Archive for Experiment

Giant Balloon to Combat Climate Change?

Posted in Britain, England, Environment, Europe, Germany, Health, Modern World, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , , , , on 15/09/2011 by floroy1942

I was amazed to read a report on a project called, the “Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering” or SPICE for short, that has scientists going ga ga at the moment (No! I do not mean the attention seeking pop singer).

How It Would Be Done

It would seem their plan is to introduce a helium-filled balloon into the atmosphere, and release particles that would reflect sunlight away from Earth, and thereby reduce global warming. The current feasibility test involves releasing a balloon that will reach a height of 1km with a hose attached. Through this hose, water will be pumped at a rate of 100 litres an hour to test the possibility of doing this at an altitude of 20km, though how they expect to vertically pump anything 20kms remains a mystery. I just hope the team members remember to bring umbrellas with them.

Mount Pinatubo 1991

The test is based on data gathered during the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Phillipines in 1991. As a result of this event, five cubic kilometres of volcanic ash and gas were released into the atmosphere which passed around the globe. The particles in the ash cloud reflected sunlight away from Earth causing a drop of some 0.5C degrees in global temperature for a short while. It is this phenomenon that the scientists wish to recreate.

The project is years away from fruition, if it ever gets off the ground, but some people are already worried by this experiment.

Our Precious Atmosphere

I have always believed that we ‘reap what we sow’, and to mess with nature to this extent could be disastrous. For many years, really since the dawn of the industrial age, we have meddled with our world, pumping ever increasing amounts of deadly cocktails into the atmosphere, caring little for the consequences. Part of the result that we are seeing now is the disastrous changes in world weather patterns. Such events as Hurricane Katrina, the tsunami in Japan, drought in Africa, and the major flooding in Pakistan along with vast areas of the Far East, will most probably become a regular event. All of which are a direct result of our uncaring attitude towards the planet we call home.

There have been many hair-brained schemes cooked up to combat the change in global temperatures, and I think this is one of them. Our only real chance of ‘getting things back to normal’, is to sort out ourselves, and more particularly our ‘life goals’ on this planet. Do we wish for all life on our world to be extinguished at some future date? Do we, the current generation even care? Do we really wish to pass on to our children a battle they cannot possibly win, or are we as a race, prepared to make the necessary sacrifices in our lifetime, to save our world for future generations. 

Oh Dear! That does sound dramatic, but let me put just one scenario to you.

A Lot Less Cars?

What if every family in the world were to reduce the number cars they had to just one, as it used to be? How many families in your street have two or more cars? As a ‘guesstimate’ on my part, maybe it could cut the number of vehicles on the world’s roads by half, if not more!!!  This one sacrifice would cut global warming by one helluva lot! The amount of Co2 being pumped into the atmosphere could be cut by trillions of tons!!!

Of course, it would mean major sacrifice for many people, and the car manufacturer’s would not be happy. In 2006 manufacturers produced 49,886,549 passenger cars. In 2009, even considering the economic slowdown, a total of 51,971,328 were produced in the US, Western Europe and Japan. When you add to that all the vehicles that already clog our roads, it adds up to a massive amount of Co2 being pumped into the atmosphere.

Industrial Emissions

Coupled with the savings in Co2, would come increased health, because we would not be poisoning the air we breathe in towns and cities across the world. Sure, there are other ways of  reducing carbon emissions, like industry, power generation and aircraft, and these areas must also not be forgotten. 

All these things combined could save our planet without having to mess with Mother Nature. For we can be sure, no matter what we do, like seeding the atmosphere, she will have the last word

Roy. 

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