A while back when I was discussing the potential problems associated with anthropogenic global warming (AGW), I suggested that if some of the worse scenarios came to pass or became imminent, that there would be ways to combat those changes. I have often rejected the “irreversible” terminology used by many climatologists. Of course, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It would be much better to continue the development of new technology and use less fossil fuel going into the future. But….the following are speculative thoughts about future scenarios.
Besides many of the big geo-engineering ideas I have highlighted here in the blog I have also mentioned the fact that we can take carbon dioxide out of the air. We put carbon dioxide in the air, we could take it back out (if needed). Plants already do it on a large scale quite efficiently. There are no physical laws that would prevent us from doing this. Would it be difficult? Yes. Would it be expensive? Yes. Could we do it if our lives depended on it? Yes.
One other off-beat idea I mentioned was creating ice. Much has been made of the possibility that the ice caps of the earth might melt in coming decades. If this comes to pass, we could always make ice and turn the planet cooler once again. Maybe we could let loose a fleet of floating solar powered ice machines. I am not sure exactly what form such a project would take but we know how to make ice. It would be another monumentally expensive project, but could be done none-the-less. More ice, especially in arctic areas would reflect more of the sun’s energy back into space.
Lo-and-behold, a recent science article mentioned making ice on a small scale to cool at least one city in the world. This idea comes from Mongolia of all places. They are apparently going to create large slabs of ice this winter in order too keep the capital city (Ulan Bator) cool during the Summer next year. They are spending $700,000 on the project. The engineers in the project say it is quite simple but one problem that could crop up is pollution. The river water they are planning on using to create huge slabs of ice during the winter might have some pollution, mainly from local gold mines. This will not affect there effort to cool the city but it might prevent the melt water from being used for personal uses. It will interesting to follow up on this story in the Spring and Summer. Hopefully we can get some pictures as well.
As far as the weather goes this weekend, watch out on the roadways Saturday night into Sunday morning when there could be an inch or two of light snow.
Have a good weekend! Meteorologist Justin Loew.
This post was written by jloew on November 25, 2011