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Mount St. Helens Glacier

Discussion in 'Alternative Energy' started by crashsite, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. crashsite

    crashsite Banned

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    I don't know if this would be practical but, am putting it out for comments.

    I saw something in the news a few weeks ago that got me thinking about just how easy it might be to manipulate nature.

    The opposite end of the energy problem is global warming. The problem is not that there's not enough energy...in fact, there's kind of too much but it's in the wrong forms and wrong places. And, a big concern is that the heat is melting the world's ice masses.

    Apparently, the only glacier in the world that is actively growing is in the crater of Mt. St. Helens. It's ice forming in the shadow cast by the rim. What's mnore, the growth is not small and measurable over only long geological time periods. After all, it was less than 30 years ago that the mountain erupted.

    Now, the crater of St. Helens is not a "huge" structure by modern standards. If "shadow fences" were to be built on the polar and high-elevation glaciers and ice caps, around the world, could sufficient sunlight be shielded to allow the ice to hold its mass (or, at least, shrink more slowly)?
     
  2. Sceadwian

    Sceadwian Banned

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    Messing with nature on that kind of scale is probably not a good idea, basic chaos theory tells us that we can't predict the long term consequences messing with a local climate will have on a larger scale. The most sophisticated super computers in the world can't even accurately predict weather patterns over a few days let alone weeks months years or decades, and blocking the light to an ice mass is only going to cause the heat to either be emitted from the shade screens or reflected back into the air where it will simply dissipate somewhere else. The amount of energy you're dealing with on a planetary scale is absolutely mind bogglingly huge and you would have to shade areas the size of whole countries to be able to effect the energy levels on a planetary scale. They're still not even sure how much air traffic that effects cloud cover alters weather patterns. The last thing you want to do is start intentionally fiddling with a system when we're already accidentally causing it's 'natural' heating cycles to be altered slightly. Quiet honestly the only thing that is at risk with global climate change is us, mother nature will do just fine, species will go extinct as they always have and new ones will replace them, just hope we're not one of the ones on the way out!
     
  3. HarveyH42

    HarveyH42 Banned

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    Global Warming is crap. Mankind had little or nothing to do with the natural warming trend. It's a huge planet, and mankind is only tiny specks on the surface of the land masses (less then 1/3 coverage). We didn't start it, we can't stop it, and it's foolish to believe we could have even the tiniest effect in slowing it down. The whole movement is profit based, ditch all your old wasteful conveniences, and buy all new, greener, planet friendly ones. The bulk of the old stuff goes to landfills, or burn piles (real friendly), and the energy demand soars beyond belief, to manufacture all the new green things. Who knows, it'll be crap for us, and the next couple of generations, but maybe a couple of hundred years later things might be a little nicer...

    The planet will warm up, probably no where near as bad as Al Gore believes, and it will cool down for a while (oh no, a new panic to profit on). Mankind has survived, because we adapt to the environment, build shelters from the elements, clothing, make tools. A few million people might died a couple years quicker, but no drastic change in the population.

    The climate has changed many times, and we survived and thrived, it's just a new challenge.

    We do need to make better use of the resources we take, and cut back on the waste and pollution. This is where we can make our planet a nicer place to live. Nature will continue to hand us enough problem to deal with.
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    Scientific evidence indicates we should expect the current climate to change for the worse. It is in our interest on a planetary scale to learn more about how to maintain a steady usable climate. Sceadwian was right in that there is danger in doing so. There is also danger in not doing so.

    Another good reason for learning how to grow veggies on Mars. :)
     
  6. crashsite

    crashsite Banned

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    Scale of Operation

    A mere technical trifle.

    Is that true? Once tidbit that caught my attention on the NASA channel one day was that the ice mass (Greenland was their example) is getting thicker in the center. For the most part, the ice that melts on the edges goes up in the air, around the loop and falls over the center of the mass.

    So, it's likely that the shadowing devices would only need stratigic placement along certain edges to modify the temperature gradient. It seems like the shadowing could be done on a smallish scale, tested for a few years and then modified to give the best chance of enhancement at the next step.

    And, like you point out...we're already doing "it" (good, bad or indefferent) so, I say, "In for a penny, in for a pouind".
     
  7. crashsite

    crashsite Banned

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    Planet of the (new) apes?

    You're certainly not alone in that assessment. We know, pretty much for a fact, that cooling and warming cycles are a global reality (with or without the meddling of man). However, it's probable that we are indeed speeding up this particular warming cycle. It's also pretty certain that, unless the melting of 100% of all the ice will flood all land, some humans and other animals (and certainly marine life) will survive.

    But, the question for a technical forum is whether we can modify the processes in a meaningful and practical way to mitigate what's happening? I'm not so sure that it's a overwhelmingly daunting task.
     
  8. crashsite

    crashsite Banned

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    Galacitca

    Well, Lorne Green did lead a "rag tag" army of survivors into the far reaches of outer space and look at all the fun and adventures they had....
     
  9. Sceadwian

    Sceadwian Banned

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    crashsite, you're missing the point, weather or not you use local shade to keep ice in a specific area it does NOTHING to alter the amount of energy in the atmosphere itself, it simply keeps it from melting the ice, the energy is still in the atmosphere, so on a grand scale it won't do much of anything unless you're talking about truly massive areas. In order to do anything about a global warming trend the energy has to be removed from the system, not just redirected.
     
  10. crashsite

    crashsite Banned

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    Things to try

    In the big picture view, I'd say that is correct. When the CO[sub]2[/sub] (and other gasses) go into the atmosphere, we pretty much lose control of it and thus how the heat will be trapped. And, that's one facet of things that needs to be addressed.

    Trying to modify the ice-melting patterns is just a way to slow the process. And, not even the process of the overall heating but, rather the process of the ice melting into the oceans and the susequent effects of that.

    As HarveyH42 (I beleive) correctly pointed out, the cycle will occur with or without our input but, I also believe there are things we can at least try in an effort to slow it down (just as we are inadvertently speeding it up with carbon emissions).

    Skorry...the html, sub tag apparently don't work here but, you get the idea....
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  11. kchriste

    kchriste New Member Forum Supporter

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    The worst part about the melting of Arctic ice is that the ground underneath it absorbs more heat than the highly reflective ice that is melting away. Ice reflects most of the solar radiation back into space; dirt much less so. This positive feedback will amplify the effects of extra carbon in the atmosphere.
    Another point that the global warming deniers seem to ignore is that fact that, while the planet has gone through warming and cooling trends before, these took place over 100's of thousands of years. What we are seeing today is taking place in a much shorter time span (100 years) so the rate of change is much greater thus giving species less time to adapt.
    We only get one kick at the can. It is better to err on the side of caution when the stakes are high.
     
  12. Pommie

    Pommie Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    With this in mind, shouldn't we all be required to paint our roofs white.

    Mike.
     
  13. HarveyH42

    HarveyH42 Banned

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    I don't think too many people are denying that there is a warming trend, just the horrible predictions of Al Gore's Green-Team. I just don't buy into jumping blindly into following, because it's so absolutely critical to avoid a 1-2 degree increase in the overall average temperature in the next 200 years. The evidence and methods of measurements are slanted, and poor science. Very hard to take serious. The standard 'Can we afford to be wrong' is crap, and smells of a scam to me.

    We know the planet has gone through hot and cold cycles, some more extreme then others, but it eventually balances out. All the extra heat, creates more water vapor (clouds), not so much rising oceans. The greater cloud cover would indicate cooler ground temperatures, since the heat would be caught in the upper atmosphere.
     
  14. Aloefundi

    Aloefundi New Member

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    Hey Guys

    There are a number of comments I would like to make on this thread.

    I'm 100% against the notion that Global Warming is an issue. I agree that it's just another way for the elite to gain finacially. Who remembers the widely publisised fear of a new ice age in the 60s'/70's that was the impending doom of the planet?? Some of those same scientests are now pushing the global warming issue. (That horse didn't ride so they have now found a new one)

    Next Al Gore is a fraud. His movie that portrays the immenent demise of Planet Earth is filled with false evidence and misrepresentations. This was demonstrated in a court of law (UK)

    There have been proven archeological records of people planting and growing vegetable crops 1000 years ago in Greenland, there are also records of vineyards in the north of England from the same time. So clearly the earth has been through a period of warming (and cooling) before.

    As for scientists being imparial and only telling the truth. Crap. Every person, scientist or not is biased and the scientific evidence is almost always scewed to include or exclude data that affects the desired outcome. The only science that is not impartial is experimental science (i.e. Repeatable and testable in a laboritary environment) and then that is even sometimes debatable. The statment that Global Warming is a scientifically proven fact is false. If it was scientifically proven why are there scientists arguing for and against?? And that goes for every other "scientific fact" where there is rational objection that can be logically defended.

    A scientifically proven fact is one that ALLscientists can agree on. i.e. Water boiling at 100 deg C at sea-level. (Yes there are a couple of other conditions, but you get the point)

    Thats just my 2 cents worth.

    regards

    Aloefundi
     
  15. crashsite

    crashsite Banned

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    Artificial Ice Caps

    I'm not convinced that the exposed areas left after the demise of Arctic ice is mostly dirt (rather than water) but, that's certainly the case in glaciers in lower latitudes (or, in the case of the southern hemisphere, higher latitudes).

    It's been many years now that I mused that covering huge expanses of deserts with white plastic film could synthesize "unmeltable" ice caps. It would be cheap enough and, I believe, if administered properly, could actually improve the viabiltiy of desert life. You simply lay down sheets of white plastic and hold it down with native rocks. When it gets dirty, torn or worn, you just go out, roll it up, replace it with a new roll and take the old plastic back for recycling.

    Well...I think it should at least be tried. It's certainly easy enough to reverse if there are dire and unexpected results and you learn from the experience. By not doing it what you have is a continuation of ignorance and all the nuttiness and unfounded speculation that it brings (as is so well demonstrated in the climate change field).
     
  16. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    Unless you could cover the entire desert in a few days, or weeks, the plastic will be covered with wind blown sand.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2008
  17. crashsite

    crashsite Banned

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    Just the facts, Ma'am

    You need to be careful about "clear and unrefutable evidence". Most of you are probably too young to recall the, Chariot of the Gods book and movie of the '70s. In them, every piece of scientific evidence points, undeniably, to the fact that planet Earth was visited by space beings.
     
  18. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    And what makes you think it wasn't? :D

    But in any case, the evidence in those books (like so much other evidence) can be interpreted in different ways.

    However, I don't think there's any doubt that the earth has previously gone through many periods of cooling and warming, there's evidence everywhere showing that - the English channel and North Sea (between England and the Continent) were once land, and thousands of human artifacts have been recovered from the bottom of the sea.
     
  19. HarveyH42

    HarveyH42 Banned

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    We exist, we have space travel, and most likely will one day visit other planets. We have already done this with machines. Seems highly unlikely that we would be the only ones...

    I'm surprised about a glacier forming on St. Helens, I was in High School when it erupted the first time, at work when it really blew up. I lived in Oregon, on the side of Mt. Hood, we had a great view of it. Kind of wondering if those ice core samples, that are claimed to be the proving facts that mankind is to blame for this 'Global Warming' trend, were taken from the sunny side or shaded? Also, was bore several samples, from different sites on the glacier. Like move the rig a few hundred yards, and match up the layers? How could they tell if there were very hot years, and several years of accumulation melted away? Maybe previous warming trends weren't that important, since mankind couldn't have been the cause of those...
     
  20. crashsite

    crashsite Banned

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    Trial and Error

    We hear all sorts of things. Hard to figure out which are true. For example, the earth's magnetic field is supposed to reverse every 26 million years or so (and not sinusoidally). According to the orientation of the magnetism in the seabed rocks near plate boundaries, it's been claimed that the reversal itself only takes about a quarter of a million years.

    Of course, these are the same scientistific "experts" that TV programmers seem to come up with to interview every time there's a new fad or fancy. And, no matter how whacky those yahoos are, they never seem to tire of being idiots on TV.

    It's not just TV. When I was in about the 2nd or 3rd grade, there was a dire prediction in the, Weekly Reader that the world would run out of coal within the next 30 years. Uhm...I'm more than 37 or 38 yo and we now have more coal than we did then. But, that was my first identifiable encounter with "expert opinions". (although I think he may have meant to say, "partial" or, "that is impartial".)

    But, as, Aloefundi so correctly points out, "The only science that is not impartial is experimental science (i.e. Repeatable and testable in a laboritary environment) and then that is even sometimes debatable."

    But, the implication of that is that you gotta test and fail and test some more, based on your failure so you can fail again...but, learning a little more each time. And...just maybe...eventually succeed. There's no shortage of things to try.
     
  21. dknguyen

    dknguyen Well-Known Member

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    Whether global warming is human caused or not, even if it isn't, that shouldn't be an excuse to keep dumping stuff into the atmosphere (or excesses of it) that shouldn't be there in the first place. I think that's the problem with the attitude that global warming is not an issue. It's just TOO easy to not do anything about it and the attitude that "X problem" is not being caused by us leads too many people to believe it is okay to keep doing "Y activity" even when said activity clearly isn't good to begin with.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2008

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