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Possible solutions, not to stop global warming, but to reverse it and cool the planet down are discussed.


Description

Summary

Global Warming is affecting the temperature of part of our planet, from the Earth's crust to the top of the troposphere. In order to stop or reverse Global Warming, first, we need to identify and understand the heat sources. There are 3 heat inputs to the Earth system: Solar Radiation Heat (SRH), Magma Heat from the mantle (MH), and Enthalpy Heat (EH). The only possible heat transfer across space is radiation, within the vacuum there is no convection or conduction. SRH can be reduced by decreasing energy input, blocking the radiation (i.e. the sun) or increasing radiation wavelength; or increasing reflection index of the Earth surface, such as removing GHG contained in the atmosphere, creating clouds, covering large areas (middle of the oceans) with white panels, or actively emitting radiation by pointing lasers from the surface to space. MH is not controllable, plus it does not seem an important heat input. EH means the emitted energy/heat from exothermic reactions, such as combustion or neutralization. The energy contained in fossil fuels and organic material has been released massively since the industrial revolution. In order to catch back that heat, it will be necessary to cut down exothermic reactions (especially combustion), plus increase endothermic reactions such as photosynthesis. Reaching the artificial photosynthesis and increasing forestry will increase photosynthesis. Then, the resultant organic material must be kept as it is produced or used in petroleum creation; but never burnt. Thus, energy from the sun will be kept as enthalpy contained in organic material or petroleum.    


Category of the action

Geoengineering


What actions do you propose?

Here is a list of some solutions, classified by the heat source, these were already named in the summary:

Solar radiation heat source (SRH)

  • Reducing energy input
    • Space device to block radiation /cover the sun. (not feasible)
    • Space device to increase the radiation wavelength. (not feasible)
    • Release a gas in the upper layers of the atmosphere (mesosphere or thermosphere) to increase radiation wavelength
  • Increasing emitted radiation
    • Remove GHG that are reducing Earth's reflection index
    • Create clouds artificially or whitening clouds
    • Cover large areas of the oceans with white panels
    • Point lasers, which emit radiation, to space

Enthalpy heat source (EH)

Only if the energy absorbed by endothermic reactions overcomes the energy emitted by exothermic reactions it will be possible to cool the planet down.

  • Cut down exothermic reactions
    • Stop/cut down combustion reactions and other exothermic reactions
  • Increase endothermic reactions (photosynthesis)
    • Reach the artificial photosynthesis
    • Forestry
    • Keep organic material from photosynthesis as produced or expose it to high pressure in order to save it more space efficiently

Proposed solutions

There is no only one solution, and probably only one solution will not be enough. To date, nations just agreed to reduce the GHG's emissions by the Kyoto protocol and Paris agreement; only one of the listed solutions above. All the solutions under the EH source should be undertaken, these solutions are already well known or under research. Solutions by reducing energy input in SRH do not seem realistic since they will not be realized on the Earth surface. Also removing GHG or creating clouds are topics of discussion for researchers, some proposals within this contest already explained them. Hence, in this proposal only two of the listed solutions will be detailed; covering large areas of the oceans with white panels and using lasers to emit radiation to space.
 

 


Who will take these actions?

Cover areas of the oceans with white panels

We could increase Earth's reflection index (RI) by covering large areas of the planet with white panels where RI is low. Onshore, there is the problem of land use, and deserts already have a high RI. Offshore, the RI is lower than land since the color of oceans is darker than the land. Looking at the ocean currents, there are 5 regions with a low/inexistent current. These are the rounded circulations in North and South Pacific, Atlantic and one in the Indian Ocean. These areas are also regions with low RI. From an ecological view, the middle of the oceans are like a desert; most of sea life is located near the shore. Plus, the possible, derived environmental impacts have been already done since those areas are already covered by wasted plastics. A conglomerate of plastic white panels can be a good way to increase the RI. Since these areas are located in international waters, the United Nations should lead the project.

Emitting radiation with lasers

A part of increasing the RI, we could actively emit radiation by using lasers. The lasers should have a coherence length of 100 km in order to reach the thermosphere. It is important to select the proper electric source to feed the lasers. All kind of renewable energy depends on the solar radiation in the end; solar and wind power have a direct relationship. Therefore, using renewable energies to feed the lasers will send back a portion of the solar energy. The efficiency will be higher if we use solar and wind power due to its direct relationship. However, here I suggest using Solar Updraft Towers (SUT) with saltwater thermal sinks to produce electricity. The different nations, power companies with experience in this technology with funds from the UN should take the actions.   


Where will these actions be taken?

Cover areas of the oceans with white panels

As explained, in international waters, in the 5 regions in the Oceans with rounded circulation.

Emitting radiation with lasers

In places with high solar radiation and near the coast.

 


What are other key benefits?

Cover areas of the oceans with white panels

Since these 5 regions are covered by pollutant plastics, these plastics will need to removed before the installation of the panels. Then a secondary benefit is the reduction of plastic waste in the oceans.

Emitting radiation with lasers

If SUT is used to produce electricity to feed the lasers, there will be some secondary benefits. Reduction of air pollution, desalination of seawater, extract atmospheric water, intensive aquaculture or horticulture under solar collector as a greenhouse, and support carbon-fixing or food-producing local agriculture.


What are the proposal’s costs?


Time line

The timeline for both detailed solutions is 5-20 years.


Related proposals


References