Mike Ault's thoughts on various topics, Oracle related and not. Note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are not contributing to the overall theme of the BLOG or are insulting or demeaning to anyone. The posts on this blog are provided “as is” with no warranties and confer no rights. The opinions expressed on this site are mine and mine alone, and do not necessarily represent those of my employer.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Scuba Diving New York City

A few months ago I wrote a blog about global warming and some possible mitigating actions we could all take (here: http://mikerault.blogspot.com/2008_04_01_archive.html) some might have been a bit off the wall, but were meant to make people think. Of course now many leading scientists are saying there is nothing we can do to radically affect global warming trends for the next 1000 years (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/01/27/2475687.htm). The article pretty much echoed the sentiments I expressed in an earlier blog of mine in which I stated that while we as a species may have added 1 or 2 percent to the overall picture we are on a warming and CO2 curve that is following a natural cycle that seems to occur about every 100,000 years or so according to studies of ice cores from the Vostok site in Antarctica (http://www.daviesand.com/Choices/Precautionary_Planning/New_Data/). If there was a direct correlation between temperature and CO2 concentration then we would all be par boiled since we are at a level almost 100 PPM above highest historical levels and so the temperature should be 5-10 degrees above what it currently is, when in fact, we are actually cooler by up to 2 degrees than we should be according to the historical data.

Perhaps my most wild eyed suggestion was to place a solar shield between the Earth and the sun to reduce the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth. Oddly the most wild eyed suggestion seems to be the only one that would make a difference at all. Unless we find a way to reduce the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth’s surface we can expect global temperatures to increase steadily until there are no ice caps, Arctic or Antarctica.

The net effect of the melting of the melting of the Arctic ice cap would be negligible since it is in effect floating so the change in sea levels would be near zero, however, the polar bears would have a few issues. The biggest problem would be the Antarctic ice sheet which is resting on the continent of Antarctica. As it melts and adds to the water levels the weight compressing the Antarctic land mass decreases causing rebound. Between the added water level and the displacement from rebound we are talking over 100 feet of additional water levels around the world. Say good bye to New York, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, almost all of Florida, heck, most of our seaports. You think Bangladesh has problems with flooding now, just wait.

We need to start planning and doing something now. By reducing the amount of sunlight we receive by 10% we could nip this issue in the bud before 42nd street is considered an advanced level scuba dive. This would be done by orbiting a single large sunscreen or multiple smaller sunscreens in the L1 Lagrange point. Maybe by making these sunscreens actually into thermionic generators or simple solar cell arrays we could also provide large amounts of energy which could be sent back to Earth via microwave beams for use as a green energy source(http://gltrs.grc.nasa.gov/reports/2004/TM-2004-212743.pdf). To block 10 percent of the energy of the sun that reaches the Earth sounds a bit crazy but it could be done.

Even by spreading large clouds of metallic debris (how about all those aluminum cans we see lining the roadways?) or using a few large asteroids pushed into place using low thrust ion drives (http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/ion/) .

It is time to look out for all of us and put aside petty (in the scheme of global warming scale disaster) differences and pull together to really do something to fix this problem. Driving a fuel efficient car and turning your thermostat down in the winter and up in the summer may give you warm and fuzzy (or cold and fuzzy depending on the season) feeling but it won’t amount to a hill of beans when it comes to helping fix global warming.

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