Published on January 5th, 2009 | by Susan Kraemer72
Inventor Wants to Geo-Engineer a Planetwide "Refrigerator"
January 5th, 2009 by Susan Kraemer
Bailing out the entire human race might turn out to be cheaper than bailing out Wall Street:
Spray gigatons of seawater into the air, mainly in the Northern Hemisphere, and let Mother Nature do the rest, suggests inventor Ron Acer in a patent petition for “a colossal refrigeration system with a 100,000-fold performance multiplier.”
“The Earth has a giant air-conditioning problem,” he said. “I’m proposing to put a thermostat on the planet.”
He estimates that his design would cost only a few billion dollars to implement on a global scale. (Much less than $700 billion)
He suggests installing devices that spray seawater up to 200 feet into the air next to deserts and other arid or windy sites near seawater, such as the African, South American and Mediterranean coasts.
An internationally known climate scientist has roughly simulated Acer’s idea on a model that’s used extensively by top scientists to study global warming, and estimates that this could cool the world by nearly 1 degree Fahrenheit every 30 years, reducing the current warming rate.
In addition, it would be the cheapest way to transport water to drought-stricken regions, counteract desert expansions, increase natural irrigation for crops and boost the output of hydroelectric power plants.
The scientist, Stanford’s Kenneth Caldeira at the Department of Global Ecology, says that Ron Acer’s giant humidifier might just work. He will submit his computer findings for peer-reviewed publication this spring. Caldeira is among the scientists who met last year in a last-ditch effort to brainstorm geo-engineering climate change solutions.
As Caldeira put it: “Every brilliant innovation in the history of technology looked a little bit loony when first proposed.” Ron Acer holds 70 patents worldwide but has had commercial success on fewer than 20 of them.
From Greg Gordon at McClatchey Newspapers
Image Credit: fjny via flickr.com on a Creative Commons license
Drive an electric car? Complete one of our short surveys for our next electric car report.
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.