The fix is in

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Engineering a cooler Earth

Researchers brainstorm radical ways to counter climate change

By Erika Engelhaupt

None of the scientists in the room so much as blinked when David Keith suggested saving the world with spy planes spraying sulfuric acid.

Keith, a physicist at the University of Calgary in Canada, was facing an audience not likely to be shocked: nearly 200 other researchers, some of whom had their own radical ideas for fighting global warming. His concept was to spray a mist of sulfuric acid high in the stratosphere to form particles called sulfate aerosols, which would act like a sprinkling of tiny sunshades for the overheating Earth.

Keith’s idea may sound outrageous, but it is just one of many proposals for bumping the global thermostat down a couple of degrees by tinkering directly with the planet’s heating and cooling systems. Plans to cool the Earth range from shading it to fertilizing it, from seeding clouds to building massive supersuckers that filter greenhouse gases from the air. The schemes are all part of a growing field known as geoengineering: a subject once taboo for all but the scientific fringe, but now beginning to go mainstream.

So far the tinkering happens mainly in computer models, where researchers are trying to figure out geoengineering’s potential side effects. Yet some technologies are in the prototype stage, governments are starting to consider geoengineering seriously and budding geoengineers are working out how to proceed safely, and ethically, with real-world experiments.

“It truly is asking giant questions which nobody really knows the answers to,” Keith says — “like how we manage the whole Earth.”

In March, Keith and other experts met in a dimly lit chapel-turned-auditorium at the Asilomar resort near Monterey, Calif. In 1975, molecular biologists met at the same resort to write landmark guidelines to regulate DNA experiments. This time around, cloud physicists, legal scholars and government bureaucrats debated the relative merits of brightening clouds versus building artificial trees. In the end, the meeting-goers concluded that geoengineering research should cautiously proceed, in case Earth’s climate proves broken beyond the current means of repair: ratcheting down fossil fuel use.

Researchers have kicked around the idea of large-scale climate manipulation since at least the 1960s, when Soviet scientists suggested damming the Bering Strait as part of a scheme to warm Siberia and free shipping lanes of sea ice. But mainstream scientific attention began only about five years ago.

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read the rest at Science News Engineering a cooler Earth

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157 thoughts on “The fix is in

  1. “So far the tinkering happens in computer models…” and we are supposed to believe the modeled results are what will actually happen in the real world?

  2. These are not in fact proposals for ‘combating global warming’. You have to see them in a quite different light. They are proposals that we shall as a species get into the business of large scale geo engineering with a view to actively managing the climate of the planet we live on.
    The answer to such proposals must surely be that if there is only the smallest chance that such things could go catastrophically wrong and thus extinguish human civilization, the precautionary principle forbids doing them.
    Or more seriously, and less ad hominem, that the idea that we know enough and have robust enough technology to do it successfully is totally insane.

  3. This Keith guy would be lynched in his hometown of Calgary this week. Southern Alberta is 15 degrees below average and it’s been raining and snowing for days here. Be a tough sell here. What a waste of my taxes dollars. Here are parts of my “letter to the editor” from last January about Keith’s work. Grrrr….
    Lethbridge Herald
    RE: Sun screen idea floated January 28, 2010
    Readers should be alarmed that their tax dollars are being wasted on the likes of U of C Professor Keith. He is proposing that he get grant money for the concept of seeding the atmosphere with particles to block the sun and make our weather colder than it already is.
    Yet the world’s climatologists don’t know how climate and weather change. We now know that the role of carbon dioxide has been overblown by the politically motivated UN IPCC, by the sensation-seeking media and by grant-hungry researchers riding the “climate gravy train.” …
    Now Professor Keith is proposing to study the addition of “stuff” to our atmosphere to stop climate change when we don’t even know how the climate changes! The arrogance is as amazing as it is frightening.
    We know that volcanoes have drastic affects on climate as witnessed by terrible weather following Pinatubo, Krakatoa and Tambora. Now imagine putting a bunch of particles into the atmosphere, followed by an unexpected and major volcanic eruption. If you thought the past two winters have been cold, and if you blinked and completely missed the few days of summer in 2009, you will not like colder weather that Professor Keith is proposing to produce. Sugar beets and summer-loving folks won’t like it one bit. (Here in Lethbridge, 2009 was the coldest year of the century and the coldest since 1996!)
    ….

  4. “overheating earth”. What baloney. Do I even have to explain why that is a stupid thing to say?
    Geo-engineering will probably be the death of us all, when the “fix” lands us right into the next ice age.

  5. Ridiculous. The long term trend over the last 5000 years is towards more and more cooling and there is nothing to suggest any dangerous warming can occur. However, cooling the planet artificially would be genuinely dangerous. We already know what such suicidal dreams have their roots in the eco-religion’s belief that the planet is overpopulated and that killing off a large number would “save the planet”. Talking about cooling the planet is like planning a genocide. I’d actually go as far as prompting people to protest and take up arms against such a suicidal notion.

  6. So let me get this straight. Guys who want to intentionally spray sulfuric acid and other junk into the atmosphere with some goofy idea that they can control the weather are considered mainstream, while those of us who want to examine the original, unadjusted temperature records to see if what is being claimed is actually true are considered enemies of the people? Super-suckers indeed!

  7. Michel – I agree . Unfortunately , it appears that the true believers abandoned their sanity long ago .

  8. Uh, this particular chap is suggesting that we blanket the atmosphere with HsSO4 in order to cool down an already cooling climate to save the planet from global warming? And we sceptics are supposed to be the stupid ones?

  9. bumping the global thermostat down a couple of degrees
    Better to keep the fingers of those nuts off the red switch. Couple of degrees means well bellow the Maunder minimum.

  10. ……….“It truly is asking giant questions which nobody really knows the answers to,” Keith says — “like how we manage the whole Earth.”
    It sounds like I will have to make time to write to the U of Calgary, this guy needs less money to spend.

  11. Fools!
    “Know him who knows not when he knows not and shun him!”
    Have we become as gods that we think we can control the heavens and the earth? As Keith says — “like how we manage the whole Earth.”???
    Absurd. Cockroaches have as much of a chance of “managing” the earth.
    This is not to say that we cannot have profound effects on our environment, both good and bad. But control? You have got to be kidding!

  12. If you’d told me 20 years ago that environmentalists would be clamoring for MORE acid rain, I would have laughed my head off.
    If they’re actually serious about this, why not let the coal & oil power plants turn off their S02 scrubbers. Oh wait, that would save everybody money. Why do such a foolish thing when we can spend more money?

  13. Just supposing that an effective, affordable control method with no side effects could be found, who is going to decide how much is enough? No two people in an air conditioned office can agree on exactly where the thermostat should be set.
    I suppose whoever pays the piper calls the tune, and the rest of the world had better learn to like the music.

  14. Anthony and friends.
    Thank you for this great website. I don’t know how you guys do it, but your efforts are truly awesome!

  15. Jeez, these people just don’t know when to call it a day.
    So, to be clear here, we take the ill defined CO2 “problem” existing mostly in model results and attempt to fix it by “tinkering” directly with real systems we barely understand based again on what “models” indicate might be the end result. What could possibly go wrong?
    “It truly is asking giant questions which nobody really knows the answers to,” Keith says — “like how we manage the whole Earth.”
    Hey Keith, I have an idea – like how about you don’t. Arrogant fool.
    There are several Engineers here – Q. Have you ever “tinkered” with a system (or device) that you didn’t understand (possibly as a child) and could you describe the end result?

  16. Do we really think we are smart enough to tinker with these natural heating/cooling processes? Who is to say that these “cures” for the disease may actually be worse than the “disease” itself? These “scientists” may actually end up doing more harm than good if they had their way.
    Seriously, spraying sulfuric acid into the atmosphere? What are these guys smoking?
    Of course, there is such thing as an “overheating earth” so this is all nothing but hype and bad science anyway.

  17. History is full of examples where the West has engaged in environmental engineering only to make things a lot worse. Our program of forest fire management earlier in the 1900’s of extinguishing all fires (including natural fires) as they started led to massive undergrowth, leading to some seriously large megafires later on.
    The environmental movement is also replete with “we must act now!” actions which led to worse disasters than leaving the problem alone: some of the worse superfund sites (such as Kalamazoo) were paper recycling plants.
    I would have thought that people would have learned that acting without fully realizing the consequences often creates much bigger problems later on–but apparently those who advocate environmental engineering have simply set their sights to bigger things.

  18. UK Sceptic says:
    May 30, 2010 at 10:59 am
    Uh, this particular chap is suggesting that we blanket the atmosphere with HsSO4 in order to cool down an already cooling climate to save the planet from global warming? And we sceptics are supposed to be the stupid ones?>>
    Don’t you see, its the perfect scam. Hey we sprayed some magic stuff in the air and the earth cooled off. See! it Worked!
    Which will be followed by… let’s see 15 years flat, slight decline just started should be in full swing cooling in 5 years, alarmism by 10 years…. We sprayed too much magic dust in the air, we’ve triggered an ice age, we need huge amounts of cash to study it and come up with a solution. No! we can’t pump CO2 in we just found out is has a negative feedback due to a reaction with the magic stuff we sprayed and its logarithmic anyway so it wouldn’t make much difference!

  19. Before we try to tinker with the entire atmosphere maybe we should first try to find out how to actually measure surface temperature at the poles. Or in other words: A species that isn’t even capable of measuring what’s happening shouldn’t start messing with it.

  20. Or we could generate lots of electricity using unfiltered high sulfur coal.
    Or wait…… we already tried that and it causes acid rain.

  21. Land use issues are one thing.
    Tinkering with Geo-Engineering to force the balance of elemental stability is quite another.
    Will result in unintended consequences, especially since the world is NOT overheated.
    An already resource-stressed world will disintegrate into full-scale open warfare, nuclear included, as whole civilizations are backed against the wall.
    This is a solution?
    Where does such madness originate?

  22. Keep your eyes peeled for more stuff to come out on David Keith. He is educated just enough to be dangerous, as is evidenced by this article. Part of the Suzuki/Hoggan misinformation PR juggernaut. They say we are well funded and well organized, yet we have none of the govermnent cash that is available to these guys. Skeptics have to find private funding on their own and when they do, it is claimed to be from “polluting industires”. Look at the funding sources for the Suzuki Foundation. Some of the worst polluters in the game, but what is good for the goose is not good for the gander. What a crock.

  23. Funding should be drying up as public skepticism of (C)AGW continues to grow, the great global CO2 regulation regime is not going to happen, and natural trends and events are converging to give us a long extended period of global cooling.
    Therefore the rush is on to deploy a quick-and-dirty fix which will require funding for operation, monitoring, and ongoing climate research about its effects. The fix will be deemed a success due to the lower global average temperature anomalies, and the fix working will be cited as proof there was a problem that needed fixing, as verified by the computer models.

  24. But we just got rid of acid rain! Now the man wants to artificially produce it! Just take the scrubbers off the coal-fired powerplant stacks! Of course the downwind forests will die. I don’t know if he’s stupid or insane, but it makes no difference. The White coats need to take him away.

  25. The utter kookiness of the belief in CAGW is no better illustrated than by the grandiose and risible faith in geoengineering.
    How much seed or shade or sulfuric acid or supersuckers will be needed to geoengineer the 510,200,000 km2 of the Earth’s surface area? Do any of these alleged solutions generate “carbon footprints” or require any kind of fuel or power or any resources produced by mankind?
    These ideas are all as crackpot as perpetual motion machines and unicorns.
    “tiny sunshades for the overheating Earth…. Plans to cool the Earth range from shading it to fertilizing it, from seeding clouds to building massive supersuckers that filter greenhouse gases from the air…. a subject once taboo for all but the scientific fringe….”

  26. Am I wrong, or did the industrialised countries not spend huge amounts of money removing sulphur compounds and other obnoxious stuff from the emmissions from power plants around the planet?
    Now these people want to put them back………. and probably want to get paid for doing it as well!!!!!!
    How big a shunt does a BS meter need to stop it from damaging the needle on the stop (think ammeter and volt meter)???? I think mine just got broken..
    john

  27. rbateman says:
    May 30, 2010 at 11:39 am
    “Where does such madness originate?”- The notion that “I am going to save the planet” shows a tendency for megalomaia. The ego required to think this way is astounding and should set off alarm bells for the average person. Especially if the one spewing such ideas will not even debate the subject. Cowardly tactics like ” I will debate, but I get to choose who I debate against”, or “my opponent has to be a working professor who has been recently published”. We all know these are slimy tactics implemented when one hasn’t a leg to stand on. Chicken(snip) little.

  28. “There are several Engineers here – Q. Have you ever “tinkered” with a system (or device) that you didn’t understand (possibly as a child) and could you describe the end result?”
    Oh, yes. Loud banging noises, and foul smells.

  29. What do so many people have against climate change? The climate has been changing for millions of years. Do puny humans really think they can sop the climate from changing?

  30. Such proposals emanating from the AGW crowd are to be expected. You must understand that these are climate zealots; they are fanatics who are obsessed with their religious dogma. What is the difference between these wackos and the Taliban? You cannot reason with them; its totally impossible. You cannot penetrate their protective shield of arrogance. They are consumed with lust for the power they hope to achieve in the coming new order of the Green Age. You must see them for the radicals they truly are. It is the same mentality that has permeated the environmentalist groups such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, etc. Its all about power and control.

  31. The “Progressivistic Method”:
    Identify a problem that does not exist.
    Fabricate evidence to support the problems existence.
    Engage in propaganda campaigns to convince politicians and teenagers of the seriousness of the problem.
    Implement solutions to the problem that actually cause the problem but also push the progressive agenda.
    Fabricate more evidence showing that its worse then we though, preferably also indicting non-progressives of preventing or sabotaging the solutions.
    Implement more freedom destroying solutions that not only exacerbate the problem but also silences opposition.
    Repeat until civilization is destroyed.

  32. It matters not to Professor Keith that I like the temperature of my bit of the planet just the way it is. It never falls below 10C in the worst winter here and I’m very happy with that. Can he promise to keep his wild secretions within the bounds of the northern hemisphere, if not the the borders of mainland U.S.?

  33. These are some…… interesting ideas. I’ve always enjoyed how the MSM reports on these ideas like the zipline to the moon. One of the power “solutions” was to put a giant solar array in orbit and send the power down with a wire. That could solve 2 problems at once. The solar array would shade and absorb solar energy, thus cooling us while simultaneously providing us with power. The most brilliant 6-year-olds in the world must have thought these up.

  34. 3×2 says:
    May 30, 2010 at 11:16 am
    “There are several Engineers here – Q. Have you ever “tinkered” with a system (or device) that you didn’t understand (possibly as a child) and could you describe the end result?”
    When I was about eleven, I poked around inside the circuits of a five tube radio using a screwdriver with disasterous results (power on). I then threw the tubes against the side of the garage to hear them go “pop”. The things that suffered were: my pride, my backside, my cut fingers when dad made me pick up the glass and our radio.
    This was in 1954 and we did not have TV. (Not having TV was a blessing.) I latter learned electronics, math, physics etc… and know very well what foolishness can do.

  35. These proposals to combat global warming scare me far more than anything a changing climate would throw our way. Except maybe another ice age — which these loons just might bring on if their endeavors are successful.
    Also, does anybody else find the notion of “managing the Earth” laughable?

  36. David Ball,
    In any legitimate debate each side chooses their own debate team. Anything else is a sham debate.
    ***
    And concerning the proposal to seed the atmosphere with sulfur, that is naturally being done this week, courtesy of Mother Earth and the volcano erupting in Vanuatu: Sulfur plume. I wonder if it’s cooler under the sulfur?
    It isn’t nice fooling with Mother Nature. The long term trend is toward colder temperatures. Those suggesting that we should speed up that process reminds me of why we don’t give guns to monkeys.

  37. They have figured out the old scam . . . truck loads of R&D money for anything about Global Warming . . is over. Toast.
    So now they have to find a new scam to keep the Gravy Train rolling along.
    Same folks, different scam, our money.

  38. Just to toss this out there…
    Anyone else remember, as the Great Acid Rain Crisis was dying down, how research was coming out showing that a number of those lifeless “acidified” lakes and ponds got that way due to natural causes not related to acid rain?

  39. I have not heard of any evidence of tipping points for runaway warming, but it appears there have been tipping points for the start of glacial periods. I’m just a voter and not the activist type, but if governments ever became very serious about trying to cool the climate, I may very well consider becoming an activist against such misguided actions.

  40. Bill – Thanks for that link on the geoengineering “moratorium,” although I’m not so confident about the motivations of those proposing it.
    At first read one begins to wonder (but not for too long) why so many “civil society” groups are allied against geoengineering. What does it have to do with “civil society” anyway?
    And then the answer becomes obvious: if vast sums of taxpayer money are pumped into specious geoengineering schemes to “fix” the 510,200,000 km2 surface area of Planet Earth, then surely those vast sums of global (Western) taxpayer monies will not be available for wealth redistribution to “developing nations.”
    Looks to me like a defense of the cap and trade and carbon credits scams (aka “monetizing the air”) in order to proceed with “carbon credits” boondoggles, rather than any kind of principled stand against geoengineering craziness.

  41. All that is old is new again. They were going to spray the Arctic with soot to lower the albedo in the “oncoming ice age mania” of the 1970s.

  42. “None of the scientists in the room so much as blinked when David Keith suggested saving the world with spy planes spraying sulfuric acid.”
    Tells me they are all competely insane.

  43. @Al Cooper “Instant death” radios were lots of fun weren’t they? For those who missed them, they were a 5 tube radio with the filaments in the tubes put in series to equal 117V. There was no transformer. Just a rectifier and a capacitor for the DC. User serviceable parts inside, but using your metal erector set screwdriver was not advised while the radio was plugged in.

  44. In my previous post I meant to say I have not heard of evidence of tipping points for runaway warming in the geological record. I know there are models that claim there is a tipping point, but the models are not credible since they have failed to predict accurately.

  45. If the government even considers allowing this, I can see the the power companies that have been forced to pay for acid aerosol reductions suing.

  46. What the heck. . .this is part of the same bunch of boneheads that are convinced that man’s activities, let alone his mere presence, are a major affecting influence on the planet, so why not take the hubris about five steps past rational and convince themselves they can drive the biosphere like a tricycle.

  47. G. Edward Griffin Talks Candidly About Chemtrails/SAG
    [snip sorry no chemtrails discussion here -a]

  48. How appropriate that they met in an ex-chapel! I wonder if they got Al-Gore to consecrate it with His holy water? The new high church of Al the Saviour would surely expect nothing less.

  49. Suppose AGW theory got it partially right and we are looking forward to 2 or 3 C of warmig and not just 1 C or less. To me that sounds like good news for planet earth. Actually, melting all of Greenland and Antarctica sounds like a good long term project too – maybe we can avoid futher ice ages? It will take thousands of years, so moving cities as sea level rises is really not a big issue.

  50. Being as we don’t really know how much the earth has warmed due to measuring errors, and that we don’t know if the models are even remotely correct due to deficits in knowledge and understanding about climate, the thought of acting on something that you don’t even know is happening, with the catestrophic potential that exists from gerrymandering with things you don’t understand is rather frightening.

  51. In the South Island of New Zealand, we’ve just come through a summer of little warmth – cool, overcast conditions through summer. We then had a brilliantly decent autumn (fall) milder and much less wind than is common, but the last few weeks we’ve had cold and wet (flooding in parts). Temperatures not that low because of the wet, but many days with maximum temperatures more like we expect in August, in the 6-10degC range. Sure just weather, but we don’t want it any colder thank you.

  52. 3×2 says:
    May 30, 2010 at 11:16 am
    There are several Engineers here – Q. Have you ever “tinkered” with a system (or device) that you didn’t understand (possibly as a child) and could you describe the end result?
    I’ll fess up.
    I built an “analog computer” from a kit at about age 9 or so. The “computer” used nichrome wire. I lost the batteries, so I plugged it into the wall outlet. Let’s just say fire was involved – didn’t burn the house down, but my parents did get me an old TV to take apart.

  53. But, doesn’t Venus have a sulfur compound band in its atmosphere??
    Maybe the Venusians went the same way we did and realised too late they had all that physics backwards!!
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  54. These guys should try first with a low concentration sulphuric acid solution COLONICS.

  55. I find it funny, and scary, that there are people out there who think the fix for humans that have altered the planet is to alter the planet.

  56. Just so you are aware of it, most of the AGW crowd are equally appalled by these proposals. The vast majority of them would say the only reasonable way to combat the effect of increasing CO2 is to remove it. These proposals are coming from an entirely different mindset.

  57. Why not biological geo-engineering?
    We hear that if the Arctic ice sheet were to go, then the Polar Bear, the poster child of global warming, would go extinct. At least, this is what is being claimed.
    Why not introduce Polar Bears to Antarctica? Plenty of Seals and plenty of Penguins to feed on.
    I mean, just in case!

  58. The Royal Society is very keen on geo-engineering to stop CAGW, but we can safely say it’s now on the back-burner.

  59. “It truly is asking giant questions which nobody really knows the answers to,” Keith says — “like how we manage the whole Earth.”
    And understood is, since we really don’t know the answers, grant us billions so we can study it.
    Absolutely pathetic. It’s a comment on our entire education system that he can get away with such crap.

  60. I dunno, if we accept that the climate is so easily manipulated that the minimal amounts of CO2 produced by humans can cause disastrous warming, than it surely follows that it should be just as easy to use simple , nay simplistic, techniques such as these to change the climate as desired. You only have to worry about unintended effects in complex systems, which would not seem to apply to the climate as presented by the CAGW crowd (the word is “presented”, it is not “understood” or “believed to be” or “debated” – a simplistic model of climate is the one presented to the public).

  61. This all brings to mind Michael Crichton’s litany in “State of Fear” about how well well-intentioned efforts at managing wildlife in Yellowstone National Park over the decades, beginning with culling wolf populations. That effort was one disaster after another, and caused terrible die-offs of fauna populations.
    A second point would be to ask if spraying sulfuric acid into the sky wouldn’t turn into acid rain.
    I don’t have an agenda one way or another – if global warming is real – but if it hasn’t been proven that:

    1. The climate has truly been warming
    2. That this warming will, indeed, be a disaster
    3. That human activity is the one and only cause of it

    then such efforts are unnecessary and a waste of time, effort and money.
    And even IF ALL THREE of those are true, the specific effort in itself needs to be well thought out and well tested before investing our time effort and money in it.
    Every time I think of government funded scientific efforts I see in my mind Lilienthal’s plunge into the water, at a time when the Wright Brothers and Richard Pearse were inventing the aeroplane with their own money. It isn’t that the public money isn’t a good idea – it is that sometimes it corrupts the process. It certainly draws attention to the government funded efforts and tends to characterize the smaller efforts as quacks, denialists and misguided.
    Since the days of Eli Whitney and the government contracts for better rifles – which ended up in the first interchangeable parts (which I consider the single most important development in the history of technology), government contracts and grants have drawn a hoard of inventors and researchers. When a single contract can make many millions for the awardee, of course people are going to throw their ideas into the ring. What have they got to lose?
    That 95% of the ideas aren’t very good? Par for the course.
    Ask the ghost of Lilienthal.

  62. David Keith is an American recruit of the University of Calgary set up green institute paid for by guilty retired oilmen…

  63. with the propensity to litigate I wonder who the heck will be the deep pockets when their meddling fouls something up

  64. Hmmm… Aren’t we paying a fairly hefty premium (tax) on our evil internal combustion powered vehicles to avoid the SOx and NOx in exhaust, including a huge premium for ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, “clean” gasoline/petrol, catalytic converters, fancy EGR and other engine intake plumbing,
    and these clowns now want to spray sulfuric acid. Beautiful.
    But, but, but, what about acid rain and the precious pine trees in Euro forests???
    Ah, never mind, I’m sure they’ve thought through all the consequences and possible outcomes. Climate is such a simple, well understood, linear, static system, surely they have.

  65. I think it’s time to consider the effect of the Clean Air Act combined with UHI on the perceived increases in temperature during the latter half of the twentieth century. I believe that removing the aerosols from the air in pursuit of Clean Air has resulted in some warming.
    I would not advocate changing the benefits of the Clean Air Act, but it should be considered as a factor.

  66. The only reason the current crop of organisms are here, is because they have adapted to the environmental (among other) challenges.
    Some, it appears, have done so well that they are looking for additional challenges/drama/profits to enhance their existance.
    If climate change is anywhere near the top of your list of worries, keep it to yourself, because the rest of us have real problems to deal with.
    Most of us are still using the time proven technique of adaptation.
    It’s been working for the last 500,000 (or so) years, why change now. Assuming we could.
    rant off/

  67. I’ve been told that, theoretically, “climate change” applies to both warming and cooling. I know all about the “solutions” to combat global warming, but what the heck does the average citizen do to combat Global Cooling?
    Do we simply do the OPPOSITE of what Al Gore tells us? Buy icepicks? Drive SUVs? Turn up the heat? Stop recycling? Eat meat? Generate power with fossil fuels? Buy incandescent bulbs? Cut down the forests? Drive everywhere? Leave your appliances on all the time?
    Help me with this, there are some smart people here, I think.

  68. These scientists should have a FULL understanding of how this planet operates totally before doing experimentation in a lab that does not include MANY interacting factors.
    This is their way of taking credit for a cooling planet even before they spray anything.
    Imagine trying to cool an already cooling planet can do especially if it has a cascading effect to worsen into a solid Ice planet. Many past experimentation has failed due to “oh I didn’t think of that” or “it worked in the lab and should have worked here”.
    These bumblers have yet to even understand the mechanics of this planet and they help encourage the policies…who da thunk!

  69. So in 1975 they didn’t want to tinker with DNA because of uncertainties/risks of outcome, even though there were some clear benefits of improved food production and nutrition, for example.
    …but now they do want to tinker with “DNA” (of the planet) when there is uncertainty/risk in the outcome, and very unclear “benefits”.

  70. What happens if the experiment backfires and REALLY create a global warming that keeps warming until the oceans boil?

  71. I suppose, behind the curtain they might say this is closer to basic research then applied research and that they would never intend to deploy unless and until the real world demonstrates catastrophic CO2 induced warming in 100 years or so.
    If they do call, it applied research, wikipedia has them almost covered, but they are thrown a curve ball:
    Wiki says; “… strict research protocols must often be relaxed.” which should make many of the folks happy,
    but Wiki also throws a curve; “… Thus, transparency in the methodology is critical.”,
    but Wiki bails them out on that one by allowing them to apply the bread and butter (BS) of climate alarmism; “Implications for interpretation of results brought about by relaxing a more or less strict cannon of methodology should also be developed.”

  72. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    May 30, 2010 at 12:14 pm
    Your are absolutely right, acid rain was natural, and very local due to erosion and over-fertilization from agricultural NITROGEN, not sulfur. The trees got prematurely fertilized during January thaws and the young leaves killed by frost.
    That aside, remember when they said the earth was entering an ice age (right call – premature timing), and that they could spread soot over the Arctic to warm it? Same “geoengineers” (like the goofy train engineer head of IPCC, Pachauri – “I think I can, I think I can!”) came out of the woodwork then. Are they the same Calgary guys? Anyone?
    Has anyone read Ender’s Game by Orson Card? They put young geniuses in an asteroid where they fought aliens for real, but the geniuses thought at the time that it was a computer simulation so they would not feel bad when they wiped the aliens out?
    I suggest the converse alternative: we abduct and trick all these warm-earthers into thinking they are on a secret mission, and are chosen to save the earth. We place them in a dome in the Arctic where they have all types of controls that they think are dispensing all types of panaceas, like SO2, carbon nanoparticles, silver iodide, nuclear missiles (for asteroids) etc. We give them medals and prizes. They go into these group-thinking mutual masturbatory committee meetings, and Keith or Mike Mann or Al Gore get to pull the levers they by “consensus” agree will save earth from ice, cold, asteroids, viruses, etc.
    They could look out the big igloo windows and see mechanical polar bears and penguins frolicking together under a horizon of windmills as far as the eye can see! Whenever a lever would be pulled, of course the “climate feedback” we supply their computers would show the hazard was averted! It would be cheap, we just feed them tofu and carrots and stuff. A coal-fired generator over the horizon would provide the energy needs they think is coming from the windmills (which are powered by simple electric motors supplied with electricity from the coal reactor).
    Whatcha think?

  73. I still wonder why those scientist have to brainstorm in the first place, afterall we are still sitting on a large stockpile of nuclear weapons, even a exchange of a few hundred warheads will make temperatures drop by several degrees for years and solve the overpopulation problem because of massive starvation in the years to come.
    Tried and tested. O_o

  74. If scientists understood the complexities of one drop of water and all the diverse processes it carries and contains with the different chemical and mineral content in it, would be one step closer to understanding how the science they were educated with is full of it.

  75. It doesn’t matter if you use an artificial volcanic cloud or a mess of nuclear blasts to simulate Global Winter to cool off the planet in order to save it. Doing such things will surely collapse the ecosystem, and such people who advocate catastrophic means are NOT evironmentalists.
    A better name for this type of thinking is Eco-Suicide.

  76. Bryan Clark says:
    May 30, 2010 at 1:53 pm
    Move to around the equatorial region and start farming.
    There is no way to stop an Ice age process once it starts as science still has no clue as to how it activates. The ignore physical planetary changes is in effect unfortunately even here.

  77. @ Stop Global Dumbing Now May 30, 2010 at 12:02 pm:

    These are some…… interesting ideas. I’ve always enjoyed how the MSM reports on these ideas like the zipline to the moon.

    And the one with a stationary satellite with a zipline. HAHAHAHAHA.
    The weight of the zipline, how to connect it, how the winds would affect the zipline, how one storm could screw it all up, how it would be a lightning rod, how the speed at the top vs at the bottom would be a huge problem (angular velocity), how ANYTHING sent up on it would change the entire mass balance, how the vertical acceleration of any movement up or down would pull or push the satellite up or down – only about 50 different STUPIDITIES all rolled into one.
    The one to the moon – that is a new one on me. Do these people not know that the bottom of the zipline would have to move around the Earth – and not just east and west? The Moon’s path has what is called the declination – it doesn’t travel the same path twice in a row, and some of those paths are REALLY a lot farther north and south than they imagine.
    Those who say 6th graders are not even wrapping their minds around the whole story. These sound like ideas from out of HG Wells’ time and before. Have these people ever taken basic 20th or 21st century physics and geoscience courses?
    Scary these ideas are not. Why not? They are not even capable of getting off the ground.
    And this was all in Science News magazine? Ohmygod – pull the plug on science; it is dead.

  78. Both the article anr the comments are awash with error. Here are a few facts each of you can ponder on geoengineering.
    1. Geoengineering is an insurance policy. It would only be used if it became unequivocal that the planet is over Heated. There is a “governance” debate ongoing with regard to how hot that would have to be, and the numbers being thrown around are in excess of five deg C. So, if it never gets that hot, we don’t need to employ this insurance policy.
    2. The methods being considered caN be shut off within hours and the effect would end within days, so the risks are small.
    3. Science news is an arm of the alarmist community and has not put out a balanced repot on anything related to climate change in years.
    There is plenty mOre I could write, but I’m late for dinner.
    d

  79. OT: “In March, Keith and other experts met in a dimly lit chapel-turned-auditorium at the Asilomar resort near Monterey, Calif. In 1975, molecular biologists met at the same resort to write landmark guidelines to regulate DNA experiments.”
    The Asilomar conference was initiated by researchers’ safety concerns about the tools they were developing and a moratorium on some work was put in place – by the researchers, not the government until they had a better handle on the safety.
    At the meeting decisions were made to develop new strains of bacteria incapable of living outside of lab conditions and several levels of physical containment for the more dangerous experiments.
    Compared to climate research, it’s remarkable at how well the recombinent DNA researchers did to work together to reduce the risk of their research.
    It is unlikely the recent Asilomar conference will be remembered 35 years from now.
    Wikipedia has a pretty good page about the 1975 conference, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asilomar_Conference_on_Recombinant_DNA

  80. I wonder if the environmentalists who insisted that BP drill for oil at a depth of 5000 feet below sea level instead at a location near the shore would be willing to admit that this was a bad idea. When it comes to decisions that are solely based on the environment, the unintended consequences of a bad decision always show up on someone else’s doorstep and not at the feet of the environmental lobby. This proposal to disperse sulfuric acid in the stratosphere is preposterous. I certainly hope that no one is giving it serious consideration to this effort to deal with global climate.

  81. “Dr. D. W. Schnare says:
    […]
    1. Geoengineering is an insurance policy. It would only be used if it became unequivocal that the planet is over Heated. There is a “governance” debate ongoing with regard to how hot that would have to be […]”
    That would surely be global governance, then, as we’re talking about the globe. So i guess the UN would be the one to decide whether to flip the switch? Ban-Ki Moon, right? So nothing to do with this silly democracy thing or national governments, right? Or maybe Ban-Ki Moon delegates the decision to some scientist? James Hansen maybe, as he’s the most experienced climate modeler?
    Thanks, feeling better already.

  82. Dr. D. W. Schnare says:
    May 30, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Both the article and the comments are awash with error. Here are a few facts each of you can ponder on geoengineering.
    2. The methods being considered can be shut off within hours and the effect would end within days, so the risks are small.

    Sulfate aerosols in the stratosphere from volcanoes take a year or two to settle out. Is there a different mechanism proposed that cleans the proposed aerosol in days?

  83. losemal says:
    May 30, 2010 at 1:19 pm:
    “Just so you are aware of it, most of the AGW crowd are equally appalled by these proposals. The vast majority of them would say the only reasonable way to combat the effect of increasing CO2 is to remove it. These proposals are coming from an entirely different mindset.”
    It’s basically all the same mindset, which is that CO2 will cause catastrophic global warming. If so, then it follows that removing CO2 is one possible response.
    But first, you must show that CO2 is the cause of global warming, and that CO2 is not rising primarily as the effect of previous warming. Radiative physics shows that CO2 retains heat. But the more it is looked into, the smaller that effect appears to be globally. The climate’s sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 is almost certainly below 1°C. Several respected climatologists suggest that the number is 0.5°C, or lower.
    Rash action without substantial confirming evidence is being proposed by different factions in the CAGW debate [there is no constituency for simple “AGW”, because if the effect of CO2 is slight, there is no reason to take any action, or to feed another taxpayer dime into studying a trivial effect. Therefore, the threat must be Catastrophic AGW, for all species of climate alarmists].
    In discussing mitigation strategies, we are getting too far ahead of the basic question: should we be worried about CO2 at all? The fact that alarmists don’t want to discuss the lack of evidence for their CO2=CAGW hypothesis is because they don’t have any such empirical, testable evidence.

  84. “bubbagyro says:
    […]
    energy needs they think is coming from the windmills (which are powered by simple electric motors supplied with electricity from the coal reactor).
    Whatcha think?”
    Great idea. But you don’t need a special motor for the windmills; the generator they have *IS* a motor if fed from the grid.

  85. “Feet2theFire says:
    […]
    Every time I think of government funded scientific efforts I see in my mind Lilienthal’s plunge into the water, ”
    What gives you the idea that Lilienthal didn’t fund his experiments with his own money?
    From
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Lilienthal
    “While his lifelong pursuit was flight, he was also an inventor and devised a small engine that worked on a system of tubular boilers. His engine was much safer than the other small engines of the time. This invention gave him the financial freedom to focus on aviation. “

  86. Actually I’d like to see these guys funded. Every report has to include a mitigation strategy should the go too far. I think it would be fun watching all the shuffling of feet and mumbled answers:
    Congressional Committee; OK, let’s say you went 5 degrees too far. How many barrels of oil would we have to burn to counteract it?
    Researchers; Uhm…. well it doesn’t work that way.
    CC; Sure it does. CO2 heats the planet up that’s why we have to have a cooling thingy spray bomb in the first place. How much oil? 200 million barrels a day? 300?
    R; Well you see, CO2 is logarithmic so for 5 degrees, positive feedback included… calculate watts….boltzmann….spray bomb crosses same spectral lines…. we’d need to burn 2 billion barrels a day for 20 years sir.
    CC; Well that’s not a problem, 2 million barrels a day…
    R; Billion sir. With a B.
    CC; Now hold on a cotton picken minute. If we need that much oil to raise the temperature 5 degrees, we don’t have a problem in the first place, do we?
    R; Well sure we do, otherwise our research wouldn’t be required, which clearly it is.
    CC; But you just said….
    R; Er… Uhm… uh oh, how to explain this… kinda stepped in it…. It wouldn’t be the same sir. You see we’re getting the warming out of the CO2 we’re putting in now, but if we put so much in that we caused warming and then negated it with our cooling spray bomb, the additional CO2 wouldn’t work as well because CO2 is logarithmic.
    CC; So the CO2 we’re putting in now warms but the CO2 then wouldn’t work as well?
    R; (brightens); Yes sir! That’s it! It would be ROTTEN CO2!

  87. Dr. D. W. Schnare says:
    1. Geoengineering is an insurance policy.
    Maybe AIG can underwrite the process…in case something goes wrong.

  88. DirkH says:
    May 30, 2010 at 3:03 pm
    I said “simple” electric motors, not big dynamos with brakes, governors, etc. I am trying to save us on costs. More like a Dremel hooked up to balsa blades.

  89. Smokey says:
    May 30, 2010 at 3:01 pm
    “In discussing mitigation strategies, we are getting too far ahead of the basic question: should we be worried about CO2 at all?”
    Most of us are way past that. Of course CO2 should not be abated, but increased. It is good for the planet. Although even if we wanted to, our paltry means would do nothing. The ocean’s sink would dwarf the few percent excess; the earth contains at least three orders of magnitude more than we humans could even put our hands on.

  90. These crazy scenarios again make me think of a book, Fallen Angels, by Niven, Pournelle, and Flynn, ISBN 0-671-72052-X. The blurb on the back cover states in part:
    That government, dedicated to saving the environment from the evils of technology, had been voted into power because everybody knew that the Green House Effect had to be controlled, whatever the cost. But who would have thought that the cost of ending pollution would include not only total government control of day-to-day life, but the onset of a new Ice Age.

  91. People talk about injecting sulfuric acid into the atmosphere like it’s “madness”.
    We already inject sulfuric acid into the troposphere, in the form of sulfur dioxide (from coal combustion, jet fuel, diesel fuel, etc.), which reacts with water in the air to make sulfuric acid and sulfate aerosol droplets. These help reflect sunlight back into space. The problem is that in the troposphere they wash out of the atmosphere relatively quickly, with a half-life of hours or days.
    Large volcanic eruptions inject sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere, which is one of the ways that large eruptions cool the planet. In the stratosphere the “half-life” of SO2 is more like months to years. So the idea to inject sulfuric acid into the stratosphere is simply an attempt to replicate the effect of volcanoes.

  92. “Keith’s idea may sound outrageous, but it is just one of many proposals for bumping the global thermostat down a couple of degrees by tinkering directly with the planet’s heating and cooling systems.”
    Keith’s idea may sound outrageous, but some people think there are fairies at the bottom of their gardens.
    Keith’s idea may sound outrageous, but that Kool-Aid sure tasted good.
    Keith’s idea may sound outrageous, but what did you expect from Post-Modernist Science?

  93. “bubbagyro says:
    […]
    I said “simple” electric motors, not big dynamos with brakes, governors, etc. I am trying to save us on costs. More like a Dremel hooked up to balsa blades.”
    Ah, a Bosch. I see.

  94. Speaking of stuff that may seem scientific but isn’t…
    Sorry, this is OT, but it is making my brain want to shriek out in terror and run away to the safety of a university library.
    AP by way of Yahoo:
    After fix fail, a dispiriting summer of oil, anger

    The latest attempt — using a remote robotic arm to stuff golf balls and assorted debris into the gash in the seafloor — didn’t work.

    By the graphic I saw, the “junk” was getting injected near the BOP, where up in the pipe it would help clog up any tight spots. And “the gash in the seafloor”?

    …BP PLC said it would focus on containment rather than plugging the undersea puncture wound

    The what?

    At the sea’s bottom, no one knows what the oil will do to species like the newly discovered bottom-dwelling pancake batfish — and others that remain unknown but just as threatened.

    Cue the Greenpeace/WWF theme!

    Perhaps most alarming of all, 40 days and 40 nights after the Deepwater Horizon blew up and began the underwater deluge, hurricane season is at hand. It brings the horrifying possibility of wind-whipped, oil-soaked waves and water spinning ashore and coating areas much further inland. Imagine Katrina plus oil spill.

    Underwater deluge? Biblical allusions? And crude oil falling from the sky as if rain across several states? I don’t think James Cameron could get me to imagine that.

    Fear is afoot everywhere, and polarization prevails. Faith in institutions — corporations, government, the media — is down. Americans are angry, and they long ago grew accustomed to expecting the resolution of problems in very short order, even if reality rarely works that way.
    So when something undefined and uncontrollable happens, they speculate in all the modern forums about collusion and nefarious dealings. In the process, this tale of environmental disaster and economic damage cripples the sea-to-shining-sea narrative that usually offers Americans comfort during uncertain times.

    Does this sound familiar? This may be why:

    AP Writers Ben Nuckols, Seth Borenstein, Matthew Brown and Melissa Nelson contributed to this report.

    *whimper*

  95. David Ball says: May 30, 2010 at 11:40 am
    (…) They say we are well funded and well organized (…)
    Having only just got my winter fuel bills (UK) I am fast leaning toward the US standard of “well funded and well armed”.
    Al Cooper says: May 30, 2010 at 12:07 pm
    When I was about eleven, I poked around inside the circuits of a five tube radio using a screwdriver with disastrous results (power on)
    Ever considered a career in Earth Sciences? (Specialising in “geoengineering” of course)
    ShrNfr says: May 30, 2010 at 12:18 pm
    All that is old is new again. They were going to spray the Arctic with soot to lower the albedo in the “oncoming ice age mania” of the 1970s.
    But let’s suppose that most of the more recent warming (and earlier cooling) is just part of a natural process that we barely understand, that nature has simply been quoted out of context. Geoengineering is permanent employment. Could be several “cycles” before our cabbage politicians wake up to the game. Indeed it is hard to think of any combination of future actions and “reactions” where a smart geoengineer can’t keep the funds flowing. Relying on natural changes, I have a 50/50 chance of controlling climate using only a deck of tarot cards (if the next card is one of (…) the climate will cool/warm for 30 years)(cue spooky music)
    Vincent says: May 30, 2010 at 12:20 pm
    Tells me they are all competely insane.
    Many of us said that when the EPA declared CO2 a pollutant. I seem to remember that my response involved “lunatics”, a “take over” and an “asylum”. After several years of observing this comedy I can only promise you that worse is to come. It’s the frustration of watching children playing with a gun and having no way to prevent the inevitable outcome. Take one gun away and the parents simply give them another.

  96. Feet2theFire
    You are thinking of Samuel Pierpont Langley not Otto Lilienthal.
    Although it must be said that Langley’s internal combustion engine was a masterpiece. His aero and control systems weren’t up to what he was trying to do unlike the Bishop’s boys who had figured that out and had a relatively crude engine that was just up to the task.
    As for the zipline to GEO this is a serious proposal for space transport(and solar power sats) and materials technology now is such that the material strengths required are just about in reach.

  97. For those who were following the penguin/ice question, I think I figured it out.
    Most penguins nest on land in summer. The emperor penguins nest on the ice pack in winter. So they have to choose a nesting spot far enough back from the ice edge that they don’t get caught by ice break up in the spring before the chicks are ready to go for a swim. So they start 50 or 60 clicks from the ice edge. The males incubate the egg and the females go to sea. The females return about the time the eggs hatch and the males leave and go to sea. But by that time it is later in the winter and the sea ice has been growing, so now it is 100 to 200 km to the sea. Oddly enough a really cold year is really hard on the emperor penguins because the ice extent is so large, and in a really warm year the ice extent may retreat so rapidly in the spring that the chicks drown.
    What an odd bird!

  98. 3×2 says:
    May 30, 2010 at 11:16 am
    “There are several Engineers here – Q. Have you ever “tinkered” with a system (or device) that you didn’t understand (possibly as a child) and could you describe the end result?”
    I would take the geo-engineers up in a small helicopter with no auto pilot. I would explain the controls to them and allow them to ‘control’ a system they don’t understand. I would have to leave by parachute, of course, because they would be dead in 30 seconds at best.
    It takes lots of practice to ‘control’ an unstable system, unfortunately we would probably ‘crash’ the earth many times before we worked out how to do it.

  99. My suggestion is to detonate nuclear bombs beneath active volcanoes, stimulating them into activity. Then the volcanoes do the dirty work of spewing up aerosols to cool the planet, as e.g. Pinatubo did.
    We seem to have an excess of nuclear bombs at the moment. So this method kills two birds with one stone. Just set one off, wait a couple of years until it gets warm again, and repeat.
    Foolproof. What could go wrong?
    P.S. Nobel committee(s): please contact me via email to arrange for the medal award.

  100. So if they finally struck out with one of their insane ideas and manage to lower Earth’s global average temperature with no adverse side effects other than not being able to know which parts of the world gets the brute force of the too low temperatures will they take responsibility for in worst case mass murdering people by freezing cold or starvation by lack of food due to uncanny cold?

  101. Jbar says:
    May 30, 2010 at 3:54 pm
    Not madness. Just very shallow thinking processes.
    EL Chichón produced slight and maybe some temporary cooling (only affecting the northern hemisphere – remember that global warming is, well, global) after injecting 8 Megatons of sulfur dioxide in 1982. It did not alter the whole 1978-1998 warming cycle, though. Mt. St. Helens did 1 Megaton and did not do anything of significance to temperature.
    How many planes did you say you think we need to spread enough aerosol to “counter” the putative non-warming CO2 event? I figure that you would need a Krakatoa amount, say around 0.1-0.2 Gigatons of sulfur dioxide. Lets call that amount of SO2 a Krakaton. So we may need 2 or 3 Krakatons a year to stave off (non-existent) AGW from CO2.
    And, I guess you, or someone originally at the Molson-drinking skull session at U of Calgary, did figure that all the ozone would disappear. The real funny thing is, technically you guys don’t even have the chemistry right. (This is a real hoot). SO2 with water produces sulfurous acid, not sulfuric. Reaction with molecular oxygen, especially that from ozone, irreversibly destroys the ozone and produces sulfuric acid.
    It will be a degree or two cooler, but we can’t step into the carcinogenic sunlight to enjoy it.
    A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
    Do we have to continue to dignify Keith’s beerstorming session?

  102. DirkH says:
    May 30, 2010 at 3:14 pm
    “Feet2theFire says:
    […]
    Every time I think of government funded scientific efforts I see in my mind Lilienthal’s plunge into the water, ”
    What gives you the idea that Lilienthal didn’t fund his experiments with his own money?
    From
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Lilienthal
    “While his lifelong pursuit was flight, he was also an inventor and devised a small engine that worked on a system of tubular boilers. His engine was much safer than the other small engines of the time. This invention gave him the financial freedom to focus on aviation. “
    That would be because he has Lielienthal confused with Prof Langley who
    was funded by the U.S. Govt….and who did splash into the waters of the
    Potomac.

  103. For God’s sake. These guys only have a general idea of what gravity is and you’re going to give them matches?

  104. The only way this is heading is another world war. But this will be a war of civil wars as each country turns on itself. The malthusians will finally get what they want

  105. If they want to put sulfur into the atmosphere, then why do I suddenly have to pay a lot more for diesel fuel because it is “ultra-low sulfur”
    How about leaving all the sulfur in the gasoline, diesel and heating oil, lower the price by 1/2 and we can all go home happy – problem fixed, no need for carbon credits, taxes or idiotic research.

  106. Of course this is not such a new idea of David Keith. I recently read of it in a Budyko’s Climatic Changes which was translated by the AGU in 1977. He goes as far as specifing the altitude and the necessary volume etc. Up to this time there were a lot of fears that the USSR would go it alone and use climate engineering for their own ends, usually for war or warmth – they could certainly do with a bit of the latter!

  107. “There are several Engineers here – Q. Have you ever “tinkered” with a system (or device) that you didn’t understand (possibly as a child) and could you describe the end result?”
    About a month ago… thought I understood what was going on and wired up a relay bypass to a power supply. It didn’t work, now I had a busted power supply… no biggy. Just bought a new one. Where do we get another Earth?

  108. Sorry, but I don’t find this so shocking. Isn’t the idea of brainstorming to determine all possible solutions, including radical ones, from which are gleaned the few feasible ideas that meet specific criteria? This proposal could reduce temperatures so should be on the long list, although most people would agree it should not make the short list.

  109. Perhaps in a future meeting of the earth engineers, they will stumble on the idea of placing cyanide pill dispensers in warmist zealot enclaves worldwide. Surely the true believers will be willing to “take one” for the planet. We’ll put up a nice plaque for them when the cooling starts.

  110. This insanity won’t make it to first base. There are too many grubby snouts in the carbon credit trough.

  111. the meeting-goers concluded that geoengineering research should cautiously proceed
    200 researchers decided research should continue, ha ha.
    Send the NIMH researchers up there too to make some observations which may actually benefit humanity somehow, by advancing human understanding of syndromes, manias, delusions and criminal behaviors.
    If they can’t make it to Canada, pretty much any University campus should provide research subjects of equal interest. They all have tenure. Those are the ones!

  112. Apparently many of today’s “scientists” were inspired by a bearded lady in a circus tent.
    How long before people dial 900-CLIMATE for their climate future?
    Spy planes & sulfuric acid. You gotta be kidding me.

  113. Interesting
    I can only conclude that after so much talking about Man destroying the geosystem, people now want to actually go and do it
    All with the best intentions of course…and we all know where that pavement leads to

  114. Readers are invited to compare and contrast hypothetical impacts of the sulphuric acid spray method of global alteration (as described above) with the simple act reported on page 5 in “Superfreakonomics” (Levitt S & Dubner S, Penguin Books, ISBN 078-0-713-99991-4) where reference is made to the British Medical Journal, Oct 13, 2001, Sharma R “Project launched in India to Measure Size of Mens’ Penises”.
    Levitt & Dubner claim that loose condoms are a significant source of unwanted population increase and the spread of disease. The cost of smaller condoms is miniscule, the method appears to be safe and tested, and the envisaged outcome – fewer unwanted children and less disease – is of potential significance on a global scale. It might even lower emissions.
    As a bonus, scientists with less to do now that climate research is slowing down have an opportunity to volunteer for an exciting job abroad, to assist the work in hand, to let some knowledge rub off and to increase and archive the metadata.

  115. This doesn’t surprise me in the least. Years ago, a US military bigshot suggested spraying the upper atmosphere with billions of tiny copper pins. The reason? To enable more efficient short-wave military communications.
    You laugh now, but at the time it was a serious proposition. Occasionally, the lunatics get to take charge of the asylum.

  116. 1) We do not want it colder thanks, thats really stupid, think about it properly, that brings drough as well as more storminess.
    2) We definately do not want more acid rain.
    3) The theory of volcanic cooling is batty. There are many VEI 4+ events where no cooling can be observed after the event, Krakatoa August 27th 1883 is a fine example.
    I would go as far as saying that, through Planetary Ordered Solar Theory, I can demostrate the cause of the the very cold winter before the 1815 Tambora eruption, and why the summer of 1816 should have naturally been cool.
    My research shows that volcanic eruptions occur at a temperature uplft after a cooler period, you will not find many exceptions to this rule.
    Such atmospheric geoengineering projects are based on false science in the first place.

  117. I am really amazed that the whole of America does not have the engineering skills, the ideas or a clue of how to fix the spill. Throwing mud and gravel at it (one of the “solutions” tried) sounds like a junior science fair suggestion by a bunch of kids who would be at the bottom of the class.
    They should call me in and I would fix it. A heavy concrete dome with a suitable slot that would fit over the broken pipe, with a steel pipe fixed onto its top end with a space station docking joint over which the pipe that would pump out the oil would be clamped with a mating part.

  118. Professor Keith? David? Put your computer down now, David, it’s time for your injection.

  119. Has anyone else noticed that “geo” engineering and “ego” engineering use the same letters?
    My biggest concern is when and if we let these mad scientists loose on out atmosphere and they “cock it up” as they always do whenever they play god what do we do then once they made the air acidic and unbreathable?
    All because they were out by a factor of 1000 when they did their calculations or something as stupid.

  120. These comic book scientists need to be put to work on real-world problems or challenges. Not as fun or glamorous maybe, but less of a danger to the world, and might actually be useful.

  121. with one of the possibilities mooted about the temperature stasis of the last decade or so being the possibility of movement to a more severe downtrend in global temps, why would we want to artificially enhance that trend?

  122. I guess this would work the other way round if there was a denser cloud of it hanging over somewhere like the UK. The summer of 1783 was intensely hot according to Rev. Gilbert White, 23,000 people died over 3 months from the ash cloud of the Grimsvoten eruption circling over the UK, partly from the heat, rainfall was low in July and August too. When the Kuwait oil fields were on fire, there where reports of unbearably high temperatures under the smoke cloud. Its a super greenhouse thing, you could melt some ice with it?

  123. We are already geo-engineering the antomosphere through soot and other pollutants. What if they sprayed the sulphuric acid in the atmosphere and suddenly we got a mount Pinatubo type eruption at the start of a cooling trend?
    This is plain dangerous and I don’t trust computer models as these people are after money.

  124. John Innes says:
    May 30, 2010 at 11:11 am
    Just supposing that an effective, affordable control method with no side effects could be found, who is going to decide how much is enough? No two people in an air conditioned office can agree on exactly where the thermostat should be set.
    John
    This has already happened. The EPA has declared CO2 as a pollutant. Therefore they WILL regulate (without oversight) CO2 out of existence. (or kill us trying). Even the President has warned we uninformed, folks, that unless CAP in Tax is passed, the EPA will do it.
    It is not really too much of a stretch to imagine that after a particularly hot dry summer, with a corn crop failure, (read renewable energy), the president signs an executive order to enable the military to spray H2SO4 from C5A tankers. The science is ‘settled’ and “It’s worse than we thought”.
    We are in an age, of elitist progressive thinkers and Peer Review by a sympathetic main stream media, parroting paid scientists who are IN CHARGE of ‘taking care of us’.
    It is why Anthony’s site and other sites offering common sense discussions, are so very valuable. After all a ‘skeptic’ is really just someone asking questions.

  125. bubbagyro –
    Not disagreeing (sp?) with you. It would take a hell of a lot of flights to deposit all that SO2 every single year. [100 T/flight on 747-8Fs, 1MM flights/year to deliver 0.1 gigatons/year, vs. 18MM global commercial flights in 2000. Major effort, but feasible. Would have to double global sulfur production though.] The impacts are not well understood, and nobody in the climate community is taking this idea lightly and many think it’s not worth the risks. (This didn’t just pop up on the radar, it’s been in discussion for years.)
    Pinatubo lowered global temps about 0.5C with 15-30MM tons SO2. http://geography.about.com/od/globalproblemsandissues/a/pinatubo.htm To drop temps 2C, 60-120 megatons, i.e. your 0.1 gigatons. I’m not able to find an estimate of Krakatoa’s SO2 emissions, but it produced “The Year Without a Summer”. Could be overkill.
    2 SO2 + O2 –> 2 SO3 While the SO2 surely does also react with ozone, there is far more O2 in the stratosphere. Stoichiometry (relative concentrations) would favor the SO2 reacting with O2. (Per NASA, 3 gigatons ozone in atmosphere. Average about 4 ppm in stratosphere. O2 is 50,000 times more abundant there. ) Even if ozone is 1000 times as reactive as O2, only 0.001 to 0.002 gigatons would be lost per year.
    It is thought that global warming will increase the destruction of ozone by cooling the stratosphere. So wrt ozone, damned whether we do or don’t.
    The only reason for discussing SO2 injection into the stratosphere and other “geoengineering” solutions at all is that many people expect the nations of the world will not make substantial reductions in their GHG emissions. Converting the world to low-CO2 energy solutions would take decades. When/if it becomes clear that global temperatures will rise significantly, SO2 injection could help as a comparatively “inexpensive” stop gap buying time until more permanent solutions are implemented. Of course if SO2 injection is “required” to implement global cooling, that means that CO2 would already be “too high”, whatever that is, and so CO2 would also have to be scrubbed from the atmosphere to allow stopping the SO2 injection, an absurdly expensive proposition.
    (See Scientific American, “Washing carbon out of the air“, June 2010. They downplay the fact that with currently available chemistry, it would cost $6 to 12 trillion per year for their CO2 removal solution just to hold us at constant atmospheric CO2 levels, let alone reducing CO2. They’re counting instead on a wishful 10x improvement in the chemistry. As we used to say in Texas, they can “wish in one hand and sh*& in the other and see which one fills up faster”.)
    Bottom line – It’s a question of balancing $trillions to be spent on adaptation with $trillions to be spent on mitigation to find the smallest $trillion combined figure, and right now nobody has a clue where that balance will be.

  126. Geoengineering is mental masterbation. It is just another in a series of troughs for a special group of scientists to graze at the taxpayers’s expense.
    We have had, and will continue to have, no measurable effect on the climate. Our contribution to the greenhouse gas effect is only 0.28%, nature’s is 99.72%. Ice core data proves CO2 increases happen about 800 years after temperatures changes. “Mann”-made gw is a hoax unfolding before the eyes of the world.
    Want to see some real climate change? Wait until mother Earth exposes her insides, or the sun has a magnetic burp or a little nova. Then we’re talkin’ climate change.

  127. So Man’s dream of weather control has finally arrived. All we have to do is switch our presently installed sulfur scrubbers on and off to determine global temperatures. Now, if we can only convince those stoic Canadians to accept more acid rain, for more ice and a shorter growing season. I’m sure the world doesn’t need Canadian grain. There is too much food in this world. GK

  128. I demand all these geo-engineering “solutions” (to a problem that has yet to be proven to exist) to have an INSTANT OFF SWITCH. Without that we will be back to an ice age as soon as these “solutions” are turned on. Cool the planet? From what? Look at the long term ice cores for a few seconds or better yet read this article from WUWT
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/09/hockey-stick-observed-in-noaa-ice-core-data/
    You think deserts are bad now? Wait for the next ice age. The Gobi desert was more than twice the size it is now during the last one. Rather than wasting money on geo-engineering “solutions” how about funding some serious science to see if we have a global warming problem at all FIRST?

  129. @Jimbo says:
    May 31, 2010 at 6:05 am
    “What if they sprayed the sulphuric acid in the atmosphere and suddenly we got a mount Pinatubo type eruption at the start of a cooling trend?”
    Nope, Pinatubo went off on a warming spike, like all big volcanoes do, as to whether they cause cooling is debatable, not all events are followed by cooling.

  130. @Jbar says:
    May 31, 2010 at 7:36 am
    “Oops. Year without summer was after Tambora, 1816, not Krakatoa.”
    Exactly, show me any cooling in 1884 after Krakatoa (August 1883), there isn`t any.
    1884 was also very dry in England and Wales.

  131. How many of these geoenineerists would fly for the first time in a plane that had only been tested with computer models? Would they let their children be the first test pilots? If these loons are not stopped then we will all become ‘test pilots’.

  132. This is a joke: http://geography.about.com/od/globalproblemsandissues/a/pinatubo.htm
    “The cloud over the earth reduced global temperatures. In 1992 and 1993, the average temperature in the Northern Hemisphere was reduced 0.5 to 0.6°C and the entire planet was cooled 0.4 to 0.5°C. The maximum reduction in global temperature occurred in August 1992 with a reduction of 0.73°C.”
    The cold bits in 1992 were January, October and December, otherwise it was a warm year.
    Summer of 1992 was 2 to 3°C hotter than the summers of 1985/6/7, global temperatures went down around 1.5°C in those years, compared to present levels.

  133. Ulric Lyons says:

    May 31, 2010 at 8:43 am
    @Jimbo says:
    May 31, 2010 at 6:05 am
    “What if they sprayed the sulphuric acid in the atmosphere and suddenly we got a mount Pinatubo type eruption at the start of a cooling trend?”
    Nope, Pinatubo went off on a warming spike, like all big volcanoes do, as to whether they cause cooling is debatable, not all events are followed by cooling.

    ————-
    Where is your evidence that “…Pinatubo went off on a warming spike, like all big volcanoes do…”? Also show me the debate whether Pinatubo cause warmin, cooling or neither. Finally, do you agree with spraying “sulfuric acid high in the stratosphere” to help cool the Earth’s?

  134. Ulric Lyons says:
    May 31, 2010 at 8:43 am
    Furthermore, where is it clearly shown that Pinatubo did not cause any cooling, even if it coincided with a warming spike?

  135. Ulric Lyons says:
    May 31, 2010 at 8:43 am
    “Nope, Pinatubo went off on a warming spike, like all big volcanoes do, as to whether they cause cooling is debatable, not all events are followed by cooling.”

    —————
    From USGA
    “The June 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo was global. Slightly cooler than usual temperatures recorded worldwide…”

    “The catastrophic eruption of the Tambora volcano, Indonesia, in 1815 was followed by a so-called “year-without-a-summer.” In New England, for example, frost occurred during each of the summer months in 1816. ”
    —————-
    From NASA
    “Volcanic eruptions of this magnitude can impact global climate, reducing the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface, lowering temperatures in the troposphere, and changing atmospheric circulation patterns. The extent to which this occurs is an ongoing debate.
    ….
    The model demonstrated that the direct radiative effect of volcanic aerosols causes general stratospheric heating and tropospheric cooling, with a tropospheric warming pattern in the winter.”
    ***********
    * Note the words “extent” and “model“. I guess you know where I stand on “model”.

  136. “The discovery, [large eruption] published in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters in October, 2009, offers an explanation as to why the decade from 1810 to 1819 is regarded by scientists as the coldest on record for the past 500 years. ”
    http://geology.com/press-release/volcanic-eruption-triggered-cold-decade/
    …..
    “It appears that the volume of pyroclastic debris emitted during a blast is not the best criteria to measure its effects on the atmosphere. The amount of sulfur-rich gases appears to be more important. Sulfur combines with water vapor in the stratosphere to form dense clouds of tiny sulfuric acid droplets.”
    http://www.geology.sdsu.edu/how_volcanoes_work/climate_effects.html

  137. @ Jimbo says:
    May 31, 2010 at 9:24 am
    “Finally, do you agree with spraying “sulfuric acid high in the stratosphere” to help cool the Earth’s?”
    you don`t believe that poop do you?

  138. “…manage the planet” – Scary. In my experience a lot of the time “manage” means that someone with no understanding of a system starts setting targets which other people are expected to achieve at all costs, the result being gradual breakdown and failure of the system.
    Please tell me these are college students being led on a brainstorm by some greeny wombat, I think real engineers are smarter than that.
    BTW, aren’t we continuously being told that one of the main problems from increased atmospheric CO2 is ocean acidification? Now they want to pump suphuric acid into the system?

  139. @Jimbo says:
    May 31, 2010 at 10:14 am
    “1810 to 1819 is regarded by scientists as the coldest on record for the past 500 years”
    1810 to 1819 was 8.798°C yearly average on CET, 1688 to 1697 was 8.1°C yearly average, I wouldn`t regard them as scientists.
    Fuuny how there was pretty skies from Krakatoa, but no cooling. With Laki, if you really knew the reason for 1783/4 winter being so cold, you would then begin to appreciate why 1784 summer was cool. El Chichon do much to cool the planet then?

  140. I didn’t note mention of any real engineers in the group. It seems this new engineering is one of those “how-hard-can-it-be?” Scenarios of “scientists”. To contemplate such hazardly craziness and not go for nuclear energy to deal with their CO2 concerns is ridiculous. I know, I know. Many readers here, let alone the attitude of the socialist leaning blogs, fear this option because of the potential evil uses and radioactive waste problems. However,1) the genie is alresady out of the bottle 2)do we want to let the nutbars get better at this than we are? 3)engineering what to do with N waste is more readily solvable (heck shoot the stuff out on a million year journey like voyager 10 and 11)than knitting a blanket for Antarctia and G-land or spraying.acid in the stratosphere. For the latter the best alt. Is to turn off the SO2 scrubbers from coal-fired elect plants! And finally, 4) were going to go nuclear anyway eventually. We’ve wasted so much time and money.

  141. Ulric –
    Agreed. I don’t see any warming either in GISS or HadCrut in 1884.
    (Of course, NO idea how reliable those old records may be.)

  142. … spraying sulfuric acid into the upper atmosphere…
    Have any of these dummies ever heard the phrase :
    “What goes up, must come down.” ?!
    Save us from ourselves…
    Somebody.
    Anybody.
    Please !

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