Global Warming to 11?

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bouer
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Global Warming to 11?

Postby bouer » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:32 am UTC

If a country were actively trying to increase the speed of global warming how would you suggest they do it?
I thought of:
-burn down the world forests
-spread soot by planes on the ice caps and salt flats of the world
-release natural gas into atmosphere unburnt
-maybe convert other fossil fuels into methane
-research easy to synthesize, efficient greenhouse gases and release those
-turn all heaters to 11
-could something be done with nukes? I would guess any way to tap the sun's energy would vastly outweigh energy produced by other mean but I might be wrong.

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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:51 am UTC

There are apparently ridiculous amounts of greenhouse gases stored in bogs and permafrost around the world and in frozen methyl hydrates in the ocean. This would probably be a decent place to start looking.

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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby Tass » Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:15 am UTC

bouer wrote:-research easy to synthesize, efficient greenhouse gases and release those


This. We already know gasses way more potent than methane (halogenated carbons), even though they are a bit harder to make they will beat synthetic methane by orders of magnitude. Though if the country has large stores of natural gas, releasing it directly will probably be easier.

Burning down forests will be hard since they are on different countries territory and it will be seen as an act of war. A one off coordinated action of spreading soot on the ice sheets might work. It will be hard to clean up after. Alone it won't be too effective though, since new snow will cover the soot over most of the area. As melting increases it will come back in the light and accelerate the warming, though. It will be hard to find a way to spread soot efficiently and evenly.

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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby sardia » Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:21 pm UTC

The best way is to harvest and sell fossil fuels without regard to environmental damage in the cheapest way possible. Then you get paid to warm the planet.

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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby stianhat » Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:32 am UTC

Tass wrote:
bouer wrote:-research easy to synthesize, efficient greenhouse gases and release those


This. We already know gasses way more potent than methane (halogenated carbons), even though they are a bit harder to make they will beat synthetic methane by orders of magnitude. Though if the country has large stores of natural gas, releasing it directly will probably be easier.


You beat me to it. Especially the mixed halogen ones - CFCs. Any or all gases that can accomodate that large charge differences (...and thus the modi of their vibration...) will be efficient at absorption in the required range. Added bonus is annihilating the ozone layer (more correct: blocking the action of oksygen -> ozone -> oxygen reactions thus increasing the amount of UV radiation let through) which will be absorbed in, among other things, skin, and reemitted as a shower of infrared to be trapped.

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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby eternauta3k » Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:28 pm UTC

stianhat wrote:Any or all gases that can accomodate that large charge differences (...and thus the modi of their vibration...) will be efficient at absorption in the required range.
Come again?
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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby bouer » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:28 pm UTC

stianhat wrote:
Tass wrote:
bouer wrote:-research easy to synthesize, efficient greenhouse gases and release those


This. We already know gasses way more potent than methane (halogenated carbons), even though they are a bit harder to make they will beat synthetic methane by orders of magnitude. Though if the country has large stores of natural gas, releasing it directly will probably be easier.


You beat me to it. Especially the mixed halogen ones - CFCs. Any or all gases that can accomodate that large charge differences (...and thus the modi of their vibration...) will be efficient at absorption in the required range. Added bonus is annihilating the ozone layer (more correct: blocking the action of oksygen -> ozone -> oxygen reactions thus increasing the amount of UV radiation let through) which will be absorbed in, among other things, skin, and reemitted as a shower of infrared to be trapped.


I found an article that suggests we could use bacteria to convert the world's coal into roughly one third it's mass in methane, by my calculations that's the equivalent to over 730 years of emitting CO2 at 2010 levels.

Also, ozone is a greenhouse gas, would it be more effective to destroy it and let UV through or to keep it to trap infrared?

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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby f5r5e5d » Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:46 pm UTC

SF6

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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby stianhat » Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:52 pm UTC

bouer wrote:
I found an article that suggests we could use bacteria to convert the world's coal into roughly one third it's mass in methane, by my calculations that's the equivalent to over 730 years of emitting CO2 at 2010 levels.

Also, ozone is a greenhouse gas, would it be more effective to destroy it and let UV through or to keep it to trap infrared?


Well, not in my book. Ozone / Oxygen absorbs nearly all UV light between 200 and 300 nm and turns it into kinetic energy, of which more than half is sent back into space. Besides, life on earth would not be very nice if we let it through. All the dead and decaying animals might increase the temperature for a short while, but afterwards few will care about the temperature and more about getting food and avoiding the sun.

As to the being a greenhouse gas, do you have a link or something, I cant get the spectrum of ozone to add up to anything greenhousey, let alone its severely dimished fraction in the gas mix. I found the issue. Tropospheric ozone is in fact a greenhouse gas (a huh - I didnt know that moment) - what I was thinking about was the ozone layer, which is stratospheric and slightly but surely anti-greenhouse.

I would still go for sending some black surfaced catalyst plates up in the air to get sun heated and continuosly create nitrous oxides. Like something the villain in a Bond movie would do.

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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby bouer » Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:21 am UTC

I thought of something even more supervillainy than that. Connect the Antarctic peninsula to the southernmost tip of South America. This should redirect warm ocean currents to circle Antarctica like they once did millions of years ago, melting the ice cap with great speed. it would be a difficult project, but by no means impossible. I'll calculate the cubic meters of landfill needed tomorrow.

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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby eternauta3k » Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:49 pm UTC

Looks like ~1500km between Antartica and America. If we extrapolate cost linearly from this dam's length, it should cost U$S 17e12, or what the US spends in 64 years in Irak.
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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby curtis95112 » Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:12 pm UTC

Somehow I think damming an ocean and damming a river are two entirely different endeavors.
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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby eternauta3k » Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:57 pm UTC

You're saying it'd be humongously expensive instead of mind-boggingly expensive?
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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby bouer » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:09 pm UTC

using this I got a little over 1000 kms.

The drake passage looks to have an average depth of around 3 kms so if our dam is twice as high as its base is wide we will need 2250 cubic kilometers (5 trillion tons) of landfill.

The largest mine in the world is about 8 cubic kilometers in size. 300 of those. A hole in the ground 30 by 30 kilometers and 2.5 kilometers deep.

I can't find exact numbers but it looks like global coal production is about 7 billion tons a year. If all the machinery used to produce coal was instead used to generate landfill material it would take 700 years to build the dam. So this method might not be as feasible as I thought.

EDIT: if it did succeed it would be around 17 degrees celsius warmer. http://www.livescience.com/5023-fossil-suggests-antarctica-warmer.html
If this is accurate huge portions of the continent would be above zero in the summer and parts of the coast would be above zero even in the winter. There would probably be seasonal rivers that would dwarf the Amazon.

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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby donny662 » Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:20 am UTC

bouer wrote:-burn down the world forests

I wonder if this might be a lot harder and less effective than it sounds. Forest fires don't spread indefinitely. I think rain-forest fires might be near impossible to sustain, themselves or with help. How much napalm did the US military spread in Vietnam? Vietnam didn't turn into a deforested wasteland, right?

Also, you're releasing lots of dust and water vapor, which conspire to block the sun, form clouds, and drop liquid water everywhere. Then, you have vast areas of fertile soil in a (possibly) elevated CO2 evironment in which dormant seeds wil flourish. That gives you maybe a couple years of elevated CO2 with a lack of cooling greenery to accomplish your goal of warming the planet before the plants start to fill in (a year after an area is logged, here in the midwest, the saplings are coming up, and five years later, the saplings are taller than a person and there are so many that its hard to impossible to walk through them; I haven't personally been to a recently burned forest, but I imagine the growth cycle is similar).

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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby bouer » Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:28 am UTC

You could use a modern equivalent of agent orange to prevent new growth, although I'm not sure how feasible that would be over a significant portion of the earth's surface.

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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby elasto » Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:55 am UTC

I'm assuming the goal is global warming and not famine and mass displacement of peoples though...

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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby donny662 » Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:47 am UTC

elasto wrote:I'm assuming the goal is global warming and not famine and mass displacement of peoples though...

If you read news articles and listen to poor coastal countries at climate conferences, global warming = famine and mass displacement of peoples.

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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby elasto » Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:16 am UTC

donny662 wrote:If you read news articles and listen to poor coastal countries at climate conferences, global warming = famine and mass displacement of peoples.

Oh I agree. But it's indirect in a way that spraying people's homelands with agents, directly killing all their crops and forcing them to relocate really isn't...

Anyhow, carry on with your evil machinations ^^

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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby idobox » Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:41 am UTC

What about a machine that releases the methane trapped in the permafrost and methane hydrates?
I'm imagining a plane dropping carbon dust on the Tundra, then a giant space mirror defrosting the permafrost spot by spot long enough to release all the nasty gases.

For the methane hydrates, I don't have anything better than the current extraction techniques.
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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby HungryHobo » Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:41 pm UTC

probably cheaper than damming the ocean: space mirrors only instead of reflecting sunlight away you reflect it towards the earth.

Bonus: focus the light on permafrost to release the methane trapped in the permafrost
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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby idobox » Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:25 pm UTC

donny662 wrote:I wonder if this might be a lot harder and less effective than it sounds. Forest fires don't spread indefinitely. I think rain-forest fires might be near impossible to sustain, themselves or with help. How much napalm did the US military spread in Vietnam? Vietnam didn't turn into a deforested wasteland, right?

You know what burns well? coal. Let's set some coal mines on fire, maybe by drilling some holes to bring fresh air first.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_seam_fire

After a little thought, we could also try to set fire to shale gas veins, bituminous oil, permafrost peat, etc... There might be a way to get the reaction to sustain itself.
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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby bouer » Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:31 pm UTC

elasto wrote:I'm assuming the goal is global warming and not famine and mass displacement of peoples though...


I guess I didn't explain my question very well, let's try again.

If humanity decided it's only goal was to increase the Earth's temperature as fast as possible, at any cost, what would be the best way to accomplish that?

idobox wrote:You know what burns well? coal. Let's set some coal mines on fire, maybe by drilling some holes to bring fresh air first.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_seam_fire

After a little thought, we could also try to set fire to shale gas veins, bituminous oil, permafrost peat, etc... There might be a way to get the reaction to sustain itself.

I think turning all that carbon into methane and other more potent greenhouse gases would be more effective.

Also, am I right in thinking that if we got Earth's average temperature above 100 degrees all the water on the planet would evaporate, and as water vapor is a greenhouse gas temperatures would rise massively and irreversibly, or is the greenhouse effect of earth's water not enough to keep it above 100? Only 85 degrees (only making the Earth only 30 percent warmer) to go! Would any life survive?

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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby idobox » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:16 pm UTC

bouer wrote:I think turning all that carbon into methane and other more potent greenhouse gases would be more effective.

True, but burning coal is much easier than turning it into methane.

bouer wrote:Also, am I right in thinking that if we got Earth's average temperature above 100 degrees all the water on the planet would evaporate, and as water vapor is a greenhouse gas temperatures would rise massively and irreversibly, or is the greenhouse effect of earth's water not enough to keep it above 100? Only 85 degrees (only making the Earth only 30 percent warmer) to go! Would any life survive?

Where do you get the 30% increase? I tried in Kelvin, and found 20%
Anyway, if the average is 100°C, it means there are places and times where the temperature is lower. Also, the boiling temperature of water is a factor of pressure, and if you want to turn the oceans into vapour, the atmospheric pressure will rise, by a lot.
So, it is possible to boil off all the water of Earth, but you would need temperatures higher than 100°C (I'm not sure how much, but given the volume of water, I'd say by a lot). Without liquid water, life would stop to thrive, but spores and extremophiles would survive, and it would take a long time for every underground water pocket to leak and evaporate.
Finally, this is a totally possible thing. Venus, with about twice as much solar irradiance, has a surface temperature of at least 460°C, because of crazy greenhouse effect.
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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby andrewxc » Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:35 pm UTC

Well, let's keep in mind that scientists would probably get out giant white tarpaulins to cover all of the dark areas of the world, in order to cancel out some of the effects. :lol:
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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:48 pm UTC

bouer wrote:Also, am I right in thinking that if we got Earth's average temperature above 100 degrees all the water on the planet would evaporate, and as water vapor is a greenhouse gas temperatures would rise massively and irreversibly, or is the greenhouse effect of earth's water not enough to keep it above 100? Only 85 degrees (only making the Earth only 30 percent warmer) to go! Would any life survive?


This is more or less what is speculated to have happened to the atmosphere of Venus.

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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby bouer » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:14 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
bouer wrote:Also, am I right in thinking that if we got Earth's average temperature above 100 degrees all the water on the planet would evaporate, and as water vapor is a greenhouse gas temperatures would rise massively and irreversibly, or is the greenhouse effect of earth's water not enough to keep it above 100? Only 85 degrees (only making the Earth only 30 percent warmer) to go! Would any life survive?


This is more or less what is speculated to have happened to the atmosphere of Venus.


I knew Venus was a victim of runaway global warming but I wasn't sure if the same thing could work for Earth, because I didn't know Venus only got twice as much sun, and because the planets have different atmospheric compositions and surface albedos.

I got the 30% increase by 851 / 2882 = ~0.295.

1 temperature increase needed to reach 100 celsius or 373 kelvin, boiling point of water at current pressure at sea level
2 current global average pressure

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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby donny662 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:40 am UTC

If you were after "climate change" instead of being set on "global warming," one method that might give you the most "bang for the buck" would be to steer an asteroid into the Earth. It would cost a few billion? dollars to launch a thruster to an asteroid and slowly push it toward the Earth.

This would be easier than divertng an asteroid that was already on a collision course because the hardest part about diverting an asteroid is identifying the asteroid headed to Earth with enough time to do something about it. If you're simply trying to hit the Earth with an asteroid, you identify a bunch of asteroids and calculate the fuel and time required to steer it to Earth. If you're hard up for funds, you pick an asteroid that requires less fuel but will probably take longer before you see the fruits of your labor (or of your money).

I'm assuming that current scientists have concluded that a big asteroid hitting the Earth would cause global cooling. Is that right?

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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby scarecrovv » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:27 pm UTC

donny662 wrote:I'm assuming that current scientists have concluded that a big asteroid hitting the Earth would cause global cooling. Is that right?


Now there's a hell of an idea. Pick a patch of desert that nobody cares about (I'd go for ocean, but I'd be worried about tsunamis), and smack an asteroid into it every few years until we've got the climate problem under control.

Back on topic though, I like the mirrors in space adding to the total sunlight falling on the earth. Bonus points if they're produced by self replicating robots, using pieces of the moon or asteroid belt.

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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby bouer » Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:23 am UTC

Forget about deserts, if you aim for cities you also have unsustainable population growth under control :D

Would depositing a thin layer of highly radioactive materials on ice melt that ice? Because if it would it might be a better than soot (or used in addition to soot) for melting ice caps.

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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby Copper Bezel » Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:19 am UTC

Forget about deserts, if you aim for cities you also have unsustainable population growth under control :)

Damned short term, since urban cores aren't actually contributing to said unsustainable population growth and act as population "sinks." Of course, the cooling effects from the impacts are very short term, too.

Plenty of other ways to reduce the world population in this thread that wouldn't be quite so counterproductively selective.
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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby andrewxc » Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:35 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:Plenty of other ways to reduce the world population in this thread that wouldn't be quite so counter-productively selective.

Birth-control in the water supply.
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Re: Global Warming to 11?

Postby thoughtfully » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:13 pm UTC

Ppulation control growth is a solved problem. Affluence and empowered women nail it pretty hard.

If you want to shrink the population, that's harder. But reducing growth is better than nothing.
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