Bill Gates pays for atmospheric geoengineering trials

(source – Inhabitat)

From Times Online:

Bill Gates, the Microsoft billionaire, is funding research into machines to suck up ten tonnes of seawater every second and spray it upwards. This would seed vast banks of white clouds to reflect the Sun’s rays away from Earth.

The British and American scientists involved do not intend to wait for international rules on technology that deliberately alters the climate. They believe that the weak outcome of December’s climate summit in Copenhagen means that emissions will continue to rise unchecked and that the world urgently needs an alternative strategy to protect itself from global warming.

Apparently, the best possible alternative strategy is to brazenly go forward with an untested, unregulated, and largely unsupported plan of attack.  I’m reminded of CBC’s Climate Wars.

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Dave Semeniuk spends hours locked up in his office, thinking about the role the oceans play in controlling global climate, and unique ways of studying it. He'd also like to shamelessly plug his art practice:

4 Responses to “Bill Gates pays for atmospheric geoengineering trials”

  1. ElysaHogg

    “World urgently needs an alternative strategy to protect itself from global warming”- I know climate change is urgent, but let’s calm down for a moment before we throw (what I’m assuming is millions? billions?) of dollars at THIS thing.

    Dave this is the first I’ve heard of this technology, has this been on the radar for some time?

  2. FlorinGheorghe

    I’ve heard a few different ideas of how we could stop climate change through specific technical intervention and two problems come to mind:

    1) having this technology around would reduce any incentives for decreasing GHG emissions today since we could just hit the “go” button and release the Cloud Ships whenever we start feeling too hot

    2) I feel as though we need extensive research into the broader and potentially devastating climactic effects that these sorts of interventions could cause (shifting weather patterns, decreasing the amount of sunlight reaching plants for photosynthesis, etc). Could these secondary systemic effects be potentially worse and accelerate other problems?

  3. Dave Semeniuk

    Elyssa – while this is the first I’ve heard of this particular piece of technology, geoengineering as a solution to climate change has been around for decades.

  4. klem

    The designers of this big ship which will blow water vapor into the air are pissing themselves laughing, all the way to the bank. Man, I wish I were in their shoes right now.

    The first preoblem of course is that water is very heavy so huge quantities of fossil fuels will need to be consumed just to drag the water up and pump it skyward. There is no way a bunch of solar panels and windmills can generate the necessary power to do the job, so coal or oil will be the solution. Also another interesting problem is that water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas by far, CO2 is a distant second. So pumping water vapor into the air will actually cause greater warming, LOL!. Poor Gates, he’s showing his age. Sucker!

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