Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gov. Palin takes on Global Warming

How to cool the planet.

1. Make sulfur dioxide
A million tons of sulfur dioxide would be needed to begin the cooling process. Luckily SO2, a byproduct of coal-burning power plants, is a common industrial chemical.

2. Inject it into the stratosphere
Load the sulfur dioxide into aircraft — converted 747s, military fighters, or even large balloons — and carry it up to the stratosphere. This will cost about $1 billion a year.

3. Wait for the chemical reaction
In a series of reactions, sulfur dioxide combines with other molecules in the atmosphere, ultimately forming sulfuric acid. This H2SO4 binds to water to form aerosol droplets that absorb and reflect back into space 1 to 3 percent of the sun’s rays. (The particles also contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer, but scientists are researching alternate chemicals.)

4. Let the planet cool
Results will be quick, especially over the Arctic.

Al Gore just talks, Sarah Palin makes things happen.
The August 7-8 eruption of Kasatochi volcano (Aleutian Islands) produced a very large stratospheric SO2 cloud - possibly the largest since the August 1991 eruption of Hudson (Chile). Preliminary SO2 mass calculations using Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) data suggest a total SO2 burden of ~1.5 Tg. This figure will be revised in the coming weeks but is more likely to go up than down. The SO2 cloud has drifted over a large area of North America and is now (August 14) reaching Europe.

Is there anything Sarah Palin cannot do?

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