Los Angeles Smog - 2006-05-28 - Photo courtesy, PDPhoto.org
A Blanket Of Dirt That Cools - A "Nobel" Idea!
Wasn't that (a blanket of dirt) what killed the dinosaurs? ... But I digress, it was a meteor that hit the earth and kicked up dirt that covered the earth and killed the Dino's (and their food supply).
Well, guess what, some egghead Nobel laureate thinks it might be a plausible idea to kick up some dirt of our own to counteract the effects of the greenhouse gasses we humans are contributing to the atmosphere that are warming our globe.
What happens to us if we over do it? We may all become dog team owners and aspire to run in the Iditarod, build igloos, and name our kids "Nanook". Problem though ... the nights may last a millennium or two - - oopsie!
Excerpts from the Associated Press -
Could smog protect against global warming?
U.N. climate-change conference
By Charles J. Hanley - The Associated Press - Thursday, November 16, 2006
NAIROBI, Kenya - If the sun warms the Earth too dangerously, the time may come to draw the shade.
The ''shade'' would be a layer of pollution deliberately spewed into the atmosphere to help cool the planet. This over-the-top idea comes from prominent scientists, among them a Nobel laureate. The reaction here at the 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 policy makers,'' 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, NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., 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 1-degree 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 the deal. 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 on Oct. 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 shot so much sulfurous debris into the stratosphere that it is believed it cooled the Earth by .9 degrees for about a year.
Los Angeles Smog - Looking out from an office building in Sherman Oaks, one can see the thick pall of smog hanging above San Fernando Valley. Image Credit: photos©urban75 (2003)
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.
A massive dissemination of pollutants would be needed every year or two, as the sulfates precipitate from the atmosphere in acid rain.
Wigley said a temporary shield would give political leaders more time to reduce human dependence on fossil fuels — the main source of greenhouse gases. He said experts must more closely study the feasibility of the idea and its possible effects on stratospheric chemistry.
"One of the main reasons I do not want to live out my days in Los Angeles. The smog can be pretty intense at times. Granted, it used to be worse, but the quality of air is still not acceptable." Image Credit: losangelesdailyphoto.blogspot.com
Nairobi conference participants agreed.
''Yes, by all means, do all the research,'' Indian climatologist Rajendra K. Pachauri, chairman of the 2,000-scientist U.N. network on climate change, told The Associated Press.
But ''if human beings take it upon themselves to carry out something as massive and drastic as this, we need to be absolutely sure there are no side effects,'' Pachauri said.
Philip Clapp, a veteran campaigner for emissions controls to curb warming, also sounded a nervous note, saying, ''We are already engaged in an uncontrolled experiment by injecting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.''
By telephone from Germany, Crutzen said that's what he envisioned: global haze as a component for long-range planning. ''The reception on the whole is more positive than I thought,'' he said.
Pershing added, however, that reaction may hinge on who pushes the idea. ''If it's the U.S., it might be perceived as an effort to avoid the problem,'' he said.
NASA said this weekend's conference will examine ''methods to ameliorate the likelihood of progressively rising temperatures over the next decades.'' Other such U.S. government-sponsored events are scheduled to follow.
If this egghead was ''not enthusiastic about it'' - WHY BRING IT UP?
Who are you, Al Gore - media mogul, presidential aspirant, oh, and weatherman?
This UPDATE from The Brussels Journal via Pajamas Media -
Global Warming: Relax and Enjoy
From the desk of Richard Rahn on Fri, 2006-11-17 09:10
Yes, the world is getting warmer, but the Earth does this roughly every 1,500 years, and we cannot stop it. The good news is humans and most other species tend to do better during the warm periods.
There is a wonderful new book, “Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years,” by distinguished climate physicist Fred Singer and award-winning environmental economist Dennis Avery. The conclusion of their book in a nutshell is that, yes, the world is getting a bit warmer, but this is just the natural cycle. They provide overwhelming evidence this warming would occur with or without mankind increasing CO2 emissions or doing anything else. The good news is that if we realize we cannot stop global warming, and concentrate on constructively dealing with the problems it causes – which are all manageable at reasonable cost – and then enjoy the benefits, mankind will do just fine.
We have already had two cycles in recorded history; the Roman warming (200 B.C. to 600 A.D.) which was a very prosperous period, and the medieval warming (900 to 1300) during which farms were created in Greenland and Iceland. The modern warming period began about 1850, well before mankind was producing massive amounts of CO2.
Despite the general warming trend since 1850, we have had cooler periods, notably from 1940 to 1978, when many leading scientists were warning us we were rapidly heading for a new ice age. I can still remember those doomsday scenarios being played out on TV specials at the time.
The reason for skepticism is the very selective use of data presented by the end-of-the world crowd, such as Al Gore and this month by former World Bank economist Nicholas Stern. The common solutions that always come from the crisis-of-the-day gang are for more government spending, higher taxes and more government control, with little or no discussion of the downside of bigger government and higher taxes.
U.S. taxpayers now pay about $4 billion per year to global change scientists and government bureaucrats associated with global warming. If global warming were found to be not much of a problem, what do you think would happen to the budgets, employment and advancement opportunities of those with a vested interest in global warming?
Mr. Gore causes the emission of several hundred times the CO2 – by flying around the world in private jets, riding in limos, etc. – than the typical person does. Hence you would think if he really believed his scaremongering he would just stay home and give his speeches, etc., through teleconferencing and other electronic media. This would show greater commitment, but it would not be as much fun.
The Singer-Avery book is meticulously researched and footnoted (unlike many of the presentations from the scaremongers), and, as they note: “The 1,500-year cycle is not an unproven theory like the model-based predictions for the Greenhouse Theory. The 1,500 year climate cycle is real, based on a wide variety of physical evidence from around the globe.” (It comes from ice cores, sediment layers, isotopes, etc.)
The sun has far greater influence on climate than most people understand. The sun does not shine with a constant intensity, the Earth does not rotate around the sun in a constant orbit – during some periods it is more elliptical than others, and the Earth wobbles about its axis, all of which cause solar heating to vary. These effects swamp anything humans are likely to do to the climate.
So relax and enjoy the few extra days of summer and the milder winters – like our Roman and Viking ancestors did.