One of the geoengineering solutions to climate change: marine cloud whitening (spraying seawater droplets into marine clouds to make them reflect more sunlight). Photograph: NASA
Ground Report: Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system; it is not the nearest to the sun but it is so hot that it can melt hard metals if placed on its surface. Greenhouse effect from the action of Green House Gases (GHGs) is the chief factor for this hotness. Venus is next to planet Earth after Mercury from the Sun and also has many similarities with planet earth including an ozone layer.
GHGs trap heat to warm planet earth, they are vital to balance of the overall climate system on earth and sustenance of major life forms. GHGs have been from time, they are usually available in certain amounts in the earth’s upper atmosphere because of processes occurring there.
Advancement of human solutions from the Industrial Age engaged the use of fossil fuels in several applications. Burning of these fuels gives off gases that include GHGs; emitted GHGs undergo a number of processes e.g. reaction in air, capture by plants or absorption by oceans. Some GHGs nonetheless escape to the upper atmosphere and align with naturally existing GHGs to trap heat to the earth.
These ‘extra’ will trap their own little heat to the earth; with escalation in their amounts, total heat trapped will increase. This will lead to an increase in the average temperature of the earth with time. Studies
have confirmed this from around 1900 till date and more are projected in time to come if there is no substantial action.
This increase in human-induced GHG’s and warming it prompts is the etymology
for global warming
. Global warming is precarious for what we know it can cause and what we are yet to know about it. For example, increase in average temperature of the earth can cause more vaporization thus changing the pattern of rainfall leading to regular in-season torrent and sporadic out-of-season deluge resulting in floods, erosion and whatever desolation.
Literally, if a solution to global warming is to be considered, the first thing that comes to mind is reduction, reduction of whatever is causing it. Anthropogenic GHGs are primarily responsible but will face a hard fight if large scale cuts will be embraced globally because of how it is involved in most of what makes life advanced and balanced for now.
Advancement of nations today is tied to various interdependencies, examples are: imports, exports, trade, security, solutions, aid and research. This cooperation is seen in agreements of nations in blocs, allies of each other, etc. Divisions exist, yes but is mostly cold and only heated with sanctions and wars in a few cases. Recent economic issues discussed below presents one of such interdependencies.
The global economy of present day requires that individual nations seeking growth pursue revenue from new markets externally. Debt crisis
and budget deficit are the left overs for developed nations after the economic recession of 2008, this keep alive fears of a double-dip.
In the heat of the recession in 2009, the American Government, suggested “Buy America” a move that encourages US stimulus-funded contractors to buy US made iron and steel. The European Union fumed at the announcement
and the United States Government abolished the push.
European countries currently using the euro currency are threatened by debt owed by some; this for now is affecting their growth & outlook and lurks the world economy at large because of drag in recovery of a major player.
One of the suggested solutions is selling bonds collectively through the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF
) where nations outside the EU are courted to invest. The IMF is seriously inclined to invest and the European Central Bank (ECB) is pressured to rescue economies in that region. Budget cuts, austerity measures and tax increase are also coming for nations in this situation.
The US government and some members of the EU are pressuring the ECB to rescue the Eurozone but Germany is strongly opposed to it because of possible aftereffects in future. Unemployment and uncertainties rage for those in that region obvious through protests and adjustments to hard life.
Truth is that the world we are living in now is a changing world where we can’t unerringly superimpose historical examples
for solutions today and where one problem cannot be addressed by one solution. Every option needs to be to table now that knowledge is a click away and people are against government solutions disconnected from majority.
This time will pass, solutions will come and the mistakes of today will provide caution for the future. We know that economic climate changes for individuals, nations and corporations but this global situation of recent times is a feature of a changing world where actions can no longer be underrated or overrated for major players.
Economic climate is usually sorted by experts to prevent crisis or come off it; for the earth climate, who really can handle it if not with care? Who completely understand without studies and what therapy can do if for our actions it exceeds its usual limit existent for hundreds of years?
Curbing emissions is facing what we call issues; issues that are scrap compared with what may come for our inaction. The US is a major emitter; China and India are major emitters too. If the US against all odds agrees to sharply cut emissions will China do?
If China does, can India afford to even as the Government is working to provide opportunities
to increase per capita income of most citizens. The Chinese like to do their-own thing; though innovative and hard-working may be hard hit in crisis of climate change effects which may cut world supplies of certain products.
Agreeing to cut is hard not just because some nations can’t or because they are unaware of dangers to follow climate change but are waiting for others to act or waiting for climate to indisputably change. This ‘choice’ is giving geoengineering an invitation to save us even if it will be a mistake to be discovered later if it is our sole solution to climate change.
Curbing emissions is the key; geoengineering is just an option that may help a little because large scale deployment may really never come because of carefulness in trying to intentionally manipulate our climate. Going green is a buzz word now, and a joke to some to mock sincere efforts in this direction; that phrase however is crucial for its purpose.
It is strongly advised that there is a conference in early 2012 of Top Polluting Nations (TPNs) to be called [(Top Polluters Talk (TPT)] or anything related. This will have presidents, premier or leaders of TPNs discuss behind closed doors on ways to individually and collectively move backward from their status as TPNs.
Recent UN year end climate change meetings are too big and disjointed for the kind of serious talk the first TPT meeting and subsequent ones will host. This summit will be different from convergence of ministers to discuss and later present reports to their leaders but will be a kind of its own summit where world leaders will gather, get frank and actively commit to moving forward.
The US champions a similar summit for nuke issues and also looking towards terrorism. China of all TPNs is fit to hold the first TPT meeting between March and April 2012 in Beijing. This if it comes will mark the beginning of seriousness and astride us more from our fears.
Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on the mountain and climate related issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last two years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>