Geoengineering our climate is not a 'quick fix'

November 26, 2014
Credit: University of Leeds

The deliberate, large-scale intervention in the Earth's climate system is not a "quick fix" for global warming, according to the findings of the UK's first publicly funded studies on geoengineering.

The results of three projects - IAGP, led by the University of Leeds; SPICE, led by the University of Bristol; and CGG, led by the University of Oxford - are announced at an event held at The Royal Society, London, on 26 November 2014.

Professor Piers Forster, Professor of Physical Climate Change at the University of Leeds, and the principal investigator of the Integrated Assessment of Geoengineering Proposals (IAGP) project, said: "Our research shows that the devil is in the detail. Geoengineering will be much more expensive and challenging than previous estimates suggest and any benefits would be limited.

"For example, when simulating the spraying of sea salt particles into clouds to try to brighten them, we found that only a few clouds were susceptible and that the particles would tend to coagulate and fall out before reaching the cloud base."

In September 2009, The Royal Society published a report, Geoengineering the climate: science, governance and uncertainty. It influenced research worldwide, identified important gaps and called for a major UK funding programme into . The IAGP and SPICE projects were funded the next year, and the CGG project followed in 2012.

IAGP is the UK's first interdisciplinary research study into the controversial issue of geoengineering. It has brought together a range of expertise - climate modelling, philosophy and engineering - in addition to understanding public perceptions, to assess geoengineering within wider societal values.

"Cleverly designed simulations create less necessity for real-world testing.. My favourite part of the research involved creating a virtual reality in which we tried to rescue Arctic sea ice by dumping sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere from Stratotanker aircraft flying out of Svalbard in Norway," said Professor Forster.

"Issues around monitoring and predicting the effects of our actions led to huge indecision and highlighted how challenging it would be to ever try and deploy these techniques in the real world."

Researchers working on the Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering (SPICE) project took a different tack, but came to a similar cautionary conclusion.

Rather than running simulations, SPICE researchers used volcanoes as models to mimic the effect of a proposal, in which sulphate aerosols are pumped into the atmosphere to reflect more sunlight back into space. This is a process that also naturally occurs due to particles emitted from volcanic eruptions.

Dr Matthew Watson, a reader in natural hazards from the University of Bristol, and principal investigator for the SPICE project, said: "Whilst it is clear that temperatures could be reduced during deployment, the potential for misstep is considerable. By identifying risks, we hope to contribute to the evidence base around geoengineering that will determine whether deployment, in the face of the threat of climate change, has the capacity to do more good than harm."

In addition to the feasibility of deployment, IAGP researchers organised workshops to gauge people's perceptions of geoengineering. Four public workshops were held in Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow and Norwich, and two stakeholder workshops in London, with representation from national government departments, civil society groups and industry.

The idea that geoengineering involves "messing with nature" was found to be a central theme in public discussion groups. The workshops also revealed that, of the geoengineering proposals discussed, carbon dioxide removal approaches were favoured over solar geoengineering approaches.

In both the public discussion groups and stakeholder workshops, strategies, such as improving energy efficiency measures and scaling up renewable technologies, were preferred to geoengineering proposals.

Professor Forster said: "Consulting the public, policymakers and industry from the start told us that we should only consider geoengineering within the wider context of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Geoengineering is not a 'quick fix' alternative."

Dr Watson added: "Full scale deployment of technologies will be the clearest indication that we have failed in our role as planetary stewards, but there is a point at which not deploying some technologies would be unethical."

Meanwhile, the Climate Geoengineering Governance (CGG) project is the world's first project to concentrate on the governance and regulatory challenges posed by both research and possible deployment.

The findings of the CGG project include the likelihood that cost estimates for major projects are unrealistic, and that geoengineering must be located firmly in the context of mitigation and adaptation to .

Furthermore, CGG research has also unearthed a paradox: Geoengineering proposals that are technically the easiest to implement and have the quickest impact may be most difficult to govern, while those that are easiest to govern seem likely to be further away from effective large-scale deployment.

Professor Steve Rayner, the James Martin Professor of Science and Civilization at the University of Oxford, and principal investigator for the CGG project, concludes: "Take everything you hear both for and against geoengineering with a large grain of salt. Mostly it is too soon to know what any of these technology ideas would look like in practice or what would be their true cost and benefit.

"But it's almost certain that geoengineering will be neither a magic bullet nor Pandora's Box."

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Canute
1.9 / 5 (9) Nov 26, 2014
Before these academics go any further researching processes that will probably harm billions, I wish they would ask themselves - "Why did 98% of climate change computer models FAIL to model the current hiatus".
It is these clearly inaccurate models that are used as the basis of the whole climate change agenda yet the academic community seems unwilling to have brutally honest auditing of these models neither is there transparency as to all the assumptions used in a model. Although most if not all the models are funded using taxpayers money
zz5555
4 / 5 (10) Nov 26, 2014
I wish they would ask themselves - "Why did 98% of climate change computer models FAIL to model the current hiatus"


They've already asked themselves that and they're working on it, but it will require much larger and more powerful computers to get the resolution needed. However, it's not really important to long term climate projections because short term events like the current hiatus don't really affect where the long term warming will go. In the 90s, the climate warmed faster than the models projected, now the climate's a little slower. It all averages out in the long term.
Selena
Nov 26, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Nov 26, 2014
larger and more powerful computers

Won't help.
runrig
4 / 5 (8) Nov 26, 2014
earching processes that will probably harm billions, I wish they would ask themselves - "Why did 98% of climate change computer models FAIL to model the current hiatus".


The answers quite simple Canute .... because the ENSO cycle CANNOT be forecast.

I'll let you research the effects ENSO has on global ave temps.
Also, do look up the thermodynamics of the oceans - there's a good boy/girl.
You will undoubtedly be enlightened ... or not depending on personal ideology.
thermodynamics
4.4 / 5 (9) Nov 26, 2014
Canute said:
"Why did 98% of climate change computer models FAIL to model the current hiatus".


The models did not fail.

Just because you keep repeating the same mantra does not make it so.

The bottom line is that there is no global hiatus in warming. It is just warming the oceans faster than expected (which means they have to get a better handle on coupling of oceans to the atmosphere). However, the models have been very successful in showing that the energy of the global mass is increasing. That is like saying that they are unsuccessful because they can't tell you what the temperature in Topeka will be on March 16th. The fact that they are getting the heat content increase right is much more important than how it is distributed. If neither the oceans or air were getting warmer I would be concerned. However, they are both getting warmer, just with a distribution that is not well predicted. The only fail is your comprehension.
TegiriNenashi
1 / 5 (5) Nov 26, 2014
...It is just warming the oceans faster than expected...


Are you sure about this? Argo page itself
http://www.argo.u...tml#temp
stops at 5 year old Levitus et al. According to
http://wattsupwit...and-ohc/
oceans warm at the rate of 0.02C/decade.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) Nov 26, 2014
">95% of the models have over-forecast the warming trend since 1979, whether we use their own surface temperature dataset (HadCRUT4), or our satellite dataset of lower tropospheric temperatures (UAH):"
http://www.drroys...e-wrong/
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) Nov 26, 2014
"And there may also be "unknown unknowns." For instance, a paper in Earth and Planetary Science Letters in March reported finding fossilized ferns in central Siberia that suggest that in the late Cretaceous era, temperatures there were like modern-day Florida. Yet current climate models predict that the area should have had average temperatures around zero Celsius. The British climate modeler involved in the study, Paul Valdes of Bristol University, says this snapshot from the era of the dinosaurs could mean that "the internal physics of our climate models are wrong." That the models may also be drastically underestimating likely warming in the 21st century."
"Some experts think the consensus of the models is bogus. "The modelers tend to tweak them to align them. The process is very incestuous," one leading British analyst on uncertainty in models told me."
http://e360.yale....ng/2028/
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) Nov 26, 2014
"One speaker likened modern climate modelers to the ancient oracles. "They are part of the tradition of goats' entrails and tea leaves. They are a way of objectifying advice, cloaking sensible ideas in a false aura of scientific certainty.""
http://e360.yale....ng/2028/

"Natural chaos in our climate system creates uncertainty in predictions that can't be removed, no matter how good scientists' models get. Clara Deser from the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado and her colleagues have shown these effects can be as strong as human-caused warming. "
http://simpleclim...-models/
Water_Prophet
2 / 5 (4) Nov 26, 2014
As far as prediction goes, I've had no trouble with it at all. You all can deny it all you like but climate change is easy to predict. I've been doing it for years, the only curveball I've been thrown is the Polar Vortex, and even my detractors must admit, my model has compensated for that pretty well, despite shoddy data.
No they won't, but it doesn't change the fact it is easy to predict change, even with poor data. Better computing, hmmpf.

But if we are going to geoengineer, why not do the easy and good stuff first. Reforest Australia, it used to be forest you know, it just needs cooling off. Same is somewhat true of Egypt (and they are doing this).
And for the oceans, reduce farming runoff. This seems easy in so many ways. Barriers for example.
https://nofishlef...d-zones/
SamB
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014
Before these academics go any further researching processes that will probably harm billions, I wish they would ask themselves - "Why did 98% of climate change computer models FAIL to model the current hiatus".

Our models are not yet very accurate. We keep trying to get useful results but so far it is hit and miss. Eventually, with enough tweaks we hope to get a handle on good forecasting with our computers. Many times we thought we had it in the bag but mother nature is tricky.
runrig
4.4 / 5 (7) Nov 27, 2014
...It is just warming the oceans faster than expected...


Are you sure about this? Argo page itself
http://www.argo.u...tml#temp
oceans warm at the rate of 0.02C/decade.

Tegiri...

First off, I don't consider WUWT a credible source. I've posted there and know full well.
Second you confuse temperature with heat capacity.
Try working that out in Joules (x10^22)

http://en.wikiped...2010.svg
Captain Stumpy
3 / 5 (6) Nov 27, 2014
As far as prediction goes, I've had no trouble with it at all. You all can deny it all you like but climate change is easy to predict. I've been doing it for years
@ALCHE/crybaby
you have said this in the past, but you have never once been able to give a link which supports this conjecture you've posted
you have never once been able to provide a link to a post or dated comment that proves you've made any accurate predictions at all
and even my detractors must admit, my model has compensated for that pretty well, despite shoddy data
i am a detractor and i am saying that you have never provided any data at all supporting this BS conjecture either
also, your model in no way, shape or form is representative of the climate model except in your delusional dream state... this is called a fantasy, not reality

IF your model was so accurate and effective, you should have taken the challenge and proved AGW wrong
but you can't even refute the known science, let alone the unknown
Captain Stumpy
3.3 / 5 (7) Nov 27, 2014
It is these clearly inaccurate models that are used as the basis of the whole climate change agenda yet the academic community seems unwilling to have brutally honest auditing of these models neither is there transparency as to all the assumptions used in a model. Although most if not all the models are funded using taxpayers money
@canute
1- the models and the information are readily available, as Thermo has provided links to them in the past as well as the source code and info
2- the models are NOT the basis "of the whole climate change agenda", the science is the basis
Here are some studies... feel free to find equivalent studies refuting them
http://www.scienc...5682/362
http://www.nature...65a.html
http://rspb.royal...20141856
http://marine.rut..._pub.pdf
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (6) Nov 27, 2014
Geoengineering is dicey, because there is no possibility to undo it once it's been started. If there are unwanted side-effects (soil/ocean poisoning, fallout on plant and animal populations or associated health problems for humans) then we'd be stuck with that. It's just bad business to make decisions without a fallback stratgey.

The sole exception that might work are space based shades. But in the end that doesn't solve the problem and it would mean that companies would feel no compunction about continuing to dump waste into the atmosphere...to the point where its not just a heat problem but also a chemical/toxicity problem. And then we're truly sunk.

Rather invest the money to shut down the source of the problem. It wouldn't even be all that expensive (and it would be a one-time expenditure rather than the constant - and constantly compunding - amount to stabilize a status quo)
Water_Prophet
1 / 5 (4) Nov 29, 2014
Stumpy-
1. You are on the ignored list, so would you stop posting as if I will answer?
2. I admitted I assumed another's account, so you are not calling me out as the alchemist. I can't access "The Alchemist" account any longer.
3. I can and have predicted climate. In fact, you're soaking in my predictions. Thermo called me out for my predictions for this winter. So far they're spot on, though you and your cyber bullies will never admit it.
4. You never gone down the road far enough to say my predictions are wrong.
5. I don't need to cite anything, I am predicting, I can't cite a prediction. Besides, I've been citing articles here as they pop up as confirming these predictions. Which you run from like a scared kitten.
6. The zero-level predicts global environment change to a T.
7. Using the polar vortex, and less fossil fuels predicts a cold northern hemisphere (1st level).
Water_Prophet
1 / 5 (4) Nov 29, 2014
This is something I'd been looking for a while:
Anyone can use "wood for trees" and the gov site to plainly see the strong relation between GDP and temperature:
http://www.truthf...2Bplugin
and
http://woodfortre....9/trend

Noting that if it were CO2, temperature would have a "summa" character, not respond with the economy.

Also my favorite "citation" which skepti deceptively ignores-Water vapor:
http://en.wikiped...m_en.svg
Clearly depicting the feeble GHG effect of CO2 vs water, AND not even mentioning that water has increased an average of 450ppm, to CO2 135ppm.

Read more at: http://phys.org/n...html#jCp
Water_Prophet
1 / 5 (4) Nov 29, 2014
BTW
http://phys.org/n...ium.html

that's just as good as a brass bowl, ice and a candle, isn't?
Vietvet
4 / 5 (4) Nov 29, 2014
BTW
http://phys.org/n...ium.html

that's just as good as a brass bowl, ice and a candle, isn't?


Not even close.
Water_Prophet
1 / 5 (4) Nov 30, 2014
Oh, it seems to me the the "brass bowl" explains any "pause."
It predicts, indeed predicted, that the major first change to the Earth would be loss of ice caps. 30 years before it was popular.
It predicts temperature is not a significant factor, that the Earth is buffered against dramatic temp. changes.
It predicts, with the recession of polar ice, WHICH IT CREATES ANALOGY TO, that sunlight won't have the albedo there and so be absorbed, with those effects.
It shows that heat is the issue, not GHGs, as are demonstrated by the correlation to GDP which correlates to burned fuels.
There are more, and that is just the kick-off of the brass bowl Gedanken model, it gets better, though none of you have the guts to pursue it.
I guess I mis-interpreted your comment, you're right, that simple model for climate change is not even close to the "Two bucket model," it is far superior and far-reaching. It took me a bit, given our history to interpret that as a complement.
Shootist
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 30, 2014
I ain't worrying about any of it until I see my political leaders acting as if there is a problem.

Until then I have no reason not to believe this is anything but a power and money grab: "The polar bears will be fine" - Freeman Dyson
xstos
3 / 5 (2) Nov 30, 2014
I have a climate model that needs no data:

Oil builds up over hundreds of millions of years as biomass decomposes and is layered over. It is sequestered. Humans start pumping said oil and burning it (releasing heat and greenhouse gases). Humans have epic amounts of livestock that fart and create methane (a 10X worse gas than CO2). 7B Humans fart as well. We deforest the planet thus transforming areas of net cooling to radiative heaters. We cover the globe with cities and factories. Our appliances all output heat, as do our power stations and machinery. We put pavement everywhere and our cities turn into space heaters.

Global warming doesn't really sound all that far fetched to me. The rate may be in question, but the destination is quite assured.
Captain Stumpy
4 / 5 (4) Dec 01, 2014
Stumpy-
1. You are on the ignored list, so would you stop posting as if I will answer?
@ALCHE/crybaby
wait... WTF? logical fallacy
if i am on the ignore list, and you will not answer, what are you doing answering?
2. I admitted I assumed another's account, so you are not calling me out as the alchemist. I can't access "The Alchemist" account any longer
i am reminding anyone else new that you are the same denier with no evidence and pushing pseudoscience
what happened, Alche? why can't you use alche anymore?
3. I can and have predicted climate. In fact, you're soaking in my predictions. Thermo called me out for my predictions for this winter. So far they're spot on, though you and your cyber bullies will never admit it
1- you've never made long term predictions that you can prove were accurate
2- your winter predictions are no different than NOAA's or mine
3- strawman fallacy, obfuscation, redirect with no reputable time-stamped empirical evidence for proof
Captain Stumpy
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2014
@ALCHE/crybaby cont'd
4. You never gone down the road far enough to say my predictions are wrong
you quit because you saw that Thermo was correct, and the studies validate his experiment and lend credence to his proclamations
5. I don't need to cite anything, I am predicting, I can't cite a prediction. Besides, I've been citing articles here as they pop up as confirming these predictions. Which you run from like a scared kitten
I respond to everything as i can, and i try to fact check as i go... but you also said you had me on ignore, so there was no point in rushing ... but i feel froggy!
feel free to repost any links that refute the stidies that i linked
The studies that you have linked don't refute the studies that i have linked either... they actually enhance what i have been saying already
see above for details

also... prediction requires accuracy, and you've no historical proof of that at all, whatsoever

no peer reviewed anything NOR reputable links at all
Captain Stumpy
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2014
@ALCHE/crybaby cont'd
6. The zero-level predicts global environment change to a T
this "prediction" would only be supported if you have a historical time stamped set of postings or data that could not be manipulated easily... and thus you have no proof whatsoever at all of accuracy nor of prediction! it is simply your word against reality
case in point: my sister swears her astrologer is 100% accurate too with no flaws... perhaps you two should meet, eh?
IOW - pseudoscience
7. Using the polar vortex, and less fossil fuels predicts a cold northern hemisphere (1st level)
and?
Noting that if it were CO2, temperature would have a "summa" character, not respond with the economy
1- did you read the "Beware sharp tools" warning on your own WFT link?
I thought not... otherwise you would know that you can cherry-pick the data to say a lot of things (see Uba for details on that one)
2- study trumps conjecture: http://www.scienc...abstract
Captain Stumpy
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2014
@ALCHE/crybaby cont'd
Also my favorite "citation" which skepti deceptively ignores-Water vapor:
http://en.wikiped...m_en.svg
Clearly depicting the feeble GHG effect of CO2 vs water, AND not even mentioning that water has increased an average of 450ppm, to CO2 135ppm
and if you would have bothered to read the study above, you would see that it specifically addresses water vapor in it as well as it's power and how it reacts to being forced with the GHG's and especially CO2...

THAT IS SPECIFICALLY WHY I CHOSE THAT STUDY FOR YOU TO READ

that is also how i know you never bothered to read it... but anyone who does will know you are full of manure

Techno dug up a free copy... you can too

I am tired of doing your homework for you and you still ignore it... especially when it is a cogent well written study that specifically addresses the issues that you are maligning and trying to obfuscate with nonsense ice water bowl models and no common sense
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Dec 01, 2014
@ALCHE/crybaby cont'd
Oh,... the the "brass bowl" explains any "pause."
and lastly... you continue to make this claim but you have yet to make any kind of effort to produce any real experimental results within the rules and constraints of the scientific method...

and then you have the blatantly stupid audacity to challenge empirical evidence and studies as though they are simply the whimsy of a delusion you thought up

unfortunately for you, science, evidence and studies, especially from reputable sources like Science Mag, trump your insane delusional street-corner rantings of water-bowl hallucination
going to throw the bones next?
kill a chicken and read the entrails too?
astrological sign with numerology predictions?

http://www.scienc...356.full
http://sci-ence.o...-flags2/
http://phys.org/n...firstCmt
http://phys.org/n...firstCmt
Water_Prophet
1 / 5 (4) Dec 01, 2014
@xstos, your albeit very glib model has good truth in it as well as humor. Burning fossil fuels is releasing the Sun's energy stored in those fuels thousands of years ago. It releases ~<1/10000 of the Sun's energy. 1/1000 of the Sun's energy is the difference between solar energy maximums and minimums. Which have noticeable pseudo-effects on climate.
Just this right there seems to be enough to explain Anthropomorphic change.

@Forum, I am curious to know if Stumps, in his 6x1000 character rants against my simple explanation, has anything to say? Anyone, he's on my ignore list, and so the cyber-bully is in his element.

Could he possibly be refuting my predictions? Silly of him, they have already come to pass, it is no use deny a prophecy after it has occurred.

Thus speaks the Water Prophet.
Captain Stumpy
4 / 5 (4) Dec 02, 2014
I am curious to know if
@FORUM
For information about how to spot a fraud, fake, con-man, or pseudoscience poster... i have posted two comments here ( http://phys.org/n...firstCmt]http://phys.org/n...firstCmt[/url] )
that should really help you

post # 132 and 133 (search for the following: "Please note, for all the users out there who are interested" )

these posts specifically deal with how to spot frauds like ALCHE/crybaby/water_prophet who might talk like it might make some sense

one thing to always be aware of is that the CON usually involves using logical sounding arguments OR sometimes (like with something like the electric universe) there will be SOME actual science involved, but distorted and blown out of proportion

ALCHE demonstrates many of these traits

see the link: http://phys.org/n...firstCmt]http://phys.org/n...firstCmt[/url]
posts from 2014 - DEC - 02

Water_Prophet
1 / 5 (4) Dec 02, 2014
Stumps, I still can't read your posts, and nobody finds them worth repeating or quoting. Get a clue.
Do you need a bigger hint?
Oh, wait, I am sure one of your other screen names will suddenly start quoting you.
Oh, wait, I ignored them to, quelle dilemma.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (4) Dec 05, 2014
"The deliberate, large-scale intervention in the Earth's climate system is not a "quick fix" for global warming"

I dont get it. 'The deliberate, large-scale intervention in the Earth's climate system' is how we got into this predicament in the first place. To cite a few 'first publicly-funded studies' as reason to conclude that we could never devise effective engineering solutions to global warming is somewhat myopic I think.

Real engineers can do pretty much anything. And if you believe that we have already exceeded the tipping point, then you have to accept that large-scale geoengineering is the only real hope we have.

Robotics will make the megastructures we have already built seem minuscule in comparison. Why, AI-controlled, fully automated factories could churn out literally millions of self-propelled solar barges for reflecting heat back into space, did you know it? And they will give all those Mediterranean boat people somewhere to live as well.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (3) Dec 05, 2014
antialias also wants to shut down further engineering innovation because well nothing workable occurs to HIM, you know?
Geoengineering is dicey, because there is no possibility to undo it once it's been started. If there are unwanted side-effects (soil/ocean poisoning, fallout on plant and animal populations or associated health problems for humans) then we'd be stuck with that. It's just bad business to make decisions without a fallback stratgey
-This is making the totally unwarranted assumption that a workable solution can never be found. Because we havent found one to date I suppose.

Most indigenous animal populations are already threatened by encroachment and invasive species. It will take engineering to restore ecosystems and prevent total collapse.

From now on the planet will have to be managed as a park.

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