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posted by janrinok on Thursday September 22, @02:44PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the Cool! dept.

Refreezing poles feasible and cheap, new study finds:

The poles are warming several times faster than the global average, causing record smashing heatwaves that were reported earlier this year in both the Arctic and Antarctic. Melting ice and collapsing glaciers at high latitudes would accelerate sea level rise around the planet. Fortunately, refreezing the poles by reducing incoming sunlight would be both feasible and remarkably cheap, according to new research published today in IOP Publishing's Environmental Research Communications.

Scientists laid out a possible future program whereby high-flying jets would spray microscopic aerosol particles into the atmosphere at latitudes of 60 degrees north and south – roughly Anchorage and the southern tip of Patagonia. If injected at a height of 43,000 feet (above airliner cruising altitudes), these aerosols would slowly drift poleward, slightly shading the surface beneath. "There is widespread and sensible trepidation about deploying aerosols to cool the planet," notes lead author Wake Smith, "but if the risk/benefit equation were to pay off anywhere, it would be at the poles".

[...] Pre-existing military air-to-air refuelling tankers such as the aged KC-135 and the A330 MMRT don't have enough payload at the required altitudes, whereas newly designed high-altitude tankers would prove much more efficient. A fleet of roughly 125 such tankers could loft a payload sufficient to cool the regions poleward of 60°N/S by 2°C per year, which would return them close to their pre-industrial average temperatures. Costs are estimated at $11 billion annually – less than one-third the cost of cooling the entire planet by the same 2°C magnitude and a tiny fraction of the cost of reaching net zero emissions.

"Game changing though this could be in a rapidly warming world, stratospheric aerosol injections merely treat a symptom of climate change but not the underlying disease. It's aspirin, not penicillin. It's not a substitute for decarbonization," says Smith.

Journal Reference:
Wake Smith, Umang Bhattarai, Douglas G MacMartin, et al. A subpolar-focused stratospheric aerosol injection deployment scenario [open] 2022 Environ. Res. Commun. 4 095009. DOI: 10.1088/2515-7620/ac8cd3


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  • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 22, @02:48PM (13 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 22, @02:48PM (#1272990)

    That the normal climate is glaciers over much of North America and Europe. We might not want to "restore" the climate to "normal" conditions.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by RamiK on Thursday September 22, @04:27PM (2 children)

      by RamiK (1813) on Thursday September 22, @04:27PM (#1273013)

      The ideal arable-lands relocation plan, even within existing national borders, already calls for abandoning much of north America and Europe: https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2022/04/scientists-develop-a-reimagined-world-map-of-agriculture/ [harvard.edu]

      Incidentally, take a quick look at Ukraine and Russia if you've yet to realize what that war is about.

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      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bradley13 on Thursday September 22, @08:17PM (1 child)

        by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 22, @08:17PM (#1273050) Homepage Journal

        Sorry, but that's a terrible article. They claim, for example, that their plan will reduce irrigation needs by 100%. No irrigation needed, anywhere? Doesn't pass the sniff test.

        Looking at the map, they appear to *reduce* the total area used for agriculture, and by a lot. Basically nothing left anywhere in Ukraine or Russia? Anywhere on all those lovely plains? Again, doesn't pass the sniff test.

        Then there are just dumb errors. One of the benefits of their plan is that it will reduce biodiversity by 87%? Clearly, they mean it will reduce *impacts* on biodiversity, but that is not what they say.

        Finally, the premise that a warmer climate reduces crop yields is wrong. Individual crops may move, yes, but in temperate areas warmth gives you a longer growing season. Also, the higher CO2 levels have already been shown to have increased crop yields. If we could drop CO2 to pre-industrial levels, we would need a lot more land in production.

        --
        Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
        • (Score: 3, Informative) by RamiK on Friday September 23, @02:50AM

          by RamiK (1813) on Friday September 23, @02:50AM (#1273078)

          Sorry, but that's a terrible article.

          It's a uni press coverage of a study so misquotes and hyperbole are a given when the paper is only a click away: https://www.nature.com/articles/s43247-022-00360-6 [nature.com]

          No irrigation needed, anywhere? Doesn't pass the sniff test.

          The paper didn't say that:

          The vast majority of production, corresponding to 99.4% of global croplands, could be nationally relocated so that rainfall provides sufficient water supply; however, some countries produce crops for which natural agro-ecological conditions within their borders are not suitable, and thus some irrigation or greenhouse cultivation remains needed to maintain the current national production levels of each crop (see the “Methods” section).

          ( https://www.nature.com/articles/s43247-022-00360-6 [nature.com] )

          Basically nothing left anywhere in Ukraine or Russia? Anywhere on all those lovely plains? Again, doesn't pass the sniff test.

          You're confusing the before and after maps. Otherwise, I can't explain why you'd miss how they literally covered Ukraine and Moscow with dense crop lands.

          One of the benefits of their plan is that it will reduce biodiversity by 87%?

          Again, from the paper:

          The trade-off between reducing carbon versus biodiversity impacts is very small, as shown by the high convexity of the lines representing sets of simultaneously achievable carbon and biodiversity impact reductions in Fig. 3. Optimising the distribution of croplands for each of the two impact measures independently allows for reduction potentials of up to 73% and 94%, respectively, in the case of a transnational relocation of areas, and up to 61% and 81%, respectively, in the case of national relocation, assuming high-input management on new croplands (Fig. 3a, b, end points of dark blue lines).

          ( https://www.nature.com/articles/s43247-022-00360-6 [nature.com] )

          the premise that a warmer climate reduces crop yields is wrong.

          And again, the paper makes no such premises. In fact, it reference (no.74) to a study discussing irrigation and rainfall in warmer climates with regards to climate change: https://www.pnas.org/doi/abs/10.1073/pnas.2017796117 [pnas.org]

          TL;DR, It's a given articles skimp on the details so read the essay if you're going to make issues with particular statements.

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    • (Score: 2) by looorg on Thursday September 22, @05:05PM (6 children)

      by looorg (578) on Thursday September 22, @05:05PM (#1273022)

      Speak for yourself. Bring back the cold and the snow! I hate the damn 35C summers that we are getting now. They are unbearable. That said it's not to many decades ago all the climate scientists was on about how there was a new (mini-) ice age coming. I personally can't wait for that. But I guess I'll have my flying cars and robobutlers before that happens.

      • (Score: 2) by RedGreen on Thursday September 22, @07:29PM (5 children)

        by RedGreen (888) on Thursday September 22, @07:29PM (#1273043)

        "That said it's not to many decades ago all the climate scientists was on about how there was a new (mini-) ice age coming."

        Indeed this was what we were taught when I went to high school a mere four decades ago, we have to prepare for the next ice age. In the time since then I have personally witnessed the change in the climate, winters are warmer without much snow, the summers hotter the spring and fall last longer. Fun times are ahead these lying sacks of shit that tell us we need to make these changes to avoid the worst of it, know we are already past the point of no return and nothing we do is going to stop the coming disaster. Not that I care much I will be long dead by then....

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        "I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday September 22, @11:25PM (2 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 22, @11:25PM (#1273063) Journal

          Fun times are ahead these lying sacks of shit that tell us we need to make these changes to avoid the worst of it, know we are already past the point of no return and nothing we do is going to stop the coming disaster.

          And that disaster would be?

          • (Score: 2) by RedGreen on Friday September 23, @12:20AM (1 child)

            by RedGreen (888) on Friday September 23, @12:20AM (#1273070)

            "And that disaster would be?"

            50C heat on a regular basis, no water or food as the droughts dry up aquifers, massive storms fun things like this. As I said I do not particularly care I will be long dead by then, too bad for the people left fighting over the ever dwindling resources. The earth well those same fools who somehow go on like it will be the end of it, it will continue on doing as it has for billions of years adapting to the changes, we will just be a blip on the scale of things as it creates even more life after we have had our rein terminated.

            --
            "I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday September 23, @01:52AM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 23, @01:52AM (#1273075) Journal
              Obviously, I was going somewhere with that original question.

              50C heat on a regular basis, no water or food as the droughts dry up aquifers, massive storms fun things like this.

              Sounds scary, but what's going to cause that everywhere? Global warming isn't close. We get a lot of doomsday scenarios, but not a lot of things to cause those scenarios.

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 23, @12:43PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 23, @12:43PM (#1273149)

          The concern about "the coming ice age" was all of the aerosols that we were pumping into the atmosphere resulting in the same effect that they're going for here. But global laws were passed to dramatically cut aerosols and CFCs, and other general and important environmental acts were passed (the Clean Air Act being one), that we've now changed the balance in the other direction. Back in the early 70s it was very well known the implications of the greenhouse effect and cooling from aerosols. We've tipped the balance to get cleaner air to breathe and to not harm the ozone layer, so now we have an unchecked mechanism for warming that we need to address.

          It really surprises me why people have such a hard time understanding this and say "THEY said the Earth was in danger of cooling. What idiots!" If you are filling a bucket with water and someone says, "hey, if you don't do something, that bucket is going to overflow" and then someone turns down your water flow, why would you come back later and say "you're such an alarmist, you were crying about how my bucket will overflow and it didn't, you idiot!"? We had a problem, we made a change, and now we have other problems.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 26, @02:56AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 26, @02:56AM (#1273677)

            So you're saying those idiots "rolling coal" are fighting global warming?

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday September 22, @05:33PM (2 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 22, @05:33PM (#1273030) Journal
      Another normal condition is an ice-free Earth.
      • (Score: 1, Redundant) by JoeMerchant on Thursday September 22, @07:03PM (1 child)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 22, @07:03PM (#1273041)

        And yet another normal condition is a snowball earth, your point?

        --
        Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
        • (Score: 0, Redundant) by khallow on Friday September 23, @12:17AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 23, @12:17AM (#1273068) Journal

          And yet another normal condition is a snowball earth, your point?

          Present day is not any of those stable climates. What foresight does it take to attempt to stabilize climate at a state that isn't stable in the long term?

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 22, @03:02PM (16 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 22, @03:02PM (#1272994)

    Storms are driven by heat differentials. With the poles warming faster than the tropics, this has been one of the quietest hurricane seasons on record. Since their predictions of bad weather aren't coming true, they have come up with this idea to increase storms so we can go back to chanting "climate change bad".

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by RamiK on Thursday September 22, @03:46PM (15 children)

      by RamiK (1813) on Thursday September 22, @03:46PM (#1273005)

      this has been one of the quietest hurricane seasons on record

      Depends on how far your records go:

      The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season may seem quiet, so far, but there have been other entire seasons that have been even less active.

      ( https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/2022-09-13-most-quiet-atlantic-hurricane-seasons [weather.com] )

      Anyhow, don't confuse weather vs. climate and meteorology vs. climatology. In many ways, one of the core predictions of climatologists regarding climate change is that the weather will become less and less predictable. So, in that regard, when meteorologists' weather forecasts get worse, the climatologists are proven right.

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      • (Score: 0, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 22, @04:00PM (8 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 22, @04:00PM (#1273008)

        Wow, that's genius. "I predict that my future predictions will be wrong." Either my prediction is right or my predictions are right.

        • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Thursday September 22, @05:24PM (7 children)

          by RamiK (1813) on Thursday September 22, @05:24PM (#1273026)

          You're confusing different meteorology and climatology models again... To cut a long story short, meteorology has various models that work on average. e.g. NOAA says "a seven-day forecast can accurately predict the weather about 80 percent of the time" ( https://scijinks.gov/forecast-reliability/ [scijinks.gov] ). Similarly, climatology models generally work on average with good rates. Unfortunately, much like how self-driving cars work, it's not their success you hear about but their failures.

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          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday September 23, @12:38AM (6 children)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 23, @12:38AM (#1273072) Journal

            To cut a long story short, meteorology has various models that work on average. e.g. NOAA says "a seven-day forecast can accurately predict the weather about 80 percent of the time". Similarly, climatology models generally work on average with good rates.

            Two questions: what is the equivalent climate model period to a "seven day forecast"? And how old are these climate models again?

            • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Friday September 23, @02:11AM (5 children)

              by RamiK (1813) on Friday September 23, @02:11AM (#1273076)

              what is the equivalent climate model period

              There's plenty of as-likely models and prediction in climatology. Your best source for figuring which models have what confidence and likelihood levels at which prediction and at what time frame as someone not practicing in the fields is summaries and reports targeting actuaries like this one: https://www.actuaries.org/IAA/Documents/Publications/Papers/Climate_Science_Summary_Actuaries.pdf [actuaries.org]
              e.g. page 15 talks about marine heatwaves and page 17 talks and links to different climate models and projections with the difference statements notated for confidence levels.

              More importantly, what should draw your attention is the multi-page table starting around page 36-37 with its hundreds of data points, metrics and predictions, all notated for confidence and likelihoods levels. That should clue you on how, unlike meteorology models, climatology models churn on massive data sets and make hundreds of different predictions that average average well enough but have worse error bars when it comes to individual predictions and specific events. Regardless, also all notated for confidence levels.

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              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday September 23, @04:58AM (4 children)

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 23, @04:58AM (#1273098) Journal
                Thank you for providing page numbers. Large climate reports have been thrown at me for around 15 or so years, but no one has bothered to cite page numbers before. However, even so, there's a notable difference between

                NOAA says "a seven-day forecast can accurately predict the weather about 80 percent of the time".

                and such things as

                The table is a summary of confidence for CID changes in each of the Working Group I Sixth Assessment Report reference regions (continental and then subcontinent) across multiple lines of evidence: observed, attributed and projected directional changes. The colours represent their projected aggregate characteristic changes for the mid-21st century, which corresponds to approximately 2°C global warming.

                with the table generating low to high "confidence" in the frequency of selected phenomena (mostly a table of extreme weather and a few other climate related metrics over global regions) increasing or decreasing. What is glaringly missing is the size of the alleged effect - how would you evaluate the potential harm of such, if you merely know that it's increasing or decreasing? And it's only by "mid-21st century". If we take that to be 2050, that's barely the time scale of climatology, a mere 30 years away. It's worth noting even with that minimum duration, the predictions time scale is older than most of the models.

                • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Friday September 23, @11:15PM (3 children)

                  by RamiK (1813) on Friday September 23, @11:15PM (#1273278)

                  What is glaringly missing is the size of the alleged effect - how would you evaluate the potential harm of such, if you merely know that it's increasing or decreasing?

                  Thing is, assessing harm, risk and potential liabilities is for actuaries, not climatologist. That is, a climatologist can tell you the sea level would rise and break it down to how high and to which shores with this or that error bars... But it's up to the actuaries and engineers to say how much it's going to cost to deal with it.

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                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday September 24, @01:44AM (2 children)

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 24, @01:44AM (#1273303) Journal

                    Thing is, assessing harm, risk and potential liabilities is for actuaries, not climatologist.

                    What's the title of that again?

                    Climate Science: A Summary for Actuaries

                    So if the summary in question doesn't assess harm, risk, and potential liabilities, then it's not for actuaries, right?

                    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by RamiK on Saturday September 24, @12:04PM (1 child)

                      by RamiK (1813) on Saturday September 24, @12:04PM (#1273360)

                      What's the title of that again?...So if the summary in question doesn't assess harm, risk, and potential liabilities, then it's not for actuaries, right?

                      "Climate Science: A Summary for Actuaries". As in, you've crossed the inputs and outputs: The report feeds actuaries with the climatology "assessments" so they'll do their "assessing" of harm, risk, and potential liabilities.

                      Anyhow, actuary isn't my cup of tea but some googling seems to suggest you'll want the reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the U.S. National Climate Assessments: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg3/ [www.ipcc.ch] https://www.globalchange.gov/nca4 [globalchange.gov] (old) https://www.globalchange.gov/nca5 [globalchange.gov] (wip)

                      Example for the kind of stuff their "for policymakers" reports have to say is:

                      Mitigation options costing USD100 tCO2-eq–1 or less could reduce global GHG emissions by at least half the 2019 level by 2030 (high confidence).

                      Estimates of aggregate economic benefits from avoiding damages from climate change, and from reduced adaptation costs, increase with the stringency of mitigation (high confidence). Models that incorporate the economic damages from climate change find that the global cost of limiting warming to 2°C over the 21st century is lower than the global economic benefits of reducing warming, unless: (i) climate damages are towards the low end of the range; or, (ii) future damages are discounted at high rates (medium confidence).68 Modelled pathways with a peak in global emissions between now and 2025 at the latest, compared to modelled pathways with a later peak in global emissions, entail more rapid near-term transitions and higher up-front investments, but bring long-term gains for the economy, as well as earlier benefits of avoided climate change impacts (high confidence). The precise magnitude of these gains and benefits is difficult to quantify. {1.7, 3.6, Cross-Working Group Box 1 in Chapter 3, Box TS.7; AR6 WGII SPM B.4}

                      ( https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg3/downloads/report/IPCC_AR6_WGIII_SPM.pdf [www.ipcc.ch] page 41 )

                      The full report ( https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg3/downloads/report/IPCC_AR6_WGIII_Full_Report.pdf [www.ipcc.ch] ) explains the confidence levels by going into the actuary, meteorology and climatology models they used and how the stats were broken down. It also includes links to the papers that deal with validation of past predictions and such.

                      Regardless, we're now tripling down on confusing meteorology, climatology and actuary so I really don't see much relevance to it all. That is, my point was that climatology models have plenty of high-confidence predictions and I've linked to many of those. I've also shown the "sub-fields" of meteorology and actuary that build and extend off climatology predictions similarly have their own high-confidence predictions and I've linked to those too. It's true some predictions aren't as useful or accurate as we'd like. But the relevant ones when it comes to climate change related policy making are well within the necessary confidence levels to merit the relevant policies. So, I really can't see how sticking my head out the window and saying "today seems fine to me" can challenge the accumulated efforts of tens of thousands of scientists and statisticians and the policy changes they're pushing.

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                      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday September 24, @12:25PM

                        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 24, @12:25PM (#1273366) Journal
                        In other words, no hard numbers. But that's just to be expected from untested models and people who aren't keen on actually quantifying their predictions of doom.

                        "Climate Science: A Summary for Actuaries". As in, you've crossed the inputs and outputs: The report feeds actuaries with the climatology "assessments" so they'll do their "assessing" of harm, risk, and potential liabilities.

                        They can easily afford some actuaries. They're producing junk here. We're not even getting order of magnitude effect.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 22, @04:05PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 22, @04:05PM (#1273009)

        Anyhow, don't confuse weather vs. climate and meteorology vs. climatology.

        Then what would be used to maintain the political smokescreen to protect the wealthy class? You mean bringing a snowball to the floor of the Senate DOESN'T refute global warming???

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 22, @04:22PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 22, @04:22PM (#1273012)

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accumulated_cyclone_energy [wikipedia.org]

        Summing ACE over the season is the best way to quantify storm activity. Currently 2022 is about 20% of the average for this time of year.
        (Average is calculated since mid 60's when satellites made record keeping feasible.)

        • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Thursday September 22, @06:23PM (1 child)

          by RamiK (1813) on Thursday September 22, @06:23PM (#1273035)

          Summing ACE over the season is the best way to quantify storm activity.

          No. It's the best way to quantify energy used by a (single) tropical cyclone during its lifetime. The seasonal comparative use is as odd as trying to compare two CPUs by only looking at any one benchmark. e.g. Consider `95 vs. `05:

          ╔═════════╦══════════╦═════╦═════╦═════╦══════════════════╗
          ║ Season ║ ACE ║ TS ║ HU ║ MH ║ Classification ║
          ╠═════════╬══════════╬═════╬═════╬═════╬══════════════════╣
          ║ 2005 ║ 250.1275 ║ 28 ║ 15 ║ 7 ║ Extremely active ║
          ╠═════════╬══════════╬═════╬═════╬═════╬══════════════════╣
          ║ 1995 ║ 227.1025 ║ 19 ║ 11 ║ 5 ║ Extremely active ║
          ╚═════════╩══════════╩═════╩═════╩═════╩══════════════════╝

          10% more ACE but 50% more events without saying anything about peak events.

          Regardless, NOAA's predictions were 92% accurate last 10 years so it's about time for them to curve back to normal.

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          • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Thursday September 22, @06:27PM

            by RamiK (1813) on Thursday September 22, @06:27PM (#1273037)

            better tag:

            ╔═════════╦══════════╦═════╦═════╦═════╦══════════════════╗
            ║ Season  ║   ACE    ║ TS  ║ HU  ║ MH  ║  Classification  ║
            ╠═════════╬══════════╬═════╬═════╬═════╬══════════════════╣
            ║ 2005    ║ 250.1275 ║ 28  ║ 15  ║ 7   ║ Extremely active ║
            ╠═════════╬══════════╬═════╬═════╬═════╬══════════════════╣
            ║ 1995    ║ 227.1025 ║ 19  ║ 11  ║ 5   ║ Extremely active ║
            ╚═════════╩══════════╩═════╩═════╩═════╩══════════════════╝

            ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accumulated_cyclone_energy [wikipedia.org] )

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        • (Score: 2) by Ingar on Thursday September 22, @07:55PM (1 child)

          by Ingar (801) on Thursday September 22, @07:55PM (#1273045) Homepage

          Summing ACE over the season is the best way to quantify storm activity. Currently 2022 is about 20% of the average for this time of year.

          At the expense of a searing hot summer.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 23, @05:12AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 23, @05:12AM (#1273101)

            I didn't say it was a good thing. Hurricanes in the Atlantic also drive rainfall in Europe. The quiet season is probably at least partly to blame for their current drought.

  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday September 22, @03:16PM (5 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 22, @03:16PM (#1272998)

    >newly designed high-altitude tankers

    Because, the basic idea has been kicking around since high altitude jets, and we already shade the surface a significant amount with condensation trails... what aerosols would they propose using? Mostly water vapor would seem to be generally recognized as safe for the fallout zone and you can always back off the program when polar cooling in the summer months is shown to triple large hurricane development frequency. Of course, other "more efficient" chemicals will be proposed, and studied...

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    • (Score: 2) by aafcac on Friday September 23, @05:44PM (4 children)

      by aafcac (17646) on Friday September 23, @05:44PM (#1273223)

      It's also worth recognizing that water won't work if we haven't got the emissions under control, and even specialized chemicals might not be enough either. This is a bit like trying to regenerate the Ozone layer with tesla coil equipped planes, it does generate some ozone, but would never have replaced solving the underlying problem. Thankfully, the hole seems to be healing on it's own.

      Similarly, if we get to even slight net negative on the emissions, something like this would probably be a massive help. Water would work just fine, the main reason it took so long for the ice to build up is that so little moisture is in the air to begin with. But, it is worth recognizing just how much snow there is up there, and how heavy it is. The fortunate thing is that you just need enough to make up for the melting until the surface returns to white more or less year round. At that point, it's just about how quickly you want the ice packs to rebuild, but really, doing so appreciably would be virtually impossible, but you wouldn't necessarily need to fly it in either, it could probably be moved in on land through a handful of routes and allowed to just sit and gradually break down as the arctic does have periods where the temperature does rise a bit. This is especially true if there isn't yet a massive amount of ice to retain the freezing temperature. Coloring those ice blocks darker would allow for it to melt on it's own, if that's an actual issue.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday September 23, @06:53PM (3 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 23, @06:53PM (#1273236)

        Funny thought: does sea-salt dry white in Antarctica?

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        • (Score: 2) by aafcac on Saturday September 24, @02:30AM (2 children)

          by aafcac (17646) on Saturday September 24, @02:30AM (#1273309)

          Presumably, but it's probably more expensive and a bigger pain to work with than things like carbon dust.

          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Saturday September 24, @12:33PM (1 child)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 24, @12:33PM (#1273368)

            Just use the tankers to spread sea water, the low humidity in mid-Antarctica will do the rest.

            --
            Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 26, @03:05AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 26, @03:05AM (#1273678)

              Where are you suggesting this for? If it's far enough north to affect the poles white salt isn't going to be any more reflective than snow. If you mean high altitude to make aerosols, I think salt is hygroscopic enough that it won't dry out completely and will fall out too quickly to be useful.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by richtopia on Thursday September 22, @03:21PM (4 children)

    by richtopia (3160) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 22, @03:21PM (#1273000) Homepage Journal

    I had to go past the linked article to the actual PDF to find a description of the specific material to be deployed

    Deployed material: (Lee et al 2021) assumes injections of SO2, which will oxidize into H2SO 4 (the sulfur species
    that is effective for radiative forcing) and coagulate into liquid super cooled aerosols after a month in the
    stratosphere. While recent studies have explored the direct injection of accumulation mode-H 2SO4 as an
    alternative to SO2 (Vattioni et al 2019, Weisenstein et al 2021), neither the aeronautical tradeoffs associated
    with carrying this heavier substance nor the mechanics of venting it at the optimal particle size have been
    convincingly explored. Therefore, despite the prospective advantages of deploying other species of sulfur, we
    have retained the selection of SO 2 as made in (Lee et al 2021)

    Looking at Sulfur Dioxide's Wikipedia article, it is a major component of volcanic eruptions, so high-altitude deployment is relatively natural. However, you may also recognize it as the cause for acid rain. My quick skim of the article doesn't reveal environmental consequences of polluting the upper atmosphere, but I'm sure the penguins are ready for sulfuric acid snow.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday September 22, @03:35PM (1 child)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 22, @03:35PM (#1273004)

      So, we're proposing acid rain for Antarctica and the North Pole.

      Yes, it's a naturally occurring substance - so is mercury, lead, etc. The question is: how was this naturally occurring substance distributed before we started spreading it around? If we accumulate 50 years of acid snow in Antarctica, how's that going to play with ocean chemistry when civilization finally does collapse, the flights stop and all the acid snow melts at-once?

      If they can make it work with water vapor, even at 10x the cost, I'm in favor of some trial runs. H2SO4, not so much. Fun question: how much CO2 will these high altitude tankers be releasing on their missions to cool the planet? Also, a little rhyme (doubtless mis-remembered in parts) from our high school chemistry classes: Mr. Sanders (the chem teacher) is a happy man, happiest man on the floor. Mr. Sanders will be a happy man no more when we switch his H2O with H2SO4.

      --
      Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
      • (Score: 0, Troll) by khallow on Saturday September 24, @12:21PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 24, @12:21PM (#1273365) Journal

        Yes, it's a naturally occurring substance - so is mercury, lead, etc. The question is: how was this naturally occurring substance distributed before we started spreading it around? If we accumulate 50 years of acid snow in Antarctica, how's that going to play with ocean chemistry when civilization finally does collapse, the flights stop and all the acid snow melts at-once?

        It'll be insignificant compared both to 50-100 meters of sea water (highly diluted), and the ending of human air pollution.

        Fun question: how much CO2 will these high altitude tankers be releasing on their missions to cool the planet?

        Almost nothing compared to the entirety of human civilization. You have any more pointless questions to ask?

    • (Score: 2) by gnuman on Friday September 23, @11:41AM (1 child)

      by gnuman (5013) on Friday September 23, @11:41AM (#1273142)

      Acid rain was caused by sulfur in the *lower atmosphere*, not *upper atmosphere*. Also, the question is in the amounts.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid_rain#Emissions_of_chemicals_leading_to_acidification [wikipedia.org]

      70 Tg(S) per year in the form of SO2 comes from fossil fuel combustion and industry, 2.8 Tg(S) from wildfires, and 7–8 Tg(S) per year from volcanoes.

      So, here we see they use some weird units of Tera-grams or 10e12 grams which you can convert to 100 millions of tonnes. I repeat, 100 millions of tonnes.

      Here, they want to use some 100 tankers which probably each one taking up a few hundred tons. So, we are in the ballpark of maybe 50,000 tonnes. Now, comparing 100 millions of tonnes vs. 50k tonnes, we are looking at 0.05% injection of current emissions. Current emissions are already a fraction of what happened previously.

      So no, not an acid problem in itself. Mostly a rounding problem when you look at actual sulfur emissions.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 26, @03:08AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 26, @03:08AM (#1273681)

        A teragram is one million tonnes, not 100 million.

  • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by Tokolosh on Thursday September 22, @03:55PM

    by Tokolosh (585) on Thursday September 22, @03:55PM (#1273007)

    Hunting wild animals and eating wild fruit, nuts and grains is penicillin. Domesticating animals and plants, herding and agriculture is aspirin. Should we go back to being hunter-gatherers because farming is only treating the hunger symptom while not addressing the shortage of naturally-available food?

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by oumuamua on Thursday September 22, @04:29PM (1 child)

    by oumuamua (8401) on Thursday September 22, @04:29PM (#1273014)

    This proposal provides world-wide benefits to ALL countries.
    So who pays for it and in what proportion?
    The two biggest greenhouse gas emitters are no longer friendly to each other - kiss this proposal goodbye.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by SomeRandomGeek on Thursday September 22, @08:02PM

      by SomeRandomGeek (856) on Thursday September 22, @08:02PM (#1273048)

      $11 Billion is 0.2% of the US federal budget. If you could convince US citizens that this was a good idea at all, I'm sure the US government would pay for it. Sure, they'd try to get others to chip in, but they'd pay whatever shortfall. If you could convince US citizens this was a good idea at all.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Thexalon on Thursday September 22, @04:49PM (3 children)

    by Thexalon (636) on Thursday September 22, @04:49PM (#1273017)

    There have been a bunch of proposals that amount to "blot out the sun to deal with global warming". I do find it interesting how that's less unthinkable than engineering for better energy efficiency and investing in renewable energy.

    But I do think something like this will happen eventually: We need to save the rich people's summer beach houses without jeopardizing their investments in BP and Shell, and this fits the bill.

    --
    Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday September 22, @05:30PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 22, @05:30PM (#1273028)

      BP and Shell still have plenty of money they can extract from the ground, first rule of being wealthy: "Don't let ANYONE or ANYTHING stop the gravy train."

      --
      Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 22, @06:28PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 22, @06:28PM (#1273038)

      The problem is that natural variation is getting to be too much for us to deal with. Add in human climate change and things get worse. Eventually we need to either learn to live with it, or actually take control. Orbital reflectors used as sunshades for cooling, or to direct light and heat to specific areas to grow crops in winter.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday September 24, @12:08PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 24, @12:08PM (#1273361) Journal

      We need to save the rich people's summer beach houses without jeopardizing their investments in BP and Shell, and this fits the bill.

      Elevating billions of people out of poverty never sounded so seedy. That's the stark fact people have ignored for half a century. The fossil fuel economy remains a very good way for poor societies to improve their economies and the lot of their people.

      It always struck me that the politics of envy were worse than the politics of greed. Even greedy people can be a net benefit for society. Envious people always have to take someone down. And here, there's a lot of victims to go down with those BPs and Shells.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by srobert on Thursday September 22, @07:58PM (1 child)

    by srobert (4803) on Thursday September 22, @07:58PM (#1273047)

    "stratospheric aerosol injections merely treat a symptom of climate change but not the underlying disease."

    The underlying disease being an infection of a deadly organism known as Homo Sapiens.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday September 24, @12:10PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 24, @12:10PM (#1273362) Journal

      The underlying disease being an infection of a deadly organism known as Homo Sapiens.

      Which, let us note, is probably the most interesting thing to have ever happened to Earth since the creation of life in the first place.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by istartedi on Thursday September 22, @11:36PM

    by istartedi (123) on Thursday September 22, @11:36PM (#1273064) Journal

    I felt a strange disturbance in The Force, as if a million chemtrail conspiracy theorists cried out, "See, we told you so!".

  • (Score: 2) by ElizabethGreene on Friday September 23, @03:46PM (2 children)

    by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Friday September 23, @03:46PM (#1273200)

    Is this something that could be undone in a short timespan if it has unexpected impact?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 24, @04:25AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 24, @04:25AM (#1273324)

      No.
      You spray SO2 in the stratosphere and there's no way to unspray it. You have to wait for it to fall out on it's own.
      That said, volcanoes occasionally send stuff that high so we probably have or can make pretty good models on what it will do and how long it will stay.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday September 24, @12:12PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 24, @12:12PM (#1273363) Journal

        You spray SO2 in the stratosphere and there's no way to unspray it. You have to wait for it to fall out on it's own.

        That's the way you unspray it. And I think it's short term enough to be relevant.

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