Wednesday, March 05, 2014

" slowing global warming using fantastical technologies "

WASHINGTON — As international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions stall, schemes to slow global warming using fantastical technologies once dismissed as a sideshow are getting serious consideration in Washington.

Ships that spew salt into the air to block sunlight. Mirrored satellites designed to bounce solar rays back into space. Massive "reverse" power plants that would suck carbon from the atmosphere. These are among the ideas the National Academy of Sciences has charged a panel of some of the nation's top climate thinkers to investigate. Several agencies requested the inquiry, including the CIA.

At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La CaƱada Flintridge, scientists are modeling what such technologies might do to weather patterns. At the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., a fund created by Microsoft founder Bill Gates — an enthusiast of research into climate engineering — helps bankroll another such effort.

"There is a level of seriousness about these strategies that didn't exist a decade ago, when it was considered just a game," said Ken Caldeira, a scientist with the Carnegie Institution at Stanford University, who sits on the National Academy of Sciences panel. "Attitudes have changed dramatically."
Even as the research moves forward, many scientists and government officials worry about the risks of massive climate-control contraptions.

This rendering above shows a cloud-brightening scheme by scientist John Latham in which a ship sprays salt particles into the air to reflect sunlight and slow global warming. (John MacNeil)

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-climate-engineering-20140305,0,3602250.story 



No comments: