the limits of geoengineering?

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Andrew Lockley

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Mar 31, 2009, 6:49:04 PM3/31/09
to geoengineering
There's been quite a few suggestions on this list that we need to use geoengineering whilst we still can.

I'm not convinced by this argument, and I'd like to investigate how long the 'window of opportunity' for geoeng is.

Lenton and Vaughan found that Aerosols could counter a doubling of natural CO2, and space sunshade (if possible) could go much further

This seems to suggest that we have quite a while to act.  Even in the even of the start of a methane pulse which gives a doubling of co2 equivalent, we can still ramp up geoengineering intervention quickly if needed.  I suggest that we'd have at least 5yrs or so warning, even of a really sudden methane pulse from permafrost.

However, the big risk, as I see it, is that ice-albedo feedback will be too strong in the arctic to overcome with geoeng.  I know that re-freezing will occur in winter, but the thickness of the ice may not be sufficient to last all year, even with geoeng.  If this happens, we may be unable to stop the methane pulse from permafrost occuring (if it indeed does).

I don't have the skills needed to do the complicated sums, nor do I have access to clever computers that can do them for me.  Could someone therefore suggest how long we've got before the 'window of geoengineering opportunity' closes - if it indeed does?

A

Eugene I. Gordon

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Mar 31, 2009, 8:57:00 PM3/31/09
to andrew....@gmail.com, geoengineering
As you probably know greenhouse gas is a positive feedback on global surface temperature but saturates when it becomes a black body. As the concentration of greenhouse gas goes up the layer become blacker and blacker (in the IR that is) As it becomes blacker the amount of radiation sent back to the Earth's surface saturates. IT IS NOT A REFLECTOR NOR IS THE LAYER GOING TO GET HOTTER AND RADIATE MORE ENERGY BACK AS THE EARTH WARMS UP. So there is a concentration of CO2, methane, water vapor etc. above which the greenhouse layer sends back a maximum amount of energy independent of the concentration. The positive feedback saturates. Does anyone know what that level is and what fraction of the radiation from the surface is currently returned? In any case there is no tipping point and there may be a limit to how high the surface temperature can go (of course there is a limit, it is about 24 C). Geoengineering other than CO2 removal controls the forcing function (the sun intensity at the Earth's surface). There is a lot of loose talk about tipping points that needs to be eliminated.
From: geoengi...@googlegroups.com [mailto:geoengi...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Andrew Lockley
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 6:49 PM
To: geoengineering
Subject: [geo] the limits of geoengineering?

Andrew Lockley

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Apr 1, 2009, 5:31:42 AM4/1/09
to eugg...@comcast.net, geoengineering
I'm not so concerned about the absolute physical limits of the process (as in max temperature or forcing reached).  What concerns me is the ability to avoid dangerous climate change by using geoeng to arrest or reverse dangerous effects.

I'd be really interested to see calculations that show whether geoeng can or cannot 're-freeze' the Arctic.  If it cannot, then maybe John Nissen is right and we have a very short time to act.  If it can re-freeze it, then the risks of 'full scale' SRM geoeng probably outweigh the benefits by a substantial margin at this stage, and for some time to come. (Much further research is needed into geoeng and also ice dynamics and carbon cycle feedbacks).

I think that this is one of the most fundamental things we have to demonstrate when considering the case for geoeng. Is there anyone on this list who'd be willing to bring forward a paper or informal research on the interaction between ice-albedo feedback and SRM geoeng.

A

2009/4/1 Eugene I. Gordon <eugg...@comcast.net>

jimwoolridge@hotmail.com jimw

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Apr 1, 2009, 9:48:47 AM4/1/09
to geoengineering
Perhaps it is the case that the window of opportunity for geoeng
doesn't so much close as get rapidly smaller. In general the sooner
the relevant earth systems adjustments are implemented the better--the
longer we wait the more likely will be a cascading of non-benign
effects of global warming so that we find ourselves very much in the
position of running to catch up as what we are chasing rapidly picks
up speed....so yes, by all means do the relevant sums, while
acknowledging that we really don't have enough information to know
whether or not the sums we are doing are the relevant ones, given the
complexity of the systems we are interacting with.

Above all let's keep on telling people why we need solar radiation
management/greenhouse gas remediation/climate intervention--if that
message gets across then funding, political will and actually getting
on with it will become a real possibility.

Sam Carana

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Apr 1, 2009, 9:49:03 AM4/1/09
to Geoengineering
Andrew,

Looking at global historic data of warming, one might at first glance
conclude that only a relatively small amount of global warming did
cause the arctic melting we're witnessing now. So, the conclusion
would then be that we similarly needed to reflect just a small amount
of sunshine back into space to have the reverse effect.

However, what complicates things is that global warming is amplified
in specific areas, notably around the North Pole. East Siberia was at
times 7°C warmer than normal during the summer of 2007 and the East
Siberian permafrost region alone contains 500 billion tonnes of
carbon. So, we would need to achieve much more cooling there to avoid
further melting. In other words, it's going to be hard to come up with
exact amounts of water vapor or aerosols that needed to be released to
achieve the same amount of cooling worldwide.

And of course, we don't need to achieve the same amount of cooling
everywhere. What is most urgent is the arctic melting of sea-ice and
permafrost. Therefore, I suggest to make a start by getting ships as
proposed by Stephen Salter to cruise as close to the arctic as
possible.

Such a proposal should be discussed and considered at the Major
Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, set in Washington this month,
followed by a summit in Italy in July. Obama has invited the leaders
of 16 major economies, as well as the secretary general of the United
Nations, to participate in this forum.
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/03/28/obama_sets_international_clima.html

This Forum seems to focus only on energy. We should present the forum
with a similar Open Letter that we recently presented to Dr Pachauri,
head of the IPCC, in which we suggested that a comprehensive approach
to global warming should consist of three parts:

Part A: Emissions reduction
Part B: Carbon stock management
Part C: Heat transfer and radiation management

I hope to convince further members of this group to become signatories
to such an Open Letter to this Forum.

Cheers!
Sam Carana

John Gorman

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Apr 1, 2009, 12:25:40 PM4/1/09
to jimwoo...@hotmail.com, geoengineering
A very well put argument for starting SRM very soon and for trying to keep
the global climate as close as possible to the situation over recorded
history- preindustrial.

Even trying to stop at todays situation isnt good enough. The Arctic is
melting and will continue to at todays temperatures.We must go back at least
a bit to stop this.

john gorman
----- Original Message -----
From: <jimwoo...@hotmail.com>
To: "geoengineering" <geoengi...@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2009 2:48 PM
Subject: [geo] the limits of geoengineering?


>

f.m.maugis

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Apr 1, 2009, 12:32:28 PM4/1/09
to sam.c...@gmail.com, Geoengineering
Sam,

I do not agree completely with you. The question of temperature increase or
decrease is not so simple. It seems to me that the important action is to
try to decrease the temperature somewhere on the planet. Then, we see what
happen. It is very possible that decreasing 2 or 3 degrees in Africa can
affect Siberia with 7 degrees. For the moment nobody knows. Trials have to
be done.

Sincerely

François MAUGIS
http://assee.free.fr
============================================================================
=============
-----Message d'origine-----
De : geoengi...@googlegroups.com
[mailto:geoengi...@googlegroups.com] De la part de Sam Carana
Envoyé : mercredi 1 avril 2009 15:49
À : Geoengineering
Objet : [geo] Re: the limits of geoengineering?

Sam Carana

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Apr 2, 2009, 12:00:49 AM4/2/09
to Geoengineering
Sure, François, but let's acknowledge that doing nothing is also
taking a decision. Doing nothing, with the argument that this was
better because something might not go as planned, that's not really an
option. People are doing things without fully knowing what will
happen, i.e. we're emitting greenhouse gases at such a scale and to
such an extent that feedback effects are taking place that could
result in a runaway greenhouse effect even if we did magically decide
to stop emission altogether.

If we're to start somewhere (and I advocate that we do), then we might
as well start close to the arctic, and if we'll be starting now (as I
advocate), we can start gradually, thus getting a better understanding
as we go (small-scale). Of course, any such attempts will be regarded
as a trial, and of course, if something unexpectedly did go wrong,
there will need to be plans for adjustments or even to abandon further
efforts. That speaks for itself. But we should get things started now
in order to be able to monitor things. If there are any reasons to
believe that something could go wrong, please post a message with
details. But the longer we wait with this, the greater the chance that
immediate and more dramatic large-scale actions will need to be taken
without much insight in what will eventuate.

Cheers!
Sam Carana

John Nissen

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Apr 2, 2009, 7:36:56 AM4/2/09
to sam.c...@gmail.com, Geoengineering, Stephen Hugh Salter, Peter Read
Hi Sam,

Excellent posting. Two matters arising:

Firstly, on the matter of Stephen Salter's "cooling ships", we could start
with a sea-side installation on some suitable NE Atlantic island, (e.g.
Faeroes?) to provide infrastructure - easy access for power, people,
maintenance, etc. We badly need funds to jump start this technology. Any
suggestions?

Secondly, thanks for the great idea of an open letter to the forthcoming
international climate forum. Can it be the same letter as sent to Dr
Pachauri?
http://geo-engineering.blogspot.com/2009/03/open-letter-to-dr-pachauri.html

If possible I'd like to include an argument for the urgency for Part C
action in the Arctic, as has been suggested we might discuss in this
geoengineering forum over the next week. How should we balance the risks of
geoengineering against the risks of not geoengineering, or delaying action?
What is the optimum ramp up speed for candidate techniques?

Also we should point out the rediculously low cost of Part C type
geoengineering, in relation to potential cost and life saving if it manages
to prevent Arctic tipping points tipping.

BTW, who should the open letter be addressed to, at the forum?

Here it gives the date as April 27-28:
http://www.france24.com/en/20090328-obama-climate-change-denmark-un-summit

AFP - President Barack Obama Saturday launched a Major Economies Forum on
Energy and Climate to give a boost to a historic agreement on climate change
facilitated by the UN.

Leaders from the 16 major economies are to participate in a "preparatory
session" on April 27-28 in Washington to "help generate the political
leadership" for successful climate change negotiations December in
Copenhagen, the White House said in a statement.

The forum, the White House added, would encourage "a candid dialogue"
between developing and industrialized countries and help "advance the
exploration of concrete initiatives and joint ventures that increase the
supply of clean energy while cutting greenhouse gas emissions."

Denmark, which is hosting a UN meeting in December to create a new agreement
on global warming to replace the Kyoto Protocol, and the United Nations were
also invited.

The preparatory sessions would conclude with the Major Economies Forum
Leaders' summit, to be hosted in July by Italian Prime Minister Silvio
Berlusconi in La Maddalena, Italy.

The 17 major economies are Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European
Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia,
South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.

UN talks were to resume in Bonn on Sunday with some 190 countries
participating to reach a new pact for curbing greenhouse gases beyond 2012,
when Kyoto Protocol provisions expire.

The climate treaty was rejected by the US Congress in 1997 because it did
not impose commitments on developing countries.

Obama's announcement came ahead of a Group of 20 economic crisis summit in
London on April 2, for which he would embark on his first major foreign trip
as president, with other stops planned in France and Germany for a NATO
summit, the Czech Republic for an EU/US summit and an onward trip to Turkey.

----

Cheers,

John

Eugene I. Gordon

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Apr 2, 2009, 7:38:55 AM4/2/09
to sam.c...@gmail.com, Geoengineering
All the discussion here is making sense. Clearly the initial goal is to
first reduce solar radiation energy and/or greenhouse layer radiation energy
incident on the surface in the Arctic region and to reduce the melting of
ice and to evaluate potential negative consequences. It is not to cool the
planet initially, just the surface in the Arctic. Indeed, if not for the
Artic and the melting the rest of the planet is currently doing fine.
However, when sunspots return at some future time and the rest of the planet
is warming, what is learned in the Arctic may be applicable.

The use of the term runaway is a bit misleading. The radiation back from the
greenhouse layer is graybody radiation and it has a limit when it becomes a
black body and then adding more greenhouse gas has no impact and produces no
additional heating of the surface. The greenhouse layer heating ultimately
saturates when it becomes a black body, independent of additional increases
in the concentration of the greenhouse gases, hence no runaway.

Anybody have any good ideas for safely cooling the greenhouse layer gases so
as to reduce the greenhouse layer graybody radiation flux to the Earth's
surface?

-gene

Mike MacCracken

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Apr 2, 2009, 11:30:55 AM4/2/09
to eugg...@comcast.net, sam.c...@gmail.com, Geoengineering
Dear Gene--Your comment suggesting that the greenhouse effect can saturate
and so adding CO2 will have no greater effect was one of the two major
criticisms from when Arrhenius made the proposal in 1897 or so that a rising
CO2 concentration could change the climate. This criticism was refuted long
ago, yet keeps coming up, so I'll attempt to refute it again and let's let
it rest in peace. If you, as you say, want to find a way to reduce the
greenhouse effect of the gases, the way to do that is to have lower GHG
concentrations.

The understanding (aside from the meticulous hand-done calculations of
Arrhenius) that overcame the criticism regarding the bands saturating came
in the early 1960s with the first computer models of atmospheric radiation,
which made clear that one really has to think about the atmosphere as a
series of layers. It is easiest in my view to think of these layers as
having a thickness of a given infrared opacity at a particular wavelength
(in reality this is done by the atmosphere at each wavelength--but consider
just one wavelength near the center of the CO2 absorption band). So, aside
from some nonlinearities, each layer might be thought of as having an IR
opacity of some amount (and calculations would be more an more accurate the
thinner the layer) and so would have some amount of carbon dioxide--and each
layer would also have some average temperature, varying in the vertical (at
the lapse rate in a convectively active region like the troposphere).

With the arrangement of layers, one can calculate the radiative flux at any
given level. To get the downward radiation, layers above radiate down based
on their temperature and their opacity (they radiate as they absorb) and the
flux has to pass through the layers between the given level and the level of
the layer radiating accounting for each layer's opacity. If there is still
some opacity, one counts outer space as radiating down at zero (or 2.8)
Kelvin.

To get the upward flux, one looks to layers below, doing the same thing, and
when one goes through the layers below, one has the rest of the radiation
coming upward from the surface, which act as a black body radiator (or
slightly less given the surface type). And, of course, one has to do this at
all wavelengths and consider all absorbers (the infrared radiation
subroutines of global models tend to do the calculation in a number of
spectral bands and check their representativeness against more detailed
spectral calculations).

When one does this for the world as a whole (which involves a lot of
approximations, etc. but okay conceptually), and we calculate the upward
flux at the top of the atmosphere (and across all gases, etc.), one finds
that, viewed from space, the Earth radiates as would a blackbody at 255 K
(and this gives off the amount of energy that matches the net absorbed solar
radiation--so incoming less 30% reflected). The average global surface
temperature is about 288K and with the typical lapse rate of 6.5 K/km (the
rate of decrease in temperature with height), the flux to space is coming
from about 6 km up [(288-255)/6.5].

At the surface, one can also calculate the upward and downward radiation.
Upward is based on average surface temperature of 288 K, and downward
radiation is about 83% of that [to see a diagram, go to
http://faculty.gg.uwyo.edu/neil/teaching/Geomorph/lect_images/EarthsEnergyBa
lance.png as an example]. Do a bit of math and this suggests that the
average temperature for the downward radiating temperature is about 13-14 K
lower than the surface temperature, so the average height of the downward
radiating temperature for all gases on average is about 2 km.

So, now let's increase the CO2 concentration (or any other greenhouse gas,
and including water vapor as temperature rises). Basically, layers with the
same opacity increment as before will be thinner. And so, looking up from
the surface, with thinner layers, the radiation from each layer that
contributed to the downward flux will be coming from a layer that is at a
warmer temperature, so the total flux will be greater (that is, the natural
greenhouse effect will be enhanced). That will lead to an accumulation of
heat at the surface that will make the layer warmer and so more radiation
will be emitted upward, absorbed at a lower average layer and the system
will warm.

From space, looking down into the atmosphere before its temperature changes,
each layer will have a higher opacity and be thinner, so the radiation
making it to space will be coming from layers that are, on average, higher
and therefore colder. So, less radiation will be going to space. The planet
will therefore be out of balance, absorbing more solar than the energy being
radiated away. This will lead to warming until the atmosphere gets warmed
enough so that the temperature of the layers (now higher up in the
atmosphere) that are radiating to space are warmed up enough to restore the
energy balance.

The assertion that a wavelength band through the whole atmosphere is
saturated and so adding more of the gas will have no more effect is thus
just plain wrong. What matters is both the amount of the gas and the
temperature of the emitting layers. Were the atmosphere isothermal, this all
would not matter, but it is not and cannot be given that the pressure
decreases with height.

Once one has more radiation being trapped, then one has to get to the
temperature change, and this involves more processes that I won't
cover--just to note that they combine to make it so that the relationship
between temperature change and CO2 concentration is logarithmic, but this
should not be interpreted to mean that adding more CO2 is not leading to
changes in the fluxes of radiation due to saturation of the bands.

Mike MacCracken


On 4/2/09 7:38 AM, "eSubsc...@montgomerycountymd.gov"

Sam Carana

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Apr 3, 2009, 2:55:02 AM4/3/09
to f.m.maugis, Geoengineering
Hi François,

Thanks for sharing the image and details about your project, François.
Such a vortex tower could indeed achieve multiple goals, i.e.
generating electricity, producing cooler air locally and mitigating
global warming by sending hot air up into the sky, some of which will
dissipate into space.

Furthermore, there's the possibility that I'm studying of using such a
vortex tower to spray seawater into the sky, with the aim of producing
clouds that reflect more sunlight back into space. Of course, such a
vortex towers works best in the desert where it's hard to get hold of
any water, but on the other hand much desert edges onto the sea.

Let me know your thoughts on this and please keep me informed about
progress with your project.

Cheers!
Sam Carana

2009/4/3 f.m.maugis <f.m.m...@wanadoo.fr>:
> I completely agree with you.
> The reason I speak of decreasing temperature in Africa is that I know a
> trial to be done only in hot countries (non chemical solution): The
> atmospheric Vortex Tower.(Have a look to the photo attached).As far as you
> send a great quantity of hot air in the upper atmosphere, you cool the
> global atmosphere with the "cold" space. The natural work is already done by
> natural huge hurricanes but with this astonishing tower, human can probably
> help nature.
> I plan to do this trial as soon as possible within a scientific programm
> (for instance with project AMMA (Multidisciplinary Analyse of the African
> Monsoon - managed by the French IRD  Institut de Recherche pour le
> Développement - Thierr...@hmg.inpg.fr - to which I send a copy of this
> mail).
>
> Cheers,
>
> François MAUGIS
>
> ============================================================================
> =======================================


>
> -----Message d'origine-----
> De : geoengi...@googlegroups.com
> [mailto:geoengi...@googlegroups.com] De la part de Sam Carana

> Envoyé : jeudi 2 avril 2009 06:01


> À : Geoengineering
> Objet : [geo] Re: the limits of geoengineering?
>
>
>

--~------~--~---

Eugene I. Gordon

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Apr 3, 2009, 4:45:12 AM4/3/09
to sam.c...@gmail.com, f.m.maugis, Geoengineering
Are you not concerned that the hot air will heat greenhouse gases, which
will then radiate heat back?
> ====== =======================================

Stephen Salter

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Apr 3, 2009, 6:16:32 AM4/3/09
to j...@cloudworld.co.uk, sam.c...@gmail.com, Geoengineering, Stephen Hugh Salter, Peter Read
John

We could start summer spraying from land-based plant on the Faeroes or
conventional ships two years after getting some money. However it would
be essential to have proper climate modeling, such as that from Phil
Rasch, before any spray is released.

I was watching the body language of Dr Pachauri when you gave him the
letter in Copenhagen and I believe that we should not be too hopeful of
ant immediate help from IPCC. Their track record on Arctic ice is
dismal and they will be on the defensive. I hope that I am wrong so
please let me know if you have had, or if you get, any reply from him.

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.Sa...@ed.ac.uk
http://www.see.ed.ac.uk/~shs
--




The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

Sam Carana

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Apr 3, 2009, 8:51:55 AM4/3/09
to Geoengineering
I suggest that we draft an Open Letter addressed to the Participants
of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, who will be at the
preparatory session at the US Department of State on April 27-28 in
Washington, D.C.

Taking into account Stephen's comments on the body language of Dr
Pachauri, it may be wise to make a very brief statement, such as the
following:

===== OPEN LETTER TO PARTICIPANTS OF THE MAJOR ECONOMIES FORUM ON
ENERGY AND CLIMATE ==========

Participants,

We, a group of scientists, researchers and other people sharing a
strong background and interest in climate change, are concerned that
the Forum's sole focus will be on the politics of energy, as seems
confirmed by the name of the Forum.

Whilst we acknowledge that the politics of energy are vitally
important, we believe that a more comprehensive approach to global
warming is appropriate, which would include the following three parts:

Part A: Emissions reduction
Part B: Carbon stock management
Part C: Heat transfer and radiation management

We are especially worried that there appears to be little or no
funding for research and testing regarding part C.

Signatories:

John Nissen, ...
Sam Carana
etc.
========= END PROPOSED OPEN LETTER =====================

I invite others to make changes, but suggest that leaving the Open
Letter short could make more members of this group willing to sign,
while we could always each elaborate in separate articles as to what
we each individually propose. Please all make comments and changes as
you see fit, but do add your name and just let's try and get more
names under the Open Letter this time!

Cheers!
Sam Carana

PS: I'll add details about the Forum below:

President Obama Announces Launch of the Major Economies Forum on
Energy and Climate
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/President-Obama-Announces-Launch-of-the-Major-Economies-Forum-on-Energy-and-Climate/


THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary
_____________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release March 28, 2009

President Obama Announces Launch of the Major Economies Forum on
Energy and Climate

The President is pleased to announce today the launch of the Major
Economies Forum on Energy and Climate.

The Major Economies Forum will facilitate a candid dialogue among key
developed and developing countries, help generate the political
leadership necessary to achieve a successful outcome at the UN climate
change negotiations that will convene this December in Copenhagen, and


advance the exploration of concrete initiatives and joint ventures
that increase the supply of clean energy while cutting greenhouse gas
emissions.

President Obama has invited the leaders of 16 major economies and the
Secretary General of the United Nations to designate representatives
to participate in a preparatory session at the Department of State on
April 27-28 in Washington, D.C. The preparatory sessions will
culminate in a Major Economies Forum Leaders’ meeting, which Prime
Minister Berlusconi has agreed to host in La Maddalena, Italy, in July
2009.

The 17 major economies are: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the
European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan,

Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the
United States. Denmark, in its capacity as the President of the
December 2009 Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention
on Climate Change, and the United Nations have also been invited to
participate in this dialogue.

wig...@ucar.edu

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Apr 3, 2009, 6:03:26 PM4/3/09
to sam.c...@gmail.com, Geoengineering
Dear all,

First, don't confuse what Pachauri says/does with IPCC as an institution.
These are not the same thing. With regard to Geoeng, I suspect Pachauri is
even more conservative (negative? ignorant?) than IPCC. But IPCC cannot
ignore the scientific issue or the literature on the subject.

Second, I think there should only be two items ...

(A) Emissions reduction (Mitigation)
(B) Carbon cycle and radiation management (Geoengineering)

Unless we mention Geoeng specifically, many will not know what we mean.

I would be happy to sign such a letter.

Tom.

+++++++++++++++++===

dsw_s

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Apr 3, 2009, 6:21:30 PM4/3/09
to geoengineering
I'll sign letter as it stands. I'll almost certainly be willing to
sign any revision that others here come to consensus on, too. I agree
that keeping it short is probably a good idea. Using the word
"geoengineering" has pros and cons. I slightly prefer the three-item
version over Tom's two-item version.

Dan Wylie-Sears
> >http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/President-Obama-Announces-...
> >> S.Sal...@ed.ac.uk
> >>http://www.see.ed.ac.uk/~shs
>
> >> John Nissen wrote:
>
> >>> Hi Sam,
>
> >>> Excellent posting.  Two matters arising:
>
> >>> Firstly, on the matter of Stephen Salter's "cooling ships", we could
> >>> start
> >>> with a sea-side installation on some suitable NE Atlantic island, (e.g.
> >>> Faeroes?) to provide infrastructure - easy access for power, people,
> >>> maintenance, etc.  We badly need funds to jump start this technology.
> >>>  Any
> >>> suggestions?
>
> >>> Secondly, thanks for the great idea of an open letter to the
> >>> forthcoming
> >>> international climate forum.  Can it be the same letter as sent to Dr
> >>> Pachauri?
>
> >>>http://geo-engineering.blogspot.com/2009/03/open-letter-to-dr-pachaur...
>
> >>> If possible I'd like to include an argument for the urgency for Part C
> >>> action in the Arctic, as has been suggested we might discuss in this
> >>> geoengineering forum over the next week.  How should we balance the
> >>> risks of
> >>> geoengineering against the risks of not geoengineering, or delaying
> >>> action?
> >>> What is the optimum ramp up speed for candidate techniques?
>
> >>> Also we should point out the rediculously low cost of Part C type
> >>> geoengineering, in relation to potential cost and life saving if it
> >>> manages
> >>> to prevent Arctic tipping points tipping.
>
> >>> BTW, who should the open letter be addressed to, at the forum?
>
> >>> Here it gives the date as April 27-28:
> >>>http://www.france24.com/en/20090328-obama-climate-change-denmark-un-s...
> >>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Sam Carana" <sam.car...@gmail.com>
> >>> To: "Geoengineering" <geoengi...@googlegroups.com>
> >>> Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2009 2:49 PM
> >>> Subject: [geo] Re: the limits of geoengineering?
>
> >>> Andrew,
>
> >>> Looking at global historic data of warming, one might at first glance
> >>> conclude that only a relatively small amount of global warming did
> >>> cause the arctic melting we're witnessing now. So, the conclusion
> >>> would then be that we similarly needed to reflect just a small amount
> >>> of sunshine back into space to have the reverse effect.
>
> >>> However, what complicates things is that global warming is amplified
> >>> in specific areas, notably around the North Pole. East Siberia was at
> >>> times 7°C warmer than
>
> ...
>
> read more »

Eugene I. Gordon

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Apr 3, 2009, 6:45:12 PM4/3/09
to ds...@yahoo.com, geoengineering
Ditto for me. -gene

Hawkins, Dave

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Apr 3, 2009, 7:22:39 PM4/3/09
to eugg...@comcast.net, ds...@yahoo.com, geoengineering
While I agree there should be funding for a properly designed geoengineering research program, for what it's worth I think that a public letter to the MEF is the wrong approach. The MEF is a forum to seek some consensus on some additional mitigation commitments in the context of the Copenhagen meeting in December. A letter suggesting that geoengineering should be added to this agenda will almost inevitably be characterized by some as "pay more attention to geoengineering and less to mitigation." That is not the way to build support for appropriate geoengineering research funding.
It is not necessary to try to push geoengineering onto the Copenhagen stage to get it on policymakers' radar screens. In the US context, visits to key people (you probably know who they are better than I) in NSF, NAS, OSTP, NOAA, NASA, EPA would likely do more to stimulate some useful thinking and discussion of what options could be proposed in the government.
David

William Fulkerson

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Apr 3, 2009, 8:48:38 PM4/3/09
to eugg...@comcast.net, ds...@yahoo.com, geoengineering
Dear all:
I would gladly sign the letter.  I agree with Tom Wigley that the word geoengineering should be included in the description of Part C.  The letter must be crystal clear and unambiguous.  As for the comment that this conference is the wrong place to use a letter, I don't agree.  But I do agree that we should be talking to everyone we can.  This week I attended the National Academy of Sciences meeting on America's Climate Choices.  I was glad to see that geoengineering will be an important part of the Committee's deliberation. That part of the study will be headed by Ken Caldeira, the perfect person at the right spot at the right time.  In the meeting the point was made and heard that the time frame for saving the Arctic is incompatible with mitigation and adaptation time constants.  I am a little disappointed that adaptation is not included in Parts A, B, or C.  That means that the letter is not really talking about the whole problem of managing climate change to promote human and environmental well-being (paraphrasing John Holdren).  Remember that the recent Climate Change plans of both India and China emphasize combating poverty as the most important strategy for adapting to climate change.  The richer you are the easier it will be to manage the impacts of climate change.  Surely, we shouldn't leave adaptation out of our letter.  Finally, I assume everyone saw the full page Cato Institute ad  in the Washington Post and New York Times addressed to President Obama and charging that the President was ill informed about the science of climate change.  It had about 120 signers.   
The best,
Bill

Bill Fulkerson, Senior Fellow
Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment
University of Tennessee
311 Conference Center Bldg.
Knoxville, TN 37996-4138
865-974-9221, -1838 FAX
Home
2781 Wheat Road, Lenoir City, TN 37771

wig...@ucar.edu

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Apr 3, 2009, 9:05:22 PM4/3/09
to wf...@utk.edu, eugg...@comcast.net, ds...@yahoo.com, geoengineering
SEE CAPS

> Dear all:
> I would gladly sign the letter. I agree with Tom Wigley that the word
> geoengineering should be included in the description of Part C. The
> letter must be crystal clear and unambiguous. As for the comment that
> this conference is the wrong place to use a letter, I don't agree.
> But I do agree that we should be talking to everyone we can. This
> week I attended the National Academy of Sciences meeting on America's
> Climate Choices. I was glad to see that geoengineering will be an
> important part of the Committee's deliberation. That part of the study
> will be headed by Ken Caldeira, the perfect person at the right spot
> at the right time. In the meeting the point was made and heard that
> the time frame for saving the Arctic is incompatible with mitigation
> and adaptation time constants. I am a little disappointed that
> adaptation is not included in Parts A, B, or C. That means that the
> letter is not really talking about the whole problem of managing
> climate change to promote human and environmental well-being
> (paraphrasing John Holdren).

SO THE LETTER MAKE MAKE IT CLEAR THAT IS IS NOT ADDRESSING EVERYTHING<
OR IT MUST ADD THE MISSING THINGS.

Remember that the recent Climate Change
> plans of both India and China emphasize combating poverty as the most
> important strategy for adapting to climate change. The richer you are
> the easier it will be to manage the impacts of climate change.
> Surely, we shouldn't leave adaptation out of our letter. Finally, I
> assume everyone saw the full page Cato Institute ad in the Washington
> Post and New York Times addressed to President Obama and charging that
> the President was ill informed about the science of climate change.
> It had about 120 signers.

I AM IN OZ, SO DOD NOT SEE THIS. CAN SOMEONE SCAN IT AND EMAIL IT TO ME?

Sam Carana

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Apr 3, 2009, 10:42:32 PM4/3/09
to geoengineering
Good points, Bill, adaptation should be part of the comprehensive
approach we need to deal with global warming. For starters, there
needs to be more funding of R&D into agriculture, town planning,
vegetation, saving of species that are at risk of extinction, forest
management, etc, etc. The Open Letter shouldn't go too much into
detail about all that, as said, everyone can add individual articles
and notes to describe what they propose to see happen.

I suggest the following revised draft:

===== OPEN LETTER TO PARTICIPANTS OF THE MAJOR ECONOMIES FORUM ON
ENERGY AND CLIMATE ==========

Participants,

We, a group of scientists, researchers and other people sharing a
strong background and interest in climate change, are concerned that
the Forum's sole focus will be on the politics of energy, as seems
confirmed by the name of the Forum.

Whilst we acknowledge that the politics of energy are vitally
important, we believe that a more comprehensive approach to global
warming is appropriate, which would include the following four parts:

Part A: Emissions reduction
Part B: Carbon stock management
Part C: Heat transfer and radiation management
Part D: Adaptation

We are especially worried that there appears to be little or no
funding for research and testing of geoengineering to reflect more
sunlight back into space (part C.).

Signatories:

John Nissen, ...
Sam Carana
Tom Wigley
Bill Fulkerson
Dan Wylie-Sears
Eugene I. Gordon
etc.

========= END PROPOSED OPEN LETTER =====================


Please say if you want your name added, and if so also add details
behind your name as you see fit.
Feel encouraged to suggest changes to the text, if that's what it
takes to get your name added.

Cheers!
Sam Carana


PS: Yes, I did see the Cato ad, it's at:
http://www.cato.org/special/climatechange/alternate_version.html
If anyone needed to see reasons why our Open Letter is needed, see my
article called Global Warming - Red Alert! at:
http://is.gd/qE1Y

-------------------- earlier messages below -------------------------

Sam Carana

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Apr 3, 2009, 11:11:25 PM4/3/09
to geoengineering
David, I can follow your logic, and it needs to be discussed, so that
we're clear about what should be in the Open Letter. Many will see the
Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate as just that, a forum to
discuss the politics of energy in the light of climate change. By
contrast, I see such a narrow focus as the more reason to voice our
concern.

I don't see that people will conclude that we were suggesting
geoengineering instead of mitigation, since the Open Letter is careful
to point out that we acknowledge that achieving reductions in
emissions is vitally important, but that additionally there must be
funding for reserach and testing of geoengineering. I'm very worried
that a narrow focus on energy will ignore the need for funding for
research and testing of geoengineering methods.

Furthermore, I'm personally very worried that a narrow focus on energy
will result in a Cap-and-Trade policy which will be:
- ineffective in reducing emissions (quite likely counter-productive),
- ineffective in encouraging carbon negative pratices (afforestation,
biochar, carbon air capture, carbon-negative building, agriculture,
forrestry, etc)
- ineffective in dealing with ocean acidification
- ineffective in adaptation, and
- will leave the world largely unprepared for emergency measures

While others may have different views on details that worry me, I
suggest that we all do get behind a brief Open Letter that conveys our
concerns that there's little or no funding for geoengineering research
and testing. If this Open Letter will merely get some attention in the
media, then I would regard it to be a success, because I believe that
we have a duty to voice our concerns.

Cheers!
Sam Carana

John Gorman

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Apr 4, 2009, 1:09:43 PM4/4/09
to sam.c...@gmail.com, geoengineering
I will be happy to sign in this form.
just noting that timescale is the critical difference between A,B and C
A will take a century to get to zero emissions
B will take half a century to get back to 280
C could control temperature wihin a couple of years -probably
D is very difficult to plan if we dont know how much A,B and C we are
prepared to do-worldwide. I know that my county of Hampshire UK, which
includes Southampton docks, made planning policy decisions on the basis of
the IPCC 2007 figure of 40 cms sea level rise by 2100. This was more or less
raised to 1metre 20 in Copenhagen. noone can plan for such a moving target.
I personally believe that we should do enough C to achieve almost zero sea
level rise,which of course means saving the Arctic-now.

John Gorman
Chartered Engineer.
Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.UK
Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology UK
(just in case you want to include qualifications!!)

John Nissen

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Apr 4, 2009, 6:17:12 PM4/4/09
to geoengineering

Forwarded on behalf of Peter Read.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Read" <pre...@attglobal.net>
To: <sam.c...@gmail.com>
Cc: "John Nissen" <j...@cloudworld.co.uk>
Sent: Saturday, April 04, 2009 8:32 AM
Subject: Re: [geo] Re: the limits of geoengineering?


Sam
I share your worries regarding the focus on energy.
However, a letter can be too brief and my suggested ((additions)) and one
[[deletion]] are designed to avoid the comforting "global warming" language
and to clarify the relation between emissions reduction and geoengineering
Of course I will be happy to sign any wording broadly in line with what has
been proposed
Peter

>>> > = OPEN LETTER TO PARTICIPANTS OF THE MAJOR ECONOMIES FORUM ON
>>> > ENERGY AND CLIMATE ==========
>>>
>>> > Participants,
>>>
>>> > We, a group of scientists, researchers and other people sharing a
>>> > strong background and interest in climate change, are concerned that
>>> > the Forum's sole focus will be on the politics of energy, as seems
>>> > confirmed by the name of the Forum.
>>>
>>> > Whilst we acknowledge that the politics of energy are vitally
>>> > important, we believe that a more comprehensive approach to [[global
>>> > warming]]((climate change)) is appropriate, which would include the
>>> > following three parts:
>>>
>>> > Part A: Emissions reduction
>>> > Part B: Carbon stock management
>>> > Part C: Heat transfer and radiation management
>>>
> ((Part C, usually, and Part B, sometimes, are classified as
> "geoengineering". The label is unimportant. What matters is that, in
> view of the recent Scientific Congress in Copenhagen, all available ways
> of cooling the earth, including Part A emissions reductions of course,
> should be viewed dispassionately and researched carefully))
>
>>> > We are especially worried that there appears to be little or no
>>> > funding for research and testing regarding part C.
>>>
>>> > Signatories:
>>>
>>> > John Nissen, ...
>>> > Sam Carana
>>> > etc.
>>> > ========= END PROPOSED OPEN LETTER =====================
>
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>
>
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
> Version: 8.0.238 / Virus Database: 270.11.40/2039 - Release Date: 04/03/09
> 06:19:00
>
>

Kelly Wanser

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Apr 5, 2009, 1:40:09 AM4/5/09
to geoengineering
Thank you for your comments, Dave. Your experience in policy work,
the importance of NGOs to any effort to advance climate intervention
(geoengineering) research and your open support make you a very
valuable adviser.

It is easy to appreciate why significant progress on mitigation is an
absolute priority for policymakers this year. Our support for that
priority demonstrates an objective orientation toward the best
sustainable outcome. It lays a foundation for constructive dialogue
about the role of climate intervention as a non-competing risk
reduction strategy, with much less controversy.

This dialogue might best be conducted by engaging government and
environmental leaders in a way that respects their positions, and
addresses their constraints and concerns. An open letter advocating
climate intervention, in the context of the huge task facing
stakeholders in the MEF now (and without their support), is likely to
miss the mark. And, its signers may appear more zealous, and less
objective, than is actually the case.

Our challenge is not so much that we lack a forum for raising
awareness. Our greatest challenge is likely to be finding a message,
and a course of action, that is effective in minimizing objections and
advancing climate intervention research quickly. It would be
unfortunate if, by charging ahead, we mismanage perceptions, alienate
potential allies and produce controversy that impairs the ability of
political and environmental leaders to support this work, even where
they want to.

One way to assure a powerfully constructive result might be to do the
things that would be required to be able to send a letter - at such a
time and containing such a message - that you, Dave, and other
environmental leaders, have signed too.

Kelly Wanser
> > >>07795 203 195  S.Sal...@ed.ac.ukhttp://www.see.ed.ac.uk/~shs
> ...
>
> read more »

Richard Wilson

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Apr 5, 2009, 6:11:55 PM4/5/09
to geoengineering
I am deeply suspicious of centrally directed decisions unless they are
necessary. I believe that dangerous climate change is likely enough
that a central decision must be made to limit it. But a way must be
found to ensure that the details of the decisions not be made centrally
by a command and control approach. That makes me very worried about
almost all the EMISSIONS control proposals now on the political tables
in USA and Europe. I and many other scientists, think that they are
far too indirect.

Thus why miles per gallon on cars not miles?
Why miles not gallons?

Why one user of gallons (cars) rather than another user (home and office
heating)?

Who is to make decisions between sectors where the information is
lacking? We already have the crazy debacle of ethanol. When Archer
Daniels Midland was outside the house of representatives in about 1980 I
was asked about it in a congressional hearing inside. We already knew
then it was a bad idea, and I said so firmly. The superior numbers we
have now confirm it. This is not the only problem oreated by or
accepted by politicians, and unfortunately some academic scientists
caving in to special interests All to many political proposals are for
special interests.
I do not trust politicians to make sensible choices
I do not trust environmental groups and in particular their lawyers to
make sensible choices
I do not trust starry eyed academics either
Why is coal, without sequestration, supported in the recent budget?
(I admit here to bias or at least to specialized knowledge. I was born
near a large coal fired power plant. I went to school in the London
fog when I could not see across the street and the bus conductor got out
and walked th bus across intersections. My grandmother in Halifax
scrubbed her front door step clean twice a day. I shoveled coal into
the coal scuttle and from the coal scuttle to the (open) fireplace for
much of my early life. It was better when I was in control. I then
shoveled it into an "efficient" closed stove)

Why does the Naughty N world (nuiclear) never escape these days from a
politician's mouth?


We now talk about cap and trade with a soft cap. What does that mean?
All small users, you and me, will have rigid controls. But the big
emitters of CO@ , the coal burners are politically powerful enough to
get the cap moved!

The World Federation of Scientists in a statement from Erice in August
2007 addressed this and suggested control at well head, oil mine, gas
field or port of entry. Preferably with no grandfathering or special
concessions. That does not seem to be on the table or even in any NY
Times or Wall St Journal article or letter that they are willing to
publish. It should be. It has wide support among scientists and
people to whom I have explained it. Steve Koonin about to be deputy
secretary of energy. I discussed it 35 years ago with Roger Revelle
and if I remember his comments aright, we both thought it was and is
obvious. Because it was obvious we never wrote it down. I did 10
years ago (with Klais Lackner). Alas not all Roger's students
understood what he was saying in his "gut" course at Harvard!
Not all my students understood what I was saying in my "gut" course at
the same time on "economics of energy" which I taught with AJMeyer who
in AUB had taught half the oil ministers in the Arab World.
Colloquially our course was called "oil Wells".

How does Geoengineering shape up under this type of criticism that I
make about emissions control?

In principle I prefer the directness of the geoengineering approach to
emissions control.
It addresses CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere not CO2 emissions,.
It addresses carbon in the atmosphere not carbon remaining in mines or
sequestered in sea or rocks. Control of the latter is only to
achieve the desired concentration in the former.
It might even be more direct than control of carbon leaving subsurface
reservoirs.
If we try to get this across will politicians find a way of making the
special interests rich?

I dont know but it is worth a try.

But let us all get these things clear in our minds before we let the
politicians run too hard with it!

I, like Bill Fulkerson, am probably willing to sign the suggested
letter. The WFS in August 2007 came out in favor of research on
geoengineering and on adaptation as well as on upstream carbon control.
. The more I see the irrelevant mucking around in Washington the more
I feel that these two deserve more thought than previously given.

Dick wilson

John Nissen

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Apr 6, 2009, 7:21:59 PM4/6/09
to gor...@waitrose.com, sam.c...@gmail.com, geoengineering, Wig...@ucar.edu, james.r...@guardian.co.uk

Hi all,

To remind people of what this proposed letter is about:

> > President Obama has invited the leaders of 16 major economies and
> > the Secretary General of the United Nations to designate
> > representatives to participate in a preparatory session at the
> > Department of State on April 27-28 in Washington, D.C. The
> > preparatory sessions will culminate in a Major Economies Forum
> > Leaders' meeting, which Prime Minister Berlusconi has agreed to host
> > in La Maddalena, Italy, in July 2009.

I would strongly urge that we keep the letter as sent to Dr Pachauri, but
preferably with more signatories. This open letter had the basic arguments
for the two different kinds of geoengineering action that are needed (on
different timescales), and points out that emissions reduction by itself
will not and cannot work. On this latter point, scientists are still
misleading the policy makers such as Lord Stern:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/mar/30/climate-change-nicholas-stern-interview

If anything the letter should be strengthened, rather than weakened. For
example, with a great chunk of Antarctic ice about to break off, one should
consider "Part C" actions in the Antarctic as well as the Arctic.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/05/ice-shelf-wilkins-antarctic

Also, there is "news" that Arctic sea ice volume may have reached record low
last year:
http://article.wn.com/view/2009/04/06/Thinning_Arctic_sea_ice_alarms_experts/

Andrew Lockley

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Apr 6, 2009, 8:41:10 PM4/6/09
to j...@cloudworld.co.uk, gor...@waitrose.com, sam.c...@gmail.com, geoengineering, Wig...@ucar.edu, james.r...@guardian.co.uk
I spoke to Stern at his recent book launch, and pointed out that the predictions he made were based on out-of-date science.  His answer was brief and I didn't note it, but it was along the lines of not wanting to appear alarmist.

This incident underlines for me everything that's wrong with climate science as a process for advising politicians.

1) Scientists only report what they can prove, not what they believe is likely
2) Politicians look at what scientists prove, and disregard everything else - even if it's right/reasonable.
3) Politicians take the minimum action which could get the result needed, not the appropriate action which would make the result likely

The end result is a process which has consistently under-reported risks and under-delivered action.  This would be an interesting sociological discussion point, if it wasn't going to kill us all.  As things stand, it's a global apocalyptic disaster.

As I see it, we need to have a new scientific approach for policy makers, based on 'reasonably likely' not 'scientifically proven'.  I like to use the following example:

I'm about to cross a road, and I don't notice a lorry coming towards me.  My friend, the climate scientist, doesn't warn me about the lorry. Instead, he starts measuring its speed, estimating its mass and calculating just how far along the road it will spread me.  Only when he's worked this all out, and concluded  that it will spread me along 30m of tarmac, does he publish his results.  After peer review, these are produced 6 months after my funeral and nailed to my tombstone.

I'm still happy to support the letter if my support is useful.  However, I'd like a 'final draft' to be circulated if it's changed.

A

2009/4/7 John Nissen <j...@cloudworld.co.uk>

Sam Carana

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Apr 6, 2009, 11:20:43 PM4/6/09
to geoengineering
Hi all,

I still prefer an Open Letter that is as short as possible. We can
always refer to other documents (either jointly or individually) to
further elaborate on specific aspects, but I believe that keeping
things short is the best way to ensure that we get the main message
across and get as many signatories to support this. I suggest that we
give the Open Letter one more round of discussion before releasing it.
We can always add further names later, even after its release.

Cheers!
Sam Carana

================= begin draft =============================


OPEN LETTER TO PARTICIPANTS OF THE MAJOR ECONOMIES FORUM ON ENERGY AND CLIMATE

Forum Participants,

We, a group of scientists, researchers and other people sharing a
strong background and interest in climate change, are concerned that
the Forum's sole focus will be on the politics of energy, as seems
confirmed by the name of the Forum.

Whilst we acknowledge that the politics of energy are vitally

important, we believe that a more comprehensive approach to climate
change is appropriate, which would include the following four parts:

Part A: Emissions reduction
Part B: Carbon stock management
Part C: Heat transfer and radiation management
Part D: Adaptation

We note that there is little or no funding for research and testing of
geoengineering methods that we believe should be urgently considered
as part of a comprehensive approach to climate change.

Signatories:

John Nissen
Andrew Lockley
John Gorman
Bill Fulkerson
Tom Wigley


Dan Wylie-Sears
Eugene I. Gordon

Sam Carana

======================== end draft =====================

wig...@ucar.edu

unread,
Apr 7, 2009, 4:08:21 AM4/7/09
to sam.c...@gmail.com, geoengineering
SEE CAPS. Delete items in square brackets.

>
> Hi all,
>
> I still prefer an Open Letter that is as short as possible. We can
> always refer to other documents (either jointly or individually) to
> further elaborate on specific aspects, but I believe that keeping
> things short is the best way to ensure that we get the main message
> across and get as many signatories to support this. I suggest that we
> give the Open Letter one more round of discussion before releasing it.
> We can always add further names later, even after its release.
>
> Cheers!
> Sam Carana
>
> ================= begin draft =============================
>
>
> OPEN LETTER TO PARTICIPANTS OF THE MAJOR ECONOMIES FORUM ON ENERGY AND
> CLIMATE
>
> Forum Participants,
>
> We, a group of scientists, researchers and other people sharing a
> strong background and interest in climate change, are concerned that
> the Forum's sole focus will be on the politics of energy, as seems
> confirmed by the name of the Forum.
>
> [Whilst we acknowledge that the politics of energy are vitally
> important, we believe that a more comprehensive approach to climate
> change is appropriate]

WE BELIEVE THAT THE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE STRONGLY SUGGESTS THAT THE
APPROACH TO THE CLIMATE CHANGE PROBLEM SHOULD BE AS BROADLY BASED AS
POSSIBLE. AS SUCH, THIS SHOULD [, which would] include the following four
parts:
>
> Part A: Emissions reduction
> Part B: Carbon stock management
> Part C: Heat transfer and radiation management
> Part D: Adaptation
>
> We note that there is little or no funding for research and testing of
> geoengineering methods (ITEMS B AND C). THESE [that we believe] should

John Nissen

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Apr 7, 2009, 10:09:53 AM4/7/09