Re-Paint the Silver Lining?
A grant from Bill Gates is helping researchers explore the possibility that making clouds whiter and more reflective by spraying them with a fine seawater mist could help block the sun's rays and send them back into space.
Cloud whitening builds on the natural cloud-forming process, says Silicon Valley inventor Armand Neukermans, who received the funding to test if the concept is doable.
When water vapour in cloud-forming regions encounters sea salt crystals it condenses around them, forming tiny droplets, he explains. Together, many droplets diffuse sunlight and make a cloud whiter.
Whitewash the Hills?
Workmen in the remote Peruvian Andes are painting mountain summits white in a bid to reflect heat away from the peaks and restore the country's glaciers, Agence France-Presse reported last week.
Closer to home, it is understood the NSW government is following the Andean experiment closely and is considering applying the science in its own climate-change program: by painting the outdoor dunnies white at new coalmines.
The non-government organisation behind the Andean project was one of 26 winners of the World Bank's "100 Ideas to Save the Planet" competition announced last November.
Famous Forecasts that Failed.
In 1969, Richard Nixon’s presidential advisor, Daniel Moynihan, summarised for the President the general concern of scientists about “the carbon dioxide problem". This report was recently released. Moynihan’s memo reads, in part:
“It is now pretty clearly agreed that the CO2 content in the atmosphere will rise 25% by 2000. This could increase the average temperature near the earth's surface by 7 degrees Fahrenheit. This in turn could raise the level of the sea by 10 feet. Goodbye New York. Goodbye Washington, for that matter.”
These predictions were wide of the mark:
• Rather than increasing by 81 parts per million as the "pretty clearly agreed" experts feared, CO2 rose by only 45 parts per million.
• Rather than spiking by 3.9 C (7 degrees F), the actual temperature increase between 1969 and the year 2000 was a practically imperceptible 0.3 C. Which means the experts were off by 1200 percent.
• Most embarrassing of all, rather than rising 305 cm (10 feet), sea level increased by a paltry 10 cm (3.9 inches). Which means the experts overestimated that particular danger by 2950 percent.
Moral of the story: no one has ever been able to predict the future. Not even highly educated, highly regarded government advisors.
The Week That Was – News you will not see or hear on the ABC.
Every week the SEPP (founded by Fred Singer) produces an email roundup of the week’s news, reports and comments on the revelations and stupidities in the world climate change industry. Subscription is free of charge; send full name, background, occupation, location, etc to: comments@SEPP.org.