From the WTF Files: Study suggests we could refreeze Arctic


petros
#1
A record loss of Arctic sea ice and faster-than-expected melting of Greenland's ice cap made worldwide headlines in 2012, but research published in major science journals in the fall suggest warming in the North doesn't have to continue.

We could refreeze the Arctic, proposed a paper in Nature Climate Change. It wouldn't even cost that much, said an affiliated study in Environmental Research Letters.

The question is should we?

"In terms of pure technical capacity, any significant nation in the world could do it," said David Keith, a Calgarian and professor of applied physics at Harvard University, one of the lead authors in both studies.

"The really hard questions here aren't mostly technical. They're questions about what kind of planet we want and who we are."

In a world that seems unable to come to grips with carbon dioxide emissions driving climate change, manipulating the Earth's climate to cool it down has some calling geoengineering a bad idea whose time has finally come.

Scientists have long theorized that injecting reflective particles of some kind into the high atmosphere could reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth's surface and compensate for the greenhouse effect. High CO2 levels would continue to trap heat, but with less energy coming in to begin with, temperatures on the surface would go down.

Keith's paper used climate models to cautiously suggest that the method could be adapted to engineer regional effects. The right amount of aerosols in the right place at the right time could restore the Arctic's frozen glory.

"With an average solar reduction of only 0.5 per cent, it is possible to recover pre-industrial sea ice extent," the paper says. "Decisions involving (solar radiation management) do not need to be reduced to a single 'global thermostat.'"

A separate paper concluded that it could all be done with a few modified Gulfstream jets widely available on the used market. Annually, it could cost somewhat less than $8 billion about the price of a major oil pipeline.

While Keith believes emissions should be cut, he doesn't advocate such a plan, at least not yet.

He suggested geoengineering may be a viable response to a "climate emergency" a sudden collapse of ice sheets or a killing drought.

"If your primary view is pragmatic, and you want to reduce the risk to Asian farmers who might get hit by high temperatures that make their crops not germinate, then the answer is you should do whatever is actually safe and controllable and produces the outcomes."

Some environmentalists are starting to think there may be something to that.

"We all agree: mitigation, that's the thing you should do," said Steve Hamburg, chief scientist of the U.S.-based Environmental Defense Fund. "But everyone also recognizes that even if we did that, we may have climate surprises. We'd be irresponsible not to try and understand what our options are.

"It's easy to dismiss this as too radical a solution, but that does a disservice to what we don't know. We need to be prepared with information to understand what our options are or aren't depending on how things play out."

If we don't at least understand the risks, a desperate situation may lead to a disastrous decision, Hamburg said.

Keith Allott, head of climate change for the World Wildlife Fund UK, agrees that research is needed.

"We do see the need for a grown-up conversation about the type of research that may be acceptable at this stage," he said.

The United Nations, through its Convention on Biological Diversity, has ruled out open-air or large-scale geoengineering experiments.

Current research, including some that Environment Canada is involved in, is restricted to using models to better understand how the Earth's climate might respond to manipulation.

Hamburg said discussions on everything from how research is conducted to who gets to set the global thermostat are just beginning.

He's part of the Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative, a partnership between his group and several scientific academies from around the world.

"Everybody has to feel like their interests are represented," he said.

"It can't be about North American and European voices. It has to be about global voices and global communities being aware of it so that there is some kind of consensus that ignorance is our enemy."

Peter Mooney of the Ottawa-based Etc Group, an environmental technology watchdog, is skeptical of anyone's ability to manage geoengineering.

"There's a marvellous naivete to it all," he said. "We need to prepare for this horrible thing of Plan B because governments have proved themselves incapable of addressing the real problem. Therefore, we need to have governments go ahead and do Plan B."

But that thinking is flawed, he suggested.

"The governments who screwed up in the first place can't be expected to take something like planetary systems management and do a better job of it."

Others hold that geoengineering is just more of the same kind of thinking that caused the problem a reliance on technical fixes instead of looking at causes.

"They kind of like the fact the problem is hard to solve because it gives you a lever to say we have to make these deep reforms in consumer culture, which I personally would like to see," said Keith.

But really, he asks, what is society but one technical fix after another? Sanitation, for example, is a technical fix for cities producing sewage.

Mooney feels it's asking too much of governments to expect they'll make science-based unbiased decisions.

"It's naive to think that once Plan B becomes a political option that governments won't just take it on and interpret it as they wish. They will always find scientists who will give them the spin that they want.

"(We shouldn't be) opening up the back door for politicians to creep out of, claiming that, 'Don't worry folks. We don't need to do anything because we have technological fixes that we can deploy on short notice.'"

Allott, too, is concerned that geoengineering could become a way to excuse the continued consumption of CO2-causing fossil fuels.

"There are some unfortunate overlaps between parts of the geoengineering community and parts of the fossil fuel lobby," he said. "That's not OK."

He also points out that no plan to manage solar radiation does anything to address ocean acidification, another byproduct of CO2 emissions. The best way forward, he said, is to reduce the emissions in the first place.

"People talk about this as if (geoengineering) is an easy option. That ain't true."

Geoengineering isn't likely to become a reality any time soon. There are no aerosol-laden planes on a tarmac waiting for clearance to take off.

But the debate is coming, predicted Hamburg.

"We're not going to put the genie back in the bottle ... (We need) a robust and broad conversation about how to govern research in this area with widely agreed-upon rules of the road."

Even then, said Keith, we need to cut CO2 emissions.

"If we do this and we do not cut emissions, we just walk further and further off the cliff, like Wile E. Coyote."
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
+1
#2
I don't see how this can turn out good. Probably accidently trigger next ice age.
 
petros
+2
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiing View Post

I don't see how this can turn out good. Probably accidently trigger next ice age.

Test it out on Los Angeles. If it works, move some polar bears there to help with the harbour seal, sea lion and Chicano problems.
 
Omicron
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Test it out on Los Angeles. If it works, move some polar bears there to help with the harbour seal, sea lion and Chicano problems.

Good idea... or Phoenix, which gets so hot in the summer that people have been known to die from staying away from their air-conditioning too long.

The main issue I'm seeing with this chap's strategy is atmospheric drift. How long does the aerosol stay in the air? What if it stays up too long and drifts over some location that should not be cooled, such that, as a previous poster noted, it triggers an "ice-age".

(Technically, it would be a period of glaciation... we've been in an "ice-age" for 2.5 million years, ever since South America joined North America to change ocean currents, creating, among other things, the all-important gulf stream.

Prior to that the artic had no ice-cap... the water was below zero, but it was salt, so it didn't freeze, but the gulf stream started bringing up moist air that precipitated frozen fresh-water on the artic, creating the ice-cap.

Since 2.5 million years ago it's been occilations of periods of glaciation, where the ice-cap will grown south until it cut off the gulf stream, which would stop artic precipitation, which would cause the glaciers to recede, so round-and-round it would go at intervals of about 50,000 years...

However, what we're seeing up north now... a shrinking ice-cap, even though the gulf stream is working and the artic is getting enough fresh-water precipitation for the glaciation to be stable if not starting to grow again, is something new... some researchers at NASA think we already passed the point of no-return about 5-7 years ago, such that next will be meltdown of the arctic tundra, at which point it turns into a marsh burping methane into the atmosphere, at which point all hell breaks loose...

... That's when your kids will be happy if you invested in property around Fort Smith, and that's when 70 million Americans racing north to get away from an endlessly expanding dustbowl get to experience the joys of learning the art of Canadian tolerance of life in a Crowned Republic under Majority Rule.)
 
petros
#5
There is indeed another ice-age coming. ALL inter-glacial periods end with a horrendous crash and it's coming quickly.

Take advantage of the ecoEnergy insulation, window and heating system grants while you still can because you're going to need the upgrades.
 
darkbeaver
#6
WTF WTF Why does this guy have a job you're thinking.
 
Omicron
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

There is indeed another ice-age coming. ALL inter-glacial periods end with a horrendous crash and it's coming quickly.

Take advantage of the ecoEnergy insulation, window and heating system grants while you still can because you're going to need the upgrades.

Uhh... if this is a response to my post, that's not what I was saying. Quite the opposite.

We are exactly at the point in the inter-glacial period when normally, according to ice-cores, a turnaround would be starting, such that glaciers would start advancing, but the whole point is, that's *not* happening... what's happening is the opposite... the glaciers (including the ice-cap) are still receading.

The issue is not one of prepping your home for colder weather... it's one of thinking about selling your property to move north.

In any case, just for terminology's sake, it's this: "Ice Age" is what we've been in for the last 2.5 million years, the start of which is defined by when the arctic got an ice-cap (prior to that it was below zero, but it wasn't frozen because there was nothing but salt water).

Within the Ice Age of the last 2.5 millions years have been periods of "Glaciation", where the arctic ice cap would expand south until it cut off the gulf stream, whereupon it would cut off the supply of fresh-water precipitation making it grow, whereupon it would recede. The average Glaciation-cycle was 50,000 years.
 
Mowich
+2
#8
"They're questions about what kind of planet we want and who we are."

What kind of planet do we want??? Sheesh........this is the ONLY planet we've got. As to who we are? We're a bunch on numbskulls that get little right as is, leave the planet alone all ready.
 
petros
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by Omicron View Post

Uhh... if this is a response to my post, that's not what I was saying. Quite the opposite.

We are exactly at the point in the inter-glacial period when normally, according to ice-cores, a turnaround would be starting, such that glaciers would start advancing, but the whole point is, that's *not* happening... what's happening is the opposite... the glaciers (including the ice-cap) are still receading.

It is and inter-glacial periods ending isn't a slow process, it hits almost instantly.
 
earth_as_one
+2
#10
This sounds similar to how introducing cane toads to Australia would fix the problems caused by the cane beetle:

Cane toads in Australia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
darkbeaver
#11
It is a scientific hhahahahahahahahahahahah fact that the planet is warming hahahahahahahahahahahha because of CO2 hahahahahahhaha we should continue to steal kids lunch money hahahahahahahahahahahah to stop the planet from drying up hahahahahahah what we nead is Global Government hahahahahahaha Benny XIV Earth Agent for God Corp.
 
Omicron
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

It is and inter-glacial periods ending isn't a slow process, it hits almost instantly.

So you think that even though the artic ice-cap and the greenland icefields are shrinking, that we're still on the verge of a sudden turnaround???

It might be a point when glaciation would be expected to start advancing again, but what's never happened before (at least, not in the last 2.5 million years) was a situation where the atmosphere was so loaded with greenhouse gasses that it was able to cacel out the effect of expanding glaciation from fresh-water precipition brought in by the gulf stream.

Did you know that from transportation alone, CO2 is being added to the atmosphere at a rate quivalent to burning 68,000 gallons of fuel per second?

How thick do you think the atmsphere is? I'll give you a hint: If the world was a 12-inch globe, it would be the thickness of three sheets of paper... not at all hard to overload.

First you post an article saying that ice-cap melting can be stopped with sun-reflecting aerosols, and then you say that glaciation is coming...

... Does that mean you believe someone is going to try the aerosol effect up north?

Who? Certainly not the Russians.

Quote: Originally Posted by darkbeaver View Post

It is a scientific hhahahahahahahahahahahah fact that the planet is warming hahahahahahahahahahahha because of CO2 hahahahahahhaha we should continue to steal kids lunch money hahahahahahahahahahahah to stop the planet from drying up hahahahahahah what we nead is Global Government hahahahahahaha Benny XIV Earth Agent for God Corp.

Just out of curiousity, what happens if all the predictions about global warming turn out to be true?

Do you offer apologies? Do you feel embarrased? Does your mind addapt to facts?

What's it like to be you?
 
darkbeaver
#13
CO 2 has nothing to do with climate change which is caused exclusively by current density in local space and that is the direct effect of the sun and nothing else.
 
Ron in Regina
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by Omicron View Post

Just out of curiousity, what happens if all the predictions about global warming turn out to be true?

Do you offer apologies? Do you feel embarrased? Does your mind addapt to facts?

What's it like to be you?

Devils Advocate here....

Just out of curiosity, what happens if all the predictions about global warming
turn out not to be true?

Ect...
 
Omicron
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by darkbeaver View Post

CO 2 has nothing to do with climate change which is caused exclusively by current density in local space and that is the direct effect of the sun and nothing else.

You mean density of solar winds?

So... regardless of what might be causing it, if it's happening, do you think something should be done about getting ready to deal with it, or should we just let everything go to hell and let the market sort things out?

Quote: Originally Posted by Ron in Regina View Post

Devils Advocate here....

Just out of curiosity, what happens if all the predictions about global warming
turn out not to be true?

Ect...

Then I'd look at the facts and the data and figure out what happened.
 
petros
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by Omicron View Post

So you think that even though the artic ice-cap and the greenland icefields are shrinking, that we're still on the verge of a sudden turnaround???

It might be a point when glaciation would be expected to start advancing again, but what's never happened before (at least, not in the last 2.5 million years) was a situation where the atmosphere was so loaded with greenhouse gasses that it was able to cacel out the effect of expanding glaciation from fresh-water precipition brought in by the gulf stream.

There won't be an advancing at the start. First summer will get shorter and shorter to the point that there is no complete thaw which will advance southerly.

Although interesting, this isn't the thread to be discussing the process. This thread is about geo-engineering.

Quote: Originally Posted by Omicron View Post

You mean density of solar winds?

So... regardless of what might be causing it, if it's happening, do you think something should be done about getting ready to deal with it, or should we just let everything go to hell and let the market sort things out?

Solar radiation doesn't need to increase if our geo-magnetic field which protects us weakens and alters, which it it currently is.

There are already threads for that topic though.
 
Tonington
+3
#17  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

The United Nations, through its Convention on Biological Diversity, has ruled out open-air or large-scale geoengineering experiments.

Current research, including some that Environment Canada is involved in, is restricted to using models to better understand how the Earth's climate might respond to manipulation.

Hamburg said discussions on everything from how research is conducted to who gets to set the global thermostat are just beginning.

That's just too frickin' ironic. We've been geoengineering as long as we've been manipulating natural processes on the planet, and now there's going to be a discussion on who gets to turn the thermostat knob down after others turned it up? lol

For the record, I think more geoengineering is a very risky idea. When these ideas start to become more widespread that's when I'll know that our society is truly at the mercy of the dim witted.
 
darkbeaver
+1
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by Omicron View Post

So you think that even though the artic ice-cap and the greenland icefields are shrinking, that we're still on the verge of a sudden turnaround???

It might be a point when glaciation would be expected to start advancing again, but what's never happened before (at least, not in the last 2.5 million years) was a situation where the atmosphere was so loaded with greenhouse gasses that it was able to cacel out the effect of expanding glaciation from fresh-water precipition brought in by the gulf stream.

Did you know that from transportation alone, CO2 is being added to the atmosphere at a rate quivalent to burning 68,000 gallons of fuel per second?

How thick do you think the atmsphere is? I'll give you a hint: If the world was a 12-inch globe, it would be the thickness of three sheets of paper... not at all hard to overload.

First you post an article saying that ice-cap melting can be stopped with sun-reflecting aerosols, and then you say that glaciation is coming...

... Does that mean you believe someone is going to try the aerosol effect up north?

Who? Certainly not the Russians.



Just out of curiousity, what happens if all the predictions about global warming turn out to be true?

Do you offer apologies? Do you feel embarrased? Does your mind addapt to facts?

What's it like to be you?

What could possibly make you think climate change, hot or cold, could be adjusted or initiated by humans? And any sane human in the last ten thousand years could safely predict global warming or cooling fifty percent of the time. Pay your Ctax if you like and maybe you'll be good enough to support remagnetizing the planet as well.
 
Mowich
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by earth_as_one View Post

This sounds similar to how introducing cane toads to Australia would fix the problems caused by the cane beetle:

Cane toads in Australia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Watched a doc on cane toads in Australia..................talk about an invasion..........they were as bad as a hoard of locusts and really ugly to boot.

Quote: Originally Posted by Ron in Regina View Post

Devils Advocate here....

Just out of curiosity, what happens if all the predictions about global warming
turn out not to be true?

Ect...

Then we will be well and truly screwed.
 
Omicron
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by darkbeaver View Post

What could possibly make you think climate change, hot or cold, could be adjusted or initiated by humans?

Humans sucking 600 million years worth of fossil fuel out of the ground and puking its combustion products into the atmosphere in a few hundred years makes me think that.

Quote:


And any sane human in the last ten thousand years could safely predict global warming or cooling fifty percent of the time.

So could a crazy person, if we're just gambling.

Quote:

Pay your Ctax if you like and maybe you'll be good enough to support remagnetizing the planet as well.

Why... do you think it's loosing its magnetism?
 
petros
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by Omicron View Post

Why... do you think it's losing its magnetism?

Because it is decreasing and the north mag pole is moving further north at 55km per year.

The north magnetic pole and southern magnetic pole move independent of each other. This movement also alters ocean currents and jet-streams especially during solar storms.
 
Omicron
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Because it is decreasing and the north mag pole is moving further north at 55km per year.

The north magnetic pole and southern magnetic pole move independent of each other.

Yeah... because the spinning metal core generating the field is liquid, such that the ends of the pole can move independently... like if you had a bar-magnet made of plasticine that you can bend it into more twisty shapes than just a horshoe magnet.

Quote:

This movement also alters ocean currents and jet-streams especially during solar storms.

Hmm... this movement of the magnetic field you speak of is only moving 55km per year... that's not really enough to produce momentary disruptions in ocean currents and the jet stream.

Ocean currents get altered by how much heat they are holding onto from the sun, and wobbling of the jet stream comes from disruptions in the ocean currents.
 
petros
+1
#23
Only 55km per year? Add that up over the past 180 years.



Half of the movement depicted is in the last 40 years. 2/3rds in the last 60. Does that perfectly fit the "global warming" chronoligical window or no?
 
Omicron
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Only 55km per year? Add that up over the past 180 years.



Half of the movement depicted is in the last 40 years. 2/3rds in the last 60. Does that perfectly fit the "global warming" chronoligical window or no?

Are you one of those petrochemical astroterfers hired to block their companies from being sued?

At this point turdhole it seriously doesn't matter how it happened. The dumb-nuts were shown how to drill oil, and the rest of the dumb-nuts burned it.

The question is... what's going to be well organized enough to minimize the grief humans will live through addapting to what's next.
Last edited by Omicron; Dec 12th, 2012 at 03:03 AM..
 
GreenFish66
#25
Money Hungry Resource Barrens are more interested in breaking the ice up; accelerating the melt down; sucking the North of all it's worth.. No interest or $$ in Freezing it ..Both have dangerous consequences..1 is reality... Clear the Way for the New Seaway Tankers ....Man Made..Global Warming.
 
Omicron
+1
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by GreenFish66 View Post

Money Hungry Resource Barrens are more interested in breaking the ice up; accelerating the melt down; sucking the North of all it's worth.. No interest or $$ in Freezing it ..Both have dangerous consequences..1 is reality... Clear the Way for the New Seaway Tankers ....Man Made..Global Warming.

You mean Russian resource Oligarchs... you know... guys rushed with economic power masterbating over reports of Arctic icecap meltdown not seen since the days of Rockefeller seeing how much undrilled oil was in America.

You're not facing the Soviet Union over control of northern resources.

You're facing a bunch of Russian Bears. Big giant fat capitalist Russian Bears.

They have just *barely* enough historical action (Soviet submarine/icebreaker action) to claim the Arctic ocean before the UN... such it will be the argument presented by Russian Oligarchs before the world court. All they're doing is showing a reason to use force without anyone else getting involved, which means, ironically, a reason for others to wipe their brows staying out of it.

BUT... what always gets anyone is sneaker subs. Hold onto the northern archiapeligo with good sneaker subs.

Canada has a tonne of people wishing for a great job building best stuff like that. Canadians take it for granted that what they build is best. It tends to be part of the job description.

Not to be much of a tool about this, but... seriously... as a soviergn nation one doesn't have to roll its eyes while a giant Harvard athlete-scholarship roommate crawls under your covers thinking he's doing you a favor to hug warmly while stroking your ****...
Last edited by Omicron; Dec 12th, 2012 at 04:04 AM..
 
GreenFish66
#27
Bears, Birds, Beavers...and None of these B's are natural to the Habitat..So the Beaver finds a new comrade..The Dreaded Dragon Panda to breath Fire on the North from the west....The Whole Globe will be heading North ..Will be the new HotSpot.
Last edited by GreenFish66; Dec 12th, 2012 at 03:59 AM..
 
Omicron
+1
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by GreenFish66 View Post

Bears, Birds, Beavers...and None of these B's are natural to the Habitat..So the Beaver finds a new comrade..The Dreaded Dragon Panda to breath Fire on the North from the west....The Whole Globe will be heading North ..Will be the new HotSpot.

Right... which means you're going to be a fantastic real-estate sales-person selling stuff north of Fort Smith to people in California.

http://tunes.digitalock.com/Will.I.Am-AlexOnTheSpot.mp3
 
GreenFish66
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by Omicron View Post

Right... which means you're going to be a fantastic real-estate sales-person selling stuff north of Fort Smith to people in California.

lol...Yeah ...If they make it through... "The Big1"...They had better start buyin' now..
 
Omicron
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by GreenFish66 View Post

lol...Yeah ...If they make it through... "The Big1"...They had better start buyin' now..

What's the Big1? Canadian Immigration Service?
 

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