Climate Engineering on a Budget


I’ve noticed that a large number of Twitterers that want to fight global warming but think the only solutions are political ones. While I am personally agnostic on the subject, I though I’d share a relatively simple engineering solution that any person with STEM skills could construct for under $200.

Theory Overview

If the goal is to reduce global temperatures, we must first look at the best strategy to do so. A quick glance at climate forcings (components that induce long-term changes to temperature) quickly reveal the solution:

This suggests that ‘cloud seeding’ by addition of water vapor into the atmosphere would have significant long-term impact.

Design Overview

Overall, what we would want to build is an artificial buoy that has a long mast on the end, balanced and weighted such that the wave action in the ocean creates a pumping effect that forces water up the mast and into the mister, aerosolizing a large amount of water as the buoy rises+falls with the waves.

This design is simple, has few moving parts, requires no electricity, minimal maintenance, and with the proper design can be simply left floating in the ocean nearly indefinitely.

  • 2-6 HDPE barrels affixed end-to-end
  • Vertical mast + misting element
  • Pumping mechanism
  • Counterbalance / counterweight
Canzee pump mechanism diagram
30+ Best Buoys images | buoys, shipping forecast, water pictures

The design is relatively self-explanatory; one element of the pumping arm is attached to the partially-submerged barrels while the other is fully submerged several feed underwater. The submerged portion can either be weighed down with a counterweight, or a horizontal sheet of plastic can be used to create the required inertial gradients.

This design is obviously small-scale, but the concept is sound enough that it can be scaled to any size:

Responding to Climate Change Is Climate Engineering an Option?
PARQ's volcanic machines release steam clouds to reverse the effects of global warming

That’s all for now. Happy building 🙂

2020 September 17 Update:

I’ve been offering to personally engineer this idea to the Doomsday Climatologist community on Twitter. So far, no takers

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