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Geo-Engineering: Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands

Posted on May 29, 2017 by Matt Tomasino There have been 0 comments

Turn on the news and witness the ravages of weather patterns never recorded before. As each year passes, hotter than the previous one, it's hard to believe that some people still don’t see the writing on the wall. We are now witnessing major ice sheets falling into the ocean like dying animals... with that eventuality not far behind.

As wildlife scrambles for survival throughout the most remote regions on the planet, the polar caps, humanity, in small towns and big cities, continues to add to a withering environment. As long as it is not on our literal doorstep, most humans will live in ignorant bliss until one day they surprisingly drown.

This is exactly why scientists feel that stepping in, beyond impassioned pleas and campaigns of education to recycle, reuse and rethink, is essential. All people cannot be relied upon to do it themselves, so some far out geo-engineering proposals are coming down the pike in an attempt to rejuvenate a suffering arctic environment.

Human White Out

Reflection is one of the major components when it comes to keeping the planet cool. On our two polar caps, the snow covered topography has been able to fire back damaging sun rays. However, with more human influence from the use of fossil fuels, agriculture methane release, and other factors, the earth is trapped in a heating effect.

In the form of greenhouse gasses, the heat is primarily made up of CO2 and, according to a report by Live Science,

“97 percent of climate scientists agree that the rate of global warming trends the planet is now experiencing is not a natural occurrence, but is primarily the result of human activity.”

One proposal to assist the Arctic is by synthetically re-whitening and/or reflecting it. This would be done through a large spraying process of natural whitening material to cover a fraction of the area which some say would be enough for a change.

There is also the theory of installing massive arrays of mirrors for combined reflection, or seeding the rising ocean with micro-bubbles to make the surface more reflective. Some say it will work and others feel it won’t as more theories come to the table.

Cloud Cover

While you till your yard and garden under sunny skies there's a group of scientists that want to make it cloudy. That’s right, they want to create synthetic cloud cover over the Arctic. These clouds would be no ordinary cumulus, cirrus or stratus types but instead a gaggle of special gasses capable of blocking damaging sun radiation. However, artificial manipulation of Arctic skies are showing possible negative environmental side effects so scientists may look to minds of the past for answers.

A study published in Science as far back as 1972 sets the template for this theory,

“An artificial cloud in the cloudless atmosphere at a temperature below 0 degrees C was formed by introducing pellets of Dry Ice into air containing more water vapor than would be present at the saturation point with respect to ice. Such clouds could be utilized to establish radiative equilibrium between ground and air so as to inhibit the cooling of selective arctic surface regions under clear skies.”

Spray and Freeze

Amother promising and incredible attempt at repairing the dwindling Arctic landscape is re-freezing a small portion for alleged big results. Of the approximately 5.5 million square miles that covers the region, it is proposed to install energy efficient wind powered pumps on floating buoys that would draw up ocean water to spray over 10% of the surface. The ocean water would be sprayed by ten million, yes that’s right ten million, of these pumps only during the winter season. It is estimated that when the water hits the surface, which is colder than the permafrost below, it would freeze enough to create a one meter (3.2 feet) thick layer.

This amount of surface refreeze is believed to set the Arctic clock back fifteen to seventeen years, which lead researcher and Arizona State University physicist, Steven Desch commented to The Guardian,

“Thicker ice would mean longer-lasting ice,...In turn, that would mean the danger of all sea ice disappearing from the Arctic in summer would be reduced significantly.”

ScienceAlert reports that,

“[I]t would require a wind turbine with blades on order 6 meters in diameter [19 feet], with weight on the order of 4,000 kg of steel [8,818 pounds]. To keep this afloat would require the buoy contain a roughly equal weight of steel. As a round number, we estimate about 10,000 kg of steel [22,046 pounds] would be required per device.”

The estimated cost of this mammoth attempt would be approximately $500 billion dollars.

 

Geo-engineering is right up there with gene splicing and both have their pros and cons. In the meantime, keep doing your green part and hopefully more will follow as our ingenuitive scientists attempt to peripherally tweak it along.


This post was posted in Blog and Green Library, Defining Green, Politically Green and was tagged with Arctic sea ice, ENERGY EFFICIENT, RECYCLED-UPCYCLED, science, wind turbines

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