3 Extreme Climate Fixes | Summary and Q&A

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December 20, 2012
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3 Extreme Climate Fixes

TL;DR

Geoengineering offers unconventional solutions to combat climate change, including cloud manipulation, ocean fertilization, and creating a shady stratosphere.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What are some proposed methods of geoengineering to combat climate change?

Proposed techniques include cloud manipulation through spraying cirrus clouds or whitening existing clouds, ocean fertilization with iron to stimulate phytoplankton blooms, and creating a shady stratosphere by spraying sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere.

Q: What are the potential benefits of cloud manipulation?

Cloud manipulation can either make cirrus clouds sink and dissipate by spraying compounds that make ice crystals grow larger or whiten clouds to reflect sunlight, potentially reducing global temperatures.

Q: How does ocean fertilization work to reduce CO2 levels?

Artificially fertilizing the oceans with iron can lead to phytoplankton blooms that absorb CO2 and store it in their shells as they sink to the ocean floor, sequestering the carbon.

Q: What are the concerns associated with geoengineering techniques?

Cloud whitening may lead to less rainfall on a global scale, while ocean fertilization can create dead zones due to the depletion of oxygen when algae blooms decompose. The long-term effects of these techniques are not yet fully understood.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Geoengineering proposes altering the atmosphere, oceans, and ice sheets to counteract the effects of global warming.

  • Cloud manipulation involves spraying cirrus clouds with compounds to make them sink and dissipate or whitening clouds to reflect sunlight.

  • Ocean fertilization aims to create phytoplankton blooms that absorb CO2 and lock it away, but may cause dead zones.

  • Creating a shady stratosphere involves spraying sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere to reflect sunlight and cool the planet.

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