Solar Radiation Management and Ozone Layer Geoengineering
One big wish on the minds of the SPICE ̶ Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering ̶ team is that “if only another volcano in magnitude of Mount Pinatubo that erupted in 1991 erupts again” more evidence will go to the world for their experiment.
SPICE, a sectional experiment of Solar Radiation Management (SRM) aspect of geoengineering has come under attack weeks after its announcement that lead to its postponement even when it is known that the momentum to geoengineering of late centers ̶ in some ways ̶ around that announcement.
SRM is an aspect of geoengineering and it is mostly space based for climate remediation. It is widely seen as risky and premature for deployment anytime soon. Reports, opinions have pointed to ethical and agreement issues to avoid misuse and damages.
Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) is another aspect of geoengineering that presents to remove excesses responsible for global warming from the atmosphere. CDR is a ‘process’ for plants since they use up carbon dioxide in respiration thus reducing its amounts in the atmosphere.
Induced CDR is what geoengineering presents, to remove excess carbon emission from the atmosphere to prevent extra heat trappings on escape to the troposphere ̶ a layer of the earth’s atmosphere around 10 – 19km above sea level where Green House Gas (GHG) emissions trap heat to warm the earth.
CDR is considered safe in assessment with SRM though issues like burying captured carbon dioxide underground or at sea depths may have effects on geologic formations or marine life. Geoengineering has issues and global warming for which it is suggested has issues too but a way around it is progressively gathering.
Since geoengineering is yet to be deployed on a large-massive scale, possibilities & guesses around risks it hold may disrupt focus on the good it holds. Geoengineering as its decision point nears will have its procedures partitioned to safe and unsafe. Those considered too risky will be dropped and those considered within control may be deployed.
CDR will largely benefit and cloud seeding aspect of SRM may benefit too, one thing decision makers ̶ scientists, politicians and those who care ̶ should understand is that we are not about to unleash a terror on ourselves or the world with geoengineering.
Knowledge gets out of hand and people fear unilateral decision without considering effects to others, true but division in this present world does not submit that the atmosphere is risked without a genuine cause. This lessens fears in this direction and presents that those submitting it should gather decision makers for discussion from around the world in this direction in coming months.
Geoengineering and weather modification concerns nowadays needs international regulations because the earth climate ̶ for whatever reason is changing ̶ obvious from recent weather anomalies; contribution of these processes to this change should be further studied to astride their use and bounds.
One of the concerns for geoengineering is further depletion to the ozone layer; this ‘risk’ for geoengineering is generalized because geoengineering to many literally is a space based procedure. The ozone layer helps to protect planet earth from harmful ultra violet rays and does this in a series of reactions involving allotropes of oxygen.
The ozone layer contains gases ̶ mostly ozone gas and two other allotropes of oxygen; oxygen molecules and oxygen atoms ̶ ozone gas can enter reactions with certain other gases when at that level, this possibility was responsible for substantial depletion of useful ozone gas in the ozone layer over Antarctica in late 1970’s.
Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs) are said to be primarily responsible for ozone depletion and led to an international agreement ̶ the Montreal Protocol ̶ to phase them out; for ODSs, the ozone layer will not be fully repaired until around mid-century.
Other factors aside ODSs recently linked to ozone depletion complicates the situation. Around 3% of the total ozone in the ozone layer is ‘depleted’ predominantly in the atmosphere over Antarctica and Arctic. It is not unlikely that ozone depletion to a ‘harmful’ extent may be observed over a country or region in years ahead.
These and other reasons submit the need for Ozone Layer Geoengineering (or OLG for short). Ozone gas is predominant in the ozone layer and simple suggestion may present that ozone gas is injected to the ozone layer. This cannot and will not work because of the extent of depletion; the instability of ozone gas chemically; transporting a large volume of ozone gas to that altitude and direct eat up of incoming ozone gas by ODSs in the ozone layer.
This cancels any hope of ozone gas as a factor for OLG; the next and closet option is oxygen gas. Oxygen is chemically stable, can be stored and transported in large quantities as liquid and discharged as gas (like in rocket engines), can be used for OLG since it will join in first stage of reactions and can be systematically discharged to depleted parts of the ozone layer at certain points to avoid ODSs.
A review report presents OLG in details from a research work and submits a procedure that will be useful to the ozone depletion (or ozone hole) encumbrance. OLG is a safe and workable geoengineering procedure because of its simple overall aim. The ozone hole ̶ or a large depleted part of the ozone layer ̶ is short of useful gases for protection and OLG presents to inject one of the useful gases at a calculated amount there.
The OLG is safe and will not have “unintended consequences” feared for most geoengineering procedures but those with SRM should include the OLG in their plans for whatever eventualities that might come for their experiment to ozone depletion.
The SPICE team is close to SRM but made some mistakes for follow up after announcement of their experiment; they didn’t respond for and against criticism via the new media. They announced and left response to discussions and forums even now that their experiment is doubtful for 2012.
It is advisable that they urgently start answering questions as it comes relating to their research now that studies and writings continuously hit the web against geoengineering related to theirs. OLG is somewhat safer than SRM although both go together for a safe planet.
Global warming and ozone depletion is one headache to this present world; global warming’s solution is curbing emission but a legally binding deal to effectively instate that objective is having a hard time to come to realization, ozone depletion is considered as a settled issue for efforts to the Montreal Protocol but new reasons for monitoring is casting doubts on its effects and recovery.
This makes SRM and OLG necessary as time passes, SRM has been discussed in forums and conferences but the first video conference with pundits for the OLG should hold soon.
Tags: SRM , OLG , CDR , Geoengineering , Climate Change , Global Warming , Ozone Hole Repair
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