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Offbeat Through warming: Cloud machine is designed to save the Great barrier reef before climate change

11:30  01 september  2021
11:30  01 september  2021 Source:   stern.de

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More clouds mean less sunbeams. In Australia, it is ranging to give the Great barrier reef by cloud ships to the required shadow.

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in Australia bleach the corals of the Great barrier riff and die. Australian scientists are now working on a method of rescuing the reef, they want to protect the coral banks through artificial clouds from too much sunlight.

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artificial cloud formation is one of the methods of so-called geo-engineering - ie the methods that want to change the climate of the world through technical interventions. Here there is a wide arsenal of ideas as the planet could be cooled. This begins when vaccinating the cold seas with minerals to promote algae growth there and to the vision to bring the upper parts of the atmosphere with "glitter" dust to reflect back to space all the part of the sunbeams. From this building kit, the idea of ​​strengthening the formation of clouds through cloud ships, which in turn are to be reflective again.

Regional Protection

In Australia, however, it does not work to squeeze all the planet, but target the sunlight over the Great barrier reef. An old ferry was converted into this. On board you then installed a big fan. The machine sucks the warm air, in a turbine, seawater of 320 nozzles in nanotrops size is sprayed into the air stream - this creates a huge fog machine.

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In theory, the method has been known for a long time, in Australia will now be explored how such a system can work in practice. Daniel Harrison, Oceanograph and Engineer at Southern Cross University in Coffs Harbor, Australia, said to the man-like "Nature": "We are very confident now that we can bring the particles to the clouds. But we still have to find out how the Clouds will react to it. " In fact, the attempts point out that the technology works even better than the computer models had calculated before.

Behavior of droplets

Harrison was above all about observing in practice as the pots behave. If they were fused with each other, they would be quickly reinvested. In fact, they floated over the water and began to evaporate and then rise up. Because the climb is crucial when clouds should form, the longer time standing in the sky. "We did not expect that at all," says Harrison, "but it turned out that we performed this experiment in the midst of a rising air mass."

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It rose much more droplets into the clouds when the scientists had accepted. But to achieve a real effect, your fog machine would have to be larger by a factor of ten, then you would be able to brighten the clouds over the reef by about 30 percent. So you could reduce the incident solar radiation locally by about 6.5 percent. However, it would not be done with a station. To cover the Great Barrier Reefs, about 1000 machines would be necessary. Its energy demand would also have to be covered regeneratively. In the long run, it would be little sense to drain diesel to save the climate.

Controversial Methods

Geo-Engineering is always controversial. Because it is hard to predict what consequences the interventions in atmosphere will have long term. In the case of "regional" protective measures as above the reef, the impact will not be dramatic. But if many regions would produce clouds near the sea to reduce the power of the sun, the reflection would only be the first consequence of these measures. Ultimately, one would intervene massively in the cloud and thus also the rain budget of the planet. Harrison therefore says that the cloud brightening project is only a local adaptation and that no global Geo-Engineering project is. In addition, it is only a partial measure in the large-scale attempt to save the reef.

Source: Nature

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