Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A safer alternative to Solar Radiation Management (Geoengineering)

By Oscar A. Escobar

Updated July/21/2014

A safer alternative to Solar Radiation Management (Geoengineering) for the fight against Climate Change-Global Warming: The Reduction of (persistent contrail induced cirrus) 
by-product of Aviation
By Oscar A. Escobar
Lakeland, FL 08/28/2012 title edited 10/15/2012

Reading new published studies and news about Geoengineering gets me emotional, like with the recent BBC article titled: “Geoengineering: Risks and Benefits” [1], because I believe that finally we are arriving to the point where the Geoengineering reality will come to light; but very soon I realize that in many occasions these are not really news, but just a recycling of old information about a “new” science that has been in practice for over half a century [2].

Well, that is too pessimistic! I am happy that this topic of Geoengineering is being presented more frequently and in a more serious manner as to give us, at least, a chance of considering what this “new’’ science means in all aspects, from social to military [3].

One of the branches of Geoengineering that is heavily promoted by supporters of this science is Solar Radiation Management; for which Stratospheric Aerosol injections is the most favored procedure [4].

Regarding anthropogenic emissions, especially the effect of persistent contrails and sulfuric aerosols as cooling agents, be it naturally occurring or by solar geoengineering operations:

The net radiative forcing from cirrus clouds in the troposphere, mainly as a product of aviation emissions, is positive (warming) [5] [6]; until recently there has been a great doubt because satellite observations did not take in consideration or missed the great positive radiative forcing of the very thin cirrus clouds [7] and climate models did not take in consideration the synergetic reactions of the elements released by aircraft fuel combustion [8]; it is “conventional wisdom” that these clouds (cirrus) allow the penetration of short wave radiation (incoming solar), while trapping the escaping long wave radiation, resulting in a net warming effect [9]. This, on top of the many little understood negative effects of stratospheric aerosols, like: Disruption of the water cycle, acid rain, ozone layer destruction an negative health impacts [10] [11].

There is also the possibility of overwhelming earths capacity to process atmospheric aerosols and CO2 if a large volcanic eruption or a few minor ones would occur in a short period while Geoengineering operations are taking place, specially Solar Radiation Management; with 4 possible disastrous consequences like: 1. Drought; 2. Ice age; 3. Global warming; 4. Mass extinctions [12].

It is my opinion that it is possible that eliminating or reducing the creation of these clouds (cirrus from aviation) may have a favorable, safer and more immediate effect on the reduction of climate change's extreme effects without facing some of the more dangerous consequences of Geoengineering.

Some of the schemes to reduce the aviation effects on climate, may be: Elimination of sulfuric content in fuels, more efficient flight designed aircraft, more efficient engine design, flight route planning to avoid contrail formation and reduction of night flights [13] [14].
Of course it is important to continue with the reduction of other GHGs excessive emissions.

Update July 21, 2014

Video T. Salermo: Aerosol Effects on Ice Clouds: Climate Forcing and Potential for Geoengineering

Cirrus Cloud Seeding has Potential to Cool Climate
T. Storelvmo, Department of Geology and Geophysics, Yale University

Update Feb/4/2013

From NewScientist Get cirrus in the fight against climate change

"FEATHERY cirrus clouds are beautiful, but when it comes to climate change, they are the enemy. Found at high-altitude and made of small ice crystals, they trap heat - so more cirrus means a warmer world. Now it seems that, by destroying cirrus, we could reverse all the warming Earth has experienced so far."

(My comment. OE)
Unfortunately... rather than reducing the man-made 'persistent contrails from aviation' by eliminating sulfur from jet fuel and - or adopting flight plans that reduce their formation, the study calls for the addition of yet another chemical compound (bismuth triiodide) to be released into the atmosphere to reduce cirrus coverage.

Update 8/16/13, study:

Effects of stratospheric sulfate aerosol geo-engineering on cirrus clouds

  1. Miriam Kuebbeler1,*,
  2. Ulrike Lohmann1,
  3. Johann Feichter2


1. Geoengineering: Risks and benefits

2. A Brief History of Geoengineering American Enterprise Institute

Chapter from Unless Peace Comes by Gordon J. F. MacDonald U.S.A. 1968

4. Geoengineering by Solar Radiation Management April 2010

5. Global radiative forcing from contrail cirrus
Ulrike Burkhardt & Bernd Kärcher. Nature Climate Change
Nature Climate Change Volume: 1, Pages: 54–58 Year published: (2011) DOI: doi:10.1038/nclimate1068

6. Atmospheric science: Seeing through contrails
Olivier Boucher
Nature Climate Change (2011) doi:10.1038/nclimate1078

7. Radiative effects of upper tropospheric clouds observed by Aura MLS and CloudSat
Hui Su et al.
GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 36, L09815, doi:10.1029/2009GL037173, 2009

8. Global climate impact of civil aviation for standard and desulfurized jet fuel
Nadine Unger School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University
GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 38, L20803, 6 PP., 2011 doi:10.1029/2011GL049289

9. Radiative Effects of Cloud-Type Variations
Chen, Ting, William B. Rossow, Yuanchong Zhang, 2000: Radiative Effects of Cloud-Type Variations. J. Climate, 13, 264–286.

10. Effects of Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption on the hydrological cycleas an analog of geoengineering
Kevin E. Trenberth and Aiguo Dai
GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 34, L15702, doi:10.1029/2007GL030524, 2007

11. The potential impacts of climate variability and change on air pollution-related health effects in the United States.
S M Bernard, J M Samet, A Grambsch, K L Ebi, and I Romieu
Environ Health Perspect. 2001 May; 109(Suppl 2): 199–209. PMCID: PMC1240667

12. Sulfur dioxide initiates global climate change in four ways
Peter L. Ward
Teton Tectonics, P.O. Box 4875, Jackson, WY, USA http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tsf.2009.01.005

13. Design of Aircraft Trajectories based on Trade-offs between Emission Sources
Banavar Sridhar, Neil Chen, Hok Ng and Florian Linke
USA/Europe Air Traffic Management Research and Development Seminar Berlin, Germany 2011

Emily Schwartz Dallara © 2011 by Emily Dallara. All Rights Reserved.
Re-distributed by Stanford University under license with the author.

Other links

(March 1, 2013)
The Surprising Way Airplanes May Be Heating Up the World's Climate

(Feb 22, 2013)
Contrails warm the world more than aviation emissions

(Jan 17, 2014)
Reductions in aircraft particulate emissions due to the use of Fischer–Tropsch fuels
A. J. Beyersdorf et al - doi:10.5194/acp-14-11-2014

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Los invito a que lean también mi semanario en español:

GEOINGENIERIA DEL CLIMA - Temas sobre la Geoingeniería Climática - Modificación del Clima 

Y en inglés con algunos articulos en español: #Geoengineering #Climate Issues
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A #Geoengineering #Climate Issues blog - Geoingeniería by Oscar and Jocelyn Escobar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.Licencia Creative Commons
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