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Senate to host presentations by Am. Meteorological Soc. on geoengineering and carbon capture

On Friday, November 21, the American Meteorological Society is putting on a seminar at the U.S. Senate entitled “Two Engineering Measures to Reduce Global Warming: Injecting Particles into the Atmosphere and “Clean” Coal”.   The presentations will address the following interesting questions:

  • What is geoengineering?
  • How might injecting sulfate aerosol particles into the stratosphere result in a temporary planetary cooling?
  • Would this be analogous to creating the equivalent of a long-term volcanic eruption?
  • Would this be a permanent solution to a global warming or an exercise in buying time to effectively address the root cause of the climate problem?
  • What is the logic behind it and what are the mechanics of it?
  • What sorts of policies would likely have to be in place in order to engage in such a venture?
  • Who decides and who is liable if things go awry?
  • Does science inform us of the potential risks and negative impacts of engaging in such a venture?
  • Is clean coal and carbon capture and storage one and the same?
  • What is meant by the term ‘clean’ in clean coal?
  • Does the technology currently exist to produce clean coal on a massive scale and if so, at what cost relative to today’s energy costs. What are the risks of leakage of CO2 from underground storage reservoirs after the fact?
  • Who is likely to be liable for leakage?
  • How much of a difference would clean coal technology ideally make in mitigating our present climate trajectory?

The moderator will be D. Anthony Socci, AMS Senior Science Fellow,  and the speakers will be:

Alan Robock, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science; Director of the Meteorology Undergraduate Program, and Associate Director, Center for Environmental Prediction, Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ  (an IPCC participant)

Dale Simbeck, Vice President and Founding Partner of SFA Pacific, Inc., Technology and Energy Consultants, Mountain View, CA

The announcement of the seminar outlines some answers to the above questions.

It appears that the AMS management still that that climate change is an important concern, and one that is sufficiently pressing that “geoengineering” efforts (which acknowledge the continued rise in atmospheric GHG levels) merit analysis.  It is not clear what Senate committee is sponsoring this seminar.

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