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Author Topic: Geoengineering the Arctic Ice Sheet - Artificial Albedo  (Read 4142 times)

jonthed

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Geoengineering the Arctic Ice Sheet - Artificial Albedo
« on: June 22, 2013, 05:42:25 PM »
I was wondering about possible ways that man might artificially control the albedo of the arctic ocean, with the goal of reflecting as much solar radiation as possible, and possibly helping the ice sheet to form and grow and remain stable. Does anyone know of any such geoengineering suggestions?

Here are a couple of starting points that I thought might lead to something:

Bubbles/Foam/Froth

- A large number of unmanned vessels or even bouys are let loose in the arctic to drift about churning up a large about of bubbles or foam, using some chemical solution if it'd help.

Floating white stuff

- tiny white spheres like polystyrene (although i guess not insulating?) that float on the surface and increase albedo.
- Larger floating discs of white, floating, non-insulating material

Dye/"white oil"

Some sort of liquid that can be liberally poured into the ocean which will remain near or on the surface and increase the albedo. Like a giant white oil spill, something that floats on the surface would be ideal?


Ok I'm out, and I'll be honest, these all sound like seriously bad or flawed ideas to me too.

Does anybody have any comments, or know of any 'real' proposals to artificially increase albedo?

Can you see any merit in any of the above proposals?

I know we're talking a huge area, but if it were relatively cheap and simple (dumping a load of white oil in the sea, it might be something the international community might consider workable)

Any thoughts?

ccgwebmaster

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Re: Geoengineering the Arctic Ice Sheet - Artificial Albedo
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2013, 06:30:30 PM »
Cloud brightening using seawater spray to increase cloud albedo above inflowing water to cool it and reduce heat being transported in seems about as good as it gets - as proposed by Stephen Salter a couple of years ago now. I believe the idea is to spray a mist of particles of the right sort of size to act as condensation nuclei to promote cloud formation. To proceed with it at least to the point of making some experimental setups would be rather cheap, but the funding has so far not been forthcoming.

Everything you describe sounds - as you say - rather flawed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twomey_effect

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_reflectivity_modification

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/6354759.stm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17400804
« Last Edit: June 22, 2013, 06:37:00 PM by ccgwebmaster »

anonymous

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Re: Geoengineering the Arctic Ice Sheet - Artificial Albedo
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2013, 06:56:51 PM »
I'm not a fan of bathtub science applied in the Arctic and would prefer the international community doing their homework and agree to reduce CO2 emissions instead.

ggelsrinc

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Re: Geoengineering the Arctic Ice Sheet - Artificial Albedo
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2013, 05:12:31 PM »
I was wondering about possible ways that man might artificially control the albedo of the arctic ocean, with the goal of reflecting as much solar radiation as possible, and possibly helping the ice sheet to form and grow and remain stable. Does anyone know of any such geoengineering suggestions?

Here are a couple of starting points that I thought might lead to something:

Bubbles/Foam/Froth

- A large number of unmanned vessels or even bouys are let loose in the arctic to drift about churning up a large about of bubbles or foam, using some chemical solution if it'd help.

Floating white stuff

- tiny white spheres like polystyrene (although i guess not insulating?) that float on the surface and increase albedo.
- Larger floating discs of white, floating, non-insulating material

Dye/"white oil"

Some sort of liquid that can be liberally poured into the ocean which will remain near or on the surface and increase the albedo. Like a giant white oil spill, something that floats on the surface would be ideal?


Ok I'm out, and I'll be honest, these all sound like seriously bad or flawed ideas to me too.

Does anybody have any comments, or know of any 'real' proposals to artificially increase albedo?

Can you see any merit in any of the above proposals?

I know we're talking a huge area, but if it were relatively cheap and simple (dumping a load of white oil in the sea, it might be something the international community might consider workable)

Any thoughts?

I suggest geoengineering the arctic sea ice using a nuclear powered icebreaker to make more sea ice. In itself, a nuclear powered icebreaker would only plow through around 2,000 square kilometers of sea ice during the refreeze season. There are 10 nuclear powered icebreakers in the world. The first is a museum piece. Two are river class and another is an icebreaker equipped cargo ship. Of the remaining six, two are presently not operational.

A nuclear icebreaker could be used to open large fissures in the arctic sea ice during refreeze, cooling the ocean while adding the insulation of sea ice.

It isn't an artificial albedo, but the real thing would work as well or better.

The cheapest way I know of to turn something white is titanium oxide, so think DuPont and paint. I don't think those type of products could be safely used in the environment, but I think we could make a product that turns white when exposed to sunlight warming and switches to a dark color without sunlight when it's cooling. It would be great roofing material, but I think it could be made as a paint to be applied to various surfaces.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2013, 05:18:00 PM by ggelsrinc »