News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Geoengineering already ongoing via 1987 Montreal Protocols. Notion of injecting sulfates in the air to cool global warming would also be geoengineering-Huffington Post, 2008. US geoengineering via Clean Air Acts of 1970s and 1990 increased Northern Hemisphere warming by removing sulfates, scientists say

7/9/2008, "Geoengineering of Climate Change," Huffington Post, Patrick Takahashi, Director Emeritus, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, updated 5/25/11

"Let's, for the sake of discussion, say that global heating is real and our world leaders are unable to agree on a workable solution in time. What if the situation gets so bad that virtually instant solutions will be required to save our civilization? I provide a wide variety of answers in SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Planet Earth...but for the purpose of this article, let us look at something called global geoengineering.

Various international conferences on this subject have been held over the past few decades, but, in general, proponents have generally been relegated to the lowest level of respectability by academics and funding agencies. Until, maybe now.

The concept is not new. The industrial revolution, farms, cities, transport systems and remedying the ozone hole can be considered to be forms of geoengineering. The Montreal Protocol actually seems to be working for the latter, but the Kyoto Protocol has been less than successful.

How can you quickly reverse global warming? It has been hypothesized that reducing sunlight by only 1% should eliminate this problem. Various ideas have been floated, from placing reflective sheets on the ocean or in space to exploding a controlled series of hydrogen bombs to stimulate a nuclear winter. Yes, some of the propositions have been certifiably insane.

One I favor (see the chapter on the Blue Revolution in the book mentioned above) has to do with an Apollo Project equivalent of building an armada of open ocean grazing platforms powered by ocean thermal energy conversion to suck up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while providing new habitats, green materials, next generation fisheries and sustainable fuels. Alas, such an effort will take decades and, horrors, maybe result in a United Nations of a thousand members.

The concept that has gained the greatest traction is the stratospheric sulfate solution (S-cubed), where large amounts of sulfur dioxide are, through various mechanisms, placed at altitude. This gas would form droplets of sulfuric acid in stratocumulus clouds to reflect back sunlight into space. Names like Freeman Dyson, Paul Crutzen and Edward Teller appear as advocates. This cure might cost $100 billion/year, for the effect wears out after a year, but that is a piffle in comparison with the $45 trillion exclaimed by the International Energy Agency as necessary to insure that our surface temperature only increases by 4 degrees Fahrenheit by the turn of the century.

Surely enough, Mount Pinatubo in 1991 blew its top and threw 20 million tons of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere and the globe cooled about a degree Fahrenheit that year. So the basic S-cubed concept has been largely verified by nature.

Before anyone gets too irrational, let me underscore that no one, not even the most extreme supporter, is even suggesting that anything of any magnitude be initiated today. It wouldn't hurt, though, to set aside a small amount, perhaps 1% of the global change budget, to comprehensively study the more reasonable suggestions, especially reviewing the environmental implications, so that if that one in a hundred chance that a perfect global heating storm (as, perchance, depicted in The Venus Syndrome chapter of SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Planet Earth) actually happens, we will have a few rational emergency options worthy of consideration."

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NY Times: Injecting sulfates mentioned in 2015:

2/10/15, "Panel Urges Research on Geoengineering as a Tool Against Climate Change," NY Times, Henry Fountain

"Along with other researchers, Dr. Keith has proposed a field experiment to test the effect of sulfate chemicals on atmospheric ozone."  

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Two peer reviewed studies, 2009 and 2011, cite US mandated removal of sulfates as significant cause of post 1970 Northern Hemisphere warming. 2009 study specifically connects Northern Hemisphere and Arctic warming to "Clean Air Regulation," (see chart below). In addition, 2009 study also cites Asia black carbons as a cause of Arctic warming)

1. 3/22/2009, "Climate response to regional radiative forcing during the twentieth century," Nature Geoscience, Drew Shindell1 and Greg Faluvegi1 | doi:10.1038/ngeo473

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More on US geoengineering via Clean Air Acts of 1970, 1977, and 1990:

Chart below from 2009 NASA study shows changes in Northern Latitudes after "Clean Air Regulations":

4/8/2009, "Half of recent Arctic warming may not be due to greenhouse gases," Houston Chronicle, Eric Berger




 









"According to a new report, half of the recent Arctic warming is not due to greenhouse gases, but rather clean air policies.

That’s the conclusion of two scientists in a new Nature Geoscience paper (see abstract), which is more deeply outlined in this NASA news release.

Here’s a quote from lead author Drew Shindell of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies:
 

There’s a tendency to think of aerosols as small players, but they’re not, said Shindell. “Right now, in the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere and in the Arctic, the impact of aerosols is just as strong as that of the greenhouse gases.” “We will have very little leverage over climate in the next couple of decades if we’re just looking at carbon dioxide,” Shindell said. “If we want to try to stop the Arctic summer sea ice from melting completely over the next few decades, we’re much better off looking at aerosols and ozone.. ..

The following graphic [above] shows how clean air regulations passed in the 1970s have likely accelerated warming by diminishing the cooling effect of sulfates.

I probably don’t need to tell you the implications of this study. For one, if the results are validated,"... 

[Ed. note: PNAS study 7/19/2011 validated the results. Cited global cooling effects of sulfates being lost via air pollution policies: "The post 1970 period of warming...is driven by efforts to reduce air pollution in general and acid deposition in particular, which cause sulfur emissions to decline while the concentration of greenhouse gases continues to rise (7)."...]


(continuing): "the notion that global warming is causing an accelerating, headlong retreat of the Arctic sea ice and driving the polar bear to imminent death…well, these notions just aren’t wholly correct anymore.

The study suggests that as much as half of the recent Arctic melting is not due to global warming, but rather to other factors. This report does not speak to global temperatures, but rather the Northern Hemisphere. And it does not suggest that global warming has played no role in the Arctic warming.

All the same, this is potentially a huge blow to those who advocate immediate action on controlling carbon dioxide.

Finally, for those of you who hate James Hansen: Please note that the author of this study works for Hansen."

Image above from Nasa.gov


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2009 NASA press release: Nature Geoscience study finds 3 decades of US laws reducing sulfates caused warming:

"Over the past three decades, the United States and European countries have passed a series of laws that have reduced sulfate emissions by 50 percent. While improving air quality and aiding public health, the result has been less atmospheric cooling from sulfates."

4/8/2009, "Aerosols May Drive a Significant Portion of Arctic Warming," nasa.gov/topics

"Though greenhouse gases are invariably at the center of discussions about global climate change, new NASA research suggests that much of the atmospheric warming observed in the Arctic since 1976 may be due to changes in tiny airborne particles called aerosols.

Emitted by natural and human sources, aerosols can directly influence climate by reflecting or absorbing the sun's radiation. The small particles also affect climate indirectly by seeding clouds and changing cloud properties, such as reflectivity.

A new study, led by climate scientist Drew Shindell of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, used a coupled ocean-atmosphere model to investigate how sensitive different regional climates are to changes in levels of carbon dioxide, ozone, and aerosols.

The researchers found that the mid and high latitudes are especially responsive to changes in the level of aerosols. Indeed, the model suggests aerosols likely account for 45 percent or more of the warming that has occurred in the Arctic during the last three decades. The results were published in the April issue of
Nature Geoscience....

Sulfates, which come primarily from the burning of coal and oil, scatter incoming solar radiation and have a net cooling effect on climate. Over the past three decades, the United States and European countries have passed a series of laws that have reduced sulfate emissions by 50 percent. While improving air quality and aiding public health, the result has been less atmospheric cooling from sulfates.

At the same time, black carbon emissions have steadily risen, largely because of increasing emissions from Asia. Black carbon -- small, soot-like particles produced by industrial processes and the combustion of diesel and biofuels -- absorb incoming solar radiation and have a strong warming influence on the atmosphere....

The regions of Earth that showed the strongest responses to aerosols in the model are the same regions that have witnessed the greatest real-world temperature increases since 1976. The Arctic region has seen its surface air temperatures increase by 1.5 C (2.7 F) since the mid-1970s. In the Antarctic, where aerosols play less of a role, the surface air temperature has increased about 0.35 C (0.6 F)....

Since decreasing amounts of sulfates and increasing amounts of black carbon both encourage warming, temperature increases can be especially rapid. The build-up of aerosols also triggers positive feedback cycles that further accelerate warming as snow and ice cover retreat.

In the Antarctic, in contrast, the impact of sulfates and black carbon is minimized because of the continent’s isolation from major population centers and the emissions they produce.

"There's a tendency to think of aerosols as small players, but they're not," said Shindell. "Right now, in the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere and in the Arctic, the impact of aerosols is just as strong as that of the greenhouse gases."


The growing recognition that aerosols may play a larger climate role can have implications for policymakers. 

"We will have very little leverage over climate in the next couple of decades if we're just looking at carbon dioxide," Shindell said. "If we want to try to stop the Arctic summer sea ice from melting completely over the next few decades, we're much better off looking at aerosols and ozone.""...

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 Clean Air Acts of 1970, 1977 and 1990, epa.gov.


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George Bush #1 signs Clean Air Act amendments in 1990, making rules stricter than 1970 and 1977 versions. Top left, clapping, Bush EPA chief William Reilly, plucked from his job as WWF president by Bush.

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EDF cheers sulfate removal via cap and trade:.

"Acid rain: The power of markets to help the planet," EDF.org
"Our cap-and-trade plan to reduce acid rain cut sulfur dioxide emissions in half, at a fraction of the expected costs."
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Dec. 21, 1987, Pres. Reagan submits Montreal Protocols to US Senate for ratification, EPA press release:


12/21/1987, "President Reagan on Montreal Protocol Ratification," www2.epa.gov

"The President today transmitted to the Senate for ratification the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, which was concluded in Montreal on Sept. 16."


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2014 study finds new ozone-depleting gases of unknown origin, notes Montreal Protocols provide exemptions and loopholes:


3/10/14, "Research Reveals New Man-Made Ozone-Depleting Gases in the Atmosphere," scitechdaily.com

"New research from scientists at the University of East Anglia reveals four new man-made gases in the atmosphere that are contributing to the destruction of the ozone layer.

New research published in the journal Nature Geoscience reveals that more than 74,000 tonnes of three new chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and one new hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) have been released into the atmosphere.

Scientists made the discovery by comparing today’s air samples with air trapped in polar firn snow – which provides a century-old natural archive of the atmosphere. They also looked at air collected between 1978 and 2012 in unpolluted Tasmania.

Measurements show that all four new gases have been released into the atmosphere recently – and that two are significantly accumulating. Emission increases of this scale have not been seen for any other CFCs since controls were introduced during the 1990s. But they are nowhere near peak CFC emissions of the 1980s which reached around a million tonnes a year.

Lead researcher Dr Johannes Laube from UEA’s School of Environmental Sciences said: “Our research has shown four gases that were not around in the atmosphere at all until the 1960s which suggests they are man-made.”

“CFCs are the main cause of the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica. Laws to reduce and phase out CFCs came into force in 1989, followed by a total ban in 2010. This has resulted in successfully reducing the production of many of these compounds on a global scale. However, legislation loopholes still allow some usage for exempted purposes.

The identification of these four new gases is very worrying as they will contribute to the destruction of the ozone layer. We don’t know where the new gases are being emitted from and this should be investigated. Possible sources include feedstock chemicals for insecticide production and solvents for cleaning electronic components.

“What’s more, the three CFCs are being destroyed very slowly in the atmosphere – so even if emissions were to stop immediately, they will still be around for many decades to come,” he added.

This research has been funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS), the European Union, and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)."

"Publication: Johannes C. Laube, et al., “Newly detected ozone-depleting substances in the atmosphere,” Nature Geoscience, 2014; doi:10.1038/ngeo2109

Source: University of East Anglia"

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Second citation, 2014 study discovers new ozone-threatening greenhouse gases in the air from unknown sources:

3/31/14, "Researchers Find Five Previously Undetected Greenhouse Gases," AccuWeather.com, Mark Leberfinger

""We were certainly surprised to find so many previously undetected gases out there, and we keep finding more," Johannes C. Laube of the University of East Anglia, Norwich, U.K., said....

"What is worrying is the continuing increase of two of the gases, in particular that of CFC-113a, which is a) Much more dangerous to ozone than HCFC-133a, and b) has started to accelerate its increase after 2010. If such a trend were to continue, it would become a serious threat to the ozone layer within the next decade," Laube said....

"Our research has so far focused on the overall concentrations and trends of these gases in the global atmosphere, so we haven't attempted to pinpoint sources yet," Laube said. "We can currently only speculate on which are the major usages, but have found a few indications.""...

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"We've been unwittingly geo-engineering the atmosphere for some time."
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12/19/14, "Are solid characterization factors available for particulate matter to CO2 equivalent (Global Warming Potential)?" researchgate.net

"We've been unwittingly geo-engineering the atmosphere for some time....As we acted to reduce Sox emissions for acid rain and health reasons, we 'unmasked' the CO2 effects and that accelerated the apparent warming, which we saw in the 80's and 90's." John D Bachmann ·







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