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Geo-Engineering
 

Geo-Engineering

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    Geo-Engineering Geo-Engineering Presentation Transcript

    • Geo-Engineering Geo-Engineering Business, Society & Environment Professor Hector R Rodriguez School of Business Mount Ida College
      • Society
        • The Corporation and Its Stakeholders
        • People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
        • Corporate Citizenship
        • The Social Responsibility of Business
        • The Shareholder Primacy Norm
        • CSR, Citizenship and Sustainability Reporting
        • Responsible Investing
        • The Community and the Corporation
        • Taxation and Corporate Citizenship
        • Corporate Philanthropy Programs
        • Employees and the Corporation
        • Managing a Diverse Workforce
      • Environment
        • A Balanced Look at Climate Change
        • Non-anthropogenic Causes of Climate Change
        • Sulfates, Urban Warming and Permafrost
        • Conventional Energy
        • The Kyoto Protocol
        • Green Building
        • Green Information Technology
        • Transportation, Electric Vehicles and the Environment
        • Geo-Engineering
        • Carbon Capture and Storage
        • Renewable Energy
        • Solid, Toxic and Hazardous Waste
        • Forests, Paper and Carbon Sinks
        • Life Cycle Analysis
        • Water Use and Management
        • Water Pollution
      Course Map – Topics Covered in Course
    • Owning the Weather (click here )
      • Geo-engineering is the deliberate modification of Earth's environment on a large scale "to suit human needs and promote habitability.”
      • Geo-engineering mainly takes two forms:
        • Temperature management, which moderates heat by blocking or reflecting a small portion of the sunlight hitting the Earth; and
        • Carbon management, which gradually removes large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere (as opposed to simply reducing the amount of additional carbon we’re releasing into the atmosphere).
      • Has the advantage of potentially quick results.
      Sources: Jamais Cascio, “It’s Time to Cool the Planet” in “The Wall Street Journal”: (June 15, 2009) Definition
      • Today's proposals for geoengineering are likely to have an impact because the interventions needed for global-scale geoengineering are subtle
        • They would not stop the buildup of carbon dioxide or lessen all its harmful impacts
      • The earth's climate is largely driven by the fine balance between the light energy with which the sun bathes the earth and the heat that the earth radiates back to space.
        • Increasing the reflectivity of the planet by about one percentage point could have an effect on the climate system large enough to offset the gross increase in warming that is likely over the next century as a result of a doubling of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
      Will it Work? Sources: Jamais Cascio, “It’s Time to Cool the Planet” in “The Wall Street Journal”: (June 15, 2009)
    • Some Samples of Geo-Engineering
    • Getting Sulphates in the Air – Mount Pinatubo When Mount Pinatubo, in the Philippines, erupted in 1991, it ejected plumes of sulfate and other fine particles into the atmosphere, which reflected a bit more sunlight and cooled the planet by about 0.5 degrees Celsius over the course of a year.
      • Several studies have shown it could be done using some combination of high-altitude balloons or by dispersal in jet-aircraft exhaust.
      Getting Sulphates in the Air Sources: Jamais Cascio, “It’s Time to Cool the Planet” in “The Wall Street Journal”: (June 15, 2009)
      • As with volcanic sulfates, the particles would eventually cycle out of the atmosphere, so we’d have to refresh that with two to 10 megatons of sulfur dioxide roughly every year.
        • Advantages
          • It’s relatively cheap, probably costing just a few billion dollars a year.
          • The cooling effect could start within weeks of the injection process.
        • Disadvantages
          • Stratospheric sulfates will likely damage the ozone layer potentially resulting in more skin cancer and damage to plants and animals.
          • The scattering of sunlight will reduce the efficiency of some kinds of solar power, and some studies have suggested that it could disrupt monsoonal rain cycles.
      Getting Sulphates in the Air Sources: Jamais Cascio, “It’s Time to Cool the Planet” in “The Wall Street Journal”: (June 15, 2009)
      • Increases the amount of reflected sunlight by making more clouds and thickening existing ones. One idea is to use ships to propel seawater thousands of feet in the air, where it would form or increase cloud cover.
      • Lofting seawater into the air to seed cloud formation would have fewer environmental side effects than the sulfates
      Pumping Seawater into Lower Atmosphere
      • But increasing the extent and thickness of cloud cover could also have at least as powerful an effect on rainfall patterns as sulfate injection, increasing downpours in one area or contributing to unexpected droughts in others.
      Sources: Jamais Cascio, “It’s Time to Cool the Planet” in “The Wall Street Journal”: (June 15, 2009)
      • Launching trillions of two-foot-wide, thinner-than-Kleenex disks of silicon nitride—each disk an autonomous robot weighing less than a gram— into space between Earth and the sun, where they could deflect sunlight
      Reflectors
      • The idea involves dumping tons of iron into the oceans to stimulate plankton growth and thereby absorb the buildup of CO2 and slow greenhouse warming.
      Carbon Management – Geritol Solution
      • Geosequestration of carbon dioxide is one of the methods under debate to reduce greenhouse gases and their effects on climate change.
      Geosequestration of CO 2
      • The concept involves liquifying CO 2 and depositing it into
      mineral zones below the earth's surface where chemical reactions of the liquid CO 2 with minerals stabilize it in solid form.
      • The attempt to change the amount or type of precipitation that falls from clouds, by dispersing substances into the air that serve as cloud condensation, which alter the microphysical processes within the cloud. While the usual intent is to increase precipitation, it is being considered for cooling effects as well.
      Cloud Seeding
      • Who determines whether or not it’s used, which technologies to deploy, and what the target temperatures will be?
      • Who decides which unexpected side effects are bad enough to warrant ending the process?
      • Because the expense and expertise required would be low enough for a single country, what happens when a desperate “rogue nation” (or wealthy individual?) attempts geoengineering against the wishes of other states?
      • Would it be possible to use this technology for strategic or military purposes?
      Political Implications Source: Jamais Cascio, “It’s Time to Cool the Planet” in “The Wall Street Journal”: (June 15, 2009)
      • Geo-Engineering seems to offer a realistic short-term solution to climate change.
        • It’s been done in the past, it continues to be used today
      • The long-term implications of it are unknown
      • Environmentalists are adamantly opposed to it
        • It does not reduce CO 2 concentrations
        • It does not impact current emission rates
      • Political implications are significant
      Conclusion