The Blanket Effect is intended for others to learn about weather modification and its related subjects in an easy to understand way. Started in 2005, this blog is a work in progress as the technology advances

January 19, 2007

Reuters' Report on Albedo Modification

(note: Dr. Crutzen continued seeking publicity for the albedo modification plan, as an article originally published by Reuters news service is excerpted here)


15 Dec 2006
Source: Reuters

Nobel Prize laureate Paul Crutzen says he has new data supporting his controversial theory that injecting the common pollutant sulphur into the atmosphere would cancel out the greenhouse effect.

Though such a project could not be implemented for at least 10 years, the data is aimed at appeasing critics of the idea he first championed in the scientific journal Climatic Change in August.

The Dutch meteorologist showed what he calls the positive cooling effect of adding a layer of sulphates to the atmosphere at a global warming conference at the Porter School for Environmental Studies in Tel Aviv.

He said new, detailed calculations carried out since August showed the project would indeed lower global temperatures. "Our calculations using the best models available have shown that injecting 1 million tonnes of sulphur a year would cool down the climate so the greenhouse effect is wiped out," Crutzen told Reuters.

(note: toxicity symptoms for sulfer are listed here)

An added layer of sulphates in the stratosphere, some 10 miles (16 km) above the earth, would reflect sunlight into space and reduce solar radiation reaching the earth's surface, Crutzen said.

"We are now entering a very intensive period of model calculations and following that we will conduct small experiments to test the sulphur oxidation mechanisms that we calculated," Crutzen said.

Crutzen said he planned to publish the new findings in a few months' time in one of the major scientific journals.

Some critics say the project is too risky and will have negative effects on the earth's water supply and increase acid rain. Crutzen said it was necessary to study the negative consequences, but he did not expect a rise in acid rain because the amount of sulphur injected would be a small percentage of the sulphates polluting the lower atmosphere today.

"The fact that the top experts in the field are saying it's necessary shows it's a sad state of affairs," said Steve Sawyer, a policy adviser for Greenpeace International.

Some environmental groups, wary of geo-engineering projects, say the idea should at least be looked at. "This idea should be examined and as a last resort it can buy us a few decades," Sawyer said.

No comments: