Geological engineering… Five crazy projects to save the planet

Geoengineering, Five crazy projects to save the planet

Pessimism is growing dramatically about the world’s ability to reduce carbon emissions, so scientists and politicians suggest relying on geoengineering to artificially cool the land.

In this context, with the opening of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25) next week. The French newspaper Les Echos reported five projects it considers insane to save the earth as follows:

Send sulfur and calcium carbonate into the atmosphere

Harvard University researcher David Keith, a pioneer of geoengineering, has been trying for several years to develop the first solar management experiment where it is, initially sending two balloons to the stratosphere in the atmosphere, at an altitude of 20 kilometers, to drop a few kilograms of calcium carbonate and verify The result.

Send sulfur and calcium carbonate into the atmosphere, Stringer/Reuters

Once these particles are dispersed, they will have the ability to reflect sunlight sustainably and thus reduce global warming, the paper says, noting that the idea is inspired by the effects of volcanic eruptions on the climate. These natural events can cool the planet’s temperature. “

Bleaching clouds

Professor Emeritus at the University of Edinburgh, Stephen Salter, is a pioneer of “whitewashing” technology to increase the efficiency of these concentrations of condensed vapor that is spreading in our sky and already dispersing nearly 30% of solar radiation.

Bleaching clouds
Bleaching clouds

The English engineer has designed a seawater spray system, directed at the marine cumulative cloud layer, to form smaller droplets of water with greater reflective force.

According to this engineer’s imagination, a fleet of 300 ships equipped with this device could reduce the global temperature by 1.5 degrees Celsius, but climate scientists are skeptical about the feasibility of this process,

“The cost of energy for such a solution will be enormous, especially since it is not possible to predict the ultimate impact of this intervention on climate.” Suleiman Baki said.

Fertilization of phytoplankton

The plankton fertilizer technique, known as the main consumer of carbon dioxide, is the subject of dozens of small experiments, but much uncertainty remains about whether it is right to drop large amounts of iron into the sea as a fertilizer to increase the function of the “carbon sink”. The ocean captures 25% of the carbon dioxide emissions produced by humans.

“Most of this work is done through a physical process by dissolving carbon in water,” said Stefan Blaine, a researcher at the Microbiology Laboratory at the French Institute of Scientific Research. These microalgae are on the surface, leaving only a very small amount that is trapped in the bottom sustainably. “

The image shows the emission and transport of dust and other important aerosols to the Southern Ocean on Dec. 30, 2006. Dust is represented with orange to red colors, sea salt with blue, organic and black carbon with green to yellow, and sulfates with ash brown to white. In the image, a plume of dust has been emitted from southern South America and is being transported eastward over the Subantarctic Atlantic Ocean. Credit: William Putman and Arlindo da Silva, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Credit: William Putman and Arlindo da Silva, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Make the water alkaline

Some scientists argue that other methods of altering ocean chemistry offer greater potential. By throwing large quantities of lime or olivine into the sea, the process of acidification can be counteracted by making surface water alkaline. In fact, it has not yet been tested.

Pull cold water from the ocean floor

The process is to make huge pipes 300 meters long and 200 meters wide float in the oceans, allowing the bottom water to be mixed with warm water in the surface to cool them down, thus avoiding hurricanes formed in the water at temperatures above 25 degrees Celsius.

The system was patented by the US company Intel Ventures, created by another geo-engineering hero, climate scientist Ken Caldera of the Carnegie Institute of Science.


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