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Old 07-18-2009, 11:50 PM
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Default Fascinating to put it mildly.

It may sound like wishful thinking, but in theory it has potential. Imagine being able to reduce the impact of hurricanes. To put it simply, weather patterns are the result of gradients in atmospheric temperature. The most basic examples are the difference between the side of the planet that faces the sun and the side away from it. Or the difference in seasons between the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere due to the tilt of the planet. Well, if you want to have influence on weather patterns, manipulating the distribution of heat energy in the system is in theory one way to do it.

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/rese...rricanes_N.htm
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Old 07-19-2009, 01:10 PM
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There's one problem with this idea. What happens to the cold water churned up to the surface?
Cooling the water that feeds the gulf stream would impact climates in Europe. Scientists have been warning about cold water current shifts in the Atlantic bringing a new ice age to Europe.
Of course you could take a sled from the UK to France then.
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Old 07-19-2009, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by TGElder View Post
There's one problem with this idea. What happens to the cold water churned up to the surface?
Cooling the water that feeds the gulf stream would impact climates in Europe. Scientists have been warning about cold water current shifts in the Atlantic bringing a new ice age to Europe.
Of course you could take a sled from the UK to France then.
Man influencing europes climate? I thought you allways believed man could never ever possibly influence the climate on earth. What changed your mind?
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Old 07-19-2009, 01:48 PM
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Man influencing europes climate? I thought you allways believed man could never ever possibly influence the climate on earth. What changed your mind?
Devil's Advocate. If man can be blamed for Global Warming, what happens when we muck things up and cause Global Cooling?
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Old 07-19-2009, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by TGElder View Post
There's one problem with this idea. What happens to the cold water churned up to the surface?
Cooling the water that feeds the gulf stream would impact climates in Europe. Scientists have been warning about cold water current shifts in the Atlantic bringing a new ice age to Europe.
Of course you could take a sled from the UK to France then.
Yeah, that is definitely something worth looking into. The discussions that I've seen on the matter in my oceanography courses dealt with what are called "little ice ages". They are not "true" ice ages, but rather more like the cold periods experienced in Europe in the middle ages although scientists and historians don't appear to agree on when this little ice age began. The causes of these events aren't actually known, but there are a number of mechanisms that have been proposed such as volcanic activity, solar activity, and the ocean conveyor system which you are talking about. Another idea is that the loss of population due to the black death reduced the amount of agriculture and resulted in large scale reforestation allowing more carbon to be taken up and reducing temperatures. In the case of the conveyor idea, it is suggested that a large influx of fresh water, perhaps from melting glaciers, entering the Atlantic could cut off the Gulf Stream and reduce the heat flux to Norther Europe. Ironically some scientists are concerned that this could actually happen due to (you guessed it) global warming.

On the other hand, if you introduce cold water in the path of a hurricane, I'm guessing the cold water would actually draw heat away from the hurricane in order to reduce the category of the storm. Heat is the energy source for the storm afterall. So in theory, the storm would warm that cold water and then that water continues on its merry way to Europe carrying the heat taken up from the storm.

That's a very good catch you made there. It really helps underscore the complexity of the Earth's climate system.
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Old 07-19-2009, 08:02 PM
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I think we should remember what the Tao tells us, and leave **** the **** alone.
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:51 PM
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I think we should remember what the Tao tells us, and leave **** the **** alone.
Leaving things alone didn't work out too well with Hurricane Katrina, did it?

As Bill Gates couldn't make a version of Windows which booted up in a decent time or a version of Word where the paragraphing didn't do random sh*t, I'm a little concerned at him attempting the godlike power of weather control. We can't reboot the earth if it goes wrong. I suppose incremental experiments are the key. It is an exciting idea.
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Old 07-19-2009, 10:48 PM
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Leaving things alone didn't work out too well with Hurricane Katrina, did it?

As Bill Gates couldn't make a version of Windows which booted up in a decent time or a version of Word where the paragraphing didn't do random sh*t, I'm a little concerned at him attempting the godlike power of weather control. We can't reboot the earth if it goes wrong. I suppose incremental experiments are the key. It is an exciting idea.
Well, as one professor of oceanography at MIT put it, part of the human factor that contributes to natural disasters is when we decide to do things like build large cities in coastal regions in areas that are below sea level. Or when people decide to build multimillion dollar houses on cliffs overlooking the see, and that kind of thing is just going to get worse as human population increases, with or without changes in climate. A real estate agent looks at such a house as something they can sell for a ton of money. And oceanographer and a geologist look at that and see a piece of crap that isn't worth the paper the deed is printed on. Humans put value in really strange things. Hell the state government taxes my dad because his house has a "view" of the water about the size of a stop sign from the front window which is apparently valuable. Well yeah, if we cut down a bunch of trees and evict the neighbors and bulldoze their houses down then yeah we'd have a even better view I suppose.

But yes, experimentation is key. You can't rely on what a computer tells you. Computers and computer models are as good as the data and variables you put in. So if you put garbage in, you get garbage out.

I have no doubt that we'll see more and more experimentation in the coming decades on ways to manipulate weather and climate. The political drive is certainly growing. Already, there's iron fertilization experiments taking place in the waters off the Antarctic in order to draw carbon out of the atmosphere. But people do have to realize that the ecological impact of such activities go far beyond that of atmospheric carbon. The biology will be impacted, the chemistry will be impacted, the physics will also likely be impacted. The exact nature and degree of impact is anyone's guess.
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Old 07-20-2009, 05:53 AM
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Begining to think maybe it's too late to save the ecology.
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Old 07-20-2009, 06:46 AM
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Begining to think maybe it's too late to save the ecology.
I know and understand exactly what it is you're trying to say.

But here's the thing, and this is a point that I think activists on both sides of the isle seem to miss. It's not an issue of trying to save the ecology per say. One could make the argument that Earth's ecology has never been at steady state and they'd be correct. Rather it is about managing the ecology, yeah you could even call it manipulating if you so desire, bit's the same just one sounds more negative than the other. Like it or not, we are part of the Earth's ecology and things that happen to the ecology will affect us just as our activities affect the ecology, so it is still our ecology as well. That is true of all organisms from humans down to the simplest of single cell organisms. Sentience and technology don't really change that. Maybe if we were to all pack up and move the entire human population to the moon or something that we would no longer be part of the Earth's ecology.
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