Monday, September 18, 2023

Geoengineering: "Reflecting sunlight to cool the planet will cause other global changes"

Be careful with this stuff. Dealing with complex - chaotic systems is right at, or a little beyond, the edge of human comprehension. Before you go recommending any geoengineering more intensive than maybe dumping a ton of iron dust in the Southern Ocean, prove how much you understand the interactions:

September 11, 2021 Think You're Smart Don'tcha: Figure This Out And Make A Million Bucks

In last week's post "Fluid Dynamics (and the filth on your phone)" I made the assertion "This is one of those fields of study that are so mind-bogglingly complex that....", without supplying any supporting statements or facts.
(in these situations the reader can assume I am relying on the Charlie Munger all-purpose turnaround: "Think about it a little more and you will agree with me because you're smart and I'm right.")
But for folks who require a bit of backup, here is Ars Technica, followed by the Clay Mathematics Institute, along with a cameo by Feynmann for added "Appeal to Authority":
Turbulence, the oldest unsolved problem in physics...

Sorry about the mini-rant, here's the headline story from MIT via Freethink, September 17:

By Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office
Solar geoengineering proposals will weaken extratropical storm tracks in both hemispheres, scientists find.

How can the world combat the continued rise in global temperatures? How about shading the Earth from a portion of the sun’s heat by injecting the stratosphere with reflective aerosols? After all, volcanoes do essentially the same thing, albeit in short, dramatic bursts: When a Vesuvius erupts, it blasts fine ash into the atmosphere, where the particles can linger as a kind of cloud cover, reflecting solar radiation back into space and temporarily cooling the planet.

Some researchers are exploring proposals to engineer similar effects, for example by launching reflective aerosols into the stratosphere — via planes, balloons, and even blimps — in order to block the sun’s heat and counteract global warming. But such solar geoengineering schemes, as they are known, could have other long-lasting effects on the climate.

Now scientists at MIT have found that solar geoengineering would significantly change extratropical storm tracks — the zones in the middle and high latitudes where storms form year-round and are steered by the jet stream across the oceans and land. Extratropical storm tracks give rise to extratropical cyclones, and not their tropical cousins, hurricanes. The strength of extratropical storm tracks determines the severity and frequency of storms such as nor’easters in the United States....