Stacks on ships could power ships as they also inject seawater droplets into the air
SRM - Solar Radiation Management Options - Reflecting incoming rays from the sun.
Cloud Whitening or Smoke and Mirrors. Official definition: "adding light-scattering aerosols to the upper atmosphere or increasing the lifetime and reflectivity of low-altitude clouds to exert a cooling effect". Volcanoes naturally emit clouds of particles that reflect sunlight and reduce temperatures.
SRM options range from iron filings in seawater to moon dust. Most will likely never be deployed on and wide scale. The chart below lists sixteen of them.
One extreme SRM (space radiation management?) proposal suggests basically lassoing a 1,600 mile wide, 11 billion pound asteroid and towing it into position where it would be stimulated to produce a cloud of dust. So called mass drivers on the asteroid would create enough dust to block out 6.58 percent of the incoming solar radiation to our planet. The dust would disperse "naturally" over time according to Scottish researchers.
Long Tern Results of Geoengineering
Geoengineering is a seemingly simple idea with complex and controversial results. The outcome of most all SRM alternatives are simply not predictable. CDR options offer somewhat less risk since you are mostly removing excess CO2.
We do not offer a crystal ball, but we can offer lessons from other large scale geo-engineered projects of the recent past.
Flood Control as an Example
Geoengineering seems simple. However, people do not have a very good track record when it comes to moving big things around. In the 1940s to 1960s for instance, re-aligning rivers for agriculture and flood control was popular. In the United States the US Army Corps of Engineers used heavy equipment to straighten and dredge many a channel.
At first the newly worked channels seemed to work great. The over time, it was noticed that taking away the curves in a river makes it run faster and carry more boulders and other sediment. Big rivers forced into narrow deep channels acted the same way. The result was even bigger floods.
Now hydraulic engineers can look back and realize that they need to keep river flow patterns as close to natural as possible. For some rivers, it is too late and they need constant expensive maintenance, or else they tend to back up and fail in a flood.
New Orleans was the result of a system overwhelmed by a large flood and storm surge. Even though scientists knew such an event was possible, the flood control system had been compromised over years of neglect, not to mention design and construction deficits in the original project.
Geoengineering unintended consequences already
The results of a failed levee are a disaster. The results of a failed atmosphere would be on a much, much larger scale. Given peoples track record, why would we think that they would design, build, and operate an atmosphere control system any better than a flood control system? We do not think there would be much difference.
Geoengineering unintended consequences are here already. It happens that iron hulled ships cruising the oceans of the world are actually dumping iron anyway reports newscientist.com on research by Akinori Ito of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology. Apparently ships burning oil spread some 1000 tons per year over 6 million square kilometers or 2,316,613 square miles of the Pacific Ocean.
Geoengineering - The bottom line
Carbon Capture alternatives are already in use, and will likely be used more and more in the coming years. SRM alternatives promise a quick return, and are under serious consideration and development. We follow Geoengineering news on the next page.
Solar Radiation Management
CDR - Carbon Dioxide Removal Options - Means removing CO2 from the air.
The Coal Energy sector has been scrubbing CO2 from exhaust gasses for some time using a chemical amine process. The process however is expensive, and provides no direct financial benefit to the power companies. There is research to optimize the process by using the CO2 for beneficial uses.
Carbon Sequestration: This involves a number of technologies that use chemical processes to turn CO2 gas into a liquid, or direct injection of CO2 gas. The CO2 may then be pumped into the ground for storage, or to provide pressure in secondary and tertiary oil recovery.
Coal fired power plants are now using carbon capture technologies.
Direct air capture is not practical.
Street flooding may be an unintended consequence
We advocate alternative transport as one solution to reducing carbon in the atmosphere. The volume of CO2 emitted so far is likely too much for the oceans, tree, and the soil to soak up.
Geoengineering or engineering the atmosphere offers possible short term solutions reduce temperatures and soak up excess carbon.
It is well accepted by almost all honest climate scientists that this excess carbon is actually affecting climate patterns on a wide scale. What to do about it is not as widely accepted. Some are proposing engineering solutions to climate problems. These solutions are controversial since long term effects can not be told.
We will briefly explore the proposals. There are two main classes of solutions: reflecting incoming sun rays back out to space to lower temperatures, and soaking up the CO2 already in the air.