Science Is Getting More Laughable!

I sometimes get the impression these days that science has lost its way! Some of the experiments, and the results that come from them, seem to bear no relationship to intelligent and rational thinking whatsoever. This week I came across some ‘scientific results’ that seem to test the limits of basic intelligence.

The first one concerns shipping, and a bunch of scientists from Leeds University have come up with the idea that we should have all ships ‘generate smaller bubbles in their wake to reflect more of the sunlight back into space’.

Make The Bubbles Smaller?

Make The Bubbles Smaller?

Their hypothesis is that the bubbles created by the turning propellers of a ship as it passes through the water should be made smaller. By doing this, the white froth left behind by all moving ships could last up to 24 hours instead of the normal few minutes, and thereby reflect more sunlight. It would seem to me that we need to increase the number of ships on the world’s oceans by a few million for this idea to work.

Naturally, this is part of the Global Warming Project and is part of an effort to reduce the rising temperature of the planet. Leeds’ Prof Piers Forster said the bubbles idea was a plausible scheme. “A lot of these technologies are completely hypothetical, but “The one advantage about this technology – of trying to generate these tiny ‘micro-bubbles’ – is that the technology does already exist.”

Part of Leeds University UK

Part of Leeds University UK

Julia Crook, also from Leeds, explained: “The technology required for other forms of solar radiation management is a long way off being ready, whereas micro-bubble generators already exist. The Japanese are already experimenting with micro-bubbles under ships’ hulls to make them more streamlined and more fuel-efficient. This could have a double benefit.”

She added: “This form of solar radiation management has the advantage over stratospheric aerosol injection, in that one could move ships with bubble generators to different parts of the ocean, providing more control on the regional temperature and precipitation changes induced.”

The Last Time Many Ships Sailed Together Was In WW2 Convoys

The Last Time Many Ships Sailed Together Was In WW2 Convoys

A quick search showed me that there are roughly 104,304 ships in the world including fishing boats and pleasure craft. This number, if all sailing the sea together would not even cover the area of the Black Sea. When you consider they are spread all across the globe their impact would be negligible, and the amount of reflected sunlight would be so small as to be unmeasurable. Not even worth the effort of converting a single ship never mind over 100,000, although the scientists consider such technology has ‘the potential’ to reduce temperatures by 0.5C. The one thing they did say was that there is a distinct possibility this measure could increase rainfall in some areas, as if we don’t get enough in many parts with massive flooding!

The second scientific report concerns of all things, Arctic Ground Squirrels! According to the Woods Hole Research Centre in Massachusetts, US, we can blame the the humble Arctic ground squirrel for increasing world temperatures too. For it seems their burrowing into the permafrost at these northern latitudes is releasing large amounts of CO2 that is normally trapped in the frozen ground. These findings were presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco.

Killing Our Planet?

Killing Our Planet?

Dr Sue Natali, from Woods Hole Research Centre in Massachusetts, US, said, “Carbon has been accumulating in permafrost for tens of thousands of years. The temperature is very cold, the soils are saturated, so that when plants and animals die, rather than decompose, the carbon has been slowly, slowly building up. Right now the carbon storage is about 1,500 pentagrams (1,500 billion tonnes). To put that in perspective, that’s about twice as much as is contained in the atmosphere.”

Nigel Golden, from the University of Wisconsin, looked at ground squirrels: small, fluffy rodents that are found across the Arctic. He said:, “They are soil engineers. They break down the soil when they are digging their burrows, they mix the top layer with the bottom layer, they are bringing oxygen to the soil and they are fertilizing the soil with their urine and their faeces. We saw an increase in soil temperature in the soils the Arctic ground squirrels were occupying.”

To me these ideas are about as crazy as sowing the clouds with salt so as to reflect more sunlight. I am no scientist, but it seems to me that if we do that we end up with salt water rain and a fat lot of good that will do anyone.

But at least we can, in part, blame the Arctic ground squirrels for our current climate problems. Ah Well! At least its not all our fault (sigh of relief)!

Roy.

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