Friday, November 17, 2006

Cool the earth targeted pollution

global warming

Michael Crichton State of Fear

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http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=16260

This is not as silly as it appears. We need a shade from the sun's rays. Interesting concept.

Scientists: Pollution could combat global warming
POSTED: 8:22 a.m. EST, November 16, 2006


NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- Air pollution may be just the thing to fight global warming, some scientists say.

Prominent scientists, among them a Nobel laureate, said a layer of pollution deliberately spewed into the atmosphere could act as a "shade" from the sun's rays and help cool the planet.

Reaction to the proposal here at the annual U.N. conference on climate change is a mix of caution, curiosity and some resignation to such "massive and drastic" operations, as the chief U.N. climatologist describes them.

The Nobel Prize-winning scientist who first made the proposal is himself "not enthusiastic about it."

"It was meant to startle the policymakers," said Paul J. Crutzen, of Germany's Max Planck Institute for Chemistry. "If they don't take action much more strongly than they have in the past, then in the end we have to do experiments like this."

Serious people are taking Crutzen's idea seriously. This weekend at Moffett Field, California, NASA's Ames Research Center hosts a closed-door, high-level workshop on the global haze proposal and other "geoengineering" ideas for fending off climate change.

In Nairobi, meanwhile, hundreds of delegates were wrapping up a two-week conference expected to only slowly advance efforts to rein in greenhouse gases blamed for much of the 0.6-degree-Celsius (1-degree-Fahrenheit) rise in global temperatures in the past century.

The 1997 Kyoto Protocol requires modest emission cutbacks by industrial countries -- but not the United States, the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases, because it rejected Kyoto. Talks on what to do after Kyoto expires in 2012 are all but bogged down.
When he published his proposal in the journal Climatic Change in August, Crutzen cited a "grossly disappointing international political response" to warming.

The Dutch climatologist, awarded a 1995 Nobel in chemistry for his work uncovering the threat to Earth's atmospheric ozone layer, suggested that balloons bearing heavy guns be used to carry sulfates high aloft and fire them into the stratosphere.

While carbon dioxide keeps heat from escaping Earth, substances such as sulfur dioxide, a common air pollutant, reflect solar radiation, helping cool the planet.

Tom Wigley, a senior U.S. government climatologist, followed Crutzen's article with a paper of his own October 20 in the leading U.S. journal Science. Like Crutzen, Wigley cited the precedent of the huge volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991.

Pinatubo poured so much sulfurous debris into the stratosphere that it is believed it cooled the Earth by 0.5 degrees Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) for about a year.

Wigley ran scenarios of stratospheric sulfate injection -- on the scale of Pinatubo's estimated 10 million tons of sulfur -- through supercomputer models of the climate, and reported that Crutzen's idea would, indeed, seem to work. Even half that amount per year would help, he wrote.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/science/11/16/smog.warming.ap/index.html

1 comment:

The Ripper said...

Here's an article on Prince Charles' recent green initiative. Kudos for him at least attempting to raise awareness of global warming...
www.minor-ripper.blogspot.com