Thursday/ tinkering with the climate

Die Klima-Tüftler (‘The Climate Tinkerers’), says this page from the kids’ section in the German newspaper Die Zeit. It discusses the feasibility of some ideas for reducing the rate of global warming. No mention of clean-energy generation or electric cars, though.

Here are the four ideas:

Artificial Clouds 
Question: Could artificial clouds be used to block/ reduce the sun’s radiation reaching Earth (and warming it)?
Answer: Researchers are sceptical – and the results are unpredictable. These gigantic clouds could drift far away, and result in droughts where rain is needed most (reduce the evaporation of water there).

Radiation Reflectors
Question: Could sunlight be reflected back with giant mirrors, or many small ones, or even say, by painting rooftops of all buildings white?
Answer: Impractical. Installation of many billions of mirrors would be needed, and it seems impossible to get most people in the world to paint their roofs white!

Air Purification 
Question: Could CO2 be sucked out of the atmosphere, and its carbon stored underground?
Answer: The equipment is very expensive; the filters would have to be changed frequently, and if landfill areas to store the carbon are not chosen carefully, the solid waste from the air would contaminate groundwater.

‘Wolverine’ Algae
Question: Could we cultivate voracious algae that would absorb CO2?
Answer: The algae in the water would have to be replenished frequently and as it dies, it would drift to the bottom of the lake or sea, and start to rot, which would take oxygen out of the water and air again.

Four ideas for fixing climate change, from the kids’ section in Die Zeit newspaper. Who knows – maybe these ideas attract the attention of a young Edison that can devise methods to save the Earth’s climate.

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