Limestone Dust: The Latest Climate Geoengineering Favourite


Guest essay by Eric Worrall

A US study has suggested hurling crushed limestone into the stratosphere to halt global warming, on the grounds that it would do less damage than sulphates, and might help repair the ozone layer.

Atmospheric limestone dust injection could halt global warming

Geoengineering using limestone aerosols would also help to stop ozone layer depletion

Distributing limestone particles into the upper atmosphere could apply the brake to global warming while simultaneously repairing the ozone layer, scientists in the US propose. A solid aerosol of limestone or the mineral calcite dispersed 20km up would reflect and scatter incoming solar radiation, slowing greenhouse gas warming, and neutralise three important halide-bearing acids responsible for ozone destruction.

Up until now, atmospheric geoengineering research had focused on injecting sulfates into the stratosphere, but this would generate sulfuric acid and damage the ozone layer. Conversely, calcite or limestone would neutralise the acids HNO2, HCl and HBr, which provide the nitrogen, chlorine and bromine radicals that destroy ozone. ‘This would restore the ozone layer, though not perfectly,’ says senior author David Keith at Harvard University. ‘A base would react with those main acids in the stratosphere, which are dominant in the catalytic cycles that manage ozone.’

‘We are not suggesting that we go ahead and manipulate the whole planet, but a flight experiment from a stratosphere balloon could make a small cloud of aerosol, with a few hundred grams of material and allow us to make real in situ measurements of stratospheric chemistry,’ says Keith. There are lots of uncertainties about reaction rates at present, he adds.

Read more:

The abstract of the study;

Stratospheric solar geoengineering without ozone loss

Injecting sulfate aerosol into the stratosphere, the most frequently analyzed proposal for solar geoengineering, may reduce some climate risks, but it would also entail new risks, including ozone loss and heating of the lower tropical stratosphere, which, in turn, would increase water vapor concentration causing additional ozone loss and surface warming. We propose a method for stratospheric aerosol climate modification that uses a solid aerosol composed of alkaline metal salts that will convert hydrogen halides and nitric and sulfuric acids into stable salts to enable stratospheric geoengineering while reducing or reversing ozone depletion. Rather than minimizing reactive effects by reducing surface area using high refractive index materials, this method tailors the chemical reactivity. Specifically, we calculate that injection of calcite (CaCO3) aerosol particles might reduce net radiative forcing while simultaneously increasing column ozone toward its preanthropogenic baseline. A radiative forcing of −1 W⋅m−2, for example, might be achieved with a simultaneous 3.8% increase in column ozone using 2.1 Tg⋅y−1 of 275-nm radius calcite aerosol. Moreover, the radiative heating of the lower stratosphere would be roughly 10-fold less than if that same radiative forcing had been produced using sulfate aerosol. Although solar geoengineering cannot substitute for emissions cuts, it may supplement them by reducing some of the risks of climate change. Further research on this and similar methods could lead to reductions in risks and improved efficacy of solar geoengineering methods.

Read more:

Its nice that the geoengineering crowd seem to have moved onto less toxic options than sulphates.

Limestone is quite dense, around three times denser than water, so it would be interesting to see how long the particles stayed aloft. But the full text of the study seems to suggest fluffing the particles up a bit, making them porous, to increase surface area available for neutralising ozone destroying acids. This would likely create a pumice like consistency, which could help the particles persist longer in the stratosphere.

The study also sounds a cautious note about the possible impact of their limestone particles on bioavailability of nitrates, and other potential environmental impacts. So maybe limestone might be as damaging as sulphates after all.


219 thoughts on “Limestone Dust: The Latest Climate Geoengineering Favourite

      • There are 2 or 3 types of White Lung Disease that will kill you before your time of old age.

        The most common is “rock dust” that coats the inside of the lungs and effectively suffocates the victim.

        Men who work in/around “rock crushing” operations and those who work as “rock drillers” on mining and construction sites are subject to White Lung.

        And there have been a couple White Lung deaths reported due to the victims breathing in far too much Talcum Powder that accumulated in their lungs over the years.

      • Older teachers faced the threat of White Lung disease, but now that most blackboards are being replaced by white boards, the danger is addiction to marker sniffing.

      • well fine powdered lime i used to handle while building sure made my skin hurt and gave my lungs hell..and that was carefully using small amount to add to a cement mix, or for plastering walls
        throwing rockdust with lime in it gave me sore skin anywhere it landed, hands lips face all rather tender
        and theyd be using nano sized if theyre talking grams

      • Sorry, there is no such a thing as CaCO. Cement is a complex mix of oxides, silicates, alumina red etc., but mostly it’s Ca3SiO4 (tricalcium silicate)

      • The calcined lime used in cement is CaO, calcium oxide, aka lime. It’s pretty alkaline, and I can imagine constant exposure can hurt one’s skin as ozspeaksup noted.

        Don’t know if anyone’s mentioned this, but limestone neutralization of acid produces CO2 as a product:
        CaCO3 + 2 HX => CaX2 + H2O + CO2, where X = chloride, bromide, or nitrate.

        If the amount of CO2 produced were significant, it could increase stratospheric cooling. Would that impact anything down here — such as climate? :-)

      • ozspeaksup December 17, 2016 at 5:28 am:

        We just should know the difference:

        The lime which you are getting in bags for building purposes is limetone, from which the CO2 is removed through a “burning” process, It’s quite alkaline.

        After use as a lime paint or lime mortar it does collect CO2 from the atmosphere and returns to limestone CaCO3 again, which is neutral.

        Just very simple spoken.

        What they propose in the paper is the use of the neutral limestone as a powder.

        Here is the explanation from wikipedia:

        Non-hydraulic lime is produced by first heating sufficiently pure calcium carbonate to between 954° and 1066 °C, driving off carbon dioxide to produce quicklime (calcium oxide). This is done in a lime kiln. The quicklime is then slaked – hydrated by being thoroughly mixed with enough water to form a slurry (lime putty), or with less water to produce dry powder — a hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide). Hydrated lime naturally turns back into calcium carbonate by reacting with carbon dioxide in the air, the entire process being called the lime cycle.

    • As a physician, I can tell you with absolute certainty that high volume, frequent inhalation of any form of dust is NOT benign. Chronic inflammatory reaction to the inhalation of dust can lead to asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, COPD, and cancer, to name a few consequences. Aren’t these “scientists” supposed to seeking means of purifying the air we breathe?

      • But, but the catastrophic effects of global warming are all around us. Surely you can see the damage of the latest polar vortex in the US, record low temps, icy highways, accidents and deaths! All caused by global warming ! Don’t you want to end global warming ? If we don’t get a handle on this, the earth could become as hot as Venus with a run a way greenhouse effect. We must act now before it’s too late ! Small price to pay that some people will get sick. …. (sarc )

    • This is where the climate hysteria promoted by eco-loons leads.

      If you convince yourself that the future of life on earth is threatened, anything, however radical and risky, comes up for consideration.

      The enviro movement are now causing more problems than they are fixing.

      • 100% with you Greg . The trees are sick and dying all over the world .

        I haven’t seen 1 thought on what happens when the lime mixes with the crap that they have ALREADY SPRAYED for years now .

        This is evil crap no matter how “safe” it is .

    • “Are these guys nuts?”

      About as nuts as the folks who think that they can continue to pump C02 into the atmosphere with zero effect.

      • Nothing has 0 effect, and no one here suggests that. CO2 has wonderful effects and I will spew as much as I can until my dying day thank you.

      • About as nuts as the folks who think that they can continue to pump C02 into the atmosphere with zero effect.

        Are we all supposed to hold our breath? Or lose our minds because 9-10 Gt of CO2 [or even 26 Gt] are deposited by humans annually to the–what?–400+ Gt from natural sources? Increasing crops and supplying more food for billions at a lower cost?

    • Put the proponents in a closed environment and pump the stuff in until they concede that it’s not such a great idea after all!

  1. Seems like something unsettling has already been released into the worlds drinking water.
    How does one calculate the global stupidity factor?

  2. Surely this is outdated?
    Whats this “Global Warming” stuff?
    I thought it was Climate Change?

    Have they started already, causing the current balmy winter breezes impacting Canada and the US?

    • Exactly: let them do it and watch the lawsuits against them when someone freezes to death they can blame global cooling on them.

      • Dying from cold is only weather. If you die from heat, or floods, droughts, hurricanes, tornados, that’s climate change. See the difference ? ( sarc) Can’t sue if there is no global cooling. and who says there is global cooling ? Certainly not official organisation’s. They can look straight at world wide cooling and say, ” hottest year evah ” .

  3. I find it highly likely that all these discussions in re geoengineering coming out these days are headed towards the acknowledgement that our government has been involved in actually conducting such experiments for decades. As we enter a period of cooling- perhaps even a Maunder minimum- they will claim credit for preventing global warming as result of the chemtrails we tinfoil hatters have been cursing at for over a decade. Perhaps they will actually contribute to accelerating the cooling trend- “we are from the government, and are here to help you.”

    • Cloud seeding exists as a commercial service and particulate pollution from aviation is know and seen to provoke cirrus cloud under the right meteo conditions, so it must necessarily have some effect on climate. This was inconclusively demonstrated following 911 with skies being clearer than usual. That much is scientific and should be non-controversial.

      Despite dashing out with my camera whenever I see interesting persistent contrails I have never seen anything which looks anything more than cloud formation in what were already borderline cloud forming atmospheric conditions.

      A few days ago there were a lot of persistent contrails at around 8-9km yet I took a photo of another flight at about 5km that left NO visible trace at all.

      I just he must have missed the memo to turn on his Barium spraying tanks that day.

      By the way a few hours later the cirrus turned fairly solid strato-cirrus which tinfoil hatters would surely have called a “white out”. However, it was clear that cloud was forming away from the persistent contrails as well. A bit of scientific observation,

      It was just that the meteorological conditions were already moving towards cloud formation anyway.

    • Nice try barnyardboss but 97 percent of WUWT skeptics to not buy into your stereotypi(al view of us when it comes to chem tr@ils. Few bait takers here at WUWT.

  4. Currently 5 degrees with 5 inches of snow with colder temps and continuing snow through tomorrow. Please send some Global Warming my way!! I liked the 70 degree temps before Thanksgiving MUCH better!

      • The authors may not be idiots but they know how to get funding from the administration with fear-mongering statements like this:

        “The planet is warming at an unprecedented rate, and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases alone is not enough to remove the risk.”

      • Some of the most highly qualified individuals I’ve ever met – with enough diplomas etc. to paper a good sized wall – can’t be trusted to boil an egg.

        It seems “intelligence” of the academic variety is often inversely proportional to good old “common sense”.

      • Have you not seen any commercial about lawsuits ? Talculm powder is now being exposed as a carcinogen and THEY KNEW YEARS AGO . Scientists have LIED for years now . So you’re right they’re not idiots , they are GREEDY BASTARDS .

  5. I could go along with this scheme as long as they are bonded to the tune of several $Trillion in case they really screw up the climate.

    What? No takers?

    Well, if they aren’t willing to take the liability, they shouldn’t be messing with our atmosphere.

    • I would not accept it even if they did put up a bond. What hell use would that be if they do screw up?

      The answer is NO DON’T SCREW WITH MY CLIMATE.

      • The phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” comes to mind.
        They haven’t proved that Man’s CO2 has really done much of anything to change “Climate” one way or the other. Certainly nothing that shows some weather events are more harmful (Scratch “harmful”. Make that “powerful”.) today than they were in the past.

        “Harmful” vs “powerful”.
        More “harmful” since more people are building in a flood plain or hurricane-prone coast. But are the floods higher or the hurricanes stronger? No.
        “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

    • Not really, because this sort of geo-engineering can be stopped in time if bad effects begin to show up.

      • And what has stopped literally $Billions being wasted chasing the “science”, Roger? These people can’t recognize stupid if it hit them in the face and they won’t stop when bad effects begin to show up.

        They’re unhinged.

      • Evidently geoengineering research is a worthwhile endeavor. The resistance to dropping a bag of limestone dust in the troposphere appears to be quasireligious on both sides. Too bad it’s getting so difficult to do scientific and engineering research in taboo areas.

      • No one needs to do this. Moderate warming and more CO2 in the atmosphere are both beneficial. Catastrophic global warming is a model projection. Not science. Does CAGW have any serious data to support it?

        The kind of geoengineering I support is beneficial to life on earth. E.g. Drop iron salts into an otherwise sterile ocean in the Pacific. Also GMOs to grow in arid regions are welcome. I’m all for encouraging life where there is currently none.

      • Not really, because this sort of geo-engineering can be stopped in time if bad effects begin to show up.

        No it can’t. We have not even shown there is a problem yet. We would need to do global scale “experiments” for decades with detailed monitoring.

        By the time we have any useful results it’s too late. THE AWSER IS NO !

      • “And what has stopped literally $Billions being wasted chasing the “science”, Roger? These people can’t recognize stupid if it hit them in the face and they won’t stop when bad effects begin to show up.

        They’re unhinged.”

        Exactly what we see with the unhinged EU. The endless disasters in the Eurozone are met with rabid calls for MORE EUROPE!

      • SO2 in the atmosphere from pollution would react with the calcite CaCO3 to make calcium sulfate CaSO4. Nitrous oxides would make calcium nitrate. A huge list of unknown consequences.

      • Donald, the other product of that reaction is…

        “Scientists” are proposing we put CO2 into the atmosphere to combat the supposed impact of man made atmospheric CO2…

        You just couldn’t make this stuff up.

    • calcium, carbon, oxygen, …
      I’ll bet if super fine limestone dust gets high enough into the atmosphere, UV and other high energy photons will decompose it and the carbon will recombine as CO2. I’ll also bet that this will be close to the technology we will need to keep agriculture from crashing once we do run out of oil and can no longer put CO2 into the atmosphere. The only difference,is that we will need to decompose the limestone directly into CO2 .before releasing it into the atmosphere, but this gets easier starting with a super fine dust.

      • Calcium, carbon, oxygen….Calcium carbonate! The main ingredient of ant-acid pills I eat for occasional heartburn. It works for me; maybe it’s a good prescription for the upper atmosphere, too?

      • I didn’t know the upper atmosphere had a case of heartburn. I thought that required a gastro-intestinal tract. I haven’t seen one in any sunrises, cloudy days, clear days, sunsets, etc. etc.

        These idiots that are messing with the atmosphere need to leave things alone–additional CO2 is way more beneficial to the atmosphere as plant fertilizer than any deleterious impact it might have.

      • “I’ll bet if super fine limestone dust gets high enough into the atmosphere, UV and other high energy photons will decompose it and the carbon will recombine as CO2.”

        But I thought we were supposed to be cutting the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, because, you know, Co2 is bad. /s

      • D. J. Hawkins December 17, 2016 at 9:40 am
        You wrote:
        “You keep saying this. It is NOT true. There is no compound with the formula CaCO.”

        This is the answer from Wikipedia:

        Calcium oxide (CaO), commonly known as quicklime or burnt lime, is a widely used chemical compound. It is a white, caustic, alkaline, crystalline solid at room temperature.

      • Calcium Oxide (CaO) will be a by product of pumping a gazillion tons of crushed limestone into the atmosphere. What is truly hilarious about the proposition is revealed by a cursory glance at NIOSH handling guidelines for CaO.

        I’d recommend the first experimentation with limestone seeding of the atmosphere happens over Boston, New York, Washington conurbation, and over California – say between San Diego and San Francisco, taking in LA and Sacramento on the way.

        Might try Detroit and Chicago too….

  6. As I said in previous thread regarding geo-engineering schemes:

    Arguably CO2 has *zero* effect on climate temperatures and would instead give great benefit to the planet in PPMs up to more than 1000ppm (note: 1000ppm = just 1 part per 1000!!). Recently the world went as low as 280ppm CO2, and that’s getting dangerously close to the 200ppm where the viability of plant life is seriously impacted.

    The real danger is that as we switch away from CO2 emitting energy forms the leftists would engineer some artificial carbon sinks with future technology that would reduce the CO2 ppm to below 200 and cause worldwide disaster. So just say no to that geo-engineering nuttery!

    • I know that this limestone scheme does not involve a CO2 sink.

      But still it’s total insanity. Breathing that stuff. And adding extra CO2 to an atmosphere already saturated with CO2 has in effect zero practical impact on temperature. So if there’s warming then that’s natural warming that the leftist nutcases would be trying to counter.

      And with the dormant sun and talk of changing cycles there’s a high probability that we’re heading into a strong cooling phase maybe like the Little Ice Age. Imagine if their plan worked. What if they blanketed the atmosphere with that cement like garbage and temps started to fall, but then we found out that we were already heading naturally into a Little Ice Age and the next thing you know it’s massive cold and worldwide crop failures. Bad.

      What’s more, there’s a growing sense that the temperature data has been cooked and in truth the 1930s were hotter than today.

      In fact, even Hansen admitted that in the USA the 1930s were much hotter. But the USA had and has the most extensive set of ground thermometers in the 1930s, so there’s reason to believe that the USA measurements in the thirties were paramount, such that it’s quite likely that, like the USA, the entire world in the 1930s was hotter than today.

      That would mean that the CO2 theory is absolutely false. And, regardless, it’s clear that there’s nothing unusual about the current temperature. If the 1930s weren’t warmer, they were nearly as warm. And nearly all credible evidence, including pre-1999 IPCC stuff, points to the Medieval Warm Period 1000 years ago as being hotter than today.

      “It is clear that 1998 did not match the record warmth of 1934.”
      -James Hansen, NASA

      • The research would be carried out with a small amount taken aloft with a balloon. I assume they would have other balloons carry sensors, and have an airplane 10 km under the fine limestone cloud to take measurements from below.

      • “Saturated with CO2”? The CO2 isn’t dissolved in the atmosphere, the only upper limit to it is 100%.

  7. Brilliant! Let’s put thousands of tons of particulate matter into the atmosphere. Then let’s make it toxic , rather than inert. So when you breathe it in it will clog your lungs and give you respiratory disease. Don’t worry, you won’t have too long a death. The acid in the particles will eat you out from the inside. We can keep this up till the planet is cooler and everyone is dead.

    • It sounds like the perfect thing for the eco-loons and self-loathing leftists to seed the world with: the agent of our own destruction:

      “A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people. We must shift our efforts from the treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer.” -Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University Ecoactivist
      “My three main goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure.. throughout the world.” -David Foreman, Earth First!
      “Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license.” -David Brower, a Sierra Club founder
      “The planet is about to break out with fever, indeed it may already have, and we [humans] are the disease.” -Thomas Lovejoy, Smithsonian Institution
      “We have wished, we ecofreaks, for a disaster… to bomb us into the stone age, where we might live like Indians.” -Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalogue
      “The big threat to the planet is people: there are too many, doing too well economically.” -Sir James Lovelock, BBC Interview
      “Mankind is the most dangerous, destructive, selfish and unethical animal on the earth.” -Michael Fox, The Humane Society
      “Human beings, as a species, have no more value than slugs. I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong.” -John Davis, Earth First!
      “Cannibalism is a radical but realistic solution to the problem of overpopulation.” -Lyall Watson, The Financial Times
      “I can smell burning flesh and I hope to God it’s human.” -Morrissey, a British pop star
      “Isn’t the only hope for this planet the total collapse of industrial civilisation? Is it not our responsibility to ensure that this collapse happens?” -Maurice Strong, ex UNEP Director
      “One America burdens the earth much more than twenty Bangladeshis. This is a terrible thing to say in order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it’s just as bad not to say it.” -Jacques Cousteau, UNESCO Courier
      “If I were reincarnated, I would wish to be returned to Earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.” -Prince Phillip, World Wildlife Fund
      “AIDS is not an efficient killer because it is too slow. My favourite candidate for eliminating 90 per cent of the world’s population is airborne Ebola, because it is both highly lethal and it kills in days, instead of years.” -Dr Eric Pianka
      “A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.” -Ted Turner, founder of CNN
      “The Earth has cancer and the cancer is Man.” -Club of Rome
      Save the Planet, Kill Yourself:

      • “The Earth has cancer and the cancer is Man.” -Club of Rome
        Isn’t there a misspelling in that sentence? Shouldn’t that read “Mann”?

      • Funny how those extolling the virtues of people killing themselves to save the planet fail to take their own advice…….

        My answer to this kind of idiocy is “After you then, sweetie!”

      • My theory is that human civilization actually began about a million years ago or so. It’s just that every 100,000 years or so we develop to the point where can do stupid stuff like this, trigger the next glaciation, and knock ourselves back to the Stone Age.

      • Paul, that also explains why space aliens have never shown up. The idiocy problem is likely species-independent.

      • In all probability, there is more than one species here. Both native, introduced, and others (directly)that are here to use humans as their personal slaves. Genetic and social engineering can be used to dumb down a group. Most these days couldn’t pass my grandfather’s 8th grade final. …. the different groups that are here is summed up in the Hindu bible. That’s why things are so crazy here. The CAGW people don’t have to jail everybody, just those that disagree with them. And just from being on here, no argument is sufficient to counter a true believer in AGW. Not even enough to raise doubt.

      • Mankind is the most dangerous, destructive, selfish and unethical animal on the earth.” -Michael Fox, The Humane Society


        Alas,if only I were a philanthropic rhinoceros or an ethical leopard.

  8. Perhaps they could ask the Kazarian mafia or the fuggers or whoever it is to add CaCo3 to the chemtrails. The rest of us need never know.

  9. This folly reminds me of the fiasco that is taking place in the Pacific NW forests.
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Friday that specially trained biologists have shot 26 barred owls in a study area on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation northeast of Arcata, Calif.
    Thus far they have spent $3.5 million killing (man attempting to balance nature) the Barred owl to save the Northern Spotted owl.
    What do you suppose a limestone hurling battleship cost?????? Judging by the graphic we will need a fleet!
    Maybe Gov. Jerry Brown can use these to launch California’s satellites.

    • It became necessary to destroy the town to save it. reported by Peter Arnett in 1968. Things didn’t change very much since then.

      • Then there was the incident in Sarasota Florida where the SWAT team shot a man in his own house because he was threatening to commit suicide. The “logic” was to prevent him from killing himself.

  10. Edward Teller is thought to have caused the hole in the ozone with his ill advised high altitude atomic bomb testing. He also patented some of the most common geoengineering technology you see in your sky today.

  11. The assumption, that there is global warming which must be halted is wrong per se. So it’s just another expensive non-solution to a non-problem.

  12. I want a word with these boffins (bozos..) who want to cool the world. Windchill here in Lethbridge, Alberta at 7 PM this evening was -45°C.

  13. Just an idea they want to test with a few kg of material.
    There are already gigatonnes of solid particulate aerosols in the global atmosphere from natural sources. See cloud condensation nuclei (CCN)
    Here is a paper that looks at some of the chemistry of CaCO3 aerosols.
    A non-trivial chemical milieu.

    What about the costs of a global scale experiment??
    How much mass of CaCO3 will be needed to effect a global scale reaction?? Maybe 1 gigatonne??
    How much energy would be required to lift 1 gigatonne of mass to 20km altitude?
    One kilogram of mass weighs 10 Newtons. 10 Newtons lifted one meter costs 10 Joules.
    1 gigatonne is 10E12 kilograms that weigh 100E12 Newtons.
    Now raise 100E12 Newtons to 2E4 meters, that’s 200E16 Joules, same as 200E7 gigajoules. Or 2giga gigajoules. A one gigawatt electric nuclear plant would take 2 gigaseconds to produce that amount of energy. 2 gigaseconds divided by 86400 seconds per day is 23185 days, or over 63 years.
    Maybe mass produce 63 dedicated power plants so that the job could be done in one year.
    What is the cost to construct 63 nuclear power plants??
    How much energy is required to purify and produce 1 gigatonne of CaCO3 aerosol solid??
    Sane people do not plan to send large amounts of mass into the stratosphere.

      • We could have a booming economy, perpetually mining, crushing and lifting the dust. We could build coal fired power plants to fuel this endevour. We could pay Universities billions to study more effective ways to do this. Hallelujah, hallelujah.

    • bw your analysis forgot the costs of mining and comminution. That cost is enormous in terms of energy used. The limestone idea is a CO2 intensive non starter.

  14. Since I grew up near a cement plant, I can remember how lime dust would settle out on the grass, the cars, us, etc. There was enough that the teeth of the cattle would wear prematurely. I don’t remember any of the local farmers liming their cropland back then. Of course, people did have problems with the overnight dew causing the dust to stick to cars. Quite a few people used Coca Cola to remove it. Everyone who worked there had an older car with a crapped-out paint job for a work car. No one wanted to ruin the paint job on a new car. The plant put up precipitators on the stacks decades ago. That put a stop to the whole problem.
    Maybe they should go check into local records around places like that for possible effects. Of course, the surrounding land is mostly limestone-derived soils, so analyses could be more difficult. Well, actually the deposit is a limey marl, so we all called it limerock.
    We were taught how cement was made in school. The plant began so Arkla Gas could have a use for all of the natural gas produced in the summer. The plant only ran when demand for natural gas was on the low side. The money was good, and gas became plentiful, so they switched to full-time production.
    As far as cutting insolation, how much did those old, raw plumes of dust put into the air worldwide? Not that it usually lofted too high. I’d say it was an unusual day the exhaust plume would go above 2500 feet (~760 meters) or so. You could see that plume for miles on a good day. It meant jobs and money. Not a bad thing to a small town.

  15. When they finally manage to tether that geostationary satellite using a long carbon fibre cable, they can use it to transport the crushed rock in to low orbit.

  16. And again, I ask (without any expectation that ANYBODY will answer me) “HOW will they clean up the mess when it doesn’t work?”

    AND “Does the word ‘Mesothelioma’ have any significance here?”

    • Larry,
      Mesothelioma? You tell me. I thought that it was caused by short-fiber asbestos, like crocidolite. Do you have some special insight on the cause?

      • Mesothelioma is caused by small diameter ( <3 micron) inert fibres but longer than 5 microns. The original studies into fibre carcinogenicity were performed in tissue culture using spinneret formed glass fibres. This gave the experimenters control of both length and diameter of the fibres which was not possible if they had used natural fibres.

        As an aside carbon fibres or carbon nanotubes may exhibit the same hazard as asbestos due to the size and morphology of the fibres.

  17. This is idea is brought to you by the same types of people who thought planting Kudzu was a great way to prevent soil erosion. What could possibly go wrong?

    • Florida is ‘sinking’ remember? They need to keep as much of their real-estate as they can! So, No.

  18. “They” are increasingly desperate to do something “to prevent warming”.
    Later, when there is no serious warming after all, they will say, “We weren’t wrong! There would have been warming if we hadn’t sprinkled the magic dust!”

    I suggest that everybody just prays to the Flying Spaghetti Monster instead.
    That will prevent CAGW, and it’s much cheaper.

  19. 500,000 boats should be a good trial run start, leading up to 5 or 10 million if successful results indicated. Of course, it is going to make the world ocean more alkaline, and screw up the fisheries, but who cares.

  20. Note that releasing particulates at or near the surface, would violate many environmental laws, mostly concerning PM 2.5s and nuisance dust.

    • They are suggesting releasing the calcite in the stratosphere, not near the surface. So, what is your point?

  21. Sounds like the start of a bad sc-fi movie. “Scientists” try to manipulate the climate to save us from a non existent disaster and create a real disaster

  22. I wonder if they have given moonbeams a thought they seem to have come up with most other outlandish ideas, what it must be like to live in la la land. A happy Christmas and a prosperous Trump new year to all.


    So, we’re purportedly conducting a giant uncontrolled experiment as civilizations, that may or may not threaten various consequences, which are unpredictable and much argued-over.

    So, naturally, the answer is *another* massive uncontrolled and unpredictable experiment that may or may not help resolve the problem that may or may not be happening and may or may not actually be a problem.


  24. ” – a pumice like consistency” ?
    Is that not the sort of material that the Icelandic volcano with the unpronounceable name ejected into the atmosphere not long ago , causing the cancellation of all European air flights because of the perceived hazard to jet engines?
    The positive side is that there would be no more international climate conferences because the 40 000 who normally attend, at taxpayers’ unsolicited cost , would not be able to travel unless by sea. Andy Capprio would be OK , already has a yacht , could probably find room for a few more (and he could charge them (ie us ) passage).

    • Helicopters often operate in dusty environments and, of course, they generate their own dust clouds when operating close to the ground.

      If necessary, there is a technical solution. It would probably be horribly expensive to retrofit on jet engines but it would allow commercial aviation to continue.

      There is always an engineering solution to every engineering problem. Very often the solution is more expensive than living with the problem. Hey, that describes the whole CAGW debacle.

  25. And Global Cooling was going to be caused by all that soot in the atmosphere, from coal burning, reflecting the Sun’s radiation away from the Earth :)

    • ptolemy2,
      I think that geoengineering is fraught with many risks and should be approached with great caution. However, banning even thinking or talking about it is classic “burying your head in the sand” behavior. Do you think before putting your fingers on the keyboard?

  26. Wouldn’t such particulates also add to increasing rainfall in some areas? Upon which they would then blame climate change.

  27. A solid aerosol of limestone or the mineral calcite dispersed 20km up would reflect and scatter incoming solar radiation, slowing greenhouse gas warming, and neutralise three important halide-bearing acids responsible for ozone destruction.

    Well, the boat does not look like one having 20km tall masts, it is not even feasible. So. How are they planning to inject dust into the stratosphere?

    • I would use hydrogen filled balloons, carrying a 100 kg payload, with some sort of compressed air bottle to force air through a nozzle and create a small cloud of the stuff.

      • OK, let’s do the math. They say they’d need 5.6 million tonnes a year of calcite up there. So, you would need 56 million flights carrying 100 kg payload each along with machinery to disperse it. How much would it cost? How much Hydrogen would be delivered to the stratosphere along with calcite dust?

    • The illo is from another thread and shows Salter’s cloud ships. These operate by producing tiny water droplets from the seawater they sail on, seeding low level stratocumulus clouds. If you really must do geo-engineering then the cloud ship is a much safer technology as all it uses is windpower and salt water. The dust proposal effect would take ages to vanish, the cloud ships could be switched off in less than a day.

      I will eventually wear down Willis’s resistance and he will grudgingly calculate the amount of low level aerosols the world loses because of oil pollution of the ocean surface. My bet is that he will find that a considerable amount of AGW is caused by that. OIled surface = fewer breaking waves = fewer aerosols = less low level cloud = lower albedo = warming. We will share the Nobel prize.

      Oh, yes, we are so used to seeing polluted surfaces that they no longer register — see the smooth wake behind the cloud ship? Pollution. Maybe the ship’s cook has washed out a frying pan.

      • My take on Willis’s cloud formation observation is that it’s a function of heat gradient driven convection whipping up the sea surface. This would tend to break up any oil microlayer on the ocean surface.

      • Excellent idea. With the same move we could completely wipe the human mould off of the face of Mother Gaia, along with everything else, establishing genuinely pristine conditions once again.

        VHEMT obviously failed, time for the reluctant version, RHEMT.

    • Berényi Péter,
      The Indians are beginning an experiment with old jet engines, which aren’t airworthy, to break through temperature inversions and disperse pollution well above ground level. Perhaps such devices could loft the particles high enough.

    • This is a 2010 report David Keith had made up for himself when he was at the University of Alberta in Calgary, AB Canada.
      Geoengineering Cost Analysis

      Incidentally, the new term is “Climate Remediation,” not Geoengineering.

      This is a website those interested in the subject might be interested in. Great list of government docs and historical info. US, Britain, and Canada.

  28. The geo engineering people are crazy. I don’t think there is any other term to describe them. The first thing was to stop that hair brain idea of exploding plastic pieces into space to cool the planet. And if AGW isn’t the cause of warming or cooling how do you get those pieces down ? And how much do you put up there ? This isn’t ” they could send us into an ice age “, the possibility is very real.
    That dust isn’t just going to absorb co2, it’s going to reflect sunlight. Let alone the fact that the science of AGW is far from settled. These are really scary people, and the fact that a total lunatic idea can be floated as serious.
    Compounding a natural downturn in temperature with definite works by man to cool the planet. Talk about ” why don’t you just kill yourself ” .
    I vote ” NO ” on this idea.

      • There is exactly zero intent for any of these Tinkerbell solutions. However there is great intent for more grants.

        The smelt industry in California has now spent 400 million studying the 100 or so smelt fish left problem.

        Unfortunately in Calif it went further then insane studies, and millions of acre feet of water are flushed to the ocean as well; so perhaps with a bit more left coast tilt to the nation, these yahoos would go beyond study grants only.

      • David Anderson: While I would hate to see an invasive species go ‘extinct’ it Would save a great deal of money and water every year if someone dumped a few hundred gallons of chlorine bleach in that stream.

    • A thick layer of fine dust can trigger another Ice Age if the sun goes ‘quiet’.

      Not to mention the global starvation it could cause by destroying food supplies for populous nations like India and China. Who the hell are these people to determine that the sun should not be able to reach crops?

  29. the mining, crushing, ejection of the dust would create more co2 though.
    whats a good commie supposed to do then?

  30. Mining destroys the ecosphere. Therefore, dredging of coral reefs will soon commence to gather a ‘sustainable’ source of material to load the hoppers of the atmospheric injection apparatus. Starting with the Great Barrier Reef. As the name implies, it’s just getting in the way anyways.

    As everyone knows, acidulous skeptics dissolve in seawater.

  31. There is a very simple solution to CO2 “pollution” that nobody seems to be mentioning. It involves injecting something into the atmosphere that has zero mass — it’s called “intelligence” (periodic-chart abbreviation, IQ), a rare element that scientists give far too little importance in the human-caused CO2 global warming debate.

  32. No self respecting engineer would participate in such a scheme, not even as a test. If there truly was a global warming problem (which isn’t the case so why is this even being discussed), engineers know that to fix problems you always go after the ROOT CAUSE of the problem. You don’t put bandaids on problems or non problems that may cause even bigger unforseen problems. The whole premise of this scheme is obviously faulty from the start unless one is of a mindset (usually political) where the term “root cause” never enters the discussion.

    • Scott,
      The enlightened intelligentsia of this rarefied blog are aware that there isn’t a problem, but much of the rest of the world has yet to see the light.

    • @Reality check: either humans are not able to manage energies and materials on a large enough scale to substantially affect the climate, in which case “screwing with the climate” would be a huge waste of effort and resources, or they are, in which case the odds of catastrophe are unpleasantly high.

      The plain fact of the matter is that human beings do not understand complex systems, not even systems they themselves have created, with all the working parts visible. If we could, the USA would never have repealed the Glass-Steagall Act (OK, so some people DID see the gun being loaded and the trigger being pulled, but top people at Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Citibank, and so on, who were morally obliged by their position to understand the financial system, clearly didn’t. Suicide by legislation and hubris.)

      I think it’s fair to same that *some* people who post here think that humans can’t affect the climate, but that *many* people who post here think that humans *can* affect the climate, and indeed through things like land use change demonstrably *have* affected climate, just not very much.

      • indeed through things like land use change demonstrably *have* affected climate, just not very much.

        Although I copied the interview I heard, I can’t find it now. Three or four years I listened to a forestry guy or federal agricultural expert give a fascinating description of how with their research they were able to determine that the Dust Bowl was not the effect of heat, although that contributed, but land use management. Which he said they didn’t understand in the 30s.

    • David Keith thinks he did. The arrogant pr**k described geoengineering he was doing over New Mexico during a panel in 2010 without permission of the people. Someone in the audience really went after him, and forced him to admit they were doing it without knowing the consequences.

  33. could apply the brake to global warming while simultaneously repairing the ozone layer,
    the operative word is ‘COULD”.

    dog turds sprayed in the air “could” do the same. Or nerve gas. Or a plague of frogs.

    Imagine for one minute that when we built bridges, or buildings, or aircraft the engineers involved said “that could be strong enough” or “that could work”.

    The big problem with having scientists propose ANY solution is that they have NO PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY. In contrast, when engineers say something will work they have a legal liability to make sure it will work.

    It is high time that the government took the issue of climate change out of the hands of the scientists and gave it to the engineers. We are repeatedly told that the science is settled, so where is the justification for further scientific study?

    Settled science is not a scientific problem, it is an engineering problem. It is high time the problem was given to professional engineers to MAKE IT WORK. With full financial liability if it doesn’t.

  34. How did these clowns get university degrees? Limestone clouds, deaf fish, heat disappearing and lurking in the ocean depths, lulling us into a false sense of security until it pops out and starts warming the atmosphere.
    Utter drivel!

  35. What about the amount of energy that is required to hurl the dust into the stratosphere. Won’t this create more carbon dioxide that is absorbed. Sounds absolutely ridiculous.

  36. Just halt all funding from wherever.

    We are in the midst of madness on a grand scale, and I am an ordinary human being who accepts facts, or tries to!

    The problem with all those “scientists” looking for money is the idiots who consider doing so against the interests of science and mankind.

    How do we halt this madness? It equals waste on a grand scale, of money and constructive intelligence.

    Politicians are at the root of this.

    They feed on ignorance of ordinary folk who are not sucessfuly informed, because those people for many reasons, take in “bites” of misleading information.

    We need a site, for all people, that gives facts relating to their lives.

    How do we do,this?

    I wish I knew. Someone out there does. Do not do it for profit, do it because it is in your interest and for all of usi, long term.

    Here’s hoping.

  37. Is this supposed to be real – or a plot for a Bond movie? Do we send in 007 with a scantily clad Asian girl and bunches of ninjas dangling from ropes into the villain’s labs?

    • “No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die, and reduce the surplus population.”
      This scheme would fit a Bond Villain. At least a couple were eco-fanatics with plans to exterminate much of humanity and start over with a group of their followers.

  38. Uh, limestone dust isn’t reflective to the energy that needs to be reflected and the problem is is if Global Climate Destruction Warming Change Greenhouse is right, putting up an aerosol would slam us into a Glaciation event in less than 52 hours.

    I’ve seen a lot of the 3 and 4 year old _debunked by the IPCC themselves_ claims showing up in news again.

  39. What utter drivel. How much limestone has to be injected at 20 km above the surface to achieve -1Wm(2)? Thousands, tens of thousands of tonnes annually? And as Eric observed in his opening note, what’s the mean suspension time?

  40. I like the idea of using limestone but to make more cement and emit more life-giving CO2 and maybe someday even get some nice warming. Perhaps pass a law that we all live in durable concrete housing.

  41. “There are lots of uncertainties about reaction rates at present, he adds.”

    By which he means that he already knows they will be too slow, but they would like the money to pretend to do it anyway. That’s the beauty of modeling: You don’t waste time modeling the things you already know will probably fail. Choosing the deliberately wrong thing to model is an essential part of developing “skill in the art”.

  42. That should keep the innards of turbo jets well polished.
    How is it that any ludicrous scheme proposed by these idiots is treated as tenable?

  43. No details of the practicality of such a scheme?
    Actually, geoengineering has the advantage of not locking in to a solution that cannot be
    easily reversed or heavilly modified, which is where our green beanies are heading with their
    potentially catastrophic idea of ridding the planet of its carbon emitting apparati. The
    green sprouts often use catastrophic to describe totally non-catstrophic situations, but their
    tunnel vision plans truly are potentially catastrophic. Heaven help the world if they succeed.

  44. If it wasn’t for the defeat of hillary we would be going ahead on these types of projects… full speed. Thankfully there is now a chance that we may be spared. Whew! GK

  45. Wow lucky I kept my grandfathers old cannon that he used to shoot dry ice into the air to make rain maybe I can volunteer to help out!? Are these ” scientists” for real must have gone to Harvard or Yale only their could they become such idiots! Man is very arrogant to think he can affect the atmosphere of this world or any other for that matter!?

  46. Clearly Dr Evil has to be frozen and put into orbit along with bigglesworth the cat or at least his cash should be cut off. With a new Sherriff in town, you’d think hairbrained schemes like this would self edit. Calcium carbonate fillers and extenders cost, what? $100/t on the ground to make and the stuff they are talking about is very fine precipitated product (200-300$?) and then the cost to put it into the stratosphere! We then end up with alkaline rain, yeah that sounds exciting for the biosphere etc.

    Probably, the best sceptic comment of all time was that of Steve McIntyre, musing that most climate scientists today would be lucky to have highschool science teaching jobs in an earlier generation. And Mac is one of the kindest, nicest, fairest-minded guys you’d ever hope to meet.

    • It doesn’t, just another way to bilk the tax payers to keep some group of fuax scientists in jobs,I guess it’s the new welfare more educated more sophisticated,but a social program no less!!?

  47. I don’t know why, but this story reminds me of this quote from Jack Handy:

    “I think a new, different kind of bowling should be “carpet bowling.” It’s just like regular bowling, only the lanes are carpet instead of wood. I don’t know why we should do this, but my God, we’ve got to try something!” – Jack Handy

  48. Thank you Eric.

    Sounds to me like “Keith” needs a good kicking up his stratospheric aerosol. What, what !


  49. Throw up some limestone dust, wait awhile and then proclaim that climate change has been stopped. That way they don’t have to explain that there never was any climate change of consequence anyway. All those people who have worked themselves into a snit will be happy because “actual working scientists have saved the planet”. The mind reels.

    • Wow ALs going to be thanking you personally when he can no longer escape the real truth that man made climate change is BS!!?

  50. Well if they really feel that planetary scale engineering is the solution to their perceived problem…then war it is. They will experiment with our world over my rotting remains.

    • I had a great idea, there was volcano that blew in Mexico… all they have to do is place tons of limestone on top. It’ll save them from having to crush it, and to distribute it ! And since we don’t know which will go off, they can select several vocanoes.

  51. The realization that these alarmist geniuses actually consider such bizarre ideas illustrates just how dangerous they are. They don’t even bother to check their basic assumption, that warming is a problem. What about the possibility that our burning of carbon containing fuels is delaying an inevitable glacial period and their proposed intervention would bring about a real global catastrophe sooner than humans might adapt. They are completely blind to a myriad of unanticipated and unknown consequences.

  52. Such hubris. “We know what we’re doing. Pay no attention to the incipient ice age behind our curtain of ‘crap into the atmosphere’ plans.”

  53. Yep, taking (initially) lithified carbonates and sending them up into the atmosphere to counteract GHGs. Thaaaaaaaaat’s the ticket!

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