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5 Crazy Ways To Stop Climate Change With Geoengineering

Posted By Timon Singh On November 11, 2012 @ 12:04 am In carousel showcase,environmental destruction,Features,global development,global warming | 2 Comments



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1. Dam The Mediterranean

German architect Herman Sörgel [6] devised a massive plan, also known as Atlantropa [7], that would establish a gigantic hydroelectric dam built across the Strait of Gibraltar [8]. This would generate huge amounts of emission-free electricity while lowering the surface of the Mediterranean Sea by 200 meters. This would open up parts of the Adriatic Sea for settlement and farming lands. The plan was widely discussed in the 1920s and 30s, but was discarded for obvious practical reasons.

However in 1997, Robert Johnson [9], a retired professor at the University of Minnesota noted that the Mediterranean Sea is being starved of fresh water, due to many rivers such as the Nile being diverted for industry purposes. He pointed out that as a result the Mediterranean evaporates and grows saltier (aided by global warming). As more seawater pours in from the Atlantic through the Strait of Gibraltar, the Mediterranean salty water is pushed out into the deep waters of the Atlantic where it causes a massive ecological problem [10].

As the Mediterranean water mixes with very cold water on the Atlantic floor , it is pushed by currents to the north. Normally Europe’s warm current isn’t affected, but if the Mediterranean outflow is altered by a dam the warm water would instead be pushed west into the seas of Canada where it would create increased snowfall expand the country’s ice fields.

So there you go. Want to stop the Northern hemisphere freezing AND have more land for an ever-growing population? Dam the Straits of Gibraltar!

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2. Wrap Greenland In A Blanket

Greenland is the largest island in the world, so wrapping it in a blanket sounds wildly impractical – but that is exactly what Dr Jason Box [11], a glaciologist from Ohio State University, proposes. The professor believes that if the world covers the country’s glaciers with blankets, this will be enough to reflect the sun’s rays and prevent the ice caps from melting. Interestingly, the universities of Innsbruck and Zurich are already using this technology in the Alps on the Zugspitze [12] glacier.

Box and his team have previously tested their theory as part of a Discovery Channel documentary [13]. They used  31 giant rolls of specially designed white polypropylene blankets to cover a total surface area of 10,000 square meters.

Foil wasn’t used because it isn’t good at insulating objects beneath it.  The blankets absorb this heat above the blanket and stops it from reaching the ice below, keeping it intact.

Click here to see the plan in action. [14]

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3. Make More Clouds

Last year NASA and Bill Gates teamed up [15] to hatch plans for a seawater-spraying machine that could prevent climate change by creating clouds that reflect sunlight away from earth. The machines could suck up ten tons of water per second and then spray it over 3,000 feet into the air, increasing the density of clouds. Although the plan would help to mitigate climate change, it would take a large amount of energy to power each individual ship – and a study showed that it would it take 1,900 ships at a cost of over $7 billion to stop Earth’s temperature from rising.

large scale climate change projects, crazy ways to save the planet, geo-engineering, geo-engineering crazy plans, geo-engineering climate change, geo-engineering, dam the straits of gibraltar, dam the Mediterranean, geo-engineering atlantropa, geo-engineering flood valleys, geo-engineering wrapping greenland, wrapping greeland, roger angel solar shield, solar shield, Timon singh, geo-engineering projects, fighting climate change, durban climate change,Photo by John Bruckman [16]

4. Flood Death Valley

It is estimated that in a century, sea levels could rise as high as 28 inches. Some scientists are proposing a plan to lower those levels by flooding desert areas with water. It makes sense – if the ice caps melted causing water levels to rise by 67 feet, draining the seas into dry land would prevent them from naturally flooding populated areas. What dry land you say? Well, areas such as the Urfan Depression and Death Valley [17] have been discussed – as they are below sea level, they could potentially hold millions of gallons of water.

The only problem? If all the ice caps melted, this plan would only lower the sea level by 2.5 feet – and it would be a massive undertaking to say the least.

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5. Give the Earth a Solar Shield

This list wouldn’t be complete without one crazy idea that takes place in space. Theorized by Professor Roger Angel, the plan would see the construction of a massive 100,000 square mile ‘solar shield’ made from trillions of lenses. This would help to deflect the sun’s rays (by 2%) and keep the Earth cooler.

What’s the catch? Well, seeing that it takes years to plan a shuttle mission, this project is practically impossible. Oh, and it would cost $350 trillion – 12 times the global national income.

It looks like our fate is in the hands of the politicians for now.


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/5-crazy-ways-to-save-the-planet-with-geoengineering/

URLs in this post:

[1]

: http://inhabitat.com/5-crazy-ways-to-save-the-planet-with-geoengineering/save-earth-lead-2/?extend=1

[2]  : http://inhabitat.com/5-crazy-ways-to-save-the-planet-with-geoengineering/atlantropa-dam/?extend=1

[3] COP17 Durban Climate Change Conference: http://inhabitat.com/are-the-worlds-richest-nations-giving-up-on-climate-change/

[4] failure to institute a binding emissions agreement: http://inhabitat.com/cop17-talks-in-durban-end-with-failure-to-cut-current-global-emissions/

[5] Geo-engineering: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoengineering

[6] Herman Sörgel: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herman_S%C3%B6rgel

[7] Atlantropa: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantropa

[8] Strait of Gibraltar: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strait_of_Gibraltar

[9] Robert Johnson: http://www.geo.umn.edu/people/profs/JOHNSON.html

[10] massive ecological problem: http://geology.about.com/od/climate_change/a/Medit_dam.htm

[11] Dr Jason Box: http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/project-earth/lab-books/greenland/greenland-jasonbox.html

[12] Zugspitze: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zugspitze

[13] Discovery Channel documentary: http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/project-earth/lab-books/greenland/greenland-guide1.html

[14] Click here to see the plan in action.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMRtriZ4V4g

[15] NASA and Bill Gates teamed up: http://inhabitat.com/bill-gates-announces-funding-for-seawater-spraying-cloud-machines/

[16] John Bruckman: http://www.flickr.com/photos/innereye/

[17] Death Valley: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_Valley

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