got used.
    Now that there is an opportunity (they think) to use it, they will.
    What I have not seen in any of this: Getting the Genie back in the Bottle.
    Once GeoEngineering of the Climate to cool the Earth has taken place, they have no way to
    undo the effects, i.e. – no way to to re-warm the planet.
    To hell in a handbasket.
    It will work, they will cool the Earth, but there’s no going back.
    If it is the wrong thing to do, there will be hell to pay on Earth.
    Here we are heading into a Grand Solar Minimum, policy has gotten hold of science, and judgement is opaque.

  123. This business of purposefully blotting out the sun…isn’t that what they did in “The Matrix”?
    I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had, during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species. I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area, and you multiply, and multiply, until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet, you are a plague, and we are the cure. – Agent Smith

  124. Not once yet have i seen the word “chemtrails” used. Was that not an attempt at geo-engineering of SOME sort?
    It was release of aerosols form planes, containing many combinations of chemicals, including boron (?)
    It created a misty haze, which essentially shut out sunlight, as well as apparently disturbing weather patterns.

  125. I suspect chemtrails are the result of testing how well the wide-area dispersion of anti-microbial agents would work in response to a massive bio-terror attack on the US. I suspect such an attack is what a few gov’t. officials like Biden, Cheney, and Tommy Thompson hinted at a few months back.

  126. Flanagan (11:28:57) :
    Is it ok if I summarize things like that:
    – Holdren never said the sentence which is proclaimed in the title
    – He only said that at

    I don’t often agree with Flanagan, but he has a point here.
    Stick to the science rather than mis-attributed soundbites.
    However, this doesn’t change the fact that Holdren has some half baked ideas of his own.

  127. Okay, let’s take the scrubbers off the coal power plants.
    No, wait, China’s already done that, and they do more CO2 than we do.
    Maybe take them off the cement plants, then.
    Or we could re-light the oil fields in Kuwait.
    I’d still rather send some mylar mirrors out to L4 and L5, with ion drives to keep them from blowing away while we wait for the Maunder.

  128. Not once yet have i seen the word “chemtrails” used. Was that not an attempt at geo-engineering of SOME sort?
    It was release of aerosols form planes, containing many combinations of chemicals, including boron (?)
    It created a misty haze, which essentially shut out sunlight, as well as apparently disturbing weather patterns.
    P.S. – Sorry, forgot to tell you great post!

  129. I personaly wonder just how much of this is that they know we are headded for a minimum and want to do something to make it look like they were the solution, not mother nature. If it were well known (and according to poll numbers there are a bunch of skeptics out there) then the scheme would be unveiled (sorta like the stock market crash unveiled Madoff)

  130. Its not fully understood and can not be predicted long term , but lets give it a poke and see what happens mmmmmm use a long stick.

  131. There is always a huge danger when you give real power to people who have become fanattical about their own dogma … it happened in Germany in the early 40’s, in Russia in the 50’s and in Cambodia n the 70’s ……
    …. a complete twit …..

  132. Arctic team: ‘London, we have a problem’
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7991801.stm
    It would appear that the Catlin Artic Survey have been beset with problems from the outset but have delibrately kept quiet about it till today.
    I wonder why that was?
    The notion that CAT has actually been collecting any meaningful data has now been knocked on the head.
    CAT have been outed, if they are not bringing home the science then you cannot call this a survey. It is a PR exercise in stupidty.

  133. As a Canadian, I am always impressed by the interstate highways in the U.S. Was just wondering if you could tell me who maintains these to such a high standard. Wish they worked on our highways.

    Hehe, too right, eh? I think PEI is the worst of the lot road-wise. Beautiful place otherwise, and THE place to go for lobster.

  134. I guess it’s a good thing man did not develop our current line of technology a few hundred years earlier. At the onset of the LIA we would have surely blamed ourselves for the dropping temperatures and determined that we were headed for another ice age.
    I wonder what “solution” we would have invented then?

  135. Well, abraxas – I tried that a few months ago – only to find out it’s a “conspiracy theory”…;)
    Anyway – while “just waiting” for the “theory” to appear in a “peer (pressure?) reviewed” publication – and for the “theory” to become accepted as at least “plausible” within the “open minded” science communes… I mean, community – I found this:
    “Welsbach seeding for reduction of global warming”
    Patent number: 5003186
    Filing date: Apr 23, 1990
    Issue date: Mar 26, 1991
    Inventors: David B. Chang, I-Fu Shih
    Assignee: Hughes Aircraft Company Stratospheric
    http://www.google.com/patents?id=MJUjAAAAEBAJ&dq=5003186
    The patent can also be found at:
    http://www.docstoc.com/docs/3344696/Hughes-Aircraft-Chemtrail-Patent

  136. How much stuff would need to be placed where in the atmosphere to have any appreciable effect? Above it’s said that a major volcanic explosion put 15 Million tons into the air and lowered global temp by 0.6 deg C for 2 years. So would this scheme require 7.5 Million tons a year indefinitely, or would the stuff stay up there for a long time (what kind of knowledge do we have on this? How would we propose to get some, before we run this irreversible experiment?).
    Suppose we have to throw 7.5 Million tons a year into the stratosphere. That’s a big lift. How would we do it, and where is the needed energy coming from?
    As many others have said, this idea is pretty undeveloped. It’s not smart governance to talk too freely about half-baked ideas. Presumably Holdren will learn from the fuss his unguarded comments have caused?

  137. In the past few days I’ve seen
    “Obama wants to engineer climate with particles”
    “Obama wants to restrict tourism in Antarctica”
    —-
    Ok who the hell does Barack think he is? He is the president of the USA, not the president of the world. What gives him the right to say what goes on in Antarctica. He has no more power over Antarctica than a McDonalds drive thru attendant in Idaho. Why does he think he runs the world? How can he engineer the climate of the USA without engineering the climate of the EARTH? Something needs to be done to this man, and I’m not going to say what. Hopefully some crazy whack job will step up to the plate before it is too late.

  138. Great, what happens when the week after we seed the stratosphere there is a Krakatoa type erruption, or worse. Is there a plan for a giant catalytic converter to fly around the stratosphere to clean up the mess?
    Where is King Canute when you need him. Should have brought him up in the sea level thread….

  139. Great, now they want to fabricate a nuclear winter. Well as long they do it over north america and keeps it there to their ruin.

  140. Tom in South Jersey (05:20:10) :
    Great, what happens when the week after we seed the stratosphere there is a Krakatoa type erruption, or worse. Is there a plan for a giant catalytic converter to fly around the stratosphere to clean up the mess?

    Worse than that, what happens when the seeding doesn’t have the desired effect, and we end up worse than the supposed problem they’re trying to “fix”? Like the ACoE trying to keep a river under “control”, it can’t possibly end well.

  141. I’ve seen cost estimates of a few billion dollars per year for a Global Warming antidote like this. If there is a Global Warming problem (I don’t think there is) then this seems like a relatively easy technical solution at a cost equal to a very small percentage of the current stimulus/bailout program. It can be applied only if, and when needed.

  142. Just Want Truth… (13:30:39) :
    charles,
    I don’t see politics in what I said. Could you explain your view on this?
    Should I have said–“California is not having drought. The earth is not warming but cooling. Steven Chu is wrong to say things are worse than they can possibly be. What he said is not supported by observation.”–instead of abbreviating the thought?
    This was the intent behind what I said in the comment. I hope that is not political. Is it?

  143. Malcolm (03:56:49) :
    Arctic team: ‘London, we have a problem’
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7991801.stm
    “But when the expedition, the Catlin Arctic Survey, set off in late February, it encountered an unexpected wind chill as low as minus 70 degrees Celsius, and the technology failed.”
    Here we have a science editor who does not know that inanimate objects are not affected by wind chill. Or is it that -70 sounds much more scary than -40. Me thinks the latter. That’s the BBC for you.

  144. Charles the moderator: Thanks for not deleting our flagged posts, but what if a scientist is in a job which is political, does any commentary about his scientific ideas mean a political opinion?

  145. This issue about areosols take us to the issue of volcanic eruptions, and from these to solar minimums, and to Anthony´s Ap index study. It seems that we are arriving at some meaningful correlations which could be summarized or reunited in a single post. There are a lot of papers out there but a kind of digest is needed for the sake of WUWT readers and for the clearing up of some minds that fell prey of the newly “concocted” climate change belief.

  146. China, India and Russia do not believe in global warming.
    They will not be impressed if anyone blocks off their sunshine.
    Think about that.

  147. Hint to Holdren:
    As you are thinking of introducing “particulates into the atmosphere” to reflect sunlight back out into the cosmic void, this neat NASA paper posted by Oldjim at 6:27:36 shows sulfur dioxide doing a wonderful job- so why wait- just turn off all those sulfur scrubbers at those coal and oil-fired power plants and you get the cooling you are looking for !!!!
    “Sulfates, which come primarily from the burning of coal and oil, scatter incoming solar radiation and have a net cooling effect on climate. Over the past three decades, the United States and European countries have passed a series of laws that have reduced sulfate emissions by 50 percent. While improving air quality and aiding public health, the result has been less atmospheric cooling from sulfates.”

  148. One question posed I can answer. The Interstate Highway System was constructed with 80% of the costs paid for by our federal government, and 20% paid for by the various states. Once constructed, the cost of maintenance is paid for and the maintenance performed by the various states.
    This great public works project was not advertised as a civilian transportation system, but as a national defense system, to provide transportation of military needs during wartime. Civilians could use it during periods between wars.
    Without question, the Interstate Highway System was a huge boon to our civilian economy.
    What bothers me most about all the AGW carrying on is that no one is paying any attention to margins of error. In fact, it is obvious that temperatures taken before at least 1953 (my first year of college, when it was explained to me in chemistry class why mercury thermometers are not to be taken at face value where measured temperatures are concerned) are taken at face value, which they certainly shouldn’t be. The actual margins of error in these temperatures are quite large relative to the “differences” as measured.
    Woe to those who neglect to take margins of error into consideration.
    As for the construction of artificial trees (and I am not sure what that is even about), it would seem that seriously increasing our lumber industry would do better. Trees could be cut down, and turned into lumber which could then be used for “permanent” construction of many things, houses and the like, which would “lock up” the carbon already stored, and new trees grown to fix even more carbon. Bringing back our logging industry would make much more sense than would some sort of building of artificial trees, and would substantially assist our economy a great deal at the same time.

  149. Well Oldjim, let me guess; that is from a computer model; and is not actual experimental measurement.
    Am i correct ?

  150. “”” David Porter (06:22:17) :
    Malcolm (03:56:49) :
    Arctic team: ‘London, we have a problem’
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7991801.stm
    “But when the expedition, the Catlin Arctic Survey, set off in late February, it encountered an unexpected wind chill as low as minus 70 degrees Celsius, and the technology failed.”
    Here we have a science editor who does not know that inanimate objects are not affected by wind chill. Or is it that -70 sounds much more scary than -40. Me thinks the latter. That’s the BBC for you. “””
    Do we actually know that ? I would think that any inanimate object that is losing energy to a stationary atmosphere, would most certainly cool faster, with a wind blowing.
    So certainly some inanimate objects experience wind chill. Anything wet I would think certainly would.

  151. OT: We are wintering in Hawaii and this winter has been filled with days and days of clouds and haze and much reduced temperatures in stark contrast to many previous years. Looks like the negative PDO and hibernating sun are screwing things up.

  152. Instead of polluting the earth’s atmosphere why not place a “Space-Based Solar Shield To Offset Greenhouse Effect” at the L1 Lagranian point?   BTW, SOHO is located at L1.
    http://www.osti.gov/accomplishments/documents/fullText/ACC0229.pdf
    On the other hand, “Some of these insolation-modulating scattering systems may be re-configured to effectively increase insolation by an amount – perhaps 3% – sufficient to prevent another Ice Age.”
    –Mike Ramsey

  153. “”” “We show that the climate over the 21st century can and likely will produce periods of a decade or two where the globally averaged surface air temperature shows no trend or even slight cooling in the presence of longer-term warming.” “””
    What gobbledegook; the plane may fly backwards in the presence of forward flight.
    The Yankees won some innings in the presence of losing the game.
    If it is cooling the temperatures go down, you may get more ice formed; none of that is compatible with a warming scenario.
    All of this climatespeak is a result of defining climate as the “Long term average of weather.”
    Cl;imate is NOT the average of weather; it is the INTEGRAL of weather; and what will happen tomorrow will start from where we are at today; and not from some long term average baseline.

  154. David Ball (21:56:00) :
    MarkT, agreed. In Canada, we have only 2 seasons. Winter and Construction. :^)

    Funniest thing I read all day. It’s still early, and this site repeatedly has such gems, but it’s going to be tough to top.
    I was under the impression that the ACoE were the ones who maintained the Interstate routes, as they are of strategic importance. I am I incorrect in this assumption? Always eager to update cerebral files.
    Yes, that is, you were incorrect in that assumption. LarryOldTimer got it right. I think the states still get matching funds for infrastructure development, which is primarily road/bridge construction and maintenance, however. It was that money the federal government used to extort an increase in the drinking age to 21 from each of the states.
    The ACoE may have been involved in some fashion since they seem to always be involved with large public works projects like these, but I’m guessing if they were, it was only peripherally.
    We actually have a Summer here in CO, too. I’m not sure if the construction is considered a season, or a baseline, quite frankly. Thankfully I do not live in DC, which is perpetually under construction.
    Mark

  155. We do know for certain that high level sulfuric aresols from volcanos can significantly change the short term weather patterns; but, those changes usually hold true for a few years,and only affect particular regions of the globe. What ever long term trends the global climate is undergoing will continue after the aresols fall to earth (usually through precip). So, in order to “slow” or perhaps “alter” a hypothetical instance of AGW, our experts would need to significantly “cool” the global climate (perhaps by as much as 1-2 deg C). This wold entail a drastic change in hemispheric weather patterns not seen even during the LIA. This would not only change temperature distribution, but precipitation distribution as well. Remember, many areas during the coldest decades of the LIA suffered horrendous droughts (see the Virginia and TIdewater areas, as well as the UK in 1666, as well as China and East Asia). Large pools of Continental Polar Air stuck in the High Latitudes cause massive subsidence bubbles which bring on long periods of droughts. Many parts of Asia suffered under these droughts throughout the late Middle Ages.
    Of course, no one in charge is even mentioning the unexpected recent spell of cool “weather”. To them, this is still a period of unprecedented climate brought on by GHGs. I’m not sure how many more years of little to no warming it will take for these people to admit that they haven’t a clue to what the climate is doing.

  156. Mike Ramsey (08:26:35) :
    Instead of polluting the earth’s atmosphere why not place a “Space-Based Solar Shield To Offset Greenhouse Effect” at the L1 Lagranian point?

    Professor Wernstrom* proposed such an idea once. A micro-meteorite hit the shield, it tilted, focused on the earth, and fried half the planet afterward. I’m not sure we really want to go down this path. It could be deadly.
    Mark
    *Futurama episode “Planet of the Hot. That I know this off the top of my head scares me.

  157. “”” Claude Harvey (19:17:24) :
    All this disparagement of Advisor Holdren’s intelligence is uncalled for and misses the mark. I once had a fellow working for me who had a PhD in nuclear physics and an I.Q. probably beyond measure. I discovered the bleary-eyed scientist spent his nights walking our high voltage power lines while equipped with special electronic gear of his own design intended to detect flying saucers. Apparently, the man had convinced himself that our transmission line losses were the result of flying saucers feeding off those lines at night when no one was watching.
    I think of that fellow often these days. I.Q. and the innate ability to spot the difference between truth and fiction are two entirely different things. “””
    Well I doubt there is much connection between intelligence and ability to scor well on an IQ test. The more often you take them, the higher you score; It is like doing Sudoku puzzles; do enough of them and you learn the secrets.
    All I can remember of the IQ tests I took as a student, is that the people who wrote the questions were too dumb to see that many of the problems did not even have unique answers.
    Example: Perfom unknown transform f(xyz) on object (A) converts it to Object (U). Perform same transform f(xyz) on Object (B) converts it to object (V) or object (W) or object (X) or object (Y) or Object (Z). Circle correct answer ?
    No assurance that transform f(xyz) is uniqe. Example of that: Object (A) is a square, with a small open circle in upper left corner, and same size black dot in lower right corner. Transform f(xyz) reverses the position of the circle and dot. Object (B) is same as Object (A) but has added small open square in upper right corner, and same size black square in lower left corner. So what does transform f(xyz) change object (B) to.
    Well if f(xyz) is a 180 degree rotation of the object in the plane, all four corners change positions. But f(ijk) is a 180 flip about thediagonal joining the two little squares. It correctly flips the circles as well, but leaves the squares alone

  158. Since this plan would affect world-wide climate (can’t keep the particles over the USA), I would suggest a vote by all affected parties, i.e. the entire population of the earth. Unless consent is granted by a majority free and democratic vote of the earth’s 6(?) billion residents, this plan should not move forward.

  159. George E. Smith (08:18:27) :
    “”” David Porter (06:22:17) :
    Malcolm (03:56:49) :
    Arctic team: ‘London, we have a problem’
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7991801.stm
    “But when the expedition, the Catlin Arctic Survey, set off in late February, it encountered an unexpected wind chill as low as minus 70 degrees Celsius, and the technology failed.”
    Here we have a science editor who does not know that inanimate objects are not affected by wind chill. Or is it that -70 sounds much more scary than -40. Me thinks the latter. That’s the BBC for you. “””
    Do we actually know that ? I would think that any inanimate object that is losing energy to a stationary atmosphere, would most certainly cool faster, with a wind blowing.
    So certainly some inanimate objects experience wind chill. Anything wet I would think certainly would.

    Windchill is simply a measure of the rate of cooling not the final temperature. It is based on studies made some 50 years ago, of how fast samples of water froze in still air in the Antarctic.

    http://www.gdargaud.net/Antarctica/MeteoDdU.html
    The term ‘wind chill’ goes back to the Antarctic explorer Paul Siple in 1939. He conducted experiments on the time it takes to freeze a cylinder of water and found it dependent on the temperature and the wind speed. His formula was later refined by Court and Steadman. Since 2001 the US weather service uses a new formula, but many other countries don’t bother with wind chill. The present formula, in °C and m/s, for wind speed > 1.34m/s is Twc = 13.127 + 0.6215.T + ( 0.48628.T – 13.947 )*Speed0.16

    Windchill only applies to inanimate objects in the sense that they will cool to the ambient temperature (in this case -40) at a rate of heat loss comparable to still air at -70. But the part the general public does not appreciate is that the final equilibrium temperature will not go lower than -70. In the case or wet objects wind will cool the object below the ambient temperature. If it is (and remains) sufficiently wet, like wet cotton, its temperature will approach the dew point temperature which can be lower than ambient. In low humidities summer time conditions this effect is used in swamp coolers to lower outside air temps as the water evaporates. In practical terms these swamp coolers seldom achieve cooling greater than about 20 deg F (11 deg C). At subfreezing temperatures the cooling effect due to a wet surface only lasts until the water film freezes.
    They should have known that the constantly flexing leads to the SPRITE needed to be cold rated. Any experienced outdoors person knows that power cords get so stiff at even moderate cold temps that they break. At about -35 deg F even steel becomes brittle and can break like glass. Elastomers that are flexible at very low temperatures are not common and this sort of failure is a major issue with all equipment in arctic conditions. They should have done cold soak and flex cycle tests on their equipment, or used an rf link (which would have its own problems of oscillator stability at cold temps).
    I don’t have any problem with their equipment breaking, that is a given in those temps and not at all unusual. Bringing spares for those cables would have been prudent. But they should have made that info public. It would have added credibility to their efforts not detracted from it.
    Larry

  160. correction —
    But the part the general public does not appreciate is that the final equilibrium temperature will not go lower than -70.
    should read:
    But the part the general public does not appreciate is that the final equilibrium temperature will not go lower than -40.
    Larry

  161. There seems to be general agreement that this is a stupid idea. The comment about using large nuclear weapons to disburse the particulates is even worse (I know you weren’t really serious) as the resulting EMP (see a previous thread) would probably do far more damage than anything else.
    So, I’m back to my original thought that this is a belated April Fools’ joke.
    Unless it isn’t, in which case we are the fools.

  162. Make a nice orbiting mylar umbrella for the Arctic ice, a “foil hat” for the planet. Orbit it high enough that it doesn’t need to be very large to block the summer sun.

  163. Can you imagine how much “particulate” it would take to cause even the slightest decrease in solar radiation? This should keep NASA in business for years!

  164. This story just doesn’t pass the smell test.
    It looks more like “Wagging the Cloud” They want to do some feeble effort to stem AGW, then declare victory, while in fact Nature did all the heavy lifting.

  165. If we just send up 1000 tons of nanometer sized carbon black particles into 400 mile high polar orbits we can make our own sunscreen. Really. The Earth’s atmosphere would cool down and reduce drag on the particles so they stay in orbit much longer. Problem is that the Earth will probably go into an ice age. Great, just great. We can freeze in the dark. I guess now that the delusionalist are in power we can expect more “Bright” ideas like that.

  166. Nobody can tell us the consequences of this hair-brained scheme, but most likely sulfur dioxide particles probably work the same whether they are man-made instead of natural.
    Maybe we should just pollute more, instead?

  167. Holdren wants to “engineer” our climate to prevent runaway global warming… for a Nobel Prize winner he’s not too smart. If his idea gains traction it could plunge us into another Maunder Minimum… stupid.

  168. JP (08:44:21) :
    “I’m not sure how many more years of little to no warming it will take for these people to admit that they haven’t a clue to what the climate is doing”.
    So, you know what to do.
    Kick them out of office.

  169. this is scary to read! Do they really think they have any notion of long term effects of populating the atmosphere with particulates? What sort of science advisor is this guy? Has he not simply looked at the more recent global temperature readings to see that the temperatures are on the decrease. Furthermore, what would give the US the authority to do anything to the atmosphere that could potentially impact other countries. This is pure lunacy at its best.

  170. Ron de Haan:
    Droughts are already present in the Argentinian “pampas”
    In Spanish: http://linux0.unsl.edu.ar/~geo/p-geoambiental/libro-salinas/1-informe.htm
    A known argentinian geologist Miguel Gonzales, in his studies in the “Salinas del bebedero”, a salt lake in Argentina, http://www.springerlink.com/content/m11m129238u61484/
    “all these weather changes coincide with solar minimums like the Maunder minimum, which produced drought in the argentinian “pampa” (plains), and which it is happening again now. So, in general, we have different weather systems: one west of the andes and the other east of the andes.

  171. Mark T (08:47:44) :
    Mike Ramsey (08:26:35) :
    Instead of polluting the earth’s atmosphere why not place a “Space-Based Solar Shield To Offset Greenhouse Effect” at the L1 Lagranian point?
    Professor Wernstrom* proposed such an idea once. A micro-meteorite hit the shield, it tilted, focused on the earth, and fried half the planet afterward. I’m not sure we really want to go down this path. It could be deadly. Mark *Futurama episode “Planet of the Hot. That I know this off the top of my head scares me.
     Messing with mother nature can be a b—, err, a problem.
    I am not in favor of alleviating global warming because I have concluded that it’s all part of the natural variation in the earth’s climate.  I just wanted to point out two things.
    If a response was called for then polluting the earth’s atmosphere is not the best choice
    If an ice age was coming anytime soon, we could actually do something about it.
    My sons watch Futurama.  I am more of a Burn Notice fan.  🙂
    –Mike Ramsey

  172. Can anyone list the track record of Mr. Holdren’s past “geoengineering” projects?

  173. It seems like we’ve already tried that and then cleaned it up in the last century.

    That dimming sun, an early dusk, a taste of dust/red dirt in the air and white particles of ash drifting down (‘looks like snow’) from the Heavens; we’ve got that this late evening in Dallas, Texas!
    Courtesy of brush fires fanned by high winds to our immediate west plus possibly some good old-fashioned west Texas dust mixed in and we have the veritable picture of what’s posted at the top of this blog entry … and a lotta good we might be doing for the AGW cause because of it, unintentionally of course.
    Is this what we have to look forward to if Holdren has his way?

  174. It was the calculations of Nuclear Winter after the Russians lit off Tzar Bomba (50 MTons) in 1961 that scared both sides into treaties to disarm.
    Now, a politician wants to create Chemical Winter on a scale that would result from a Nuclear Exchange. This kind of stunt only works in comic books.
    And I am quite sure that using Nuclear Weapons to deliver the chemicals at scale will totally cheese off the Russians and the Chinese. Might even provoke the real deal.
    Absolute MADness.

  175. Roger Knights (00:36:14) :
    I suspect chemtrails are the result of testing how well the wide-area dispersion of anti-microbial agents …

    I fear there are far greater effects on one’s physiology vis-a-vis inhalation of exhaust from a V-8 engine running in V-7 mode (heavy mis-fire) than some compound released at 30,000 feet; consider the dispersal factor (dispersal of the compound) through the atmosphere in 3-Dimensions down to surface level, consider the 10% Ethanol blend we are forced to use in addition to a number of chemical additives to that raw gasoline and the ‘chemtrail’ stuff (if any, and I contend there is _none) fades to high statistical insignificance.

  176. Among all of the above posts, no one has posed the question of why Holdren is proposing such an unrealistic solution to AGW and what is the urgency.
    The reason involves the understanding that most astute politicians and agenda-driven scientists understand very well. The general public has no concept of orders of magnitude. Whenever I ask a group of people, “How long is one trillion seconds?” the answers vary widely. Most of those asked think it’s less than a year, a much smaller number of answers are in the low hundreds of years, and a very few answers are larger than 1,000 years. The real answer is that one trillion seconds is about 31,689 years! (An average Tropical year is about 365.24 days, so you can do the math.)
    The inability of people to comprehend the exponential realities of increasing (or decreasing) orders of magnitudes makes them easy targets for offering them seemingly logical solutions to large problems from a qualitative standpoint that are simply untenable were the quantitative relative magnitudes of the causal agent and proposed effect to be considered.
    This is how politicians can bamboozle the public into thinking (viscerally) that a trillion dollar budget is only a little more than a billion dollar one.
    The reason for Holdren et al’s urgency is that we are near, to use one of the alarmists’ favorite expressions, a tipping point in their need to take action now. This tipping point is not the usual one that refers to the global temperature rise getting out of hand, but quite the opposite, it’s the point at which the public support of the AGW hypothesis will shift irreparably negative. With an apparent hiatus in the warming trend over the past 8+ years it will be increasingly harder to keep the public from becoming skeptical.
    Here’s their problem. Three things can happen with global temperatures over the next few decades: Temps can rise, stay about the same, or decline. Of these options, two of them are bad for the AGWers and one of them, the first option, is supportive, but not irrefutable as to whether it justifies the hypothesis.
    If they take no action, the odds are that they will be a loser.
    However, what if they do take some action, any action? If temperatures remain the same or fall, they will claim that their action(s) were responsible. If temperatures rise, they will claim that they did everything they could, but it wasn’t enough. No matter what happens they will claim that the results justified their efforts.
    In other words, it is important that they take some sort of action immediately in order to preserve their AGW hypothesis. The real scientists among them (those that may favor the AGW hypothesis for a number of non scientific reasons ranging form personal recognition, to funding, to simply keeping their job in academia, or for political purposes) probably realize that their theories are on increasingly shaky ground. They may note that certain natural processes are coming together to turn temperatures colder. These include the change in the PDO to negative (which I believe is a primary predictor of temperature trends), hints of a premature turn in the MDO in the Atlantic which will also favor cooling, the eruption of Mt. Redoubt in Alaska that’s spewing megatons of SO2 into the stratosphere which will hydrolyze and oxidize into micrometer-sized H2SO4 particulates across the Arctic which, given the low sun angle, will reflect a significantly higher amount of S/W radiation (perhaps 6%-8% more than normal) back into space. Finally there’s the sun. The current exceptional quiet period portends (for some) a diminuition in TSI which albeit small, could only have a negative effect on global temps.
    On the political side, urgency is needed because as Rahm Emanuel speaking about the financial collapse and the recession said, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste”. The increasing burden on the taxpayers will render passage of draconian propositions re AGW less attractive to anyone outside of the environmental movement and even the atmospherically impotent cap-and-trade legislation will likely fail in this Congressional session.

  177. An update from NYT
    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/09/science-adviser-lists-goals-on-climate-energy/
    “I said that the approaches that have been surfaced so far seem problematic in terms of both efficacy and side effects, but we have to look at the possibilities and understand them because if we get desperate enough it will be considered. I also made clear that this was my personal view, not Administration policy. Asked whether I had mentioned geo-engineering in any White House discussions, though, I said that I had. This is NOT the same thing as saying the White House is giving serious consideration to geo-engineering – which it isn’t — and I am disappointed that the headline and the text of the article suggest otherwise.”

  178. George E. Smith (08:18:27) :
    Sorry George but I missed your comment. My point and well explained by hotrod is that the temperature of the inanimate object is not affected by wind chill. The speed at which it reaches that temperature may be quicker the greater the wind speed, but its temperature will be that of ambient.
    David

  179. Give your wife a million bucks with instructions to spend a thousand bucks a day and she’ll run out of money in less than three years.
    Give her a trillion bucks with the same instructions, you won’t see her for almost three million years…
    Chump change.

  180. by Richard Heg
    An update from NYT
    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/09/science-adviser-lists-goals-on-climate-energy/
    “I said that the approaches that have been surfaced so far seem problematic in terms of both efficacy and side effects, but we have to look at the possibilities and understand them because if we get desperate enough it will be considered. I also made clear that this was my personal view, not Administration policy. Asked whether I had mentioned geo-engineering in any White House discussions, though, I said that I had. This is NOT the same thing as saying the White House is giving serious consideration to geo-engineering – which it isn’t — and I am disappointed that the headline and the text of the article suggest otherwise.”

    Funny, “if we get desperate enough…” which really means if politicians get desperate enough for tax money and control of the populace. Or, so desperate because the CO2 thang ain’t workin’…

  181. aurbo (20:42:49) :
     Good post.  I have been wondering about the end-game for the AGW crowd.  All those who have put politics before science are in a terrible bind.  When the CO2 hypothesis is widely understood to have been disproved, science as a whole will take a terrible hit.  Who will take scientist seriously?
    It will be a crisis. Hmm, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste“.  Interesting ….
    🙂
    –Mike Ramsey

  182. Apparently Holdren and the others are big fans of sci-fi writer Kim Stanley Robinson, and his Mars terra-forming books. He also wrote a couple of books on massive eco-engineering stunts to combat global warming effects.
    Among the devices Robinson used for the earth:
    Dumping zillions of tons of rock salt into the Atlantic ocean to restart the conveyor, which supposedly will stop when all the Arctic ice melts.
    Pumping vast quantities of sea water onto the Antarctic plateau to allow the water to freeze and reduce sea level caused by out-of-control global warming.
    Planting CO2-absorbing lichen (genetically engineered) to reduce CO2 levels from the atmosphere; the planting areas are to be the Siberian forests.

  183. Caught the tail end of this
    David Porter (00:38:45) :
    George E. Smith (08:18:27) :
    Sorry George but I missed your comment. My point and well explained by hotrod is that the temperature of the inanimate object is not affected by wind chill. The speed at which it reaches that temperature may be quicker the greater the wind speed, but its temperature will be that of ambient.

    Unless the inanimate is wet by rain or fog. Wind chill is for animals that carry their own moisture, but rain and wind mix too, and the effect is similar: water evaporates and cools the inanimate in the wind.
    David

  184. How long before they realize that this nutty scheme would all but neutralize the solar power industry. Maybe we should all invest in dirty carbon spewing coal.

  185. Holdren’s Boss likes his Pizza so much!
    http://greenhellblog.wordpress.com/2009/04/11/obamas-hypocritical-pizza-order-extra-carbon-footprint/
    Presidential pizza order: Extra carbon footprint
    April 11, 2009
    The Sun (UK) reported to day that,
    BARACK Obama liked a restaurant’s pizzas so much he has flown the chef 850 miles to make some at the White House.
    Assuming the chef took a commercial flight, the air travel from the air travel alone produced 645 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions!
    To underscore Obama’s do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do ethic, let’s recall his famous avowal from the 2008 campaign:
    “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK.”
    Don’t forget how our Hypocrite-in-Chief kept the Oval Office warm enough in the winter to grow orchids.

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