Thursday, June 29, 2006

Kyoto, Emission laws and Geo-Engineering

There has always been a fascination with weather since the dawn of men and also the wish to control it. Especially the military is interested in controlling weather and thereby defining the conditions on the battlefield: sunny weather if you attack; clouds, raind and storm if you have to delay an enemy attack.
But there are also good ideas why civil persons would be interested in controlling weather. It would lower the risk of extreme weather events andd lately it'd help to "prevente global warming".

This new (or rather old) branch of geo-sciences, the engineering-branch, is called geo-engineering and now puts forth new methods to cool the earth via aerosols. This approach is rightly critizised, because never has such an endavour really worked. There have been attempts to stimulate rain, cloud-forming and storms by adding salt or other ingredients into the lower-middle atmosphere (like between troposphere and stratosphere). There have been numerous attempts to oppress the building up of hurricanes and tornados by adding substances and thereby warming the thing up (as to its "explosion").

However, none of those ideas could reach the degree of scientific basis. They all worked randomly, so that we never knew whether it actually affected the forming of weather events.
Now, they are trying to prevent on an even bigger scale: Global Warming and Climate Change.
I think (as do the folks at realclimate) that this is a futile attempt. If the solutions (cures) don't work at a lower level, they won't work high up.
However, it is still interesting, even if only in its futility. The big failure will provide a necessary insight into humans trying to alter the way of our blue planet. If positive action doesn't work because the system is too complex, why should negative action have a desirable outcome?

If geo-engineering doesn't work, why should anything like Kyoto work? We don't know what effects would really come from a radical reduction of CO2. We don't even can estimate how the world would react to a sudden drop in temperatures. What if solar radiance and Greenhouse gases would drop proportionally at the same time. Perhaps the cooling feedback would destroy more than save? (If it has ever saved anything...)

Whatever we will do, we will meddle with the so-called natural climate and the consequences are not forseeable. So, why think about it, if you can't measure the consequences. We just have to think that what we do, we do and we will have the proper answers when something really happens.
The alternatives are like pushing with randomly into a hornet nest without knowing where the stick goes... The consequence could be honey, or a sting by a hornet..

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