14 thoughts on “Geoengineering the climate: A clear perspective from The Royal Society”

  1. The main shortcoming of the report is that it makes no comparison with the currently preferred approach, ie, the re-engineering of the world economy. There should be a direct comparison of the possible options it terms of cost, impact and risks.

    But then this kind of comparison is generally missing from the international debate that continues on the basis of preconceived ideas.

  2. Thank you to George Antony!!! There will always be a continuum of rich and poor, of scientifically-involved, versus not scientifically-involved, people, and I don’t mind that at all; our world will never be perfect – – however:

    The current economic-social system has become obscenely and dangerously skewed: fewer and fewer hands are controlling pretty much “everything” nowadays:

    This “everything” includes: elected officials; media; scientists; industry; and to a lessor extent: civic institutions, citizen groups, and invaluable people such as Andrew Maynard who are struggling with PE.
    All of these entities would be impacted and improved by a re-engineering of the world economy. This would in turn improve the struggle for nano and emerging tech PE that is going on.

    I think Andrew is gently bullying us to feel that we should probably “be mature” and accept the agenda-setting of various climate engineering techniques.

    We don’t have to.

    My hope is that people will evolve to NOT be afraid of science, and to learn as much as they possibly can. It doesn’t help that we had an illegally-elected man in office (George Bush Jr.) who said he really doesn’t care for reading, or for intellectuals!

  3. Report link broken–again.

    I have been trying for the past few years to determine if opening the flow of deep Pacific water to the surface in the Caribbean–emulating the effects of the absence of the Panama Isthmus–the appearance of which coincides with a change from very stable to very unstable climate.

    With no budget, I’m having difficulty as there are no good models of the Caribbean which I have access.

    But prior to the Isthmus, there was a conveyor current which ran West to East from the Pacific to the Atlantic along the bottom, and returned bringing cooler Atlantic water from East to West on the surface.

    We don’t need the volume of water which would result if the Isthmus were gone–we just need enough volume and cooling to start the current flowing.

    The project could be built for around US$10 billion , in under 10 years.

    Politically, it requires permission from only one country.

    Economically, it is relatively inexpensive, and can produce food and power, and a cargo line could be run simultaneously to move cargo across the Isthmus from craft too large for the canal. It might even pay for itself!

    Should it cause more problems than it solves, it would be easy to shut it down.

    Since we can draw water from the deep Pacific, we can move far less water to obtain cooling than if we used surface water.

    There are several other advantages:

    It would have an immediate effect of cooling and providing nutrients to the Western Caribbean–which has rather stagnate nutrient-poor water. Since this ecosystem is past threatened and dying, there is little to lose ecologically.

    We already have good reason to believe that it will work, since it replicates an environment which we know existed in the past.

    It uses tried and true technology–we’ve become adept at drilling large tunnels even in seismic zones. Since it is a pipe, not a passenger tunnel, construction would be much cheaper ans simpler than the current larges tunnels in England-France and Japan.

    It has a probability that it can stabilize the climate in a very short time period.

    This is, perhaps it’s most important point, since my calculations disagree with those of the majority of scientists.

    I believe that even the most pessimistic scientists are failing to properly anticipate the rapidly accelerating rate of change.

    I’d love to be wrong, but the fact is, for the past 5 years, the only changes I’ve made to my model are the same as those made elsewhere–just much earlier. Every new piece of data seems to confirm my projections.

    The projection is that we can expect major sea level changes within the next 18 years, though I don’t believe we will hit the 1 meter mark until after 2012, I also don’t believe that it will occur any later than 2028.

    My actual expectation is that by 2028 sea levels will have risen between 5-10 meters.

    The problem is that everything involved in the melting process has positive feedback. This causes extreme acceleration–of the kind which means that if you’ve noticed the change, it’s too late to do much.

    Combining this with the fact that in the early stages (past few decades) the only melt which affects sea level is glacial melt in the tropics and temperate zone.

    Most early melt is sea ice, which has almost no effect upon sea level.

    Currently, the most active melt which affects sea level is Greenland–which historically loses about 1/3-1/2 of it’s ice mass during warm periods. This is enough to raise sea level by around 5 meters by itself.

    With the Western Antarctic ice shelf break-up and lifting from the sea bottom, the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet land glaciers will be free to accelerate their movement into the sea.

    THAT will provide enough to raise the sea level another ~5 meters.

    We don’t have generations to deal with this problem. Ideally, we would have gotten our act together on emissions 50 years ago, but for political and economic reasons, governments and people didn’t make the changes needed. Mostly because it is very hard for people in general, and politicians in particular to accept that something which won’t happen until they are dead or out of office needs to be accepted as a critical need.

    Even a 1 meter rise is enough to cause major problems in most major coastal cities.

    Those cities will not be ready at this rate until far too late.

    I am still trying to put numbers to this project, in particular the amount of heat which must be removed in order to begin a change.

  4. ich brauche dringend Hilfe
    ich möchte den Royal society Bericht geoengineering vollständig in deutsch lesen können
    mein englisch ist nicht gut genug
    aber das Thema intressiert mich sehr
    wer hat einen link oder eine copy in deutsch ??


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