Global engineering

Scientist proposes ‘colossal refrigeration system’ to stave of global-warming

First, the sprayed droplets would transform to water vapor, a change that absorbs thermal energy near ground level; then the rising vapor would condense into sunlight-reflecting clouds and cooling rain, releasing much of the stored energy into space in the form of infrared radiation.

Kenneth Caldeira, a climate scientist for the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University whose computer simulation of Ace’s invention suggests it would significantly cool the planet.

The simulated evaporation of about one-half inch of additional water everywhere in the world produced immediate planetary cooling effects that were projected to reach nearly 1 degree Fahrenheit within 20 or 30 years, Caldeira said.

The evaporation of about one-half inch of additional water everywhere around the world would also have massive dislocation effects on the weather, and we still don’t know for sure that added clouds will cool things, but mostly I’m doing a back of the envelope here. Call that one centimeter, which would would be 10 liters per square meter of the earth’s surface, or 10 million liters per square kilometer, or about 5 quadrillion liters total. That’s roughly 8 times the annual output of the Amazon. Or somewhere upwards of 400 gallons a day pumped into the atmosphere for a year for every human being on the planet.

If we could do engineering on that scale (without creating so much waster heat as to make things even worse) then climate change would be the least of our worries.


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