Posted on March 20, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
What to do about a warming planet?
Ocean heat-exchange pipes would drive more warming in the long run
FRISCO — Trying to mitigate global warming by piping cool water from the depths of the ocean to the surface is probably not the best idea in the long run, a group of Carnegie Institution scientists said this week. In the long run, such a geoengineering scheme would actually lead to more, not less, global warming.
The researchers studied the issue because there have been a variety of proposals that involve using vertical ocean pipes to move seawater to the surface from the depths in order to reap different potential climate benefits. Along with directly mitigating climate change, engineers and scientists have also eyed thermal conversion — using the temperature difference between deeper and shallower water to power a heat engine and produce clean electricity. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: Climate change mitigation, Geoengineering, global warming, ocean heat pipes | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 23, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
This near-total clearcut near Frisco, Colorado, may provide a higher-value ecosystem service than a slow-growing forest. bberwyn photo.
Higher albedo of snow-covered ground a factor in climate mitigation calculations
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Snow farming is nothing new for ski area operators, who have long been cultivating the white stuff to help keep their slopes covered. Now, a recent study by researchers at Darthmouth College suggests that snow farming could also make sense on a larger scale, in the context of climate-change mitigation.
In a novel look at forests and snow, their report says that replacing forests with snow-covered meadows may provide greater climatic and economic benefits than if slow-growing trees are left standing in snowy high latitudes. In those areas, persistent snow cover reflects heat back into space, partially offsetting the effect of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, seasons, snow | Tagged: Clearcutting, Climate change mitigation, earth's albedo, forests, global warming | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 21, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Geoengineering idea floated as a way to slow global warming
Could brightening clouds help slow the march of global warming? Photo courtesy NOAA.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — With international efforts to limit heat-trapping greenhouse gases faltering, some scientists say it’s worth at least exploring the concept of creating clouds that might reflect sunlight to counter global warming.
Geoengineering has always had a few proponents, as there are always some people who think that we can engineer our way out of any problem. But many of the ideas floated as possible solutions to global warming are just vague theories at best, with little evidence that they could work.
Now, University of Washington atmospheric physicist Rob Wood describes a possible way to run an experiment to test the concept of cloud brightening on a small scale. His idea is described in a paper published this month in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.
Wood makes it clear he’s not advocating for geoengineering, but wants to encourage more scientists to consider the idea of marine cloud brightening and even poke holes in it. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: climate change, Climate change mitigation, cloud brightening, Cloud reflectivity modification, Environment, Geoengineering, global warming, Greenhouse gas, University of Washington | 1 Comment »