You will need an umbrella less often in the USA and Europe if Geoengineering decreases rainfall
Solar Radiation Management methods may reduce rainfall
Recent work published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres shows that employing SRM (sun blocking) measures would likely have the side effect of reducing rainfall....worldwide. East Asia and Africa would see the greatest reductions, but North and South America would notice less precipitation as well, from 5 to 7 percent. What would be worse then, effects of global warming or geoengineering?
Dust on the Water
Researchers at the Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany, have proposes scattering dust on the water....literally. The plan would be to employ some 100 ships
spreading some 1 billion tins of Olivine dust to soak up excess C02 from the air.
In the news a California business person and group of associates has been salting some 3,800
square miles of the offshore Canada Pacific Ocean with 100 tons of iron sulphate. This takes DIY to a new level as the group claims success in creating a massive algae bloom.
In any case, the authorities are not amused. It seems the experiment was a back door effort.
Apparently the business concern scammed an indigenous Canadian community to gain
access to the area.
Solar Radiation Management Experiment
Despite growing concerns over the effects of Solar Radiation Management, experiments continue. In Gates Foundation work, Harvard scientists are planning to spray sulfate particles
into the air 80,000 over Fort Sumner, NM. The experiment is to test the techniques and process used employed in CRM methods. It appears that this will happen.
The justification used for the experiment is classic: "David Keith, one of the investigators, has argued that solar geoengineering could be an inexpensive method to slow down global warming" ... The Guardian. It is apparently all about the money.
Geoengineering to mess up rainfall patterns
A team of French, German, Norwegian, and UK Climate Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology concludes that climate modified by geoengineering will also seriously mess with rainfall. Ouch, hard on the crops.
Global rainfall would fall about 5%. Then, rain in big areas of North America and Eurasia
could drop by around 15%. The Amazon would get 20% less if results of this work are
correct. Ouch, hard on the rain forest too.
DIY Iron Sulfates in the Barents Sea created this (blue) algae bloom. Image courtesy NASA.
People are apparently not willing to pay the price to switch from an intensive fossil fuel based system in time to lower atmospheric CO2 by very much very fast. 2010 witnessed the most greenhouse gas ever released into the air by people. The next 5 years is critical as we begin to lock in the effects of carbon misuse.
For these reasons, it seems very likely that geoengineering options will be deployed in a last ditch effort to mitigate the effects of our activities. As a first step Geoengineering alternatives are close to real world testing. This page will follow the results of testing.
Ice crystal forming cirrus clouds trap heat high in the troposphere. From the Desert Research Institute in Reno, NV, David Mitchell proposed to add powdered bismuth triiodide to the cirrus cloud layer. The idea is that larger ice crystals would form around the powder, and fall out, reducing the cirrus clouds, which are basically small ice crystals.
Now Yale University researchers have run computer models testing the seeding idea and report positive results. There are side effects like possibly messing up the jet stream (really bad plan) but 140 tons of bismuth triiodide for $19 million per year seems like a bargain to some.
Carbon Sequestration becomes a possibility
The UK Institution of Mechanical Engineers claims to have carbon capture technology that will be operational by the year 2018. The tree sized device soaks up carbon over 1000 times more than an actual tree. Soaked up carbon can be removed and sequestered underground.
Researchers at Texas A&M are also working on a carbon absorbing device. They are working on a metal organic framework which is claimed to have the highest surface area of any known material. A half inch cube has the surface area of a football field. CO2 is stuck to that surface, removed, and sequestered. The frame will ready to deploy in 3-5 years.
The last carbon sucking method in the works is an algae paint. The paint works passively removing CO2. After saturated, it is removed and processed. Ozone Layer Engineering
One area of potential geoengineering success appears to be a partial restoration of the Ozone layer. The method known as OLG or Ozone Layer Engineering aims to replace lost oxygen in upper atmospheric layers (9-21 miles high) with new oxygen. The plan involves unmanned planes discharging O2 into the layer.
Sulfate Injection - It will not work everywhere
Injecting sulfate particles into the atmosphere may not only work everywhere, and it might cause problems of its own.
The University of Washington has concluded that you can not just add aerosols to reverse the effects of CO2 on climate. After aerosol injections, there will still be areas not affected by the treatment.
Circulation patterns are complicated, and constantly changing as more CO2 is added. There could still be some big surprises, like large ice sheets melting.
2010 - The most greenhouse gas ever
Data just in: Global output of carbon dioxide rose record amounts says the U.S. Department of Energy. 564 million more tons (512 million metric tons) of carbon went into the air in 2010 than in 2009. That is a 6% increase in one year. People take note!
Oceans Will Continue to Acid Up
In one of the first not reversible trends of mocern increased atmospheric carbon concentrations, it appears that our oceans will become increasingly acidic. Acid content of ocean waters has gone up 30% since the start of the industrial revolution. The trend continues.
Geoengineering efforts presented here will not stop the lowering of oceanic pH levels. This is not good news.
Roofers Stick to Roofing?
One SRM alternative is painting roofs white to reflect sunlight back to space. Intuitively this seems like a great idea.
New research results show however that light reflected from roofs could actually disrupt cloud cover. This actually increases the amount of sun hitting the earth which increases warming. Oh well.
This is an example of unintended consequences of a seemingly straight forward great idea.