Planetary Cheat Codes Could Counter Climate Change

Planetary Cheat Codes Could Counter Climate Change

Lord Rees, astronomer of the Royal Society, suggests a variety of 'plan B' schemes to be used in the fight against global warming.

Now, if fixing climate change was as simple as opening up the Earth's command console and entering: atmosphere_remove_CO2_50%. The amount of the prime suspected culprit of global warming would drop by half and the uniform rise in temperature would stop in its tracks. Unfortunately, life doesn't have any cheat codes. But the Astronomer Royal, Lord Rees, wants to "hack the planet to counter climate change." In a speech to be given at the British Science Festival in Newcastle, he is set to discuss a variety of geoengineering projects that could help solve global warming.

What has prompted the well credited member of the astronomical community to share his ideas on ways to tackle climate change? His own pessimistic views on global efforts to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere within the next 20 years. If the current targets are not met, we could see gas concentrations in the atmosphere rise to 500 parts per million by the end of this century. This could lead to a global temperature rise of 6C and melt the remaining ice caps whilst intensifying the effects of global warming.

"If the effect is strong, and the world consequently seems on a rapidly warming trajectory into dangerous territory, there may be a pressure for 'panic measures'," Rees will say. "These would have to involve a 'Plan B'."

So, what are these plans I hear you ask? I can assure you, all of them are rather outside the box. These include positioning mirrors in space to redirect some of the suns energy back into space, boosting the growth of carbon dioxide consuming algae by saturating the worlds oceans with iron and encouraging cloud formation in the upper atmosphere to reflect some of the suns energy away from the Earth's surface.

The political minefield of global carbon dioxide output is always a nervous proposition with countries failing to agree on where the Earth's thermostat should be set to. But, whilst many may debate the merits of his ideas and how to go about implementing them, none are a permanent fix, merely efforts to buy time before one can be found. And with no feasible solution on the horizon, Earth might have to look into the delivery costs of ice from Halley's Comet!

Source: The Telegraph

Permalink

"But the Astronomer Royal, Lord Rees, wants to "hack the planet to counter climate change."

That made my brain hurt so bad.

You've to understand we aren't saving the planet we are saving ourselves. I find it is better to put it in those terms when explaining it to people who deny that climate change is a thing.

Though in general I'm against he sort of geo engineering that is being proposed, except the orbital mirrors.

Messing with the oceans is a vastly bad idea.

Surely a giant floating city (with some of it submerged) would be cheaper than this _

GAWD! Stupid scientists...PFFT

We're pretty much on a slow path to returning to this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eocene

If I remember correctly, it's not as much as the pollution and population explosion that's doing it, it's the emissions that come from Earth's volcanoes, both active and at eruption. However, as you'll read in the wiki above you'll find that there is also an ancient "cure" that's also there: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azolla

Has anyone thought to try the Konami Code?

No? Ah well. Giant space[1] mirrors sounds cooler anyway.

[1] to send the light back into space

Some-oones been playing too much Deus Ex.

http://deusex.wikia.com/wiki/Panchaea

I know its an actual theory, but between the mis-use of the word hacking and iron seeding my mind latched on to it.

synobal:

Messing with the oceans is a vastly bad idea.

But we need to do something before the jelly fish take over.

Why not just build a series of under water cities? So what if the earth floods. we'll hardly notice it

FancyNick:
Why not just build a series of under water cities? So what if the earth floods. we'll hardly notice it

We all saw how well that went in BioShock...

I say just let the planet kill us all. We have obviously demonstrated that the Earth's population as a whole does not have a sufficient level of collective responsibility to maintain, let alone attempt to fix, this amazing paradise of a world. Do not save us. Let all the selfish creatures destroy all the other selfish creatures in their mad, self destructive dash for wealth and power. Hopefully the good and just and responsible people will reincarnated when the next intelligent species rises from the primordial goo in x billion years.

FancyNick:
Why not just build a series of under water cities? So what if the earth floods. we'll hardly notice it

While the rise in sea level is a problem for some, I expect the bigger problems will be things like droughts, famines, and the spread of tropical diseases to higher latitudes.

So what they're trying to say is that Lord Rees is the "Liet-Kynes" of Earth. If that analogy holds up this will be interesting indeed!

Zachary Amaranth:
Has anyone thought to try the Konami Code?

No? Ah well. Giant space[1] mirrors sounds cooler anyway.

How bout giant space solar panels so we could use the energy? Send em' up on a space tether like Halo 2/3/ODST showed :L

[1] to send the light back into space

It seems to me that almost all of humanity's problems are because of too many humans.
Too many humans = Too high resource consumption = Too much pollution = Too much burden on the planet.

We need to build robots to kill all humans.

image

Either that, or maybe, birth control?

Yes, please keep making absurd claims about climate predictions. This doesn't in any way completely discredit the legitimate science you claim to support. Nor will it result in you being referenced constantly by conservative politicians to demonstrate that climate science "has everything wrong".

Captcha: 5 refreshes to get something that wasn't a bloody ad.

I say, looking at prehistoric epochs, the earth seems to be able to sort itself out in it's swing from icehouse to greenhouse, interglacial and glacial. I don't think anything we do will matter very much either way in the grand scheme of things, we've been a tiny blip on the timeline of earth. Anyone who thinks we're really causing unfixable problems and freak out over a few degrees needs to look at the polar ocean temperatures during the Eocene Thermal Maximum.

I'm not arguing man-caused global warming or not, I'm sure we're making a difference on the natural order of things, but I'm just saying, historically, it's not the first time we've had a rapid increase in global temperature and atmospheric CO2 that lead to rapid and significant global climate change, whether from volcanic/geological activity, or the earth's Milankovich cycles in tilt, but the earth pendulums back and forth on it's own time. So in the grand scheme of things does it really matter if it's going to get super hot with no ice (earth has spent about 80% of it's history with no permanent ice btw) in 10,000 years or 10 million? Humanity will just have to adapt or die, just like every other species that has either made it through one of these transitions or hasn't.

Dr.Awkward:
We're pretty much on a slow path to returning to this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eocene

If I remember correctly, it's not as much as the pollution and population explosion that's doing it, it's the emissions that come from Earth's volcanoes, both active and at eruption. However, as you'll read in the wiki above you'll find that there is also an ancient "cure" that's also there: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azolla

^ This fellow gets it :)
I should probably start reading comments in a thread before posting, as I probably could've just quoted and added to this to reinforce my thoughts on the matter.

Change the stupid slogan from save the environment or planet to save humanity.

The planet will be around for a few more billion years even if we vanished tomorrow, the environment doesn't give a shit what shape it's in. It will find a way. Our species however? We like things between the 20-30C range and love eating food. Most of these things can't happen on a planet covered in 50% desert and 80% ocean.

Also no jokes or puns on the Plan B proposals?

Turn on fog of war = cloud generation.

Micalas:

FancyNick:
Why not just build a series of under water cities? So what if the earth floods. we'll hardly notice it

We all saw how well that went in BioShock...

On the plus side, we can learn how to shoot bee's out of our hands

Ooooh! Can we pick which city gets a blast of supersunlight?

Can't believe nobody's posted this yet.

C'mon, guys, we can do this! Let's save the planet with Prodigy singles, segments from Wipeout XL, reskinned Power Mac OSes and bad haircuts for Angelina Jolie! YEAH!

2clueless:
I say just let the planet kill us all. We have obviously demonstrated that the Earth's population as a whole does not have a sufficient level of collective responsibility to maintain, let alone attempt to fix, this amazing paradise of a world. Do not save us. Let all the selfish creatures destroy all the other selfish creatures in their mad, self destructive dash for wealth and power. Hopefully the good and just and responsible people will reincarnated when the next intelligent species rises from the primordial goo in x billion years.

You realize that it's not going to be nearly that drastic, yea?

Global warming isn't ever going to kill the planet. This isn't the first time the ice caps have melted, nor will it be the last. The short-term aftermath isn't going to be terribly pleasant, as various factions start fighting over resources as the sea level slowly rises, but once things stabilize afterwards, it's not going to be notably different from today. Just with less snow.

Life is a resilient thing and evolution does its job well. We don't need to worry much over that, and despite the fear mongering, we're not quite capable of annihilating ourselves entirely.

Is our save file going to be flagged?

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here