Giant Space Bubbles. Source MIT, fair use, low resolution image to identify the subject.

MIT Proposes Giant Space Bubbles to Reverse Climate Change

Essay by Eric Worrall

According to MIT researchers, blowing bubbles in space to block sunlight might be the solution to our climate woes. But MIT, like all the others, are ignoring a fundamental flaw with solar geoengineering schemes. Plants need sunlight.

MIT Scientists Propose Space Bubbles to Reverse the Worst of Climate Change

Angely Mercado
Published 2 days ago: June 17, 2022 at 4:48 am

A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology believe that we can mitigate the worst of climate change with… space bubbles. They’ve outlined a strategy in which a huge raft of bubbles, carefully positioned between Earth and the Sun, would deflect sunlight (and thus heat) to stop further global warming.

“Geoengineering might be our final and only option. Yet, most geoengineering proposals are earth-bound, which poses tremendous risks to our living ecosystem,” a web page dedicated to the solution reads. “If we deflect 1.8% of incident solar radiation before it hits our planet, we could fully reverse today’s global warming.”

The bubble array would be made of inflatable shields of thin silicon or another suitable material, according to the team. The bubble cluster would be placed in outer space at a Lagrange Point, where the Sun’s and Earth’s gravitational pulls create a stable orbit. The researchers also said that if the plan becomes a reality in the future, the completed array would be roughly the size of Brazil.

They admitted that one of the main concerns with their proposal would be the logistics of fabricating a large film, transporting it into space, and then unfolding it to form the bubble raft. They suggested fabricating the spheres in outer space to minimise shipping costs.

Read more: https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2022/06/mit-scientists-propose-space-bubbles-to-reverse-the-worst-of-climate-change/

The main project website is available here.

This project seems more fun than other geoengineering favourites, like blowing sulphuric acid or lime dust into the stratosphere. But aside from immense cost, all these geoengineering fantasies suffer a fatal flaw.

If ever implemented, solar geoengineering could cause a global famine.

Published: 

Estimating global agricultural effects of geoengineering using volcanic eruptions

Jonathan ProctorSolomon HsiangJennifer BurneyMarshall Burke & Wolfram Schlenker 

Abstract

Solar radiation management is increasingly considered to be an option for managing global temperatures1,2, yet the economic effects of ameliorating climatic changes by scattering sunlight back to space remain largely unknown3. Although solar radiation management may increase crop yields by reducing heat stress4, the effects of concomitant changes in available sunlight have never been empirically estimated. Here we use the volcanic eruptions that inspired modern solar radiation management proposals as natural experiments to provide the first estimates, to our knowledge, of how the stratospheric sulfate aerosols created by the eruptions of El Chichón and Mount Pinatubo altered the quantity and quality of global sunlight, and how these changes in sunlight affected global crop yields. We find that the sunlight-mediated effect of stratospheric sulfate aerosols on yields is negative for both C4 (maize) and C3 (soy, rice and wheat) crops. Applying our yield model to a solar radiation management scenario based on stratospheric sulfate aerosols, we find that projected mid-twenty-first century damages due to scattering sunlight caused by solar radiation management are roughly equal in magnitude to benefits from cooling. This suggests that solar radiation management—if deployed using stratospheric sulfate aerosols similar to those emitted by the volcanic eruptions it seeks to mimic—would, on net, attenuate little of the global agricultural damage from climate change. Our approach could be extended to study the effects of solar radiation management on other global systems, such as human health or ecosystem function.

Read more: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0417-3

The reality is there is no remotely plausible level of global warming which would make it worth taking the risk of attempting to reflect sunlight to cool the Earth.

Even if the conditions of the Early Eocene (5-8C warmer than today) returned, tropical conditions most of the way to the Arctic and Antarctic, plants would still grow, and farms would still be productive. Almost certainly more productive than today.

Our primitive primate ancestors dominated and prospered during the extreme warmth of the Early Eocene, with populations of primates exploding across Africa, Europe and Asia. So we have strong paleo evidence that warm weather is no threat to primates. We also know from today’s world, the Earth’s tropics are some of the most productive regions in the world.

Solar geoengineering by contrast has the potential to mess up the entire ecosystem, and cause widespread starvation and crop failures. Not just because cool periods are less productive, but also because plants suffer immensely if they are deprived of sunlight – so much so, even a mild volcanic perturbation is enough to produce a noticeable dip in production.

Attempting to tamper with the amount of sunlight Earth receives in my opinion would be far more dangerous than any remotely plausible negative consequences of global warming itself.

Obviously this is a worst case scenario. The odds are negligible of a solar geoengineering project like this ever advancing sufficiently to be a threat to the global ecosystem. But given the evidence of negative consequences, in my opinion MIT scientists shouldn’t even be making the attempt to promote this lunacy.

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Terence Gain
June 18, 2022 6:16 pm

Given that we in Eastern Ontario have just experienced the coldest spring in my 75 years, I’m curious as to whether they have a contingency plan to warm up the planet.

b.nice
Reply to  Terence Gain
June 18, 2022 8:43 pm

bubbles….. meet pins !

Redge
Reply to  Terence Gain
June 18, 2022 11:01 pm

I’m forever blowing bubbles,

Pretty bubbles in the air,

They fly so high, nearly reach the sky,

Then like my dreams they fade and die.

Fortune’s always hiding,

I’ve looked everywhere,

I’m forever blowing bubbles,

Pretty bubbles in the air.

(West Ham United fans will recognise that song)

Reply to  Terence Gain
June 19, 2022 4:01 am

Here in SE Michigan I have turned off the furnace on June 15 every year and it remained off until after Labor Day. It was never needed. This year. for the first time since we moved into our home in 1987, the furnace has remained on after June 15. In fact right now at 7am it is on. The thermostat has been set at 70 degrees for the past 35 years. The only change has been the colder weather this year. We want our global warming back !

George Daddis
Reply to  Richard Greene
June 19, 2022 6:44 am

Would you mind sending some of that cold air down to us here in Atlanta?

Jack Frost
Reply to  Terence Gain
June 20, 2022 12:03 am

Same in North Wales, UK. This year, we have only had temperatures above 15 degrees C on two days. It’s the middle of June, and evening temperatures are below 8 degrees C.

jeff corbin
Reply to  Terence Gain
June 20, 2022 9:58 am

A giant bubble of C02 geopositioned over Eastern Ontario would warm up Ontario….as long as you don/t mind the acid rain.

Steve Case
June 18, 2022 6:17 pm

“Geoengineering might be our final and only option. 
_________________________________________

What could possibly go wrong?

Geoengineering is without merit. Tinkering with blocking sunlight, intentionally polluting the oceans with nutrients, burying charred trees or whatever crazy scheme climate science comes up with is asking for unpleasant and unintended consequences.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Steve Case
June 19, 2022 6:55 am

One possibility not considered here, maybe the authors are trying to provide cover for some politician to say, “Let’s stick with fossils for a while longer because we now have this MIT-approved backup plan.”

C’mon man, it’s only got to be the size of Brazil. How hard can that be? That’s only 300,000 square miles bigger than the lower 48 states.

The optimum solution for the climate grifters is to figure out some scenario where we no longer need to achieve the impossible in 7-1/2 years, but we still need to do a lot of mind-numbingly stupid stuff that keeps the funding troughs full. So we build as many eagle choppers and slaver panels as possible while redoubling, hell, requintupling spending on batteries. And there’s plenty of slop in the trough for you fusion researchers over here, and the space bubble crew get this pot of gold, and…and…and…

Peta of Newark
June 18, 2022 6:26 pm

Geoengineering might be our final and only option.

T’would be the (second) to last / final thing we ever did.

The Last Thing would be to utter the words “Oh shit

Pete Bonk
Reply to  Peta of Newark
June 18, 2022 8:20 pm

Or perhaps more politely: “Well, we certainly didn’t see that coming.”

H.R.
Reply to  Peta of Newark
June 18, 2022 11:26 pm

🤣🤣🤣 Home run, Peta.

Slowroll
Reply to  Peta of Newark
June 19, 2022 9:39 am

Speaking of “SWAG’ followed by ‘whoops, shit’ engineering…

Simonsays
June 18, 2022 6:28 pm

Another Thought Bubble from MIT

Ebor
Reply to  Simonsays
June 19, 2022 6:56 am

More like a fart bubble

Hoyt Clagwell
Reply to  Simonsays
June 19, 2022 10:48 pm

How do we know the bubbles won’t be used to imprison us? (For those of us who remember the TV series ‘The Prisoner.’

Screen Shot 2022-06-19 at 10.45.56 PM.png
Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
June 21, 2022 1:45 pm

Good link to the past, thanks!

However, some modern cosmologist currently argue that our whole universe is already trapped in one of an infinite number of bubbles comprising the multiverse.

Then, too, unless you’ve taken the red pill per The Matrix, you won’t recognize that your body is already contained within a bubble so it acts as a “battery” to provide, in combination with nuclear energy, all the power needed by The Machines, for the Matrix and for other unspecified purposes.

Last edited 14 days ago by Gordon A. Dressler
RMT
June 18, 2022 6:32 pm

Ya well, we don’t need those bubbles because the goal here is to change the way people live so that it is mostly a socialist world where the elite control others and live as capitalists.
Global warming is the way to do that, so stop trying to solve a problem that we are using to get our way, so say the elite liberals.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  RMT
June 18, 2022 7:44 pm

Commies desired this new class they labeled as “experts”- both real & pretend scientists- which
they then used to establish their thugocracies. This is what Ike warned us about 60+ yrs ago.

https://mises.org/wire/why-progressives-love-government-experts

H.R.
Reply to  Old Man Winter
June 18, 2022 11:28 pm

Well… Ike didn’t call it a thugocracy… but close enough, Old Man.

Stevek
June 18, 2022 6:34 pm

Simply nudge a huge asteroid so that I hits earth. There global warming solved for a few thousand years.

Scissor
Reply to  Stevek
June 18, 2022 8:00 pm

A MOAB in Davos might do it with less effect on the bulk of us.

.KcTaz
Reply to  Scissor
June 18, 2022 10:23 pm

I must admit, Scissor, I had a hard time getting that very idea and pondering how and who could accomplish it out of my head all during the last meeting of our Lords and Betters at Davos this year.
NOTE TO THE FBI AND CIA et al,
No, I have neither the means, nor skills to accomplish that. Relax.

H.R.
Reply to  .KcTaz
June 18, 2022 11:36 pm

Well, our congresscritters can certainly accomplish the equivalent of an asteroid hit on the U.S., but mostly they just kick the can down the road while raking in the dough.

They are stupid. Stupid, but quick to enrich themselves while they have the chance…………… all while kicking the can down the road.


That’s U.S., but same, same everywhere else in the world.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Scissor
June 19, 2022 6:31 am

Not sure if this is a red flag or not. Do you have any mother of all bombs in your personal arsenal?

Tentative red flag 🚩

Scissor
Reply to  Rich Davis
June 19, 2022 6:48 am

Sorry, did I say that? I meant many huge bouquets of daisies.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Scissor
June 19, 2022 7:40 am

Oh, ok that’s better. Red flag retracted.

DocBud
June 18, 2022 6:34 pm

The Law of Unintended Consequences would almost certainly come into play, impacting humans and all other species on the planet.

atticman
Reply to  DocBud
June 19, 2022 4:59 am

To paraphrase Mark Twain: “There are only 3 certainties in life: death; taxes; and the relentless operation of The Law of Unintended Consequences”.

Ellen
Reply to  DocBud
June 19, 2022 4:41 pm

It’s okay to cut down on sunlight that way. See, we have all this extra carbon dioxide, so the increased plant food will make up for the decreased sunlight. Keep us from freezing, too.

David Elstrom
June 18, 2022 6:34 pm

When the self-proclaimed geniuses start messing with grandiose ideas to fix the bogus climate change problem (where CO2 is viewed as a pollutant instead of plant food) what can possibly go wrong?

Mr.
Reply to  David Elstrom
June 18, 2022 8:21 pm

There is nothing more dangerous than an idiot who thinks he’s a genius.

As is often observed about Justin Trudeau.

Redge
Reply to  Mr.
June 18, 2022 11:06 pm

As is often observed about Justin Trudeau.

And most of our so-called “leaders”

Slowroll
Reply to  Mr.
June 19, 2022 9:41 am

The Dunning-Kreuger syndrome in a nutshell

another ian
Reply to  David Elstrom
June 19, 2022 12:46 am

When Victor Borge mentioned his uncle “who invented the cure for which there was no disease” it was humour.

Now that idea is a bloody serious problem

Craigusmaximus
Reply to  David Elstrom
June 19, 2022 11:25 am

Don’t you find it odd the leftards claim CO2 is basically a poison, but they willingly wore face masks that forced them to breath that poison? So is CO2 bad or not?

RevJay4
June 18, 2022 6:40 pm

OMG! Is it time to quit listening to the crackbrains who call themselves “scientists”? Seems like that time has arrived. If not been passed. MIT? Yikes.

Doc Chuck
Reply to  RevJay4
June 19, 2022 12:17 am

I don’t know, my friend, that techy institution in Mass. might just have something to offer if all those spacial cavities can be inflated with CO2, thus making them bubblelicious indeed! I may even be excused for wondering if this wasn’t first conceived gazing long through the night upon the frothy head atop a mug of the finest ale, whilst puzzling over how at last to make a name for oneself and so rationalize all that tuition expended, with every unintended consequence lost in the alcoholic reverie.

william Johnston
Reply to  RevJay4
June 19, 2022 5:17 am

We must give them credit for being concerned about shipping costs. It’s the most we should do.

Stevek
June 18, 2022 6:42 pm

I think the most original idea was to build huge warehouses in Antarctica that were cooled by nuclear or wind energy so much that it would snow co2 out of the air and then the co2 snow stored

Pete Bonk
Reply to  Stevek
June 18, 2022 8:27 pm

No one talks about how nature stores CO2 as (CO3)-2 and (HCO3)-1 in the oceans and as CaCO3 in 100s of meters thick beds of limestone in so many places around the world.

Gordon A. Dressler
June 18, 2022 6:44 pm

Eric Worrall,

My recommended corrections to your very first paragraph:
“According to MIT researchers, blowing bubbles in space to block sunlight might be the solution to our climate woes. But MIT, like all the others, are ignoring a the fundamental flaw with solar geoengineering schemes that there are no climate “woes”. Plants need sunlight Claims need supporting facts.

Otherwise, thanks for the nice article that clearly reveals MIT’s rather surprising ignorance of the law of unintended consequences.

James
June 18, 2022 6:50 pm

Wow. I used to have the utmost respect for places like MIT. That’s pretty shocking … and depressing.

Alasdair
Reply to  James
June 19, 2022 12:33 am

MIT has already trashed its reputation as a valid academic institution. Why it continues to do so beats me.

Craigusmaximus
Reply to  Alasdair
June 19, 2022 11:26 am

Leftists…they ruin everything they touch.

ResourceGuy
June 18, 2022 7:04 pm

Go for it…before the midterm elections please.

No one
June 18, 2022 7:04 pm

They have a grandiose solution, they just do not have a valid problem to apply it to.

ResourceGuy
June 18, 2022 7:05 pm

No wonder Raytheon is leaving MA.

burl Henry
June 18, 2022 7:08 pm

Eric Worral::

The scientists propose putting bubbles in space to dim the sun’s rays.

Dimming of the sun’s rays is ALREADY being done, by SO2 aerosols from VEI4 and larger volcanic eruptions, and from the burning of fossil fuels by industrial activity..

When they are increased due to a volcanic eruption, average anomalous Jan-Dec global temperatures decrease, often causing a La Nina.

And when they are decreased, due to their settling out of the atmosphere, temperatures increase, usually forming an El Nino, due to the cleaner, more transparent air.

Earth’s temperatures so precisely track the amount of SO2 aerosols in the atmosphere that there is no room for any additional warming from “Greenhouse gases”

See my supportive papers on Google Scholar, or Research Gate…

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  burl Henry
June 19, 2022 9:58 am

burl,

In you post you state: “Earth’s temperatures so precisely track the amount of SO2 aerosols in the atmosphere that there is no room for any additional warming from “Greenhouse gases”

Please provide a link to a reputable, science-based paper or article that proves that claim.

I note that massive SO2 aerosol injections from major volcanic eruptions are impulse-like events (i.e., very short time span geologically speaking) whereas since 1880 Earth’s average (atmospheric) surface temperatures change only very slowly, at an average rate of about 0.8 C per century, equivalent to 1.4 F per century (ref: https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-temperature ).

There is no evidence that SO2 aerosols are accumulating in Earths atmosphere, falsifying any claim that “Earth’s temperature so precisely track the amount of SO2 aerosols in the atmosphere“. In fact, try to find anywhere a listing of SO2 as a constituent of the makeup of air . . . you can’t, its average concentration is so low (<.01 ppmv) that it is considered to be trace gas in the atmosphere.

Drake
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
June 19, 2022 11:51 am

Sort of like CO2, a trace gas with no correlation to the “average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere”.

So burl Henry must be a Climate Scientist, and we know THEY don’t need no stinking proof!

Last edited 16 days ago by Drake
burl Henry
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
June 19, 2022 7:44 pm

Gordon A. Dressler:

A paper concluding that there is no warming from CO2 can be viewed at article

doi: https://www.10.46715/jescc2020.12.1000106

With respect to SO2 aerosols n the atmosphere, atmospheric levels of Industrial SO2 aerosol levels for the years 1750 to 2019 are available from the gridded Community Emissions Data System (CEDS) of the University of Maryland.

They peaked at 136 Megatons in 1979, and, because of Global Clean Air efforts, by 2019, they had fallen to 72 Megatons .

That is a LOT of dimming SO2 aerosols to remove from the atmosphere, considering that a typical VEI4 eruption, which often causes a La Nina) injects, on average, only 0.5 Megatons of SO2 into the stratosphere (as measured by satellite since 1979)

Since 1979, Clean Air efforts to reduce industrial SO2 aerosol has been responsible for essentially all of the background (temporary increases omitted) warming since then

.,

burl Henry
Reply to  burl Henry
June 19, 2022 8:12 pm

Gordon A. Dressler: Sorry, that link didn’t work.

The paper “a graphical explanation of climate change” is available as a pdf under my name on Google Scholar

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  burl Henry
June 20, 2022 9:11 am

Well, I asked for:

a) a reputable, science-based paper or article that proves your claim

b) data that indicates SO2, in units of ppm (NOT in units of megatons averaged over the atmosphere) was/is anything more than a trace gas in Earth’s atmosphere.

And my assertion that the measured average 1.4 F/century global surface warming rate since 1880 is not matched by a measured decrease in atmospheric SO2 concentration still stands.

Last edited 15 days ago by Gordon A. Dressler
burl Henry
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
June 20, 2022 7:56 pm

Gordon A. Dressler:

As you well know, it is impossible to get a paper published in any mainstream Journal if it does not support the Greenhouse gas hoax.

The papers that I had published are factual in all respects, and have been editorially reviewed. They are actually more credible than pal-reviewed papers.supporting the CO2 hoax.

Your comment that SO2 is only a trace gas in the atmosphere, is meaningless, It is enough to be the Control Knob of Earth’s temperatures. Increase global SO2 aerosols, and temperatures cool down. Decrease them, and it warms up.

Your average 1.4F/century is garbage. All that it would take to change it would be either a spate of volcanic eruptions (as during the LIA,) or a volcanic drought of about 10 years, or more.. Either will change the amount of sunshine reaching the Earth’s surface, and change the warming trajectory.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  burl Henry
June 20, 2022 8:29 pm

“Your average 1.4F/century is garbage.”

You clearly misunderstand. That value is not mine; I clearly identified that I obtained it from https://www.climate.gov with the detailed URL. You can find it there.

I suggest you contact NOAA, which maintains that website, to correct them on this value. Heck, they even make doing such very easy by providing a box labeled “We value your feedback” at the very bottom of the article that I linked.

After all, you have the credibility of having published papers on climate, so they will just have to listen to what you have to communicate as corrections.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  burl Henry
June 20, 2022 8:15 pm

burl,

So, I finally had some “throwaway” time to bother to lookup the estimated mass of Earth’s atmosphere, which is stated to be about 5.1 x 10^18 kg (data from https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/earthfact.html ).

That mass is equivalent to about 5.6 x 10^15 short tons (1 short ton = 2000 lbm).

Therefore, the peak SO2 aerosol emissions of 136 megatons that you stated occurred over year 1979 is equivalent to a total atmospheric annual delta-concentration of (136 x 10^6 tons)/(5.6 x 10^15 tons) = 2.4 x 10^(-8) = .024 ppmw = .011 ppmv.

Even if one wanted to restrict all of the 136 megatons of SO2 aerosols emissions in 1979 to just the troposphere (which contains about 75% of the mass of the total atmosphere), the Earth-averaged tropospheric SO2 concentration would only rise to .015 ppmv.

As I stated in my previous post, SO2 annualized-concentration in Earth’s atmosphere (as a gas or as aerosols) has never been more than that of a trace gas.

To the extent that large volcanoes can cause momentary-but-measurable dimming of sunlight reaching Earth’s surface, that is due predominately to dust and ash kicked up into the troposphere and stratosphere, not that much from SO2 aerosol injection.

Thus, in an overall context, SO2 aerosols are an insignificant factor in Earth’s energy balance and its warming or cooling trends.

burl Henry
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
June 21, 2022 8:13 am

Gordon:

I quote from NASA’s Fact Sheet on Atmospheric Aerosols:

“Volcanic aerosols reflect sunlight, reducing the amount of energy reaching the lower atmosphere and the Earth’s surface, cooling them”

“Human-made sulfate aerosols absorb no sunlight, but they reflect it, thereby reducing the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface”

Their concentration in the atmosphere is meaningless, it is the effect that they produce, which is highly significant, and from a volcanic eruption, last about 12-16 months., whereas the dust can settle out within a week or two

You need to read their fact sheet on aerosols. .

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  burl Henry
June 21, 2022 1:28 pm

Your statement:
Their concentration in the atmosphere is meaningless . . .”
is sufficient for me to end our discussions.

I wish you luck in convincing the scientific community that they are wrong (about the reasons for global warming, or lack thereof) and that you have the simple, single answer.

burl Henry
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
June 21, 2022 7:12 pm

Gordon;

YOU NEED TO READ THE NASA FACTS ON SO2 AEROSOLS. WHICH PROVE THAT I AM CORRECT.

Or perhaps you have, and this is your way of avoiding embarrassment

Old Cocky
June 18, 2022 7:09 pm

There is nothing wrong with coming up with wild ideas. Some of them might even have merit.

The bubbles seem a variation on Larry Niven’s orbital “sunshades” from Ringworld.

The 2 immediate questions are:
1/ How will they counteract the solar wind to be kept in a suitable location?
2/ How can they be “deflated” quickly if they prove to be too effective?

Pete Bonk
Reply to  Old Cocky
June 18, 2022 8:32 pm

Clearly the bubbles should be made of photovoltaic materials and the resulting electricity bolted back down to earth. I suggest “The Shade of Zeus” as the name of the project…. 🙂

Rich Davis
Reply to  Pete Bonk
June 19, 2022 7:36 am

Good plan. However, I don’t think there are enough Uighurs in Xinjiang to build that many slaver panels.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rich Davis
June 19, 2022 11:34 am

“slaver panels”

Very desciptive.

I think this should be the new name for Chicom solar panels.

Old Cocky
Reply to  Tom Abbott
June 19, 2022 2:16 pm

It’s quite well documented that Thrintun products tend to be a bit of a double-edged sword.
That’s especially so if they were outsourced to the Tnuctipun.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Old Cocky
June 21, 2022 5:48 pm

Thrintun race . . . long extinct.
Tnuctipun race . . . long extinct.

Please catch up on your Known Space chronology.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Old Cocky
June 19, 2022 7:27 am

Let’s focus first on how you could ever build something at a Lagrange point with a surface area of 8.5 million square km?

Then we could ask, if there is in fact some structural purpose for inflating it, how exactly are we getting all that gas up there?

And then, sure, does that make a ginormous solar sail?

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Rich Davis
June 21, 2022 5:43 pm

First we fund it . . . then we work out the engineering details. 🙂

J.R.
Reply to  Old Cocky
June 19, 2022 11:34 am

You wouldn’t have to deflate them, just rotate them 90 degrees so they’re no longer blocking the sunlight.

Old Cocky
Reply to  J.R.
June 19, 2022 2:10 pm

I’m not sure that’s particularly practical with a sphere…

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Old Cocky
June 21, 2022 8:09 pm

Exactly so: bubble = sphere . . . unless J.R. was referring to rotating them in 5-dimensional space.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Old Cocky
June 21, 2022 5:41 pm

Can’t we just contract with some Puppeteers (just one might be sufficient) for a solar system redesign?

They’ll have a far better idea of what’s best than what we humans could ever imagine.

Mike
June 18, 2022 7:14 pm

”MIT Proposes Giant Space Bubbles to Reverse Climate Change”
Of course they do….

Richard Page
Reply to  Mike
June 19, 2022 2:42 pm

Obviously they’ve just changed to a new supplier and are getting used to whatever the new stuff is.

June 18, 2022 7:21 pm

Considering schemes to cool the earth is a waste of time. The human contribution to warming has been from water vapor increase, not CO2 increase. The observation that WV has increased substantially more than possible from just planet warming demonstrates it. https://watervaporandwarming.blogspot.com . WV increase is self-limiting so its influence on climate is self-limiting. A scatter-gram of average global temperature vs WV increase is showing signs we might already be there. The temperature trend since 2002 suggests the same thing. End result, the WV increase will have nudged temperatures up about 0.7 C° over what it would otherwise be.

TPW vs Berkeley Earth anomalies.jpg
DMacKenzie
Reply to  Dan Pangburn
June 18, 2022 9:19 pm

Huh ? Dave. Your graph shows a 2 mm Total Precipitable Water increase for 1 degree increase. Which pretty much confirms a 7% increase per degree temperature increase (vapor pressure OR equilibrium amount in the air at 1 atmosphere above a water surface). The world atmosphere averages 25 mm or so of TPW.

So increase in TPW is caused by increased ocean surface temp….not the other way around. This leads to more low level cloud cover, and less sunlight heating the ocean surface in the cloudy location for the next day or two, or maybe that afternoons thunderstorm….The vapor pressure of water and the local albedo of cloud cover control the planet’s temperature. Anything that causes surface warming just causes more evaporation and more cloud…causing cooling…plus long term effects of ocean surface warming or cooling such as PDO, AMO, that vary ocean surface temps a bit.

Last edited 17 days ago by DMacKenzie
.KcTaz
Reply to  DMacKenzie
June 18, 2022 10:36 pm

There are scientists who differ with you.
Winter monsoons became stronger during geomagnetic reversal
Revealing the impact of cosmic rays on the Earth’s climate
http://bit.ly/2Zc7Fhl

July 3, 2019
Source:
Kobe University
New evidence suggests that high-energy particles from space known as galactic cosmic rays affect the Earth’s climate by increasing cloud cover, causing an ‘umbrella effect’.
http://bit.ly/2KH9aAg
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/07/190703121407.htm
Simple explanation

New evidence suggests that high-energy particles from space known as galactic cosmic rays affect the Earth’s climate by increasing cloud cover, causing an ‘umbrella effect’.
http://www.kobe-u.ac.jp/research_at_kobe_en/NEWS/news/2019_07_03_01.html
Winter monsoons became stronger during geomagnetic reversal

*      July 3, 2019 Research Center for Inland Seas

Revealing the impact of cosmic rays on the Earth’s climate
New evidence suggests that high-energy particles from space known as galactic cosmic rays affect the Earth’s climate by increasing cloud cover, causing an “umbrella effect”.

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has discussed the impact of cloud cover on climate in their evaluations, but this phenomenon has never been considered in climate predictions due to the insufficient physical understanding of it”, comments Professor Hyodo.

“This study provides an opportunity to rethink the impact of clouds on climate. When galactic cosmic rays increase, so do low clouds, and when cosmic rays decrease clouds do as well, so climate warming may be caused by an opposite-umbrella effect. The umbrella effect caused by galactic cosmic rays is important when thinking about current global warming as well as the warm period of the medieval era.”

“This study provides an opportunity to rethink the impact of clouds on climate. When galactic cosmic rays increase, so do low clouds, and when cosmic rays decrease clouds do as well, so climate warming may be caused by an opposite-umbrella effect. The umbrella effect caused by galactic cosmic rays is important when thinking about current global warming as well as the warm period of the medieval era.”\\Cosmic Rays up 12% in just 3 Years + Implications
https://electroverse.net/cosmic-rays-up-12-in-just-3-years-implications/
March 15, 2020

Cosmic Rays up 12% in just 3 Years + Implications
https://electroverse.net/cosmic-rays-up-12-in-just-3-years-implications/
March 15, 2020

Cosmic Rays hitting Earth’s atmosphere seed clouds (Svensmark et al), and cloud cover plays perhaps the most crucial role in our planet’s short-term climate change.
“Clouds are the Earth’s sunshade,” writes Dr Roy W. Spencer, “and if cloud cover changes for any reason, you have global warming — or global cooling…”
ARTICLE
The graph shows radiation dose rate (uGy/hr) vs. altitude (feet) all the way from ground level to the stratosphere, writes Dr Phillips. Radiation appears to be increasing at nearly all altitudes–even in the range 25,000 ft to 40,000 ft where airplanes fly — polar flight crews and passengers are therefore absorbing ~12% more cosmic radiation than they did only a few years ago.
So, what’s causing the increase?
The answer, Solar Minimum.
At the moment, the sun is near the bottom of the 11-year solar cycle. During Solar Minimum, the sun’s magnetic field weakens, allowing extra cosmic rays from deep space to penetrate the solar system. These cosmic rays are hitting Earth’s atmosphere, creating a spray of secondary cosmic rays that shower toward the ground below — secondary cosmic rays are what we measure.
Radiation sensors onboard our helium balloons detect X-rays and gamma-rays in the energy range 10 keV to 20 MeV, similar to what you get from medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners…

DMackenzie
Reply to  DMacKenzie
June 19, 2022 7:09 am

On further thought, the ocean has not gone up a degree since 1850, but average temp including land areas has. So TPW is sensitive to how much rainfall evaporates over land areas since it seems to have gone up by the amount one expects from the average temperature, not just ocean surface temp..

Craigusmaximus
Reply to  DMackenzie
June 19, 2022 11:30 am

Good lord a whole degree….how ever will we survive.

Reply to  DMackenzie
June 19, 2022 2:22 pm

As you are probably aware, nearly all of the natural WV comes from the relatively small area of the tropical oceans. The ‘extra’ WV (above the natural) comes mostly (about 90% of it) from irrigation (on the warm arid land in the summer). Analysis is at Section 9 of http://globalclimatedrivers2.blogspot.com

Reply to  DMacKenzie
June 19, 2022 2:06 pm

That graph cannot be used that way. It is equivalent to assuming that WV increased to that level in one step at the outset instead of gradually increasing in 408 steps over the time period. The correct graph to do that is shown here where, for the Berkeley Earth temperature data, it is seen that WV has increased 48% faster than possible from just temperature increase.

TPW meas & calc Berk & 5 29 RH thru Dec 2021 6.7 % FB.jpg
Reply to  DMacKenzie
June 19, 2022 2:51 pm

The ‘about 7%’ number often quoted is a somewhat misleading approximation. The value depends on temperature. It is the slope of the saturation vapor pressure vs temperature curve at a temperature divided by the saturation vapor pressure at that temperature. An area weighted value for the planet surface is 6.7%/C° which includes an estimate of the questionable effects of compounding. The un-compounded value for an average global temperature of 15 °C is 6.5%/C°. Note that at low temperature (high altitude) the number is substantially more; up to 12% or so. This might help explain the observation that temperature increase has been accompanied by a decrease in cloud cover. https://www.climate4you.com/

ICE & WATER SAT p vs T.jpg
Burgher King
June 18, 2022 7:26 pm

Plants need sunlight! Who knew!?!

Frank S.
June 18, 2022 7:51 pm

Rev. 8:13 “The 4th angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark.” So this will be MIT’s fault?

.KcTaz
Reply to  Frank S.
June 18, 2022 10:14 pm

Could it be that the Lord is using MIT to fulfill that prophecy? I’d really prefer to not find out but…

It has been said quite often that God works in strange ways and this notion definitely meets the definition of strange.

Isaiah 55:8-9 state, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  .KcTaz
June 21, 2022 8:16 pm

I’ll have to think about that.

Tom in Florida
June 18, 2022 8:11 pm

Those that propose these and other such ideas know they will never be implemented. That is not their desire. The strategy seems to be push far out solutions so that the ones they really want don’t seem so bad.

Jeff Alberts
June 18, 2022 8:17 pm

Even if it worked, it wouldn’t be “reversing” climate change, it would just be a different climate change. Would it be better? Maybe in some places, but it would be worse in others. There’s always a trade-off.

ImStillaYankee
June 18, 2022 8:29 pm

Just WTF is wrong with eggheads today?

Redge
Reply to  ImStillaYankee
June 18, 2022 11:10 pm

They’re cracked

another ian
Reply to  ImStillaYankee
June 19, 2022 12:51 am

“The Curate’s Egg” on steroids?

Richard Page
Reply to  another ian
June 19, 2022 2:44 pm

On something, just not sure it’s steroids……

b.nice
June 18, 2022 8:42 pm

“would deflect sunlight (and thus heat) to stop further global warming.”

LOL.. they have just admitted that it is the SUN not humans that has caused the slight but highly beneficial warming since the LIA.

Well done guys !!

Craigusmaximus
Reply to  b.nice
June 19, 2022 11:31 am

Whooops

Richard Page
Reply to  b.nice
June 19, 2022 2:45 pm

Ouch. Quite the own goal for the team there.

Chris Hanley
June 18, 2022 9:14 pm

The true believer (or ‘baptist’ as opposed to ‘bootlegger’) is opposed to human CO2 emissions on the assumption that any human impact on the Earth, or any other planet for that matter, is necessarily bad ipso facto.
This idea should cause an attack of the vapors in any true believer, in fact it makes me feel a little woozy.

Last edited 17 days ago by Chris Hanley
Dennis
June 18, 2022 9:18 pm

The thought bubbles are getting bigger.

Cut back Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere and block sunlight. What could go wrong?

/sarc.

Last edited 17 days ago by Dennis
S Browne
June 18, 2022 9:36 pm

Academic simpletons.

Rich Davis
Reply to  S Browne
June 19, 2022 7:58 am

Although I’m sure that non-academic qualifications such as bedroom preferences and epidermal melanin content play an increasingly big role in admissions to the formerly-great institute on the Chaaaaalz Rivah, it’s hard to imagine that they’re accepting simpletons. More likely there’s a hidden agenda.

Pat from kerbob
June 18, 2022 9:51 pm

I think we need to be clear with wanna be geo-engineers.
If you try to enact one of these schemes you need to understand you are putting your life on the line, because if this goes horribly wrong we will find you and you will get the full William Wallace.

It has to be made clear in advance that there are consequences.

.KcTaz
June 18, 2022 9:58 pm

This study just proves that Einstein was right. “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”
Albert Einstein

RoHa
June 18, 2022 10:01 pm

DocBud
June 18, 2022 10:15 pm

A new College song for MIT (with apologies to the fans of UK soccer team West Ham United):

I’m forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air,
They fly so high, nearly reach the sky,
Then like my dreams they fade and die.
Fortune’s always hiding,
I’ve looked everywhere,
I’m forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air.

I’m dreaming dreams, I’m scheming schemes,
I’m building castles high.
They’re born anew, their days are few,
Just like a sweet butterfly.
And as the daylight is dawning,
They come again in the morning!

Redge
Reply to  DocBud
June 18, 2022 11:11 pm

I should have read to the current end of the comments before posting the same song

Rod Evans
June 18, 2022 11:11 pm

The alarmists are constantly screaming at us, CO2 is the control molecule of climate. Those who point out, it is really all to do with sunlight and Milankovitch cycles coupled with solar cycles that are the actual important variables, are shouted down at every turn. Get with the ‘settled’ science they demand, often throwing in, ‘you denier you’.
How strange then? Here we have MIT clearly stating “It’s the Sun what did it” with so much confidence it is the Sun to blame, they want to spend trillions blocking it out. They are certain and want us to continue to freeze at the present chilly world average of barely 15 deg. C lower atmosphere temperature.
The alarmists can’t have it both ways can they (maybe they can in their view)? If CO2 is the villain of the piece, then they have to devote $trillions to playing with CO2? If it is Sunlight volume, then they want to spend $trillions on sun shades in space.
You don’t think they are a bit confused about what to suggest causes climate variation do you?

Last edited 17 days ago by Rod Evans
Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Rod Evans
June 19, 2022 4:55 am

Actually, no, they aren’t suggesting the sun as the cause. These hare-brained geoengineering schemes are merely looked upon as last-ditch, emergency measures to “fix the climate”. What these morons don’t realize is that 1) Our climate isn’t “broken”, nor is CO2 a “problem”, and 2) “Fixing” a non-problem will actually create a host of problems for both humanity and indeed life on earth.

Chris Nisbet
June 18, 2022 11:14 pm

Hmm, so deflecting 1.8% of sunlight would completely reverse the little bit of gentle warming we’ve apparently caused. For comparison purposes, how much does the amount of sunlight hitting the earth (the frequencies that warm us up) vary by ‘naturally’?

Craigusmaximus
Reply to  Chris Nisbet
June 19, 2022 11:36 am

First off…what is the earth optimal temperature. They keep claiming temps are going up and that is bad, but what temps is optimal?

meab
June 18, 2022 11:15 pm

MIT has gone down the drain. Even at a Lagrange point, thrusters must be used to keep a large, light object from moving away owing to the pressure of the solar wind which is highly variable. The larger the object, the more thrust must be used. Even the James Webb Space Telescope uses thrusters.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  meab
June 21, 2022 8:19 pm

Only true for L1, L2 and L3; not true for L4 and L5.

JWST is located in orbit around L2.

Coeur de Lion
June 18, 2022 11:20 pm

Can anyone point to a mechanism that is going to increase today’s beneficial one point three degrees per 100 years warming? IPCC models? Heh heh.

Craigusmaximus
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
June 19, 2022 11:37 am

Cow farts…it’s them pesky cows….man.

H.R.
June 18, 2022 11:22 pm

Warmer is better, said everyone with a lick of sense.

fretslider
June 19, 2022 12:55 am

Why not put these loonies at a La Grange point?

Richard Page
Reply to  fretslider
June 19, 2022 2:47 pm

Not a bad idea. How many would we need to cover the same area?

Michael
June 19, 2022 1:43 am

The world is threatened by many disasters at once and world leaders are powerless against them. Climate change is one such threat and leaders can now make history by unilaterally introducing geoengineering later this year. Biden has the best chance of doing that.

Craigusmaximus
Reply to  Michael
June 19, 2022 11:38 am

The world has been threatened by nature for billions of years. Biden has no clue about leadership. The moron cannot ever remember to put his feet down when stopping while riding a bike.

Joao Martins
June 19, 2022 3:12 am

Sulphuric acid, now bubbles (of what?). Geoengineering: a new form of pollution of space.

Bill Halcott
June 19, 2022 3:25 am

Check Professor Valentina Zharkova’s solar cycle research and what we will suffer in coming years. Our Looney lefty snowflakes will wish they had installed those natural gas pipelines for heat as they freeze. At least we are beginning to realize that our climate change is dictated by the Sun.

VOWG
June 19, 2022 5:13 am

More idiocy about something that we can do nothing about.

Tom Abbott
June 19, 2022 5:39 am

From the article: “They admitted that one of the main concerns with their proposal would be the logistics of fabricating a large film, transporting it into space, and then unfolding it to form the bubble raft. They suggested fabricating the spheres in outer space to minimise shipping costs.”

About 40lbs of helium would be sufficient to inflate a one-mile-diameter spherical “balloon” in space.

This was incorporated into one concept for a Solar Power Satellite in the past. You blow up a one-mile-diameter balloon covered will solar cells using the helium.

Don’t take this to mean I’m encouraging the geoengineering of the Earth’s climate. I would actively discourage such recklessness.

Viti
June 19, 2022 5:49 am

I am saddened that such a prestigious institution ignores the scientific method and supplants it with politics and a grant.

ColoradoCommish
June 19, 2022 5:55 am

Wait, WHAT??!!…. Apparently …..MIT is no longer Techno-LOGICAL….

Jamaica
June 19, 2022 6:34 am

These people will kill us all

dk_
June 19, 2022 6:42 am

The bubble array would be made of inflatable shields of thin silicon or another suitable material, according to the team. The bubble cluster would be placed in outer space at a Lagrange Point, where the Sun’s and Earth’s gravitational pulls create a stable orbit.

Just wondering if they’ve calculated how much terrestrial carbon would be emitted to construct and support a couple million square kilometers worth of silicon shields in a earth-solar L1 point (which is only semi-stable, btw, requiring refueling for station keeping). Are these the same brilliant experts who reject orbital solar beamed power?

George Daddis
June 19, 2022 6:43 am

This is a good time to point out the ORIGINAL meaning of the Precautionary Principle:
Even Wikipedia got this one right:

The precautionary principle (or precautionary approach) is a broad epistemological, philosophical and legal approach to innovations with potential for causing harm when extensive scientific knowledge on the matter is lacking. It emphasizes caution, pausing and review before leaping into new innovations that may prove disastrous.

(My Bold.)
(The 1st Rio Conference turned this on its head; they said “The Climate Problem (TM)” is so serious, it is worth the risk” or sumptin like that.

Wouldn’t MIT be red faced if they did as they proposed and at the same time the earth decided to enter into another Little Ice Age?

Ebor
June 19, 2022 6:55 am

Calling this garbage “science” is an insult to actual scientists.

June 19, 2022 7:32 am

It’s obviously a terrible, terrible idea.

It’s the product of a young, ambitious mind. An ill-informed mind. If you and I can see the fact that climate alarm is almost entirely the output from computer models, why can’t MIT professors see it?

My guess is their reason is biased by the billions of dollars in grants available for climate “research.” They should be able to milk this idea for a few years of grants, until whoever is at the wheel of funding wakes up.

Slowroll
Reply to  apsteffe
June 19, 2022 9:48 am

Yep. Problem is too many marginal “scientists” chasing grant money, therefore a flood of fuccockta theories.

Rich Davis
June 19, 2022 8:26 am

So, what’s normally referred to as silicone is a polymer of dimethylsiloxane. On earth, sourced in China the monomer costs $7-10/kg with a specific gravity of 0.965 (slightly less dense than water).

What thickness of film will be needed? Times 8.5 million square kilometers! Assuming that you manufacture it in situ from (what? Asteroid mining?), how much does it cost just for the silicone material alone?

Rich Davis
Reply to  Rich Davis
June 19, 2022 9:53 am

Each 0.1 mm thick x 8.5 km^2 film would cost about $8.2 trillion dollars for the dimethyl siloxane monomer alone, assuming that the necessary feedstocks can be sourced off earth and brought to a space factory for the same costs as in China. You’ll need at least two layers to make “bubble wrap”, so $16.4 trillion for raw materials. Then it needs to be polymerized and fabricated, inflated and sealed into “bubbles”. And stabilized in place somehow.

Doubtful that it can be done at all, but certainly not for less than $100 trillion. Could it be repaired, or how many months useful life before it needs to be replaced?

Truly absurd.

Craigusmaximus
Reply to  Rich Davis
June 19, 2022 11:42 am

But but but…we only have 12 years to live..we must do something…..lol

Rich Davis
Reply to  Craigusmaximus
June 19, 2022 12:04 pm

8 yrs 10 months and 24 days

letmepicyou
June 19, 2022 8:27 am

MIT won’t get any funding if they don’t prop up the “global warming” lie.
Poor MIT. You used to have respect. Now you’re just a joke, serving the Judaic push for global control. Disgusting.

bluecat57
June 19, 2022 8:32 am

And their faculty will gladly fill them with gas or hot-air for free. Actually, they would probably want a giant grant for a multi-year study first.

June 19, 2022 8:45 am

I like the space bubble idea. It’s not really controlling the climate. It’s controlling the weather, which sounds like a good thing to me. Also, I don’t particularly like Russel Seitz, but I like his idea of shiny ocean bubbles too.

Last edited 16 days ago by Mike Dombroski
Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Mike Dombroski
June 21, 2022 11:31 am

“I like the space bubble idea. It’s not really controlling the climate. It’s controlling the weather, which sounds like a good thing to me.”

Ahh, NO. The “space bubble idea” is about controlling sunlight falling on Earth. Weather is determined by many factors other than just incoming sunlight.

Last edited 14 days ago by Gordon A. Dressler
john
June 19, 2022 8:49 am

I know, I know, I know! We can fill the bubbles with cow farts and burps and get a real twofer.

June 19, 2022 9:32 am

here’s the solution to global warming — air pollution.
Everyone should burn fossil fuels and disconnect the pollution controls.
Remember that global cooling from 1940 ti 1975 as CO2 levels rose?
Remember how the cooling was blamed on air pollution?
That excuse worked for a long time.
But then a global warming trend started in 1975.
So the Climate Howlers had to say the air pollution was gone,
it fell out of the sky in 1975.
Some people would not believe that claim, because it actually
took about 25 years to reduce air pollution.

The Climate Howlers then “revised” the global cooling
from 1940 to 1975 — it has disappeared from the record books.

In 1975 NCAR had been reporting the decline from the peak month
to the trough month within that period (Not January 1940 to December 1975)
was almost -0.6 degrees C. A big change — not a rounding error.
A few scientists had been predicting a global cooling crisis in 1974 and 1975
based on that global warming trend.
Now the official records show no global cooling at all.
Science fraud.

Opus
June 19, 2022 9:33 am

What a wonderful idea. Plants need sunlight and CO². Do they want to turn the Earth into Mars?

June 19, 2022 9:45 am

Man can freeze or stop all man-made climate change engines or pollution production and yet it will continue…

Why?

Climate change is caused by automatic natural and spiritual judgments incurred by man’s sins against God and man.

Reply to  The Stranger...
June 21, 2022 1:37 am

Why the down votes? You know in your hearts it’s true…

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  The Stranger...
June 21, 2022 11:25 am

A: Science and religion don’t mix . . .at least not with good consequences.

As Mark Twain wisely observed:
“No God and no religion can survive ridicule. No political church, no nobility, no royalty or other fraud, can face ridicule in a fair field, and live.”

Last edited 14 days ago by Gordon A. Dressler
Tom in Florida
June 19, 2022 10:14 am

The only bubbles worth anything are the tiny ones in your wine.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Tom in Florida
June 21, 2022 11:15 am

Wha . . . wha . . . ummm . . . wha bout champagne? . . . ya know, that fizzy stuff?

Yea, I’ll have another, plusheese.

stpaulchuck
June 19, 2022 10:15 am

grant money fishing

Gordon A. Dressler
June 19, 2022 10:27 am

As quoted in the above article, Angely Mercado writes:
“The bubble cluster would be placed in outer space at a Lagrange Point, where the Sun’s and Earth’s gravitational pulls create a stable orbit.”

The ignorance, it burns!

Of the five Lagrangian points in the Sun-Earth system, only the L4 and L5 points are inherently stable . . . the remaining points L1, L2 and L3 are metastable, meaning that any small disturbance force, such as momentum of sunlight impinging on a hypothetical MIT-envisioned “space bubble”, will cause the object’s orbit to diverge from the Lagrangian point.
(Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagrange_point )

The only Lagrangian point that could possible serve as a location to block sunlight from reaching the Earth is L1. But again, it is a metastable position.

Thus, a means of actively maintaining orbital position of “space bubbles” at the L1 point would be needed for the proposed plan to have any semblance of feasibility.

No mention of such in this not-ready-for-prime-time, crackpot idea.

Richard Page
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
June 19, 2022 2:57 pm

I also thought of the same problems – some muppet at MIT should have attended his lectures, he might have foreseen the issues. Perhaps, as a solution, they’ll suggest a very, very long monofilament cable anchored to the spinward and trailing rocks on L4 and 5? After all, what could possibly go wrong? sarc

Ed Zuiderwijk
June 19, 2022 10:53 am

A total eclipse of any connection with reality.

Craigusmaximus
June 19, 2022 11:20 am

Jethro Bodine had a great idea. Drill large holes in the Hollywood hills and put large fans to blow smog out to sea. He is a super genius.

Mike Sexton
June 19, 2022 11:27 am

And here I thought people at MIT were smart

J.R.
June 19, 2022 11:36 am

It seems like the entire academic world has thrown reality aside and is engaged in a perpetual role-playing game.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  J.R.
June 19, 2022 1:44 pm

Well, as long as the article gets viewer clicks that’s all that matters in today’s world.

Red Byrd
June 19, 2022 12:43 pm

several large pipes in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans pumping seawater into the upper atmosphere during just the summer months to create clouds for summer cooling and overall planet cooling too. put one close to the S. Calif coast and maybe end the droughts?

Richard Page
Reply to  Red Byrd
June 19, 2022 3:00 pm

Giant frisbee flingers throwing reflective discs out into the Pacific Ocean to raise albedo levels. Train schools of dolphins to retrieve them if they sink.

Not Chicken Little
June 19, 2022 2:37 pm

“Science”…does the M in MIT stand for “Moron”?

Change my mind.

MarkMcD
June 19, 2022 3:41 pm

But aside from immense cost, all these geoengineering fantasies suffer a fatal flaw.

If ever implemented, solar geoengineering could cause a global famine.

Of course, this presupposes they don’t WANT to create a global famine – and that’s difficult to believe given what they are doing to the world right now! We are at best, a few months from people starving in their homes because food and energy are totally out of reach.

Gunga Din
June 19, 2022 3:48 pm

“Space Bubbles” to block the Sun?
That would be incredibly expensive.
We already have tons of nukes.
I vote we launch them all and create a nuclear winter!
(As long as I get to pick the targets.)

TonyG
June 19, 2022 3:48 pm

I’ve seen that movie. It did not end well…

Big Noodle
June 19, 2022 5:25 pm

And what form of magic will keep the radiation pressure from sending these bubbles off in the direction of Tau Ceti???

Andy Pattullo
June 19, 2022 5:44 pm

They are actually paying these idiots for this. Someone needs to be elected who is willing to severely cull the academic elite who gave up on real science decades ago.

Alcheson
June 19, 2022 7:19 pm

Hey, I’d be ok with this as long as they rescinded the CO2 endangerment finding first and enacted policies to promote their use, including coal. However not a snowballs chance in…. Would they do that so NO! Very bad and stupid idea.

David Solan
June 19, 2022 11:43 pm

Agriculture has been with the human race for at least 10,000 years. Over all that
time a great many men spent a great many hours trying to grow the food necessary to maintain the human race. They worked day and night for lifetimes on end. And they learned a lot. And during that time, ideas have been offered by these men for the infinite variety of problems that they encountered along the way. These problems
included vermin, birds, flooding, drought, uneven water requirements for different
crops, winds, storms, lack of proper soil, depleted soil, snow, hale, temperatures
going too high or too low due to local weather conditions, insects — crawling and
flying, improper planting techniques, lack of fertilizer, too much fertilizing,
competition from other plants such as weeds, yes, even too much sun, and so much more. Guess what? After all that time, very few ever complained about lack of sunlight as a problem. Many plants can even grow indoors with just indirect sunlight, representing several orders of magnitude reduction of the direct solar lighting they would get outdoors. Why has sunlight almost never been represented as a limiting factor? Because the sun shines all day long, except for little periods of clouds or rain, and those periods give the plants precious water or reductions in heat stress and usually never last very long either (more accurately, if they did, the water itself could
prove their greatest enemy, not the lack of sunlight). Even when there’s haze in the
air, frequently the sunlight is more than enough and if the sunlight isn’t enough at a
certain latitude, farmers just have to go to a lower latitude or to better soil and —
magic — there is enough sunlight there to meet their (and their crops) needs.

As an example, at times of the equinox (sun directly over the equator at 12:00 noon),
going from 25° latitude to 27° latitude, the reduction in the amount of sunlight
reaching the surface of the earth would be 1.7%, derived from simple trigonometry.
No solar geoengineering scheme would ever try to reduce sunlight more than this and, in any event, such a scheme would only be applied to the atmosphere near Earth’s equatorial areas, since any haze introduced would have much less effect on the cooling of the earth as a whole at higher latitudes. Thus, if anyone were so ignorant as to ever worry that the loss of sunlight caused by this geoengineering would represent a photosynthetic impediment, he could just move his super-sunlight-sensitive crop-growing 2° closer to the equator and he would be getting exactly the same sunlight as before. Of course, since, as I said, sunlight on earth is not the
limiting factor for photosynthesis, this would hardly be necessary, and MANY crops on earth are grown at much higher latitudes quite successfully. Since, as I said, such
man-directed geoengineering would never even affect these higher latitudes, it would
never represent even the smallest of problems there.

For the last 17 years, cosmic rays hitting earth’s upper atmosphere have been above
normal, and those rays have reduced overall sunlight hitting the surface of the entire
globe (not just the equatorial regions) by a small fraction, perhaps 1.7%. And yet
crop yields during the past 17 years haven’t been affected by this reduction
whatsoever. Nor would any serious person ever expect them to be. Photosynthesis
takes a very small fraction of the Sun’s total spectrum of electromagnetic radiation
to do its wonders. The rest is left over for the rest of us to see things, keep warm,
refresh our land water supplies, etc. Sunlight never was nor ever will be the limit
for photosynthesis unless we have a gigantic catastrophe happening when the next super volcano or large meteor hits. And if such events do happen, we’ll have a lot of other immediate things to worry about besides less sunlight for photosynthesis into the future.

And crop yields all over the Earth are probably 2 orders of magnitude greater now than they were before World War I — without any rise in sunlight at all during that time frame. Sunlight increase has had nothing to do with these spectacular rises in crop yields. The science of photosynthesis is not really necessary to understand these considerations, though maybe we would have to look to a different science to explain such worrying about them caused by solar geoengineering — that of abnormal
psychology.

Geoengineering, through the reduction of sunlight striking the surface of the earth by
the introduction of an upper atmospheric haze represents a golden alternative to the
lowering of the temperature of the earth compared to any and all other crackpot ideas
we are now being offered to effectuate that result by our crazy world. Of course the
MIT space bubble idea is insane, but other forms of this geoengineering, spectacularly inexpensive by comparison, would be perfectly rational. 

David Solan

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  David Solan
June 21, 2022 7:01 am

Having said all of that, why do you think the most productive agricultural areas of the world having planting and harvesting seasons?

June 20, 2022 3:01 am

Technical note: The L1 Lagrange point is not fully stable. Any deviation from the precise Lagrange point, or any perturbation in the plane perpendicular to a vector toward earth (or toward the sun), will slowly (and then more quickly) lead an object further away from the precise Lagrange point. I don’t know the expected hang time, but estimates for the Webb space telescope (at the L2 Lagrange point opposite earth from the sun) are that the telescope’s position is stable only on the order of one month, requiring a rocket-thrust nudge every few weeks to keep it in position.

The upshot is that we need not worry about being stuck with shades that aren’t needed. In a relatively brief time they will wander away.

By the way, around 15 years ago I read a piece, I think by Freeman Dyson, suggesting that railguns could shoot ‘umbrella’ objects to the L1 position.

Reply to  Dr. Doug
June 20, 2022 3:10 am

Clarification: L1 is stable with respect to deviations along the vector, but not with respect to deviations along the perpendicular plane.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Dr. Doug
June 21, 2022 7:09 am

Your “clarification” states the same thing as your OP, and both are incorrect.

As https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagrange_point clearly points out in text and graphic forms, it is the radial (i.e., along the Sun-Earth line, which of course is continuously rotating as Earth orbits the Sun) force disturbances that will cause objects to drift away from the metastable L1 point.

Last edited 14 days ago by Gordon A. Dressler
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