SRM Geoengineering, Stratospheric Aerosols and Marine Cloud Brightening

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Kelly Wanser

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Feb 11, 2010, 5:26:33 PM2/11/10
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A number of recent high caliber dicussions of Solar Radiation Management research, governance and deployment have focused exclusively on stratospheric aerosol dispersal. It may be useful for any who are thinking about solar radiation management to include tropospheric techniques, particularly the (relatively) mature proposed method of SRM via Marine Cloud Brightening (Latham-Salter technique) in policy and research considerations.

There are important reasons to include marine cloud brightening as a component of any SRM research program.
  1. The global cooling potential may be similar to stratospheric aerosols. More work is needed, but early studies by Latham et. al. and more recent studies from Rasch et. al. and Caldeira et.al. indicate potential cooling/ CO2 offset effects and ice retention that compare favorable to forecasts for stratospheric aerosols.
  2. The primary risk profile is different from stratospheric aerosols. The techniques have differing precipitation effects and atmospheric chemistry.
  3. The deployment profile is different. Marine cloud brightening supports local /regional testing and deployment possibilities vs inherently global distribution in the stratosphere.
  4. The duration of the effect is different. Marine cloud brightening has a 2-3 day dissipation of the effect vs months or years for stratospheric aerosols.
  5. The research profile is different. Cloud-aerosol dynamics are an important gap in atmospheric science and cloud models, and aspects of early research in marine cloud brightening are similar or identical to studies of these general questions.  In addition, it is possible to study engineered effects on cohorts of clouds or regions of climate in a way that is difficult or impossible to do in the stratosphere.
  6. Policy and public perception are different. Local or regional cloud-aerosol research is likely to have fewer international regulatory considerations and a more benign public perception.
  7. Experience and knowledge transfer. There is likely to be very useful knowledge sharing across teams working on scientific, modeling and technical issues for both the stratosphere and the troposphere which should lend to more rigor, transparency and better informed regulation and monitoring of each.
  8. Inadvertent tropospheric/cloud brightening effects are already occurring, and require additional research.  Large scale reduction in emissions may have warming effects in which albedo offset alternatives may be desirable.
  9. The optimum approach may be to use multiple techniques. The risk-benefit profiles of the two most mature methods of solar radiation management, stratospheric aerosol dispersal and marine cloud brightening, suggest the possibility that the use of multiple sources of radiative forcing may reduce overall side-effects.
A large collaborative effort is underway that includes researchers at Manchester University, Leeds University, the University of Washington, the University of Edinburgh, NCAR, PNNL, PARC, Purdue University and elsewhere, to continue to analyze cloud aerosol effects in marine clouds and their impact on climate. This research will advance both understanding of currently poorly understood dynamics in the climate system (clouds and aerosols, boundary layer effects etc) and to advance knowledge relevant to marine cloud brightening as a form of geoengieering.


Kelly Wanser
Silver Lining Project

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Andrew Lockley

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Feb 11, 2010, 8:47:42 PM2/11/10
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There's another fairly critical issue about cloud ships that's rarely considered, and that's their vulnerability.  Let's image we're 50 years into a geoengineering programme, with either CCN or sulfur, and let's say we've got an 8C warming effect.  In the sulfur world, we'll be using a firehose, tanker fleet, or gunnery to shift the sulfur.  You won't be able to get near any of that infrastructure if you fancy throwing a spanner in the works.

Not so the cloud ships.  They will be floating about autonomously in the sea, and if anyone doesn't like them, they're quite free to set fire to them, blow them up, or just hack their software.  Trying to build them all again in a hurry when we're already in the midst of 8C warming could be a serious problem.  They won't be terribly expensive, but would a few months/years of 8C be highly damaging, or would the heat capacity of the ocean save our bacon?

It's a point that needs to be clarified.  If they're worth keeping then it's worth someone blowing them up, Dr. Evil style.

A

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Dan Whaley

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Feb 11, 2010, 8:51:30 PM2/11/10
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I'd argue that a fleet of hundred(s) of ships is much less vulnerable on the whole.  Repositioning is easy.

On Feb 11, 2010 5:47 PM, "Andrew Lockley" <andrew....@gmail.com> wrote:

There's another fairly critical issue about cloud ships that's rarely considered, and that's their vulnerability.  Let's image we're 50 years into a geoengineering programme, with either CCN or sulfur, and let's say we've got an 8C warming effect.  In the sulfur world, we'll be using a firehose, tanker fleet, or gunnery to shift the sulfur.  You won't be able to get near any of that infrastructure if you fancy throwing a spanner in the works.

Not so the cloud ships.  They will be floating about autonomously in the sea, and if anyone doesn't like them, they're quite free to set fire to them, blow them up, or just hack their software.  Trying to build them all again in a hurry when we're already in the midst of 8C warming could be a serious problem.  They won't be terribly expensive, but would a few months/years of 8C be highly damaging, or would the heat capacity of the ocean save our bacon?

It's a point that needs to be clarified.  If they're worth keeping then it's worth someone blowing them up, Dr. Evil style.

A



On 11 February 2010 22:26, Kelly Wanser <kelly....@gmail.com> wrote:
>

> A number of recent hig...

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Stephen Salter

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Feb 12, 2010, 5:50:29 AM2/12/10
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Andrew

I think that you may be mistaken about the vulnerability of spray
vessels. They will be widely dispersed in remote parts of the ocean. It
will be slow and expensive to knock out large numbers of them. Their
loss will take some time to hurt. Attacking ships will be visible on
radar for a day or so before they get close. Attacking aircraft can be
intercepted on their return flight. Either will be much more expensive
that a spray vessel. If I wanted to destroy human existence I could
think of much more damaging ways to do it.

During WWII the Americans were building three 14,000 ton Liberty ships a
day which was faster than the U boats could sink them. Mean construction
time was seven weeks but one was built in less than 5 days. Spray
vessels will be only 300 tons each and we can get the Chinese to help.

Stephen

Emeritus Professor of Engineering Design
School of Engineering and Electronics
University of Edinburgh
Mayfield Road
Edinburgh EH9 3JL
Scotland
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Mobile 07795 203 195
S.Sa...@ed.ac.uk
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Andrew Lockley wrote:
> There's another fairly critical issue about cloud ships that's rarely
> considered, and that's their vulnerability. Let's image we're 50
> years into a geoengineering programme, with either CCN or sulfur, and
> let's say we've got an 8C warming effect. In the sulfur world, we'll
> be using a firehose, tanker fleet, or gunnery to shift the sulfur.
> You won't be able to get near any of that infrastructure if you fancy
> throwing a spanner in the works.
>
> Not so the cloud ships. They will be floating about autonomously in
> the sea, and if anyone doesn't like them, they're quite free to set
> fire to them, blow them up, or just hack their software. Trying to
> build them all again in a hurry when we're already in the midst of 8C
> warming could be a serious problem. They won't be terribly expensive,
> but would a few months/years of 8C be highly damaging, or would the
> heat capacity of the ocean save our bacon?
>
> It's a point that needs to be clarified. If they're worth keeping
> then it's worth someone blowing them up, Dr. Evil style.
>
> A
>
> On 11 February 2010 22:26, Kelly Wanser <kelly....@gmail.com

> <mailto:kelly....@gmail.com>> wrote:
>
> A number of recent high caliber dicussions of Solar Radiation
> Management research, governance and deployment have focused
> exclusively on stratospheric aerosol dispersal. It may be useful
> for any who are thinking about solar radiation management to
> include tropospheric techniques, particularly the (relatively)
> mature proposed method of SRM via Marine Cloud Brightening
> (Latham-Salter technique) in policy and research considerations.
>
> There are important reasons to include marine cloud brightening as
> a component of any SRM research program.
>

> 1. *The global cooling potential may be similar to
> stratospheric aerosols*. More work is needed, but early


> studies by Latham et. al. and more recent studies from Rasch

> et. al. and Caldeira et.al <http://et.al/>. indicate


> potential cooling/ CO2 offset effects and ice retention that
> compare favorable to forecasts for stratospheric aerosols.

> 2. *The primary risk profile is different from stratospheric
> aerosols. *The techniques have differing precipitation
> effects and atmospheric chemistry.
> 3. *The deployment profile is different. *Marine cloud


> brightening supports local /regional testing and deployment
> possibilities vs inherently global distribution in the
> stratosphere.

> 4. *The duration of the effect is different. *Marine cloud


> brightening has a 2-3 day dissipation of the effect vs
> months or years for stratospheric aerosols.

> 5. *The research profile is different. *Cloud-aerosol dynamics


> are an important gap in atmospheric science and cloud
> models, and aspects of early research in marine cloud
> brightening are similar or identical to studies of these
> general questions. In addition, it is possible to study
> engineered effects on cohorts of clouds or regions of
> climate in a way that is difficult or impossible to do in
> the stratosphere.

> 6. *Policy and public perception are different.* Local or


> regional cloud-aerosol research is likely to have fewer
> international regulatory considerations and a more benign
> public perception.

> 7. *Experience and knowledge transfer*. There is likely to be


> very useful knowledge sharing across teams working on
> scientific, modeling and technical issues for both the
> stratosphere and the troposphere which should lend to more
> rigor, transparency and better informed regulation and
> monitoring of each.

> 8. *Inadvertent tropospheric/cloud brightening effects are
> already occurring*, and require additional research. Large


> scale reduction in emissions may have warming effects in
> which albedo offset alternatives may be desirable.

> 9. *The optimum approach may be to use multiple techniques*.

> e. kwa...@ecertsystems.com <mailto:kwa...@ecertsystems.com>


>
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Josh

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Feb 13, 2010, 10:04:29 AM2/13/10
to geoengineering
I agree with Stephen, a hypothetical fleet of spray vessels would be
relatively secure. In practice, such a fleet would constitute a
global CCN navy that would likely never be deployed without the
consent of the great powers, including the few major naval powers (US,
Russia, UK, ~China). These ships would be numerous, dispersed, and
protected by the international community. No private group or
corporation would possess the resources necessary to significantly
disrupt their operations - indeed, the only governments with such a
capability would have to sign off on the idea in the first place.

Beyond this, as Kelly notes, sulfur and CCN is not an either/
proposition - they may well serve as complementary intervention
strategies.

Josh Horton


On Feb 12, 5:50 am, Stephen Salter <S.Sal...@ed.ac.uk> wrote:
> Andrew
>
> I think that you may be mistaken about the vulnerability of spray
> vessels. They will be widely dispersed in remote parts of the ocean.  It
> will be slow and expensive to knock out large numbers of them. Their
> loss will take some time to hurt.  Attacking ships will be visible on
> radar for a day or so before they get close.  Attacking aircraft can be
> intercepted on their return flight. Either will be much more expensive
> that a spray vessel.  If I wanted to destroy  human existence I could
> think of much more damaging ways to do it.
>
> During WWII the Americans were building three 14,000 ton Liberty ships a
> day which was faster than the U boats could sink them. Mean construction
> time was seven weeks but one was built in less than 5 days.  Spray
> vessels will be only 300  tons each and we can get the Chinese to help.
>
> Stephen
>
> Emeritus Professor of Engineering Design
> School of Engineering and Electronics
> University of Edinburgh
> Mayfield Road
> Edinburgh EH9 3JL
> Scotland
> tel +44 131 650 5704
> fax +44 131 650 5702
> Mobile  07795 203 195

> S.Sal...@ed.ac.ukhttp://www.see.ed.ac.uk/~shs   


>
>
>
>
>
> Andrew Lockley wrote:
> > There's another fairly critical issue about cloud ships that's rarely
> > considered, and that's their vulnerability.  Let's image we're 50
> > years into a geoengineering programme, with either CCN or sulfur, and
> > let's say we've got an 8C warming effect.  In the sulfur world, we'll
> > be using a firehose, tanker fleet, or gunnery to shift the sulfur.
> >  You won't be able to get near any of that infrastructure if you fancy
> > throwing a spanner in the works.
>
> > Not so the cloud ships.  They will be floating about autonomously in
> > the sea, and if anyone doesn't like them, they're quite free to set
> > fire to them, blow them up, or just hack their software.  Trying to
> > build them all again in a hurry when we're already in the midst of 8C
> > warming could be a serious problem.  They won't be terribly expensive,
> > but would a few months/years of 8C be highly damaging, or would the
> > heat capacity of the ocean save our bacon?
>
> > It's a point that needs to be clarified.  If they're worth keeping
> > then it's worth someone blowing them up, Dr. Evil style.
>
> > A
>

> > On 11 February 2010 22:26, Kelly Wanser <kelly.wan...@gmail.com

> >     e. kwan...@ecertsystems.com <mailto:kwan...@ecertsystems.com>

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