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speaking of Global Heat Engine - have you seen the latest Ocean study?
Posted: 21 August 2012 06:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Whatever we do, we better do it in this century. After that we’ll be out of fossil fuels and the whole thing becomes moot. As Dr Bartlett says: “if we don’t take care of the problem, nature will”

http://www.albartlett.org/presentations/arithmetic_population_energy_video1.html

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Posted: 21 August 2012 07:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Agreed.  As it turns out, the more powerful storms caused by global warming will likely damage the ozone layer.

Strong summer thunderstorms that pump water high into the upper atmosphere pose a threat to the protective ozone layer over the United States, researchers said on Thursday, drawing one of the first links between climate change and ozone loss over populated areas.

In a study published online by the journal Science, Harvard University scientists reported that some storms send water vapor miles into the stratosphere — which is normally drier than a desert — and showed how such events could rapidly set off ozone-destroying reactions with chemicals that remain in the atmosphere from CFCs, refrigerant gases that are now banned.

The risk of ozone damage, scientists said, could increase if global warming leads to more such storms.

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Posted: 21 August 2012 07:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Coldheart Tucker - 21 August 2012 07:33 PM

Agreed.  As it turns out, the more powerful storms caused by global warming will likely damage the ozone layer.

Strong summer thunderstorms that pump water high into the upper atmosphere pose a threat to the protective ozone layer over the United States, researchers said on Thursday, drawing one of the first links between climate change and ozone loss over populated areas.

In a study published online by the journal Science, Harvard University scientists reported that some storms send water vapor miles into the stratosphere — which is normally drier than a desert — and showed how such events could rapidly set off ozone-destroying reactions with chemicals that remain in the atmosphere from CFCs, refrigerant gases that are now banned.

The risk of ozone damage, scientists said, could increase if global warming leads to more such storms.

Yes, what no one seems to take into account is the fact when CFC (it’s chlorine ion component) interacts with ozone, it destroys the ozone molecule, but in the process creates another CIO molecule which in turn destroys another ozone molecule, creating another CIO molecule. Kinda like an atmospheric PacMan game.

Chlorofluorocarbons undergo dissociation in the presence of sunlight to produce a chlorine ion molecule. This molecule combines with ozone to reduce it to oxygen and a ClO molecule.
The ClO attacks another Ozone molecule producing atomic oxygen and a chloride ion. The recreation of the Cl ion and the reactive ClO lets the chlorine reform and participate through many cycles.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_do_CFCs_destroy_ozone#ixzz24EsxhXag

It is estimated that the average lifecycle of a single CIO molecule is approx 20 years inside the ozone layer before it is removed by chance conditions.

[ Edited: 21 August 2012 08:07 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 21 August 2012 08:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Coldheart Tucker - 21 August 2012 03:50 PM

Sagan’s not the only one.  Just the most well known.  Zubrin mentions others in his books on the subject of exploring space.  In any case, the loss of hydrogen won’t be a hugely rapid process and can be compensated for, eventually, by dumping comets into the Martian atmosphere.

We might have a few decades to figure out this global warming stuff, or it might already be too late. In either case we do not have enough time to spend several thousand years or tens of thousands of years trying to terraform Mars as an experiment.

Terraforming is science fiction. We need to deal with reality. Dumping comets into the Martian atmosphere would be a hugely expensive and time-consuming undertaking. We would do better spending money on projects with immediate and viable payoffs.

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Posted: 21 August 2012 08:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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FreeInKy - 21 August 2012 12:03 PM
Occam. - 21 August 2012 12:00 PM

I’d worry that it might change the pattern of rainfall.

Yeah, not to mention killing business for the cruise ship industry. Who wants to cruise the cloudy Caribbean?  LOL

original.jpg

Wonder how that thing would stand up to hurricanes, heck wonder how those clouds might interact with hurricanes
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

DarronS - 21 August 2012 03:40 PM

water loss on Venus.

cool story, thanks

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Posted: 21 August 2012 08:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Perhaps we need to bring back steamships, then we can have the cruises while seeding the clouds… cheese

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Posted: 21 August 2012 08:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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DarronS - 21 August 2012 08:11 PM
Coldheart Tucker - 21 August 2012 03:50 PM

Sagan’s not the only one.  Just the most well known.  Zubrin mentions others in his books on the subject of exploring space.  In any case, the loss of hydrogen won’t be a hugely rapid process and can be compensated for, eventually, by dumping comets into the Martian atmosphere.

We might have a few decades to figure out this global warming stuff, or it might already be too late. In either case we do not have enough time to spend several thousand years or tens of thousands of years trying to terraform Mars as an experiment.

Terraforming is science fiction. We need to deal with reality. Dumping comets into the Martian atmosphere would be a hugely expensive and time-consuming undertaking. We would do better spending money on projects with immediate and viable payoffs.

Way to completely miss my point.  The end result of terraforming Mars is not the goal, the information gained along the way is!  What do we do if, as so often happens, our models are wrong and we geoengineer (which we’re pretty much going to have to do at this point) things worse?  Again, Mars makes a great test case for seeing how things go.

Nor does it have to cost an exorbitant sum of money to begin the process.  We could start for less than what we blew on Iraq.  Additionally, there’d be innumerable technological spinoffs which would help us deal with climate change here on Earth.

If, however, we start stabbing blindly (or nearly so) at something which seems like a “good idea” for altering our climate, we run a severe risk of making things worse.  That would be bad for everybody.

The Earth is a hugely complex system that we don’t fully understand and we’re now in a position where if we don’t start tinkering around with it, we’re going to be at risk of being wiped out as a species.  Mucking about on Mars will give us clues about what happens when we start deliberately screwing about on a large scale, with the only possible casualties being a handful of scientists on the planet, and a bunch of robots.  Even some of the scientists working on the geoengineering projects say that they are far from comfortable with the idea of us undertaking the projects on a large scale any time soon.

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Posted: 21 August 2012 08:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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No, I did not miss your main point, you missed mine. Terraforming Mars will take tens of thousands of years, if it can even succeed. We do not have that much time when global warming is already terraforming Earth. We have a few years, or decades at best. We may already be too late.

And for the third or fourth time, Mars has no electromagnetic field protecting it from cosmic rays and the solar wind, therefore terraforming Mars is a nonstarter. I don’t care how many scientists you can point to who think this might work, without an electromagnetic field deflecting cosmic rays and the the solar wind terraforming Mars is not a viable propososition.

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Posted: 21 August 2012 09:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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What can we learn from terraforming a desert planet, more than terraforming our own deserts? At least on earth we have an advantage of available resources. A water pipeline is much easier to lay on earth than dragging an icy comet to a barren planet and laying pipelines in a completely hostile environment.

As far as screwing up, I don’t think we can do worse than what we have already done in a few hundred years. We are well on our way to creating a desert planet, probably long before we could even establish a functional permanent base on any desert planet.

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Posted: 22 August 2012 05:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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DarronS - 21 August 2012 08:59 PM

No, I did not miss your main point, you missed mine. Terraforming Mars will take tens of thousands of years, if it can even succeed.

Where did I dispute that?  My point, which you are either unwilling or unable to grasp, is that during the process of attempting to terraform Mars we will learn valuable information which will help us correct the problems we’re currently facing.  It will not take tens of thousands of years for us to see results from these efforts, in all probability.  It will take an unknown number of years, which is something we really ought to have a grasp of, before we start geoengineering our own planet.  It would be very bad indeed, if we were to undertake a massive geoengineering project and discover that it only made things worse, or it doesn’t correct the problem as fast as we thought it would.

We do not have that much time when global warming is already terraforming Earth. We have a few years, or decades at best. We may already be too late.

Dr, James Lovelock (who’s responsible for the so-called “Gaia Earth” theory) has recently shifted his position on how bad things are.  He was saying that there was no point in us even attempting to do anything to try and correct the problem of global warming, but now he feels that things aren’t as bad as he once thought and that we still have plenty of time to affect change.

Are you familiar with the chemical MTBE?  It was added to gasoline in an effort to reduce air pollution.  What no one understood at the time was that small amounts of MTBE in the water can render an entire water supply undrinkable as well as release trapped toxins into the environment.  There’s a lesson in that.  Geoengineering (which is probably the best solution we have to deal with the effects of climate change) is not something which should be undertaken lightly, and we need to consider as many of the possible impacts as we can, before using it.  We can model it in computers, and do small scale tests, but until we vastly improve computer processing power, the only way we can get a grasp of the large scale effects of it is to try it out, on a large scale, on a planet.

And for the third or fourth time, Mars has no electromagnetic field protecting it from cosmic rays and the solar wind, therefore terraforming Mars is a nonstarter. I don’t care how many scientists you can point to who think this might work, without an electromagnetic field deflecting cosmic rays and the the solar wind terraforming Mars is not a viable propososition.

So, in short, what you’re saying is that you don’t care what the experts say about the matter, you’re sticking with your own personal dogma on the subject.

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Posted: 22 August 2012 05:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Coldheart Tucker - 22 August 2012 05:09 PM

So, in short, what you’re saying is that you don’t care what the experts say about the matter, you’re sticking with your own personal dogma on the subject.

I’ll take observed data over unnamed scientists any time. For every expert scientist you can cite saying terraforming Mars is doable I’ll bet a bottle of Irish Whiskey that I can find five who say it is unfeasible.

As for using Mars to test terraforming on Earth, we do not have enough time. We should have started reducing our carbon footprint 30 years ago to avoid catastrophic climate change. As for Lovelock, he is in the minority. James Hansen said things are worse than he expected.

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Posted: 22 August 2012 05:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Write4U - 21 August 2012 09:17 PM

What can we learn from terraforming a desert planet, more than terraforming our own deserts? At least on earth we have an advantage of available resources. A water pipeline is much easier to lay on earth than dragging an icy comet to a barren planet and laying pipelines in a completely hostile environment.

There is nothing “simple” about greening a desert on Earth (and it may not be enough by itself to solve the problem).  Take the Sahara desert, for example.  Greening it out be of a huge advantage, not only in terms of the environment, but also for the lives of people living on its edges.  Getting all of them to agree to work with one another on the process is probably the hardest part, and given how violent that part of Africa can be, not likely to be resolved any time soon.  Another issue is the dwindling problem of fresh water.  How do you get enough fresh water into the area to keep the trees, etc., you’ve planted there going until weather patterns shift so that human supplied water is no longer necessary?  If you pipe it in from known water sources, you risk screwing the very people you’re trying to help.  Desalination plants?  Okay, and we’ll go with either solar or nuclear, so there’s no greenhouse gas emissions.  That just leaves us with trying to dispose of all the salt that those plants produce.  If you dump it back into the ocean, you raise the salinity of the water, and this can kill fish.  If you dump it on the land, you risk killing plant life in the area.

There’s also the matter of how fast, and how effective, the plants will be at removing CO2 from the air.  It turns out that damage caused to trees by large storms can cancel out any gains made by those trees to begin with.

Chambers compares the data from this study to a 2007 study that showed that a single storm – Hurricane Katrina—destroyed nearly 320 million trees with a total biomass loss equivalent to 50–140 percent of the net annual U.S. carbon sink in forest trees.

“The bottom line,” says Chambers, “is that any sustained increase in hurricane tree biomass loss above 50 million tons would potentially undermine our efforts to reduce human fossil fuel carbon emissions.”

So, clearly, we’re going to have to do more than just plant trees.  (As a side note, I once tried to find which plants absorbed the most CO2 from the atmosphere.  If the data’s out there, I couldn’t find it.)

As far as screwing up, I don’t think we can do worse than what we have already done in a few hundred years. We are well on our way to creating a desert planet, probably long before we could even establish a functional permanent base on any desert planet.

In the Northern parts of the US and the Southern regions of Canada, there are lakes dying because of all the road salt used in the winter time.  How will pumping large amounts of salt water into the atmosphere affect that?  Will it make the problem worse?  Or will it cause negligible effects?  There’s a real danger of us panicking and doing something that makes things worse instead of better.

And there’s no need for a permanent manned base on Mars for the process of terraforming to begin.  Increasing the amount of light which falls on the poles, using large mirrors, like the Russians attempted to do over Siberia a decade or so ago, would get the process going nicely.  It’d give an immediate spike the levels of CO2 in the Martian atmosphere, and robotic probes (like are currently on and orbiting Mars) could send back the data.  This would answer a key question we really need to know: How long does it take for a planet’s temperature to change following a dramatic change in the amount of CO2 in its atmosphere?  Because if its a slow process, then we’re absolutely going to have to do things to increase the Earth’s albedo in order to lower the planet’s temperature.

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Posted: 22 August 2012 05:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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DarronS - 22 August 2012 05:15 PM
Coldheart Tucker - 22 August 2012 05:09 PM

So, in short, what you’re saying is that you don’t care what the experts say about the matter, you’re sticking with your own personal dogma on the subject.

I’ll take observed data over unnamed scientists any time. For every expert scientist you can cite saying terraforming Mars is doable I’ll bet a bottle of Irish Whiskey that I can find five who say it is unfeasible.

Name five then.  I named one (Sagan), so you name five.

As for using Mars to test terraforming on Earth, we do not have enough time. We should have started reducing our carbon footprint 30 years ago to avoid catastrophic climate change. As for Lovelock, he is in the minority. James Hansen said things are worse than he expected.

Actually, you’re wrong.  Lovelock was far more pessimistic than Hansen is now.  Lovelock’s view has shifted to be more in line with Hansen’s than it was before.

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Posted: 22 August 2012 05:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Oh lordie, rolleyes lordie rolleyes  good ol Mars,
And when did they build the Yellow Brick Road to take all this crap to Mars to start our tinkering?
We spent 2.5 billion $ to get Curiosity up there.

sick  This country has been weened on way the hell too much Sci Fi and Hollywood.

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Posted: 22 August 2012 06:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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CT
How do you get enough fresh water into the area to keep the trees, etc., you’ve planted there going until weather patterns shift so that human supplied water is no longer necessary?

How about dragging icebergs to coastal areas and piping fresh water into the deserts directly? The increasing amount of melting polar ice is destabilizing the polar oceans in several ways such as temperature, ocean currents, salinity, rising ocean levels. By removing these destabilizing factors we help the polar regions stabilize and at the same time creating more vegetation in the deserts. Vegetation may reduce air pollution by as much as 70 %. Add the cooling effects of vegetation and we have a model for action.

[ Edited: 22 August 2012 06:13 PM by Write4U ]
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