January 19, 2010

Everyone thinks they are saving the planet

The absurdity of the entire AGW theory and the unintended consequences are sometimes both staggering and amusing. Consider this article from Popular Science -"New Clean-Fuel Rules For Ships Could Actually Hurt the Environment". It discusses the seemingly very worthwhile new regulations to cut air pollution from the overseas shipping industry.

The regulations call for reducing the sulfur in shipping fuel—which is basically unrefined petroleum sludge—from 4.5 to 0.5 percent by 2020. Scientists project that this switch will cut sulfur-pollution-related premature deaths from 87,000 worldwide per year to 46,000.

Of course we want to reduce these known pollutants from the atmosphere...right? I mean it is all about man not leaving a mark on the ecosystem ...right? But not so fast there Eco Warriors:

But the sulfate aerosols spewing from supertanker smokestacks also produce planet-cooling clouds called ship tracks, which form when water droplets coalesce around sulfate particles. These clouds, which are big enough to be seen from orbit, reflect sunlight back into space, preventing the equivalent of up to 40 percent of the warming caused by human-produced carbon dioxide. “The IMO has done a good job addressing air-quality issues,” says Daniel Lack, an atmospheric scientist at NOAA. “But there’s a climate impact that wasn’t necessarily considered.”

So by cutting real pollution we in fact will be eliminating the mitigation of (imaginary) pollution -CO2. But that's not all !:

Worse, the fuel switch won’t improve ships’ carbon emissions—if the industry were a country, it would be the sixth-largest CO2 emitter. The IMO plans to regulate CO2, but until then, it might be best to leave well enough alone.

Got all that? Now consider that our Eco Warriors and their mad scientist allies have been so concerned that we are going to fry the planet by spewing evil CO2 into the atmosphere that they are regularly spending countless (tax payer) dollars investigating the possibility of spewing these same real pollutants into the skies to save us from the imaginary one.

So at the same time part of the Eco-scientific community is studying the negative affects of sulfate aerosols on the Earth:

Reductions of SO2 emissions in the 70-90% range should be required for both new and existing ships as soon as possible, but no later than 2015—

Another group of Eco-scientist is trying to figure out the best way to pump it back in.

We used a general circulation model of Earth's climate to conduct geoengineering experiments involving stratospheric injection of sulfur dioxide and analyzed the resulting deposition of sulfate. When sulfur dioxide is injected into the tropical or Arctic stratosphere, the main additional surface deposition of sulfate occurs in midlatitude bands, because of strong cross-tropopause flux in the jet stream regions. We used critical load studies to determine the effects of this increase in sulfate deposition on terrestrial ecosystems by assuming the upper limit of hydration of all sulfate aerosols into sulfuric acid. For annual injection of 5 Tg of SO2 into the tropical stratosphere or 3 Tg of SO2 into the Arctic stratosphere, neither the maximum point value of sulfate deposition of approximately 1.5 mEq m−2 a−1 nor the largest additional deposition that would result from geoengineering of approximately 0.05 mEq m−2 a−1 is enough to negatively impact most ecosystems.

And everyone thinks they are saving the planet and making a good buck in the process. Of course this is nothing new to us.

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