It's impossible to predict the exact speed and severity with which climate change will unfold, but one thing is clear: if we take no preventive action, eventually we'll be tempted to take desperate action. And over the decades, as the effects of climate change grow increasingly severe, the amount of risk humankind is willing to bear will increase.
In the next decade, as Dust Bowl–like conditions afflict the American West and it becomes ever more difficult to dismiss the drought as a temporary glitch, low-risk methods for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere will start to look attractive. The most benign scheme would be to plant more trees. In 1976, physicist Freeman Dyson proposed planting a tree farm the size of Australia to offset the fossil-fuel emissions of the day. By 2009, NASA climate modelers and biologist Leonard Ornstein estimated that both the Australian outback and the Sahara would have to be transformed into forest to remove meaningful quantities of carbon dioxide. They proposed irrigating both deserts with desalinated seawater and planting them with eucalyptus forests, which could remove as much as 12 billion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere every year—about a third of the total global emissions in 2010. Nuclear power plants could generate carbon-free electricity for the network of reverse-osmosis desalination plants. This world-historical landscaping project would carry risks. An afforested Sahara could provide a breeding ground for swarms of crop-destroying locusts and flocks of disease-carrying birds. Because Saharan dust may help suppress Atlantic cyclone formation, the scheme could strengthen hurricanes. The biggest problem, however, may be the $1-trillion-plus annual cost.
A cheaper method would be ocean fertilization—dumping iron dust into the sea to stimulate the growth of CO2-breathing phytoplankton. Over the past two decades, scientists have conducted more than a dozen small-scale trials to confirm that iron seeding does indeed stimulate the growth of phytoplankton. Yet ocean fertilization could devastate aquatic life; iron seeding could unintentionally stimulate the growth of algal varieties that are toxic to fish, or create oxygen-depleted dead zones. And it might not even remove all that much CO2. Researchers with Britain's Royal Society estimated that even a massive global ocean-fertilization program might reduce atmospheric carbon concentrations by only 10 parts per million, which would have no impact on global temperatures.
As astrophysicist Dr. Abdussamatov, head of the Russian segment of the International Space Station, discusses, there is reason to suspect potentially onset of "the 19th Little Ice Age in the past 7500 years in 2055 [A.D.] ± 11 [years]":
Don't expect CO2 variation to stop that if it gets started.
In the Modern Warm Period, like prior ones in the Holocene, where the most temperature change has occurred is in the arctic since lower latitudes have had much less.* As the following nasa.gov graph shows (copy and paste link into a browser tab), temperatures were as high in the arctic in the 1930s as in the late 20th century:
* For instance, in the following for MSU satellite data by zone for 1979->2012, the tropics from 20N to 20S had not more than 0.1 to 0.2 degrees Celsius at most of meaningful temperature rise (unlike how a 5-year average of arctic temperature went up by 0.7 degrees 1979->2000):
Also see CO2 versus temperature in the following for the past 200-11000 years, different from the ice age graphs people are used to seeing because it is not so zoomed out to million-year scale (which means the lag time of centuries for oceans thousands of meters deep to warm to their depths, for warming to cause CO2 increase afterwards, is not a mere pixel or overlapping line on a graph):
The above is for official NOAA data, at:
The best bet in event of a 19th LIA starting in the middle of this century would be high-yield greenhouses, reducing land area needed for farming. Based on http://settlement.arc.nasa.gov/75SummerStudy/5appendC.html adjusted for not 24 hour sunlight, around a factor of 20 times yield increase per unit area per year could be obtained over conventional outdoor agriculture, from increase to several seasons per year and also the vast benefits of CO2 increase on plant growth (discussed at http://www.co2science.org/data/plant_growth/plantgrowth.php ). That and mass-produce, say, nuclear thorium reactors for power and heat to them if getting motivated, fuel not a problem:
There is around 120 trillion tons of thorium in Earth's crust. "Even common granite rock with 13 ppm thorium concentration (just twice the crustal average, along with 4 ppm uranium) contains potential nuclear energy equivalent to 50 times the entire rock's mass in coal, although there is no incentive to resort to such very low-grade deposits as long as much higher-grade deposits remain available and cheaper to extract."
Space solar reflectors are possible if without the amazing poor concept design of that one guy (perhaps deliberate in an ideologically motivated attempt to discredit a form of geoengineering?), e.g. rather a small percent of the DoD budget for a moderate number of years to build even just one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StarTram installation for 1.5 million tons a decade electromagnetic launch capability (bonus military applications for orbital weaponry deployment too), then needing on the order of one to several million tons of aluminimized plastic for giant films like solar sails of micron-level thinness. Still, probably not even another LIA would lead to so bothering with that size of reflectors, although if a LIA turned out to be too much for this 11700-year-old interglacial, then we might get some serious motivation perhaps.
I just noticed the second link in my comment above may not work, with too much URL length for formatting. But this works instead for that:
hard to believe anyone wrote these words, harder to believe they passed edit/proof to be published:
"If humanity holds off even longer, until millions of people are short of food and water"
Yesterday, today, and tomorrow at least a billion humans are short of food and water.
dreams of tin foil hats in space should not blind us to those suffering among us now here
These articles are going to provide some side splitting humor in 10 or 20 years !
Well its deadly serious right now, so why would people laugh in the near future?
Again with more proppseudosci-
Earths weather is controlled by the sun and there is not a damn thing anyone can do about it.
Damon is making a living about posting on man made climate change. You think he wants to give that up.
Never forget, there are those devious, intelligent rich individuals in society, that take joy and waiting for chaos or even causing chaos, so they can charge you premium, for the solution you become desperate for.....
I would much rather we be on the hot side than the cold side. If we screw up or have an unplanned event (some large volcanic eruptions or a large meteor strike) to amplify our efforts, we could find ourselves returning to being a snowball planet. If we're going to be extreme and start the article with the possibility of 115 degrees in March (roughly 50 degrees above normal for many of your readers), then we should look at the other side of that extremism coin: 15 degree highs in March. But realistically I think that's extreme.
Our planet has at points in the past been a snowball for millions of years. And even now, we're living in a historically brief warm period between ice ages. These interglacial periods are often short, 10-15 thousand years, and the last one (about 120,000 years ago) had world temperatures about 6 degrees C higher than now before plummeting about 12 degrees C in a relatively short time frame. Most of our (relatively) recent history for the last several million years has been spent mostly in glacial periods, with brief warm spells. We're in one of those warm spells now, and have been for 12,000 years.
I'm not here arguing for or against manmade global warming. I just think we should be really really careful before we start trying to actively manipulate the climate. We can survive just fine in a warmer environment, it will be more about moving than anything. But if we get cold again as we always do, and then on top of that we've artificially cooled the planet even more, we could end up being a snowball earth again. And nobody will survive if that happens.
There is no alternative to nuclear energy for the world's energy supply.
China led by pragmatic engineers rather than the corrupt attorneys that rule the west recognize this and just yesterday announced a stop to wind and solar builds and are continuing growth exclusively on nuclear and hydro.
The usual canards about nuke safety and waste have long ago been resolved.
Western politicians all bought and paid for by Big Oil, push for the gas or the renewable/gas backup solutions where close to 100% of the energy comes from the filthy deadly GHG spewing gas backup potentially killing hundreds of thousands of folks worldwide annually from air pollution.
New nuclear using factory module production at less than three cents a kwh is far cheaper internationally than even gas and coal fuel cost and would be well into a replacement as it is in Asia if not for those purchases of politicians by Big Oil. In the US what our corrupt media covers up is the fact that $3/mcf domestic gas is only a $2 LNG tanker ride to a $15/mcf international market and is being kept that way with Big Oil's gas dumping. In Aus where nuclear is banned there are enormous LNG projects under way.
Compared to 2 to 3 cent a kwh nukes wind costs more than 30 cents a kwh when 5 times sized transmission plant and gas backup is added Add 55 cents for solar. Add another a buck a kwh for Green storage to replace the gas.
Wind and solar alternatives are simply impossible industrially, politically, and financially.
With a World War II effort, in ten years 10000 mass produced nukes could easily with a fraction of our industrial capacity, with the costs covered at a 40% ROR by replacing fossil fuels, head off the the global warming and peak oil crises.
AECL and Westinghouse are predicting 1 cents a kwh costs and 3 year build times for factory produced nukes. China is now building reactors for $1.5B/Gw and that is dropping fast towards the $1B/Gw predicted.
Repug energy leader Upton has announced he will be eliminating the current absurd 6 years process to get a site permit to add an approved nuke identical to many other operating units to an existing nuke plant or replace a filthy coal plant with an already approved nuke, cutting US nuke costs to Asian levels.
Like FDR with 1930's TVA and Bonneville hydro projects, Obama needs to start a giant public power nuke corporation with a single national license - no lawyers allowed - charged with replacing all the nations coal plants efficiently on budget and on time just like Asian countries are doing.
China is spending spending $100M annually developing the American invented MSR (MSR). The UK is looking at building the blueprinted IFR (GE Prism) for service in 5 years. India's first of 5 to 2020 fast breeder is going into service this year at half the cost of new American designed AP1000's.
Advanced Nuke power gets lip service service only from the Obama adminstration riddled with Big Oil purchased bureaucrats pushing the Big Oil's politically correct and lucrative renewable/gas backup agenda. Here's IFR advocate Stephen Kirsch begging the nuclear obstructionists betraying their country in the White house to let the IFR go.
Green people need to understand that the biggest roadblock ending the imminent threat of a peak oil GHG holocaust is the Green movement's ill conceived, opposition to nuclear power.
Here's greenie superstar George Monbiot giving them a well deserved boot.
"..This year, the environmental movement to which I belong has done more harm to the planet's living systems than climate change deniers have ever achieved. .."
Google "guardian sellafield monbiot"
With as many commercial flights as there are, why couldn't airlines be recruited to help with particulate dispersal? If every commercial airliner was fitted with a device that would disperse light-reflecting particulates, even if they fell out of the atmosphere at some point - 2 to 3 years as stated in the article - given that they could be reapplied on a daily basis might give an edge over that outcome.
The upside of this would be that it would represent a non-permanent solution on the off chance that the sought-after temporary cooling became more permanent.
Feel free not to call me nuts. I already know that! ;)
"Earths weather is controlled by the sun and there is not a damn thing anyone can do about it.
Damon is making a living about posting on man made climate change. You think he wants to give that up."
And despite the fact that scientists forecast a peak in solar activity for 2012 YEARS ago certain nutballs think this is our fault. One year its hot, so they blame global warming; one year its cold, so they still blame global warming. With these kind of people, which ever way the wind blows its blowing that way because of global warming.
The floating city may be 'right on par' with modern physics (which i dont think it is), but you are asking for a significant economic investment from several of the worlds current, or maybe future, nations. It would be a political and economic mess, and by the time we would/ could look past those things it would either be too late, or we would no longer be recognizable as 'human'. From an engineering standpoint, yeah maybe its feasible, but then you also have to contend with the social and political aspects of humanity, not just the technical. I would argue that social and political hurdles are much more difficult than technical.
Besides, Anti-gravity regarding current understanding of particle physics... please give me some valid academic sources that theorize this. I have never heard of anti gravity that works with current standard model, nor more exotic versions of it such as string theory. But im no physicists, so please educate me.
Theoretically possible does not equal practicably possible, as many scientists know...
It will be much easier to go back to basics, live like a caveman. The cheapest way to survive a global warming episode is find a high location 200 feet or more above sea level in the far north or far south area of our planet and dig a hole and wait. Make sure you pack enough can goods, animal skins when the ice age comes and a good rifle with a lot of ammo, to kill your neighbor so he won't take your food. It would be much easier and less expensive to do that than to leave this planet to live somewhere else in our solar system.
You will have a much higher chance of dying in space than you will on an out of control world here on earth. And if things get much worse all you have to do is dynamite your hole in the ground so you will have a decent burial...
WILL THERE BE A LIVABLE EARTH IN 20 YEARS?
There are over 7000 aircraft flying over the US at any given hour, FAA figures, and they are releasing from jet exhausts over 80,000 tons a hour of Co2 in the Jet Stream. Co2 creates oxygen from trees at ground level, but there are no trees at 20,000 feet, The life of Co2 can be up to 98 years. All this bad HOT weather including Tornadoes, draught, flooding, I credit to Co2 in the Jet Stream, as weather follow the Jet Stream. Why doesn’t the EPA do something? Because they are only authorized to monitor Co2 around the airports and particles that are 250cm or more, and no where else which Congress allowed due to the heavy LOBBISTS from the Air Line industry and the Oil Companies. These people don’t care if the BURN UP THE EARTH, as long as they show a profit! In 50 years or less the earth could look like their sister planet Venus. The Co2 level on Venus is about 88% and cloud cover over 95% Have you been wondering where your Blue Skies are more and more disappearing? The surface temperature on Venus is from 300-600 degrees. Nature is showing us Global Warming, are we to dumb to see it or doesn’t the Green house industries want us to see it?
The campaign issues this year should be to save the Earth, before their is no Earth that is livable. It is interesting That Texas is burning up because if the don’t know it is the Co2 that they are dumping into the skies and the Co2 that are coming out of the skies above them. If I lived in Joplin Missouri and that tornado tore my house apart, I would be one of the first people to sue the Airlines and the oil industry, and let the courts decide. That Jet Stream was smack over Joplin Missouri along with that Tornado, last spring. The same thing can happen next year only worst. As long as those Airlines are flying the jet Stream we will have those Weather disasters. In Europe they have Carbon tax per ton on the Aircraft. USA is the biggest polluter than any nation in the world for Co2 in the Sky!
Here are the figures 1 gallon of gas produces 20 pounds of Co2. 100 gallons of gas produces 1 ton of Co2 600 pounds of jet fuel(diesel) produces 1 ton of Co2. Jet fuel is 4 times more dirty than gasoline.
The law of conservation says nothing can be destroyed, it can only change form. All that oil that they are pump out of the earth, is now going up into your lovely Blue or is it Gray skies, have you notice how your puffy clouds, are now getting little Black bottoms, well if they start getting real black and a little black spout starts dropping down out of it, you better find a cellar. There is only ONE livable planet in this solar system, we destroy this, everything, and anybody and anything,becomes NOTHING!
Ah, i see. Thanks for the clarity. Was not aware either that i was getting the terminology of anti-gravity wrong as well. Levitate it is then ^^
Ok, so as a theoretical proposal approach, i do agree. It would be best indeed just to focus on that initially, and then worry about political-economic hurdles afterwards. I tend to jump and think about all issues straightaway.
But if the Higgs Boson currently under review is not exactly what it was thought to be, this might have to wait a bit. It could either completely dispel the notion of levitation, or actually enhance it.
I would assume that some researcher(s) would have theorized about this already, but I am having trouble finding much that has been committed to peer review journals, even theoretical ones. Im gonna have a look around arxiv now.
@warzones, maglev tech is sketchy at best, even one of a mercury rotational generator, as a German designed a little before WWII.
Now, @ D13, the floating city is AN answer, but not the only one. remember the NASA creed, redundancy is survival. The floating city would be good for food production, housing, and many other needs for society to live on. But in the "hot side", as @marcoreid expertly put it (just teasing), the seas would have TREMENDOUSLY worse seasons, monsterwaves almost daily, and regular waves would be lethal. Then take into account the increased evaporation, meannung more water in the air and higher winds. This means bigger storms, MUCH bigger.
If I sound pessimistic, its just because I realise every system has its demons, and those demons like to hide in the overlooked pieces.
Now if we were to hit the "cold side of the extremism coin" (love the analogy), the maglev city would be even less effective, and the oceanic town would be locked up like a stone.
I have a solution that is as extreme as the air and the sea... How about the Earth? Go underground. Underground is cooler if the world is real hot, and if we hook up enough nuclear generators together solely for heat, then we can survive the cold side of it. Food production would be mostly mushrooms though. Sorry Mycea-phobes.
When Worlds Collide (1951)... Is this where you got your material to write this article?
Wait...climate change is REAL???
You mean all of those brilliant Republican minds in Congress who claimed that it was just our imagination were wrong?
How could the GOP's politically-minded, unscientific, and financially-motivated statements be inaccurate?
"We Entertain When It Rains"
THERE IS NO GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE!!! Morons….
I hope the EPA is watching for any idiot who would send up anything to pollute the atmosphere and throw the idiots in jail. It is one thing to think that we as a society may have accidentally change the environment, but it is quite another to purposefully screw with it. It would be a kind to the fools who set off thousands of nukes for testing, now we have all that crap in the air and ground that our children will be breathing for generations to come! Please don’t fuck with my air! Thank you!
Wait I take that back, there are four of them. Summer, winter, fall and spring.
One “burp” from our sun and a coronal mass changes our atmosphere more that all of man’s activity collectively! One day it will throw off one large enough to fry us like an egg on a griddle, and no gov nor anyone will be able to save this planet. The only way for man to survive it is not be here i.e. colonize other places, so you better get yourselves to Mars and other places ASAP ! Good luck.
WHAT IS SO STUPID ABOUT ALL THIS IS THE FACT THAT IT LOOKS LIKE US ALL BIG FAT PEOPLE THAT DO NOT CARE ENOUGH ABOUT OUR BODIES TO TRY TO REDUCE FOOD CONSUMPTION.
IT'S THE SAME ABOUT ALL ELSE. WE ARE WILLING TO DIE INSTEAD OF REDUCING CONSUMPTION.
WE ACT THE SAME WAY ABOUT ENVIRONMENT AS WE DO WITH OUR SICK FAT BODIES. WE WANT AN EASY PILL INSTEAD OF TAKING ACTION.
ALL THOSE SILLY INVENTIONS TO TRY TO STOP OUR ENVIRONMENT FROM DEGRADING ARE THE SAME AS DRUGS WE TAKE INSTEAD OF CUTTING ON THE EXTREME.
WE DO NOT DRIVE WITH OUR BRAIN.
ONE MORE THING. I SEE SO MANY PEOPLE THAT WOULD RATHER THINK THAT IT IS EVERYTHING BUT US THAT CREATE THE PROBLEM LIKE THE SUN AND STUFF LIKE THAT.
STILL THE EASY WAY OUT. THINKING THAT IT'S THE SUN REMOVES THE NEED TO ACT AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. WE LIVE IN A WORLD FULL OF PEOPLE THAT WOULD RATHER FIND ANYTHING NOT TO ACT.
A QUESTION FOR ALL THOSE PEOPLE WHO THINK IT'S ANYTHING BUT OUR OWN ACTIVITIES THAT CREATE THE PROBLEM : DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA ABOUT THE IMPACT OF 6 BILLION PEOPLE? HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THE DUMPS OF NEW-YORK OR ANY OTHER BIG CITY?
IT'S NOT THE SUN THAT CREATES ALL THAT AND IT GOT TO HAVE A HUGE IMPACT ON THE EARTH.
I do not read comments all typed in caps, lol.
All serious scientists know that the ATMOSPHERE is delicate and thin and its condition is very important... If CO2 levels are rising (histiorically collected data) then it means the O2 free levels are diminishing, because matter does not create or destroys itself. It transforms...
Forests and reefs turn CO2 back into O2, but CO2 levels measured away from land (in the Middle of the Pacific) show the sharp rises in CO2!
Combustion, overpopulation and deforestation are easily very responsible for the changes all people see ( except oil and gas CEO's)...
Afraid of change? You should be afraid of not changing... Duh!
@ those thinking we can put up a floating city anytime soon; not gonna happen, because we can't do it yet. Before floating cities, we will have heavy transport being performed coast to coast, at pennies on the dollar. If you don't see stuff being floated around, all over the world; then we ain't there yet.
On Topic: One thing I think is very real for us is the benefit of growing and raising our own food. With all the MUTATIONS and chemicals being fed to us now, it's really high time every family had their own subsistence in their direct control.
smPreventing brush and forest fires ,by converting excess plants into biochar or dumping it into lakes,would reduce co2.Carbon taxes would be good for the environment and the economy.Co2 could easily be stabilized,without causing harm to the economy.
The "added Co2" and the "added heat" is from accelerated Plate tectonics in the Polar,Sub-Polar and Temparate regions which are also causing the increased frequency of earthquakes(mostly underwater),volcanic activity(mostly underwater), awaking of Subduction volcanoes like Icelands and the opening of the North-West passage for the first time in a few hundred years....it's called a "mini warming cycle" and it's limited to the Poles sub-poles and Temparate (The Tropics and Sub-Tropics are in it's "Mini IceAge"..difference = "Whacky Weather" in Lower Temparate)
Because Plate tectonics regulates AGT,not Aristotiles'2000 year old concept of "green house gases" still thought in Physics class (which never throws even the bad hypothises away) and because accelerated plate tectonics is causing the heat increase and Co2 increase, not "Big Oil" profits or the "Sin" of man that is Industrialization your never going to reduce the 395ppm AVERAGE Co2 (dig through the notes on how the amount is determined,it's subjective) or lower the heat moving through heat distribution cycles in Thermalhayline or Evaporation/Percipitation via giving the Oceans Iron poisoning or releasing hairspray into the air
Funniest part of this is EPA has already backed down on trying to implement "Carbon taxes/fines" on Cars and Power planta vs Vehicle emmision testing devices only showing
65milligrams a gallon in a small car to 166milligrams a gallon in SUV (mostly from co2 contamination in gas/ethynol blend) and Emmision testing devices on power plant stacks showing only Water Vapor and Nitrogen (0% CO2,Blue Man Groups stacks had CGI smoke)
You would think EPA would remember they demanded clean burning cracked gasoline with detergents and anti-smoking agents over black smoke straight run gas currently further refined to Propane,Butane,Natural gas,Propoline,tar,sulfuer,etc
You would also think EPA would remember they made Power plants use Paper filters,chemical filters,water filters,electrostatic filters,catalyst converters,fine pulverisation,and high tempature closed furnace injection
Oh wait. to the "EPA Czar" compliace isn't the Issue..the "Green Movement" is
Question is how do you make a Windmill without plastic,synthetic rubber,carbon composite and it's hundreds of other parts made from or with oil? A Solar Panel? A Hydrocell? a Nuclear Rod?
Why do they not understand that if you drive up the price of oil,gasoline,desiel with regulations and taxes you drive up the cost of the Alternative power devices made,moved,and maintained with them making alternative power even more unlikely?
Make residential solar affordable. Keep improving it and dropping the prices, until every homeowner would be foolish not to have PV panels on his roof.
If the climate science turns out not to be true, no harm no foul... just millions of people getting free electricity.
Set aside all of the climate science and politics. If you could buy a machine for your home that paid for itself in a few years and then provided you with free electricity for the rest of your life, wouldn't you buy it?
Assuming solar prices keep dropping, in a few short years you will have to answer that question.