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Geoengineering

Updated: May 4, 2022


In this post we will discuss a topic I found really interesting. Geoengineering or what some people would call “man made weather modification”. I started listening to this subject a while back and I’ve heard some people calling it bonkers or a conspiracy theory. When in fact these set of technologies actually exist. Weather can be modified by technology. Universities like Harvard and Yale state that Geoengineering can help climate change but could this technology be used in a nefarious way? In my opinion this technology in the wrong hands could be really dangerous. Could you imagine? If you knew in advance what would happen weather wise? (because you are controlling it). You could buy stocks that benefit your investments I mean all sorts of things. I hope these technologies are used only for the good of humanity.

So let’s begin by defining what is “Geoengineering”? Well according to the Harvard Solar Geoengineering Research Program. Geoengineering refers to a set of emerging technologies that could manipulate the environment and partially offset some of the impacts on climate change. Geoengineering is “conventionally” split into two broad categories: The first is Carbon Geoengineering often also called Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR). The other is solar geoengineering, often also called solar radiation management (SRM), Albedo modification or sunlight reflection. There are large differences.


Solar geoengineering:


Solar geoengineering seeks to reflect a small fraction of sunlight back into space or increase the amount of solar radiation that escapes back into space to cool the planet. In contrast to carbon geoengineering, solar geoengineering does not address the root cause of climate change. It instead aims to break the link from concentrations to temperatures, thereby reducing some climate damages.


There are several proposed solar geoengineering technologies. These include marine cloud brightening, cirrus cloud thinning, space-based techniques, and stratospheric aerosol scattering, amongst others.

Marine cloud brightening would attempt to brighten marine clouds to reflect more sunlight back into space.

Cirrus cloud thinning would attempt to reduce the thin, high-altitude cirrus clouds to emit more long-wave radiation from the earth to space.

Space-based technologies would attempt to reflect a small fraction of sunlight away from the earth by positioning sun shields in space.

Lastly, stratospheric aerosol scattering would introduce tiny reflective particles, such as sulfate aerosols or perhaps calcium carbonate, into the upper atmosphere, where they could scatter a small fraction of sunlight back into space.

Harvards Solar Geoengineering Research Program. (n.d.). Geoengineering. Retrieved May 2, 2022, from https://geoengineering.environment.harvard.edu/geoengineering


Carbon Geoengineering:


Carbon geoengineering seeks to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which would address the root cause of climate change — the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In the chain from emissions to concentrations to temperatures to impacts, it breaks the link from emissions to concentrations.


And according to a Yale article named “Geoengineer the Planet? More Scientists Now Say It Must Be an Option”. I can also be done by removing carbon from the atmosphere, either by the massive deployment of devices to extract CO2 from the absent air— known as direct air capture —or by more natural methods. One of those would be to turn large areas of land over to carbon-absorbing crops, probably trees. The harvested biomass could then be used as fuel in power stations, and the emissions from burning them reabsorbed by new crops. The net emissions could be zero.


If biomass burning were combined with technology to capture and bury the carbon emissions from the power plants — delivering a technological combo known as Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) — emissions could be negative. In theory, the more you burned, the more CO2 you would suck from the air.

Harvards Solar Geoengineering Research Program. (n.d.). Geoengineering. Retrieved May 2, 2022, from https://geoengineering.environment.harvard.edu/geoengineering


The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) enthusiastically adopted BECCS in its fifth assessment, published in 2014. It said most scenarios for keeping warming below 2 degrees would require “the availability and widespread deployment of BECCS and afforestation in the second half of the century.”

It could happen. Biomass burning is increasingly popular in power stations. And carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a proven technology, though not yet adopted at scale. That could soon change, following the announcement this month that industrial emitters in the European ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Ghent plan to join forces to pump 10 million tons of CO2 a year into adjacent offshore gas fields.


What is Cloud Seeding?


Clouds are made up of tiny water droplets or ice crystals that form when water vapor in the atmosphere cools and condenses around a tiny particle of dust or salt floating in the atmosphere. Without these particles, known as condensation or ice nuclei, raindrops or snowflakes cannot form and precipitation will not occur.

Cloud seeding is a weather modification technique that improves a cloud’s ability to produce rain or snow by introducing tiny ice nuclei into certain types of subfreezing clouds. These nuclei provide a base for snowflakes to form. After cloud seeding takes place, the newly formed snowflakes quickly grow and fall from the clouds back to the surface of the Earth, increasing snowpack and streamflow.


Let’s talk about China and the US


So according to an article posted in The Guardian China is planning a rapid expansion of its weather modification programme to cover an area more than one and a half times the size of India, in a move likely to raise concerns among the country’s neighbours. The decision, announced by the Chinese government , would increase fivefold the world’s biggest cloud-seeding operation.

For sixty year, the communist nation has deployed military aircraft and anti-aircraft guns to lace clouds with silver iodide or liquid nitrogen to thicken water droplets to the point where they fall as snow or rain. The technology has mostly been used at a local level to alleviate droughts or clear skies ahead of major events, such as the 2008 Olympics.

The proposed enlargement is on a scale that could affect regional weather patterns. The cabinet said it wanted to extend the artificial rain and snow programme to cover at least 2.1m sq miles (5.5m sq km) of land by 2025. The long-term plan envisages that by 2035, the country’s weather modification capabilities would reach an “advanced” level and focus on revitalizing rural regions, restoring ecosystems and minimizing losses from natural disasters.


The US journalist Seymour Hersh revealed in 1972 that the US attempted to manipulate seasonal rains during the Vietnam war. Operation Popeye, as it was known, aimed to flood the communist supply route along the Ho Chi Minh trail. The US company General Electric conducted the first cloud-seeding experiments in 1946. The technology was later adopted and upgraded by the Soviet Union and then applied with fervour by China during the Great Leap Forward, when Mao Zedong said “manmade rain is very important. I hope the meteorological experts do their utmost to make it work.”


Now you see where this is going? This man made weather modification technology has been out there for years and we probably didn’t know anything about it. Who knows for how long this has been going on. The truth is coming out for all of us to see. My concern here is who holds these technologies? Is it the governments or the private sector. In my opinion we should start to ask more questions about this. But that is my opinion what do you think?

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Sources:

Harvards Solar Geoengineering Research Program. (n.d.). Geoengineering. Retrieved May 2, 2022, from https://geoengineering.environment.harvard.edu/geoengineering

Mahdawi, A. (2021, August 25). China is scaling up its weather modification programme – here’s why we should be worried. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/dec/15/china-scaling-up-weather-modification-programme-we-should-be-worried

Watts, J. (2020, December 3). China plans rapid expansion of “weather modification” efforts. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/03/china-vows-to-boost-weather-modification-capabilities


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