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ALBEDO YACHTS AND ALGAE BLOOMS: CURES FOR THE EARTH’S MAN-MADE FEVER?

Posted by Alison Hawkes on September 9, 2009
Category : The man made climate

by Erica Rex

Question: since we’re the ones responsible for breaking the climate, shouldn’t we be the ones to fix it?

This is exactly the question posed by climate scientists at the The Royal Society, a hallowed UK institution whose past members include such luminaries as Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. Last week, the society issued a study called “Geoengineering the Climate: science, governance and uncertainty.” The study points out that it is likely the Earth will warm two degrees this century, unless global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced to 50% of 1990 levels by 2050. A carbon-reducing diet of this magnitude would put us around the 175 parts per million (ppm) range. Today’s levels are around 388 ppm. The absolute peak – the concentration at which global warming will become irreversible, even if we stop emitting greenhouse gases altogether – is 450 ppm.

Geoengineering, the manipulation of planetary climate to counteract anthropogenic climate change, could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and curtail global warming.
Geoengineering methods can be divided into two main categories:

• removing carbon from the atmosphere

• managing the amount of sunlight that reaches the Earth’s surface.

The first option is safer, slower and far more costly. In this model, organic systems, such as forests and blue-green algae, would be harnessed into doing what they already do: pulling carbon from the atmosphere and producing oxygen.

The second option, solar radiation management, involves reducing the amount of solar radiation entering the Earth’s atmosphere through the use of various kinds of reflective surfaces. Proposals include pumping sulfate and other aerosols into the atmosphere. Other ideas include deploying crewless ships to spray salt water into the sky, thereby creating a dense cloud cover which would reflect more sunlight. And then there are suggestions like using mirrors in deserts to increase Earth’s surface albedo (reflectivity), or painting every roof on the planet white.

There are drastic consequences to both methods. But we’ve created a dire situation. The climate that has fostered us for 10,000 years and enabled us to become the master species is on the verge of collapse.

Don’t desperate times call for desperate measures?

update:
One scientist comments that 450 ppm is not “some magic number.” It was the number chosen years ago to provide a basis for stabilization experiments. Temperatures associated 450 ppm are not certain: they could be less than 2 degrees, but might be as high as 4.

2 Responses to “ALBEDO YACHTS AND ALGAE BLOOMS: CURES FOR THE EARTH’S MAN-MADE FEVER?”

  1. ANANDKASHYAP80 Says:

    according to me each & every human on the earth should controll his need & greed , then only we can save the earth. Following are the examples:-
    1. If every person purchases cloaths as per need i.e. 4 or 5 pair per year ,not 10 or 20 pairs, than demand of manufacturing will decreese. And if all the people just buy 1 hand made khadi cloth per year than it will increase employment & decrease pollution.
    2. If every person prefer to walk and avoid using cars etc. for short distances for 1 to 2 kilometers, it will save fuel , increase health & decrease pollution.

    If all the people , each & every person do a little bit ( like using solar energy, using things as per need only not greed) then saving earth from greenhouse effect is not a big issue.

  2. Astrobiologist20 Says:

    I m totally satisfied with my good friend.we are definitely going towards Destruction.Our govt. must execute hard laws for the climate issue and all NGOs must be possive for the climate concerns.
    Green house gases consumption can be lowered but not to large extent because here comes the issue of so called “Development”

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