Thursday, April 9, 2009

Obama considers geoengineering atmosphere as urgency to tackle warming tipping points kicks in

Twice in a half-hour interview, Holdren compared global warming to being "in a car with bad brakes driving toward a cliff in the fog."

Holdren, a 1981 winner of a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant, outlined these possible geoengineering options:

• Shooting sulfur particles (like those produced by power plants and volcanoes, for example) into the upper atmosphere, an idea that gained steam when it was proposed by Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen in 2006. It would be "basically mimicking the effect of volcanoes in screening out the incoming sunlight," Holdren said.

• Creating artificial "trees" — giant towers that suck carbon dioxide out of the air and store it.

SHOOT: They should also consider atmosphere processing (as demonstrated in ALIENS] - giant atmosphere processors meant to scrub the air and remove carbon from it while cooling it down.
A cheaper method would involve painting all black surfaces (including roads and rooftops) white.
clipped from
John Holdren talks about his role as President Obama's science adviser during an

WASHINGTON – Tinkering with Earth's climate to chill runaway global warming — a radical idea once dismissed out of hand — is being discussed by the White House as a potential emergency option, the president's new science adviser said Wednesday.

That's because global warming is happening so rapidly, John Holdren told The Associated Press in his first interview since being confirmed last month.

The concept of using technology to purposely cool the climate is called geoengineering. One option raised by Holdren and proposed by a Nobel Prize-winning scientist includes shooting pollution particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun's rays.

His concern is that the United States and other nations won't slow global warming fast enough and that several "tipping points" could be fast approaching. Once such milestones are reached, such as complete loss of summer sea ice in the Arctic, it increases chances of "really intolerable consequences," he said.
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