The Wisdom of Your Cells

In the tradition of Carl Sagan, Rachel Carson, and Stephen Hawking, a new voice has emerged with the unique gift of translating cutting-edge science into clear, accessible language: Dr. coque iphone pas cher Bruce Lipton. coque iphone xs max With The Wisdom of Your Cells, this internationally recognized authority on cellular biology takes listeners on an in-depth exploration into the microscopic world, where new discoveries and research are revolutionizing the way we understand life, evolution, and consciousness. soldes coque iphone On this full-length audio course, Dr. coque iphone en ligne Lipton shares his lucid and startling insights about the building blocks of life, and how each one of our cells has far greater innate intelligence than we once believed. coque iphone pas cher

The Wisdom of Your Cells by Bruce Lipton
© 2007 by Bruce Lipton.

Bacteria Live At 33,000 Feet!

Awesome! Now what? By Stephanie Warren Earth’s upper atmosphere—below freezing, nearly without oxygen, flooded by UV radiation—is no place to live. coque iphone 6 But last winter, scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology discovered that billions of bacteria actually thrive up there. coque iphone 8 Expecting only a smattering of microorganisms, the researchers flew six miles above Earth’s surface in a NASA jet plane. There, they pumped outside air through a filter to collect particles. coque iphone Back on the ground, they tallied the organisms, and the count was staggering: 20 percent of what they had assumed to be just dust or other particles was alive. Earth, it seems, is surrounded by a bubble of bacteria. It’s Alive! & Airborne In the midst of airborne sea salt and dust, researchers from Georgia Tech unexpectedly found thousands of living fungal cells and bacteria, including E. coli and Streptococcus. acheter coque iphone en ligne NOW WHAT? Scientists don’t yet know what the bacteria are doing up there, but they may be essential to how the atmosphere functions, says Kostas Konstantinidis, an environmental microbiologist on the Georgia Tech team. For example, they could be responsible for recycling nutrients in the atmosphere, like they do on Earth. And similar to other particles, they could influence weather patterns by helping clouds form. However, they also may be transmitting diseases from one side of the globe to the other. The researchers found E. coli in their samples (which they think hurricanes lifted from cities), and they plan to investigate whether plagues are raining down on us. coque iphone 2019 pas cher If we can find out more about the role of bacteria in the atmosphere, says Ann Womack, a microbial ecologist at the University of Oregon, scientists could even fight climate change by engineering the bacteria to break down greenhouse gases into other, less harmful compounds.

New Weapon in Climate Fight… Soil?

Soil as Carbon Storehouse: New Weapon in Climate Fight? The degradation of soils from unsustainable agriculture and other development has released billions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere. But new research shows how effective land restoration could play a major role in sequestering CO2 and slowing climate change. By: Judith d. Schwartz In the 19th century, as land-hungry pioneers steered their wagon trains westward across the United States, they encountered a vast landscape of towering grasses that nurtured deep, fertile soils. Today, just three percent of North America’s tallgrass prairie remains. Its disappearance has had a dramatic impact on the landscape and ecology of The world’s cultivated soils have lost 50 to 70 percent of their original carbon stock. soldes coque iphone the U.S., but a key consequence of that transformation has largely been overlooked: a massive loss of soil carbon into the atmosphere. The importance of soil carbon — how it is leached from the earth and how that process can be reversed — is the subject of intensifying scientific investigation, with important implications for the effort to slow the rapid rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. coque iphone According to Rattan Lal, director of Ohio State University’s Carbon Management and Sequestration Center, the world’s cultivated soils have lost between 50 and 70 percent of their original carbon stock, much of which has oxidized upon exposure to air to become CO2. coque iphone 8 Now, armed with rapidly expanding knowledge about carbon sequestration in soils, researchers are studying how land restoration programs in places like the Rattan Lal Soil in a long-term experiment appears red when depleted of carbon and dark brown when carbon content is high former North American prairie, the North China Plain, and even the parched interior of Australia might help put carbon back into the soil. Absent carbon and critical microbes, soil becomes mere dirt, a process of deterioration that’s been rampant around the globe. Many scientists say that regenerative agricultural practices can turn back the carbon clock, reducing atmospheric CO2 while also boosting soil productivity and increasing resilience to floods and drought. Such regenerative techniques include planting fields year-round in crops or other cover, and agroforestry that combines crops, trees, and animal husbandry. Recognition of the vital role played by soil carbon could mark an important if subtle shift in the discussion about global warming, which has been a look at soil brings a sharper focus on potential carbon sinks heavily focused on curbing emissions of fossil fuels. But a look at soil brings a sharper focus on potential carbon sinks. Reducing emissions is crucial, but soil carbon sequestration needs to be part of the picture as well, says Lal. The top priorities, he says, are restoring degraded and eroded lands, as well as avoiding deforestation and the farming of peatlands, which are a major reservoir of carbon and are easily decomposed upon drainage and cultivation. coque iphone He adds that bringing carbon back into soils has to be done not only to offset fossil fuels, but also to feed our growing global population. “We cannot feed people if soil is degraded,” he says. “Supply-side approaches, centered on CO2 sources, amount to reshuffling the Titanic deck chairs if we overlook demand-side solutions: where that carbon can and should go,” says Thomas J. Goreau, a biogeochemist and expert on carbon and nitrogen cycles who now serves as president of the Global Coral Reef Alliance. Goreau says we need to seek opportunities to increase soil carbon in all ecosystems — from tropical forests to pasture to wetlands — by replanting degraded areas, increased mulching of biomass instead of burning, large-scale use of biochar, improved pasture management, effective erosion control, and restoration of mangroves, salt marshes, and sea grasses. “CO2 cannot be reduced to safe levels in time to avoid serious long-term impacts unless the other side of atmospheric CO2 balance is included,” Goreau says. Scientists say that more carbon resides in soil than in the atmosphere and all plant life combined; there are 2,500 billion tons of carbon in soil, compared with 800 billion tons in the atmosphere and 560 billion tons in plant and animal life. And compared to many proposed geoengineering fixes, storing carbon in soil is simple: It’s a matter of returning carbon where it belongs. Through photosynthesis, a plant draws carbon out of the air to form carbon compounds. What the plant doesn’t need for growth is exuded through the roots to feed soil organisms, whereby the carbon is humified, or rendered stable. Carbon is the main component of soil organic matter and helps give soil its water-retention capacity, its structure, and its fertility. According to Lal, some pools of carbon housed in soil aggregates are so stable that they can last thousands of years. This is in contrast to “active” soil carbon, ‘If we treat soil carbon as a renewable resource, we can change the dynamics,’ says an expert. “If we treat soil carbon as a renewable resource, we can change the dynamics,” says Goreau. “When we have erosion, we lose soil, which carries with it organic carbon, into waterways. When soil is exposed, it oxidizes, essentially burning the soil carbon. We can take an alternate trajectory.” As basic as soil carbon is, there’s much scientists are just learning about it, including how to make the most of its CO2 sequestration capacity. One promising strategy, says Goreau, is bolstering soil microbiology by adding beneficial microbes to stimulate the soil cycles where they have been interrupted by use of insecticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. As for agroforestry, programs with greater species diversity are better able to maximize the storage of carbon than monocultures. Many researchers are looking to biochar — produced when plant matter, manure, or other organic material is heated in a zero- or low-oxygen environment — for its ability to turn problem areas into productive sites while building soil carbon. Says Goreau, “Vast areas of deforested land that have been abandoned after soil degradation are excellent candidates for replanting and reforestation using biochar from the weeds now growing there.” An important vehicle for moving carbon into soil is root, or mycorrhizal, fungi, which govern the give-and-take between plants and soil. According to Australian soil scientist Christine Jones, plants with mycorrhizal connections can transfer up to 15 percent more carbon to soil than their non-mycorrhizal counterparts. The most common mycorrhizal fungi are marked by threadlike filaments called hyphae that extend the reach of a plant, increasing access to nutrients and water. These hyphae are coated with a sticky substance called glomalin, discovered only in 1996, which is instrumental in soil structure and carbon storage. The U.S. Department of Agriculture advises land managers to protect glomalin by minimizing tillage and chemical inputs and using cover crops to keep living roots in the soil. In research published in Nature in January, scientists from the University of Texas at Austin, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and Boston University assessed the carbon and nitrogen cycles under different mycorrhizal regimens and found that plants linked with fruiting, or mushroom-type, fungi stored 70 percent more carbon per unit of nitrogen in soil. Our understanding of how soil life affects the carbon cycle is poised for tremendous growth. coque iphone en ligne driver of carbon storage, particularly “the mechanisms by which carbon can stay in the ground rather than going into the atmosphere.” One implication of this research, says Goreau, is that “the effect of most landscape alterations is to convert them from systems that store carbon efficiently … toward ones that are inefficient in the use of nitrogen, and as a result are losing carbon storage.” By landscape alterations, he means from forest to cropland, or from small farms to industrial agriculture operations that use the chemicals that inhibit the mycorrhizal and microbial interactions that store carbon. Our understanding of soil microbiology and how soil life affects the carbon cycle is poised for tremendous growth, says Goreau. This, he says, is thanks to the burgeoning field of metagenomics, the study of genetic material from specimens taken directly from the environment rather than cultured in a lab. “For the first time,” says Goreau, “we can identify all major soil biogeochemical pathways from the genetic information in the microbes.” Even at our current level of knowledge, many see great potential for storing carbon in soil. Lal of Ohio State says that restoring soils of degraded and desertified ecosystems has the potential to store in world soils an additional 1 billion to 3 billion tons of carbon annually, equivalent to roughly 3.5 billion to 11 billion tons of CO2 emissions. (Annual CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning are roughly 32 billion tons.) Many call Lal’s carbon soil storage figures low. This could reflect the fact that soil carbon is generally measured in the top 15 to 30 centimeters, whereas soil at depth may store carbon at much higher rates. For example, in land with deep-rooted grasses the soil can go down five meters or more. Research by Australian and British scientists published last year in the journal Plant and Soil examined soils in five southwestern Australia sites MORE FROM YALE e360 As Uses of Biochar Expand, Climate Benefits Still Uncertain Research shows that biochar made from plant fodder and even chicken manure can be used to scrub mercury from power plant emissions and clean up polluted soil. The big question is whether biochar can be produced on a sufficiently large scale to slow or reverse global warming. Those who champion soil carbon for climate mitigation frequently look to grasslands, which cover more than a quarter of the world’s land. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, grasslands also hold 20 percent of the world’s soil carbon stock. Much of this land is degraded, as evidenced in the U.S. Great Plains and places like northern Mexico, Africa’s Sahel, and Mongolia. Seth Itzkan — founder of Massachusetts-based Planet-TECH Associates, a consulting firm specializing in restoration ecology — advocates Holistic Planned Grazing (HPG), a model developed by Zimbabwean wildlife biologist Allan Savory. In this practice, livestock are managed as a tool for large-scale land restoration, mimicking the herding and grazing patterns of wild ruminants that coevolved with grassland ecosystems. Animals are moved so that no plants are overgrazed, and grazing stimulates biological activity in the soil. Their waste adds fertility, and as they move in a herd their trampling aerates soil, presses in seeds, and pushes down dead plant matter so it can be acted upon by soil microorganisms. All of this generates soil carbon, plant carbon, and water retention. Savory says HPG doesn’t require more land — in fact it generally supports greater animal density — so it can be applied wherever livestock are raised. In Australia, which has been suffering extreme heat and wildfires, policy-makers are taking seriously programs that build and stabilize soil carbon. The action plan Regenerate Australia outlines a strategy to restore up to 300 million hectares (740 million acres). A core goal is attaining previous soil carbon levels by introducing more sustainable grazing, farming, and water-retention practices. Says Rattan Lal: “Soils of the world must be part of any agenda to address climate change, as well as food and water security.

Even the Moon Needs a Day Off Sometimes

by Sara E. Morrow MOON VOIDS We all know the legends about werewolves howling on the full moon. Yet, little is known of the metaphysical side of the journey that takes the moon around the earth approximately every 27 days that affects our lives, daily. In its orbit, the moon visits a different zodiac sign approximately every 2 ½ days. But it’s not always a smooth, even transition between them and there are times when the moon is not within a zodiac’s parameters, therefore it’s said to be in a ‘void’ period. Now consider our lives like a book, the narrator and writer being the moon. Each zodiac sign is like a chapter the moon moves through, telling the story as we go along. coque iphone xs max Like each new chapter, and story, our life changes with the moon’s journey along with the events and emotions involved. We’re not always consciously aware of these changes, as the moon is connected to our subconscious, which feels the shift. As the moon moves through the zodiac it also makes contact with the planets. These planets inform us of how our story will play out, emotionally and physically. There is always a pause at the end of the story. coque iphone 8 When the moon is in that phase, we call it a moon void. coque iphone Understanding the ‘Void’ During this period, often we feel disconnected. Unforeseen, surprising results can arise. Avoid being involved in concerns beyond your spiritual center. Delays and frustration are common. ‘Voids’ are created because these lunar ‘chapters’ aren’t the same length. Some take the whole 2 ½ days, but others are much shorter. The void is thought of as the last moment it makes contact in a sign until the next moment it makes contact in the new sign. An easy way to understand it is: Let’s say the moon is in Virgo from Monday at 12 PM until it leaves Virgo Wednesday at 12 PM, on its way to Libra. coque iphone 8 But it won’t officially reach Libra until Thursday at 12 AM. Technically, the moon is “in void” for that 12 hours. acheter coque iphone There’s no complete and undisputable reason for such pauses on the moon’s journey. We can theorize all we want — maybe the next chapter will be intense and we need prep time? Maybe we need time to reflect on the last? Regardless, the moon takes her sweet time in travel and we’re along for the ride. coque iphone pas cher Navigating the ‘Void’ We have learned the void of course period is when the moon is between two signs. But it’s not in some black hole or nowhere to be found. It’s always in flux between one sign or another but before it officially crosses paths with its impending new planet, there’s a period where things can get energetically out of whack. It’s important to remember moon voids when making big decisions and considering life’s big questions you may want answered in a certain way. When the moon is in void – the answer to your question is that nothing is going to happen. coque iphone 6 For example, if a person asked – am I going to get that job? The answer would be, likely not because nothing is going to happen. But if it was more – am I going to get fired? Then, the answer of nothing will happen is perceived as a better option. The key – keep in mind the phrase or notion – nothing is going to happen — and use it to your desired outcome. Things suggested to avoid: signing contracts, close a deal, start a project, or anything else you want concrete results from, as they will be plagued with problems. But – if you want to drop some bad news, fewer repercussions will follow. ‘How To’ Guide For most of us, to have the know how, the time and the data to track moon voids is nearly impossible.

Science Says: Meditation Can Change Your Brain

Chasing your thoughts around all day long can be exhausting and stressful. coque iphone 2019 soldes Feeling controlled by your emotions instead of the other way around? Harvard Neuroscientists have proven that daily meditation can change the physical makeup of your brain and thus your thought patterns in a real way. Having a restless, stressed out mind is a symptom of our general human condition. vente de coque iphone But when meditation is proposed as a way to fix it – we balk. How could that work? What good could it really do, scientifically? Turns out – a lot. A recent Harvard study has proven that meditation can in fact change our brain matter in a highly beneficial way. It can alter the size of key regions, improving our memory and making us more empathetic, compassionate, and resilient under stress. The study took two groups – one daily meditators and the other not — and compared their regions of the brain and the gray matter within. After only 8 weeks of meditation practice, indeed the brain scans show noticeable changes. Magnetic resonance images (MRI scans) of everyone’s brains were taken before and after they completed the meditation training, and a control group of people who didn’t do any meditation also had their brains scanned. coque iphone After completing the meditation course, all participants reported significant improvement in measures of mindfulness, such as “acting with awareness” and “non-judging.” Even more enlightening was that the MRI scans showed changes in the brain’s ‘ gray matter’ (the regions of the brain involved in muscle control and sensory perception such as seeing and hearing, memory, emotions, speech, decision making, and self-control). coque iphone 2019 The meditating groups increased gray matter concentration within the brain regions involved in learning and memory, emotion regulation, sense of self, and perspective analysis. The data concludes that meditation benefits those suffering from psychological issues such as depression, anxiety disorders and insomnia. But even more promising – it can improve your overall quality of life. Dr. coque iphone Sara Lazar, part of the Harvard study, states: “Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day.” How this happens has to do with the brain and its ‘neuroplasticity’, which is the ability neurons have to change they way they talk to each other with differing experiences. The messages the neurons send began to change when a daily meditation practice started. Britta Hölzel, the lead author on the paper states: “It is fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life.” Another Harvard alum, Dr. John Denninger, is leading a 5-year study that builds on these findings and takes them one step further to the body as well and how meditation can affect genes and brain activity in the chronically stressed. His latest work follows a study he and others published earlier this year showing how so-called mind-body techniques can switch on and off some genes linked to stress and immune function. soldes coque iphone 2019 “There is a true biological effect,” said Denninger. “The kinds of things that happen when you meditate do have effects throughout the body, not just in the brain.” In other words – meditation equals a win/win for us all. Mind, Body and Soul. By: Sara E.

Drinkable Water Out of Thin Air!

Finally, a Billboard That Creates Drinkable Water Out of Thin Air

By Matt Peckham @mattpeckham

No really, it’s a billboard that can generate up to 26 gallons of water a day from nothing but air.

I’ve never cared much for billboards. Not in the city, not out of the city — not anywhere, really. It’s like the saying in that old Five Man Electrical Band song. So when the creative director of an ad agency in Peru sent me a picture of what he claimed was the first billboard that produces potable water from air, my initial reaction was: gotta be a hoax, or at best, a gimmick.

Except it’s neither: The billboard pictured here is real, it’s located in Lima, Peru, and it produces around 100 liters of water a day (about 26 gallons) from nothing more than humidity, a basic filtration system and a little gravitational ingenuity.

Let’s talk about Lima for a moment, the largest city in Peru and the fifth largest in all of the Americas, with some 7.6 million people (closer to 9 million when you factor in the surrounding metro area). Because it sits along the southern Pacific Ocean, the humidity in the city averages 83% (it’s actually closer to 100% in the mornings). But Lima is also part of what’s called a coastal desert: It lies at the northern edge of the Atacama, the driest desert in the world, meaning the city sees perhaps half an inch of precipitation annually (Lima is the second largest desert city in the world after Cairo). Lima thus depends on drainage from the Andes as well as runoff from glacier melt — both sources on the decline because of climate change.

Enter the University of Engineering and Technology of Peru (UTEC), which was looking for something splashy to kick off its application period for 2013 enrollment. It turned to ad agency Mayo DraftFCB, which struck on the idea of a billboard that would convert Lima’s H2O-saturated air into potable water. And then they actually built one.

It’s not entirely self-sufficient, requiring electricity (it’s not clear how much) to power the five devices that comprise the billboard’s inverse osmosis filtration system, each device responsible for generating up to 20 liters. The water is then transported through small ducts to a central holding tank at the billboard’s base, where you’ll find — what else? — a water faucet. According to Mayo DraftFCB, the billboard has already produced 9,450 liters of water (about 2,500 gallons) in just three months, which it says equals the water consumption of “hundreds of families per month.” Just imagine what dozens, hundreds or even thousands of these things, strategically placed in the city itself or outlying villages, might do. And imagine what you could accomplish in any number of troubled spots around the world that need potable water with a solution like this.

Mayo DraftFCB says it dropped the billboard along the Pan-American Highway at kilometer marker 89.5 when summer started (in December, mind you — Lima’s south of the equator) and that it’s designed to inspire young Peruvians to study engineering at UTEC while simultaneously illustrating how advertising can be more than just an eyesore. (Done and done, I’d say.)
“We wanted future students to see how engineers can also solve social needs in daily basis kinds of situations,” said Alejandro Aponte, creative director at Mayo DraftFCB.

The city’s residents could certainly use the help. According to a 2011 The Independent piece ominously titled “The desert city in serious danger of running dry,” about 1.2 million residents of Lima lack running water entirely, depending on unregulated private-company water trucks to deliver the goods — companies that charge up to 30 soles (US $10) per cubic meter of H2O, or as The Independent notes, 20 times what more well-off residents pay for their tapwater.

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Climate Engineering a Good Idea?

Climate EngineeringClimate Engineering No Longer Pie in the Sky

Scientists backed by the government and Bill Gates are studying schemes such as sunlight-blocking particles

This rendering [to the right] shows a cloud-brightening scheme by scientist John Latham in which a ship sprays salt particles into the air to reflect sunlight and slow global warming. (John MacNeil)

WASHINGTON — As international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions stall, schemes to slow global warming using fantastical technologies once dismissed as a sideshow are getting serious consideration in Washington.

Ships that spew salt into the air to block sunlight. Mirrored satellites designed to bounce solar rays back into space. Massive “reverse” power plants that would suck carbon from the atmosphere. These are among the ideas the National Academy of Sciences has charged a panel of some of the nation’s top climate thinkers to investigate. Several agencies requested the inquiry, including the CIA.  At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, scientists are modeling what such technologies might do to weather patterns. At the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., a fund created by Microsoft founder Bill Gates — an enthusiast of research into climate engineering — helps bankroll another such effort. “There is a level of seriousness about these strategies that didn’t exist a decade ago, when it was considered just a game,” said Ken Caldeira, a scientist with the Carnegie Institution at Stanford University, who sits on the National Academy of Sciences panel. “Attitudes have changed dramatically.”

Even as the research moves forward, many scientists and government officials worry about the risks of massive climate-control contraptions. Some fear the potential for error in tampering with the world’s thermostat. Get it wrong, they say, and the consequences could be disastrous. Many also say the public could develop a false hope that geo-engineering schemes alone could halt climate change. That, they worry, would undermine already tenuous support for efforts to seriously reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that contribute to warming the climate. Even so, once-skeptical federal officials and scientists at major research institutions including Stanford, Harvard and Caltech have decided that ignoring these largely untested technologies also poses dangers. “There has been so little movement globally and, particularly, nationally toward mitigation of climate change that we’re in a situation where we need to know what the prospects are for this,” said Marcia McNutt, a former director of the U.S. Geological Survey, who is chairwoman of the National Academy of Sciences panel. “Whether we wind up using these technologies, or someone else does and we suddenly find ourselves in a geo-engineered world, we have to better understand the impacts and the consequences,” she said.

Agencies are struggling to analyze the possibilities of weather control and how it might be policed. In November, the Congressional Research Service advised lawmakers to pay attention to the issue, saying “these new technologies may become available to foreign governments and entities in the private sector to use unilaterally — without authorization from the United States government or an international treaty.” That already happened to a limited extent in mid-2012 when a California businessman, Russ George, dumped 200,000 pounds of iron-rich dust off the coast of British Columbia, Canada, in an effort — many say publicity stunt — aimed at spurring a massive plankton bloom. The theory of ocean fertilization holds that more plankton would increase the ocean’s capacity to absorb carbon from the atmosphere. George’s test did appear to cause more plankton to bloom, but it is unclear whether it had any effect on carbon dioxide levels in the air.

That same year, British scientists canceled plans to test the effect that spraying liquids at high altitude would have on sunlight. The proposed small-scale test involved launching a balloon high above the sea and spraying what would have amounted to a couple of bathtubs of water into the atmosphere. In theory, that would mimic the cooling effect that occurs when ash from a volcanic eruption blocks sunlight. The experiment was grounded amid a heated dispute, which continues today, over whether field tests should be taking place at all in the absence of international rules guiding how to go about them. Some prominent climate experts have argued that the technology the British scientists were testing, were it ever to be used on a large scale, could exacerbate extreme drought and flooding in parts of the world. “We need to consider whether we have the right legal architecture in place to make sure bad things don’t happen,” said Harvard law professor Jody Freeman, a former White House counselor for energy and climate change. “It is important we have some control and society is engaged in the risks.”

The technologies being proposed are numerous, and often odd.

“I have seen all kinds of proposals,” said James Fleming, author of “Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control” and a member of the National Academy geo-engineering committee. “There is a crazy new one in my email every week,” he said. “There are a lot of Rube Goldbergs out there, and some Dr. Strangeloves.”  Of the technologies being considered, those that would remove carbon tend to be less controversial. Riley Duren, chief systems engineer for Earth science and technology at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, estimates, for example, that counteracting today’s emissions would require about 30,000 of what he calls reverse power plants: enormous steel structures developed by a start-up in Calgary, Canada, that would use fans to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. The bids to redirect sunlight are much more economical and could be deployed more quickly. They also carry much more risk, the congressional research study warns. Proposals in that category include efforts at cloud whitening, in which planes or ships would shoot particles of sea salt into the sky, stimulating the formation of brighter clouds that would reflect sunlight. Other proposals would inject sulfates into the atmosphere to absorb heat, or bounce solar radiation back into space.

In addition to the danger of exacerbating drought, the congressional report warns, if such contraptions malfunctioned or were otherwise shut down, the climate could rapidly warm, “leaving little time for humans or nature to adapt.”

The authors echo the concerns of many scientists that small changes in climate over the history of Earth have been known to have severe consequences. Much of the momentum behind geo-engineering comes from an organization Gates created with Caldeira and Harvard professor David Keith. The two scientists have been getting $1.3 million annually from Gates to fund their research, as well as to distribute to other projects, such as the modeling being done at Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Caldeira said. They also hold cram sessions for the billionaire a few times each year on climate and energy issues, including geo-engineering. Caldeira and Keith hope the National Academy effort will open the way for government-sponsored field tests. But McNutt cautions that may not happen. John Latham won’t be staying idle waiting for the government to resolve that debate. A senior research scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., Latham is confident that he and his partners have developed a viable contraption. Their cloud-brightening scheme would involve ships at sea unleashing a spray of salt particles. It would use nozzles designed by Armand Neukermans, a physicist who helped invent the inkjet printer while at Hewlett-Packard. As recently as last year, the group had little hope of securing enough money to test the contraption outside the lab, Latham said. But as the buzz around geo-engineering has intensified, some wealthy individuals have stepped forward with about $1 million needed for a small-scale trial. Latham anticipates that within two or three years he will be conducting a government-sanctioned field test over thousands of acres of ocean. “People are getting more and more desperate about climate change,” he said. “I think it is quite probable we will get the OK to do this.”

[email protected]

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