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2101 - Nothing New Under the Sun Chapter Two Changing Climate Change

Changing Climate Change

This is Chapter Two. More to follow. The preceding story is 2101 - Nothing New Under the Sun Chapter One

Global Warming

TODAY

The topic of global warming is still regular news, but the focus has changed somewhat. The LB, Lens Bank, has produced the effect of reducing warming, but the two issues surrounding its creation come up every few years. When a permanent member or two of the UN Security Council attempt to flex their muscle the LB sometimes comes up in the conversation. But more often it is the weather patterns and working to control them that create social concerns. However, in the overall scheme of things the weather has been less volatile and it has had its intended effect on global warming.  

HISTORY

Here is an article written around the time the LB was approved. 

Reprinted from the World Science Review, April 2081, Changing Climate Change.

“During the robotic explosion of the 2050s and 60s, the moon was again targeted by the Advanced Search for Life to place 12 telescopes to do deep space research. This project also resulted in the commercialization of mineral use and exploitation on the moon.  Because of the successful manufacturing of the huge lens for the 12 telescopes, in 2066, Dr. Yang Yi-Miller again proposed placing screenings between the Earth and the Sun to reduce global warming. This led to the determination that it would be possible to place lens instead of just blocking the sun. It was also proposed that the Moon could produce them in large enough sizes to make a difference. This would allow for directing the sun’s ray away from the Earth, or to places that could temperate colder areas resulting in extended growing seasons. Also, concentrating the sun’s rays to produce heat for thermal electrical production and lasers to power deep space exploration.

The controversy over use as a weapon was the final hurdle to approval. Establishment of the Strategic Shield Accord, under which each permanent member of the UN Security Council would control 1/7 of the lens field, helped ensure they would not be used as weapons. This followed the developed logic used with nuclear weapons of mutually assured destruction (MAD) of the late 1900s.

The Global Climate Change Initiative of 2079 adopted a resolution to redirect up to 1/100 of 1% refraction of the high intensity radiation region (HIRR). If you are not familiar with HIRR it is a section north and south of the equator facing the sun (so the region moves as the Earth turns) of approximately 26M square kilometers or about 10% of the Earth’s surface facing the sun. The Earth receives approximately 1.5X10 to the 22 power joules per day. It requires an additional approximately 5.0X10 to the 18 power joules to raise the Earth’s temperature one degree Celsius. Thus, if one can block or reflect 1.4X10 to the 16 power joules per day it would counter the expected rise in global temperature. This would allow a reduction of up to one degree Celsius per year.  

It requires approximately 236 square kilometers if all the joules were blocked. The lens would not block or reflect all the sun’s energy.  Therefore using a very conservative calculation we should place 5 times the required lens to ensure we can obtain the required effect.  Therefore, we should place 1,180 square kilometers. It will take approximately 3 years to begin and 5 years to reach constructing 1/2 square kilometer per day. So it could be in place before the turn of the century. Costs are expected to average $80M per square kilometer to produce and nearly $25M to launch and emplace. The total cost of the emplacement would run approximately $125B.  Many have argued that even if it were ten times the cost it pales to the costs associated with the efforts we are currently doing to counter global warming.

Another benefit is it adds a huge boost to space travel in it makes a great leap with laser propulsion. With the large areas the LB provides, portions of it can be used to provide laser propulsion to deep space travel. See article in World Science Review September 2074 Traveling at 32% of the Speed of Light.

Disagreement continues as to the distance from Earth to place them. Currently a majority support 1.5M kilometers or the L1 position (Lagrange point). This allows for a stable synchronous orbit and easy to adjust the lens to provide diffuse or concentrated light as needed. The expected cost is approximately $900M per year to keep them in place and operate the lenses. 

Meteorologists have attempted to model the effects it would have on climate and weather. This was a chief argument against the using this technique to mange global warming. The lens idea was approved because we could better address weather concerns because of its flexibility to redirect, allow light through, or block the sun versus just block it. This was another consideration for the area being 5 times the requirement because it will allow for numerous small changes to ensure the best weather management.”

FUTURE

By 2201 the issue of global warming will not be much of an issue. But the LB will be extremely old and likely will have been replaced by a new and improved version. While the issue of global warming will not be much of an issue, the use of weather management and global surface moderation, the warming of cooler areas for longer growing seasons, etc, will continue to be an area of controversy. Some nations will complain that others are getting more or better treatment. A continuation of the haves and have nots arguments that have existed for centuries.

I also believe that eventually the UN Security Council will establish a UN equivalent of the US NOAA, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association, to manage the LB or its replacement. This will greatly reduce the possibility of weaponization of it and likely remove much of the politicization of the LB.

 

 

 

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