Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Desalinated Salt

About The Immense Salt Concentrate By-Product From Desalination Plant

This post will get into the problem of:
Where, Why, and How We May Put Them For Best Use
Fresh off the press: by 2010 Victoria will receive a desalination plant to ease freshwater crisis caused by this extended drought. (Drinking water shortage is likely to be curbed, giving us a false sense of security that all is well.) But where to put the immense salt that is created as a by-product to making freshwater?

I suspect there will be enough desalination plants soon, to have large industrial quantities of precious sea salt. But also have the mounting problem of where to put them.

Let's ponder that ...

Here is an idea: - We should pump it back where it is most needed. And I blogged enought on the subject to suggest the following.

Re-salinate the Thermohaline circulation starting with the Gulf stream ...

Locate the most sensitive vortexes that power the return deep undercurrent streams in the thermohaline circulation (these are mainly the Gulf Stream and the Kuro-siwa) by blasting cold water down. Position air-born stations right above them with a pump hooked up to them pointing downwards. Next, pepper them with industrial quantities of salt. Simply use the massive sucking power of the vortex to pump the salt back where needed to re-salinate our withering deep sea currents. Though the the two circulation systems are interlinked, it also appears that the Gulf is at a bigger risk. It has already weakened 30 percent and ice melt that causes it has been accelerated decade on decade. So start there, and soon. There, it might just go right where needed most. Monitor the effects and relocate the pump as needed.

But this measure by itself would NOT be enough. We need some kind of freshwater arrangement for folks in and around floodplains of the endangered rivers: Danube, Mekong, Ganges, Yangtze, and a few others. (Ganges, Mekong and Yangtze are slated to become seasonal river-beds - dry outside the flood season - by 2030 as Himalayan glaciers feeding them melt away with increasing speed.) These areas will be next wanting new reserves of freshwater such as delatinated water badly.

And of course we'll all wait and see what will happen to our Murray-Darling system. And our very own desalination plant. And if you are here for getting ideas, remind yourself that the cost of such of a plant will be offset, by doubling the water rates. There, food for thought.

Coordinated effort to change climate back is needed. Ultimately, we need freshwater back in the rivers, because that's how it is natural. For a little more brain fodder, look up some Earth-architect project posts listed below.

Related posts:

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Adapt To Change. Count The Seasons.

When adapting to change the future may lay in the past.
Let's count the seasons and compare.

At last we have winter again in Melbourne. The last time we had winter it was 2000. So all we need to do really is to count 2 Olympics and presto. In 7-8 years we have winter again. And what winter. We used to have 4 European seasons in a day during winter. And if that wasn't enough, we now have a great deal more.

But in face of the projected drastic and perpetual changes it also begs the question: - Weren't things like this before?

As hot midland air pushes precious rain more and more southward we see a dry and cold winter as a growing menace. But how about thinking in not just more seasons but also different ones. How about looking to many old seasons in the face of a formidably new weather system forming around us as we speak?

Aboriginal people living in the same land had their calendar written for them by the native plants and animals - all superbly adopted their lives to the harsh climate. They were the Wurundjeri people and they observed 6 seasons at least. Now, I look to the flowers and birds, and I take some solace in that they still read weather with familiar accuracy.

Winter for them is actually two seasons. Early winter lasts from late March to mid May. This is the time when fungus grows and birds migrate north. Then comes late Winter from late May to July and the Antarctic birds arrive to our shores. July brings the flowering of flax lillies and geraniums. August is when the silver wattle is blooming. In early November tea tree blooms and snappers arrive to Port Phillip Bay. But there is an unerring overlap also: from April to June our beautiful and prized banksia begins to flower and low and behold, brushtail possums get into the groove - the mating season is upon them.

At least in Melbourne Australia, plants and animals still read the weather as they would for tens of thousands of years before. They do it the old, flexible way. And as we follow their clockwork regularity we end up with a handful of seasons - a great deal more than we thought we had.

Much like to old days, when Aboriginal people counted and followed just as many seasons.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Perpetual Drastic Change

It's time to re-frame the debate, so it begins to ring the bell.

Just posted this on RealClimate. You will be able to see it in a flesh here:

Just curious.
Broad consensus appear to support:
Oceans will rise for millennia, due to heat expansion, even if all the ice to melt is gone. But suppose, by some yet unspecified MIRACLE we stop earlier. At what level ocean rise can be stabilised AFTER an expectedly epochal time-period is over.

Has anybody EVER taken into effect what the best scenario would mean in terms of increased pressure on fault and rift lines under the sea? What kinds of super-vulcanoes - if any - are brewing there?

Gigantic underwater chambers are sucked dry form oil and gas reserves means suddenly there is no inside pressure to stabilize them, so the pressure on the rifts that are around them that before acted against gigantic tectonic weights is decreased dramatically. Before, oil pressure was huge and acted in all directions. Now it is gone at it can engender collapse of large rifts. Meanwhile gigantic heaps of hydraulic pressure are piling upon them from the outside -- this coming from increased columns of oceanic water.

Earth down there has the habit to break without sending SMS to you and me as to the exact time it intends to schedule such a momentous event.

Atmospheric system change is no less unpredictable. Does that make that less mortally dangerous? Do we as scientists have the luxury of time to learn and educate AT THE SAME TIME about yet new signs of stresses in the most complex systems on Earth - Climate?

It appears, some trees are already so overstressed, they are net CO2 emitters. The stratosphere has begun retaining water vapour. Methane from under permafrost gone is beginning to equal industrial outputs. We may have foreseen these events happening now individually as we could measure them individually. But who knows what their coupled effects are.

We all experience a new planetary weather system in the making. Problem is that though we apparently want to change things back, we don't don't know what we are about to really change.

Do we really expect elected officials otherwise well trained in adversarial logic to act on such a premise?

Perhaps we should stop arguing that the temperature is not rising and look for UNEXPECTED anomalies. And there are plenty.

Here is one:

If YOU SEE the temperature not rising for decades DESPITE the mega-tonnes of output, ask yourself and the apparent Solar Warming. Isn't that an anomaly? Isn't that the proverbial horse that has 4 white legs?

And finally, I have a major problem with how we frame the debate. If we found a name for the sum of events that is already apparent, we would be much closer to communicating apparent dangers.

What is not familiar, doesn't ring the bell.

None of us actually knows from experience what climate change or global warming is. Though warming is a familiar notion, we just cannot contemplate PERPETUAL warming on a planetary scale.

In a room closed, it would mean something obviously horrendous -- burning alive. Suddenly, the spine shivers, because that is a familiar scale. Now, mention "perpetual drastic and unexpected anomalies in the climate system", which PERPETUAL climate change really is, and most stock analysts turn a death ear.

But mention the SAME HAPPENING on the STOCK MARKET and suddenly they WILL KNOW, and be busy piling up gold the very next day.

We haven't yet found a comprehensible word for either Perpetual Warming or Perpetual Change let alone the combination of BOTH. Yet gut feeling tells that most of us are experiencing the sum effect of both.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Revisit Geoengineering In Light Of The Solar Shield Risk Report

In light of the recent report released, the much heralded Solar Shield may not be such a good idea after all.

The report is on scientific simulation by Ken Caldeira (et al) of Stanford University.

According to the study released 4 Jun 2007, the Fresnel lens shield contemplated by NASA and others to block some sunlight and cool the planet this way carries TOO Large Risks of causing the opposite. Because if the project was firmly in place, but for some reason failed afterwards, an abrupt runaway heating would result, far worse than we would have otherwise. Also the rainfall would increase dramatically on a Planetary scale.

This last may be attributable to the large water vapor reserve now building up in the currently cooling stratosphere. Cool it some more, and you mess it up big time. Abruptly heat it then (as a result of shield failure) and you have a burst shower on your hand, but more like on a huge planetary scale.

Temper or not to temper?

First, the climate is a sum of organic movements, much like the stock market. And like with the stock market - abrupt, sudden and drastic change can send undesired shock waves and trigger unexpected results.

Second, in the context of something as awesomely vast as the planet we may need to talk about augmentation rather then engineering and even that pretty quietly and humbly. GEntly underpinning deep ecology is how I prefer to think about it if in any way...Augmentation would actually mean working with the Planet's natural and organic processes, not against it or to it.

Certainly a solar shield blocking a sun would be such an Unnatural measure and on an EXTREME scale. Any such measure should be gravely avoided. And ONLY Used as last resort, not as a preemptive tool.

It just may be that no one wants an insurance policy that increases risks. And the shield used preemptively could be such an ill-considered insurance, according to the report.

Via http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-06/ci-gaq060107.php

My other Global Engineering Post:
Change climate with sentient bots?

Monday, June 4, 2007

Six-pack Solar Hot Water

Someone say that solar hot water is expensive.
Not if you like beer.

Hey we live in Aussie Land, we could do much better. But I suspect it wasn't invented Down Under because we like beer in those bottles, not water. Still, a fitting invention. And of all countries, a Chinese villagers had to come up with it. Well done! A TOP Diy idea.

Mr Ma Yanjun with his Bear Bottle Solar Hot Water invention.Mr Ma Yanjun with his Bear Bottle Solar Hot Water invention.

Yes folks, those ARE beer bottles, ingenuously connected to each other and a circulation plastic pipe. All fixed to a board. And there are some serious numbers there. 66 bottles, say 50 cent each and a couple of meters of hose plus a board will set you back a whopping $50 bucks. Terrible I say. Just TOO expensive to keep up with this climate change nonsense.

You think it can't work? Think again. Mr Ma Yanjun, of Qiqiao village, Shaanxi province says it provides enough water for a family of free. And it spreads like WILDFIRE I tell you. Already, 10 other families are catching on the RAGE in the village.

Via Ananova, official page: http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_2360667.html