I think what will happen is we will increase solar panel usage and electric car usage and try to get co2 levels down to pre 1970 (india, china emergence as polluters) levels and continue from there. Its snowing for xmas!! too bad we have to drive 5 hours north to canada to snowmobile! we used to snowmobile in our backyards and across the whole state of WI!!!
This is sort of like trying to counter stimulants with depressants so you can take more of both. It never quite balances completely, and the parts that don’t balance can seriously screw you up.
Specifically, the biggest problem with trying to use particulates to counter global warming is the timespans involved. Carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere much longer than particulates, so to counteract a certain amount of carbon dioxide put into the atmosphere now, you have to add a certain amount of particulates every year. And since the carbon dioxide levels are ever-increasing, the particulates needed each year also increase. Now consider that most of the ways to add the particulates also add a lot of CO2, and it all just sort of snowballs. Or fireballs, whichever. Meanwhile, even if you can keep up with that, an increase in both the greenhouse effect and the parasol effect means that whatever other ways they don’t quite cancel out will be likewise amplified (like, perhaps they don’t affect all geographic locations equally).
If we all walked around with tin-foil hats would it reflect enough sunlight back into space to effect cooling? Or maybe we can take a cue from that town in North Carolina, and put up lots of solar panels to suck the energy out of the sun and cause cooling.
And yes, this entire post is sarcastic for the sarcasm impaired.
Leaving aside the should we do it aspect, could we do it? Certainly. Basically, anything that blocks a percentage of sunlight coming into the atmosphere or reflects it back would do the trick. Global Warming happens because sunlight that penetrates the atmosphere is trapped by GHGs. Block some of that sunlight before it gets to the atmosphere or figure out ways to reflect it (or absorb it) and there you go.
Problem, of course, as others have pointed out, is doing is so that you don’t make a worse problem. I new ice age would be much worse than anything currently being predicted by Global Warming. Whether we get 2 meter sea level rise or 100 meter rise it’s better than miles of ice covering most of the northern hemisphere.
Maybe one day humans will be technologically savvy enough to model and accurately predict mitigation strategies we could use to better regulate the climate. We’d better figure something out at some point if we want to continue living on this rock for a bit longer, as even without our ‘help’ the climate on Earth varying pretty wildly…we are actually in one of the calmer periods of climate today. It would be nice if someday we could smooth out the wilder aspects of the cycle, make the cooling less cool and the heating less hot. But we aren’t even close to being able to do anything about any of this today. Hell, I doubt there are accurate models that predict exactly what will happen to the Earths climate if we DID stop using CO2 today. Would the Earth go back into balance, or would some other factor or forcing come into play that we haven’t even thought about? Perhaps the vast (and I mean vast) pollution cloud that hovers over China, blocking out the sun over large portions of the country and spreading out and being measurable as far away as Canada will come into play…perhaps the effect is being masked by the current global warming due to GHG and taking those away would snap us into some other cycle.
Scientists already reported on this, and it is very unlikely that other factors will save us as anyone one of the possible factors did not prevent the earth from warming when it was then natural CO2 the cause of the increase in temperatures in the deep past.
As for going back on balance:
I have seen reports that the dimming of the sun caused by that kind of pollution could had been one factor in hiding the warming of the surface temperatures, the important lesson to get here is that warming continued and that there was no pause, the warming only was delayed just a bit and now it is showing up in the surface temperature just as it was still going on in the oceans.
One has to point here that climate scientists are not using just computer models, they rely on physics and paleo climate; computer models are better than before but the sad thing is that many of the ones out there that have maligned the use of them in science are blissfully ignoring that to do any geoenginering right the contrarians to any control of emissions will have to rely on the very science that are refusing to believe.
The nerds at Futurama pointed at one flaw, when an asteroid crashed into the mirror and the mirror turns wildly and burns many on the audience listening to the rival of Professor Farnsworth. Ogden Wernstrom.
But I do think this idea is interesting, but as I pointed many times before we will have to pay a lot for it and for other solutions, we have to also factor the costs to deal with the effects that are coming.
We need to start making sure that we will be ready so the most at fault industry should start paying for research and development of solutions with emissions or fossil fuel taxes. Taxes that also will tell all about the real price of using our atmosphere as a sewer.
You misunderstand my point. I’m not saying save us from global warming, I’m saying that if we stop using CO2 there is no real prediction of what effect that might have. This isn’t to say we shouldn’t do it, but we are no better climate engineers knowing the effects of stopping the use of CO2 or other GHG than we were using the damned stuff in the first place.
Again, you have been arguing with climate deniers too long…that’s not the point I’m making.