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Thread: A wild idea to fight global warming

  1. #1
    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default A wild idea to fight global warming

    A wild idea to fight global warming
    Artificial space ring could shade Earth, group proposes


    A wild idea to combat global warming suggests creating an artificial ring of small particles or spacecrafts around Earth to shade the tropics and moderate climate extremes.

    There would be side effects, proponents admit. An effective sunlight-scattering particle ring would illuminate our night sky as much as the full moon, for example.

    And the price tag would knock the socks off even a big-budget agency like NASA: $6 trillion to $200 trillion for the particle approach. Deploying tiny spacecraft would come at a relative bargain: a mere $500 billion tops.
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    But the idea, detailed today in the online version of the journal Acta Astronautica, illustrates that climate change can be battled with new technologies, according to one scientist not involved in the new work.

    Mimic a volcano
    All scientists agree that Earth gets warmer and colder across the eons. A delicate and ever-changing balance between solar radiation, cloud cover, and heat-trapping greenhouse gases controls long-term swings from ice ages to warmer conditions like today.

    Those who are often called experts admit to glaring gaps in their knowledge of how all this works. A study last month revealed that scientists can't pin down one of the most critical keys: how much sunlight our planet absorbs versus how much is reflected back into space.

    Nonetheless, most scientists think our climate has warmed significantly over the past century and will grow warmer over the next hundred years. Various studies claim the planet is destined to warm by anywhere from 1 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit over the next few centuries. Seas will rise dramatically, the scenario goes, inundating coastal cities. But another group of scientists argue that the temperature data supporting a warming planet is not firm and that projections, based on computer modeling, might be wildly off the mark.

    Either way, perhaps our fate is more in our hands than we might have imagined.

    "Reducing solar insolation by 1.6 percent should overcome a 1.75 K [3 degrees Fahrenheit] temperature rise," contends a group led by Jerome Pearson, president of Star Technology and Research, Inc. "This might be accomplished by a variety of terrestrial or space systems."

    The power of scattering sunlight has been illustrated naturally, the scientists note. Volcanic eruptions, such as that of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991, pumped aerosols into the atmosphere and cooled the global climate by about a degree. Other researchers have suggested such schemes as adding metallic dust to smoke stacks, to flood the atmosphere and reflect more sunlight back into space.

    In the newly outlined approach, reflective particles might come from the mining of Earth, the moon or asteroids. They'd be put into orbit around the equator. Alternately, tiny micro-spacecraft could be deployed with reflective umbrellas.

    A ring created by a batch of either "shades the tropics primarily, providing maximum effectiveness in cooling the warmest parts of our planet," the scientists write. An early version of their idea was presented but not widely noticed in 2002.

    Eccentric but reassuring
    Those researchers who don't buy the argument that global warming is occurring at any significant rate nor that humans are largely to blame may warm up quickly to the new idea.

    Benny Peiser, a social anthropologist at Liverpool John Moores University in the UK, tracks climate research and the resulting media coverage. He's among the small but vocal group that goes against mainstream thought on the topic of global warming.

    "I don't think that the modest warming trend we are currently experiencing poses any significant or long-term threat," Peiser told LiveScience. "Nevertheless, what the paper does show quite impressively is that our hyper-complex civilization is theoretically and technologically capable of dealing with any significant climate change we may potentially face in the future."

    Peiser also notes that the Kyoto Protocol, a global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, is estimated to cost the world economy some $150 billion a year. He also sees a broader rationale for supporting the seemingly bizarre manner of managing Earth's temperature budget.

    "I believe that this mindset, despite its apparent eccentricity, is actually rather reassuring," Peiser said. "It provides concerned people with ample evidence of the extraordinary human ingenuity that, as so often in the past, has helped to overcome many predicaments that were regarded as impenetrable in previous times."

    He also sees an ultimate big-picture reasoning to look favorably on the notion of controlling Earth's climate.

    "Whatever the cost and regardless of whether there is any major risk due to global warming," Peiser said, "it would appear to me that such a space-based infrastructure will evolve sooner or later, thus forming additional stepping stones of our emerging migration towards outer space."
    © 2005 LiveScience.com. All rights reserved.
    See now they want to put artificial particles back in the atmosphere.
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    Senior Member Senior Member English assassin's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    And your point is this is stupid when it would be much easier to cut carbon emissions through greater fuel efficiency, developing new power sources, and carbon sequestration, presumably?
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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    "The power of scattering sunlight has been illustrated naturally, the scientists note. Volcanic eruptions, such as that of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991, pumped aerosols into the atmosphere and cooled the global climate by about a degree."

    Can´t we let some Volcanoes erupt artificially?
    May be cheaper and more natural.


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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    Nukes have the same effect. Especially when fired under the surface. Did not someone say that the Brits want to get rit of their nukes?

    So the question is where to fire the nukes. If you chose the biggest CO2 producers this would increase the effect.

    I think I'd rather stop now

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    Member Member bmolsson's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    Why not just use sun lotion... Factor 12....

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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    Sunlotion does not really help against global warming. A boat might serve better!

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    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    And your point is this is stupid when it would be much easier to cut carbon emissions through greater fuel efficiency,
    Its our reduction of particle emissions through our misguided attempt at cleaning up the air that is causing this problem in the first place.
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    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system due to?
    Our genes maybe in the basement but it does not stop us chosing our point of view from the top.
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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    Quote Originally Posted by Papewaio
    Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system due to?
    All those gases causing a greenhouse effect.


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    Arena Senior Member Crazed Rabbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    Um...its proximity to a huge, self sustaining ball of hot gases erupting constantly in a nuclear explosion, perhaps?

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    Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder Member Steppe Merc's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    Here's an idea: start to use more and more solar, wind, and nuclear (gah! can't spell) power, while giving tax cuts to car companies that make hybrid cars and home owners that use solar powering for the air conditioning and heating, while upping the taxes of gas guzzlers and other companies that make not fuel efficient products.

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    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    Here's an idea: start to use more and more solar, wind, and nuclear (gah! can't spell) power, while giving tax cuts to car companies that make hybrid cars and home owners that use solar powering for the air conditioning and heating, while upping the taxes of gas guzzlers and other companies that make not fuel efficient products.

    Thats all already being done. How about coming up with something we havent al heard before?
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    Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder Member Steppe Merc's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    Well, I don't think it's being done well enough. For example, the government taking a larger role in controlling the buisnesses that still polute the enviorment, and to insure that it doesn't continue to happen. Not that it'll happen with any Republican or even Democrat in office...

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    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    For example, the government taking a larger role in controlling the buisnesses that still polute the enviorment, and to insure that it doesn't continue to happen.
    You really believe were all being poisoned or were brininging about the end of the world dont you? Believe in god its just as rational an idea and you wont have to worry about the rest
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    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    Quote Originally Posted by Steppe Merc
    Well, I don't think it's being done well enough. For example, the government taking a larger role in controlling the buisnesses that still polute the enviorment, and to insure that it doesn't continue to happen. Not that it'll happen with any Republican or even Democrat in office...
    Such childlike naivete is acutally quite touching Steppe. Who do you think the 'government' is? And who do you think the worst polluters are? This boogey man that you fear, corporations, is one and the same as the savior you seek, the government.
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    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    Quote Originally Posted by Gawain of Orkeny
    You really believe were all being poisoned or were brininging about the end of the world dont you? Believe in god its just as rational an idea and you wont have to worry about the rest
    So Westerners are just as fertile as a hundred years ago.

    There are no hormone mimicking chemicals being released into the streams.

    Atmospheric lead levels are not 600 times that of Rome.

    There is no artifical deserts.

    There is no unvialable land due to salt rising.

    There is no bleaching of reefs.

    There is no melting of glaciers.

    The polar ice caps are not thining.

    The worlds biodiversity is not diminishing.

    No pollutants can be found in the upper atmosphere.
    Our genes maybe in the basement but it does not stop us chosing our point of view from the top.
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  17. #17
    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    There is no melting of glaciers.

    The polar ice caps are not thining.

    The worlds biodiversity is not diminishing.
    No. How is it if its caused by man its un natural but if some other species effects the earth its natural? Once more no one is saying we should polute on purpose but the problem is that some are going to far. We have to find a reasonable common ground.
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    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    I wouldn't say it is un-natural if caused by humans. We are animals after all.

    It just doesn't make sense to use the spa bath as the toilet.
    Our genes maybe in the basement but it does not stop us chosing our point of view from the top.
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  19. #19
    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    It just doesn't make sense to use the spa bath as the toilet.
    Do you know anyone who does? Hey let me tell you all a gross story. I used to life with this guy who was real cheap. He rented out rooms to his friends. Well he said we wwere using too much toilet paper and that he wouldnt buy anymore. Well we all got out own and kept itin our room. This guy though used a sponge and kept it on the bathroom vanity. He said it was good enough for the romans but he didnt need a stick.W e were like how do you clean it after each wipe? He said I rinse it in the sink? Yuk!!!!!!!!! Hed squeeze it out with his hands .
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    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    Okay he was obviously nuts.

    What was your excuse then for staying?

    And were did you keep your toothbrush... the splash zone for the sponge
    Our genes maybe in the basement but it does not stop us chosing our point of view from the top.
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    Member Member Productivity's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazed Rabbit
    Um...its proximity to a huge, self sustaining ball of hot gases erupting constantly in a nuclear explosion, perhaps?

    Crazed Rabbit
    Using that logic Mercury should be far warmer then, when in reality it is ~300 degrees K colder...

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    The Usual Member Ice's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    Quote Originally Posted by dgb
    Using that logic Mercury should be far warmer then, when in reality it is ~300 degrees K colder...
    You do realize 300 degrees Kelvin is about room temperature, so the temp difference isn't that much.

    Anyways, the fact that venus has a greenhouse effect is the reason why, as stated before, it is the hottest planet in our solar systen.



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    Member Member Productivity's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    Yes I do. I am talking about the temperature DIFFERENCE, not what the temperature is.

    Go and reduce your body temperature by 300 K and see if you say it's not that much.

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    Alienated Senior Member Member Red Harvest's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    Quote Originally Posted by Gawain of Orkeny
    Thats all already being done. How about coming up with something we havent al heard before?
    No, it's been given lip service. Do you realize that solar and wind are near break even investment wise in a number of locations now at *individual* user level And large wind installations produce really cheaply in the right locations. The doubling of electric rates makes the econ work out very close in my location for individual installation--but it takes years to pay out. It's not being pushed. The laws that require buy back of the excess production have only recently become common place from what I can tell. Before that it was not economically viable for most. The govt has been slow to react, and utilities had no reason to push or even allow it since they don't profit by it.

    Where is the failing? No real push by govt. Industry, builders, and homeowners will gladly do things to help, IF they can get some initial incentive to justify the high upfront cost or to remove some of the risk. The fluctuation of energy costs, plus high initial install cost (small market = high cost per unit) are retarding the field. The real problem: NO ENERGY POLICY. "We'll Pump More" is not an energy policy.

    The fact is, we (the U.S.) could start making a shift fairly soon, if we wanted too. It takes *investment* and we aren't doing it. We are putting all our eggs into the "cheap oil" basket. With solar and wind, the costs are upfront. Operating costs are low--while oil already has the capital invested, but the operating costs are much higher, and escalating. For solar/wind there is little protection from risk of volatile energy pricing. Modern execs are incredibly risk averse by nature.
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    Master of useless knowledge Senior Member Kitten Shooting Champion, Eskiv Champion Ironside's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    Dgb, is the 300 kelvin difference the medium temperature difference?

    The days got about the same temperature (slightly warmer on Venus about 30-50 Kelvin). But at the nights it differs quite alot, Venus temperature drop like 70 degrees, while Mercurys temperature drops about 550 degrees.

    You do realize 300 degrees Kelvin is about room temperature, so the temp difference isn't that much.
    You do realize that Kelvin and Celsius is the same thing? The only difference is that Kelvin puts absolute zero as zero (-273.15 C) and not the freezing point of ice (as Cesius did). 373.15 degrees Kelvin is the boiling point of water.
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    Member Member Productivity's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    Difference between the mean surface temperatures yes.

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    probably bored Member BDC's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    For $200 trillion I'm pretty sure you could just develop a new source of power, and a way of implementing it.

    That's any awful lot of money...

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    Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder Member Steppe Merc's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    Such childlike naivete is acutally quite touching Steppe. Who do you think the 'government' is? And who do you think the worst polluters are? This boogey man that you fear, corporations, is one and the same as the savior you seek, the government.
    Well I know that this government is controlled by the buisnesses. I meant hypothetically, the government ought to control the buisnesses. But it is vice versa...
    In otherwords, the savior I seek doesn't exist. I wouldn't trust the current American goverment to fix the enviornment. When I said government, I meant the ideal (in my mind), unreachable form that would apply to any country, that I think should exist.
    So when I say government should control the buisnesses, I don't mean this one, I meant in my ideal, unreachable world were everyone is happy.
    But I think that even though it's unreachable, we should still reach for it, and do the best we can to achieve it.

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    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    Well look what I found today

    Global warming makes sea less salty
    Researchers predict effects on 'conveyor belt' of ocean currents



    You won't want to drink water straight from the ocean anytime soon. But the salt content is on the decline, a sign of potentially worrisome consequences that scientists can't accurately predict.

    Since the late 1960s, much of the North Atlantic Ocean has become less salty, in part due to increases in fresh water runoff induced by global warming, scientists say. Now for the first time researchers have quantified this fresh water influx, allowing them to predict the long-term effects on a "conveyor belt" of ocean currents.

    Climate changes in the Northern Hemisphere have melted glaciers and brought more rain, dumping more fresh water into the oceans, according to the analysis.
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    One of the expected high-profile consequences is a rising sea that will swamp coastal communities. But there are other possible effects.

    "Precipitation and river runoff at high latitudes have been increasing," said Ruth Curry of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). "In the last decade, fresh water has been accumulating in the Nordic Seas layer (the upper 1,000 meters) that is critical to the ocean conveyor, so it is something to watch."

    What's going on
    Curry and Cecilie Mauritzen of the Norwegian Meteorological Institute calculated that an extra 19,000 cubic kilometers of water flowed into and diluted the northern seas between 1965 and 1995.

    For comparison, the Mississippi River releases about 500 cubic kilometers of freshwater into the Gulf of Mexico each year, while the Amazon, the Earth's largest river, discharges roughly 5,000 cubic kilometers annually.

    Because water with lower salinity is less dense, adding fresh water may affect ocean flows like the conveyor belt – a system of Atlantic currents that exchanges cold water in the Arctic region for warm water from the tropics.

    The top part of this conveyor is made of warm ocean currents, like the Gulf Stream, flowing northward along the surface. At high latitudes, this water cools and sinks – releasing its heat to the atmosphere and making for moderate winter climates in places like England.

    Deep, cold currents return some of the water to the south.

    Slight changes in the currents -- both seasonal and longer-term variations -- affect everything from hurricane formation to droughts and heat waves.

    Future uncertain
    No significant change in the conveyor belt has yet been observed, however. Curry and Mauritzen estimate that it would take another century to slow the ocean exchanges if the current rate of fresh water inflow continues.

    Scientists disagree over whether the planet is warming and how much humans might be contributing. But most climate experts see a clear warming trend that they expect will continue for at least a century.

    "Given the projected 21st Century rise in greenhouse gas concentrations and increased fresh water input to the high-latitude ocean, we cannot rule out a significant slowing of the Atlantic conveyor in the next 100 years," Curry said.

    She emphasized, however, that effects will be gradual. "We are not suggesting that the Gulf Stream will shut down," she said.

    A study last year concluded that an altered conveyor belt could actually plunge the planet into a global cooling event.

    The new research was published in the June 17 issue of the journal Science.
    © 2005 LiveScience.com. All rights reserved.
    So now were cooling the planet again?

    From the same site

    Global warming might create lopsided planet
    Extra precipitation could add to ice at South Pole


    Extra precipitation expected as a result of global warming could create a lopsided world in which sea ice increases around the South Pole while the far north melts away.

    A new study illustrates the difficulty in predicting how the planet might react to overall warming, which most but not all scientists believe is underway, in part due to greenhouse gas emissions by industry and autos.

    "Most people have heard of climate change and how rising air temperatures are melting glaciers and sea ice in the Arctic," said Dylan Powell of the University of Maryland Baltimore County. "However, findings from our simulations suggest a counterintuitive phenomenon. Some of the melt in the Arctic may be balanced by increases in sea ice volume in the Antarctic."
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    Powell, a doctoral student, is lead author of a paper describing the results in this month's Journal of Geophysical Research (Oceans).

    Powell and his colleagues used satellite data from NASA's Special Sensor Microwave/Imager to study snow depth on sea ice. The data allowed "more stable and realistic precipitation data" to be fed into computer models that project changes around the globe.

    "On any given day, sea ice cover in the oceans of the polar regions is about the size of the United States," said Thorsten Markus, a co-author of the paper and a research scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "Far-flung locations like the Arctic and Antarctic actually impact our temperature and climate where we live."

    Polar sea ice formation and climate patterns drive large ocean circulation currents, which in turn affect local climates at moderate latitudes where most people live. A warmer world should fuel more precipitation, most experts agree.

    For Antarctica, the new study concludes, the extra precipitation will mean deeper snow, which will suppress sea ice below, making it thicker over time.

    The idea runs counter to a study earlier this year that found glaciers in part of Antarctica are melting rapidly.

    "We used computer-generated simulations to get this research result," Powell cautioned. "I hope that in the future we'll be able to verify this result with real data through a long-term ice thickness measurement campaign."
    © 2005 LiveScience.com. All rights reserved.
    Two things with this one

    A new study illustrates the difficulty in predicting how the planet might react to overall warming
    So even if its happening we dont know how the earth will react but their sure its happening ....Not

    It seems were not the only ones confused

    [QUOTE]For Antarctica, the new study concludes, the extra precipitation will mean deeper snow, which will suppress sea ice below, making it thicker over time.

    The idea runs counter to a study earlier this year that found glaciers in part of Antarctica are melting rapidly./QUOTE]

    1 more

    Clearing smoke may trigger global warming rise

    * 18:59 29 June 2005
    * NewScientist.com news service
    * Fred Pearce



    Global warming looks set to be much worse than previously forecast, according to new research. Ironically, the crucial evidence is how little warming there has been so far.

    Three top climate researchers claim that the greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere should have warmed the world more than they have. The reason they have not, they say, is that the warming is being masked by sun-blocking smoke, dust and other polluting particles put into the air by human activity.

    But they warn that in future this protection will lessen due to controls on pollution. Their best guess is that, as the mask is removed, temperatures will warm by at least 6°C by 2100. That is substantially above the current predictions of 1.5 to 4.5°C.

    “Such an enormous increase would be comparable to the temperature change from the previous ice age to the present,” says one of the researchers, Meinrat Andreae of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany. “It is so far outside the range covered by our experience and scientific understanding that we cannot with any confidence predict the consequences for the Earth.”
    Cool estimate

    The calculations assume a doubling of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere by 2100 compared to pre-industrial levels.

    Andreae and his two British colleagues, Peter Cox and Chris Jones, are leading authors from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. These new findings are likely to be reflected in the IPCC’s next assessment of climate change science, scheduled for 2007.

    The cooling effect of aerosols has been known for some time. But, says Andreae, past assessments have underestimated its influence. Because of this, they have also underestimated the sensitivity of the atmosphere to the warming effect of greenhouse gases.

    The new modelling study finds that only high estimates of both aerosol cooling and greenhouse warming can explain the history of global temperatures over the past 50 years.
    One foot on the gas

    The problem for future climate is that the cooling aerosols only stay in the air for a few days, whereas the warming gases stick around for decades or centuries. So while the cooling effect is unlikely to grow much, the gases will accumulate and have an ever-bigger effect on global temperature.

    The world, says Andreae, is “driving the climate with one foot on the gas and the other on the brake. When the brake comes off, it makes a hell of a difference".

    The authors have added another previously unrecognised element to the temperature forecast - the effect of all this on nature and the natural carbon cycle.

    Natural ecosystems are currently absorbing up to half of the CO2 that humans put into the atmosphere. Most climate models assume this will continue. But there is growing evidence that from about 2050, soils and forests will stop absorbing CO2 and start releasing it instead.

    The authors calculate that this switch in the natural carbon cycle could accelerate the build-up of CO2 in the air by more than 50%, producing a total warming that “may be as high as 10°C” by 2100.
    Now their upset that the planet isnt warming as fast as they predicted.
    Last edited by Gawain of Orkeny; 07-01-2005 at 06:20.
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  30. #30
    The Usual Member Ice's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wild idea to fight global warming

    Quote Originally Posted by dgb
    Yes I do. I am talking about the temperature DIFFERENCE, not what the temperature is.

    Go and reduce your body temperature by 300 K and see if you say it's not that much.
    That still is a very minimal difference when talking about the surface temperature of two very hot planets. Like 27 Degrees Celsius is going to matter in comparsion of the two planets.



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