this post was submitted on 02 Apr 2024
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Climate - truthful information about climate, related activism and politics.

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Discussion of climate, how it is changing, activism around that, the politics, and the energy systems change we need in order to stabilize things.

As a starting point, the burning of fossil fuels, and to a lesser extent deforestation and release of methane are responsible for the warming in recent decades: Graph of temperature as observed with significant warming, and simulated without added greenhouse gases and other anthropogentic changes, which shows no significant warming

How much each change to the atmosphere has warmed the world: IPCC AR6 Figure 2 - Thee bar charts: first chart: how much each gas has warmed the world.  About 1C of total warming.  Second chart:  about 1.5C of total warming from well-mixed greenhouse gases, offset by 0.4C of cooling from aerosols and negligible influence from changes to solar output, volcanoes, and internal variability.  Third chart: about 1.25C of warming from CO2, 0.5C from methane, and a bunch more in small quantities from other gases.  About 0.5C of cooling with large error bars from SO2.

Recommended actions to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the near future:

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[–] silence7 8 points 3 months ago (1 children)

We can't actually do that though, let alone keep it functional for the hundreds of thousands of years the earth will remain warmed by today's CO2 emissions

[–] 6 points 3 months ago (1 children)

We only need to keep it working for at most 200 years until we switched to carbon neutral and started reverting it.

And actually satellites are pretty easy to maintain, especially outside our cloud of space junk. There is no rust and nothing that would break it, it however would need shielding against the EMPs our sun bombards us with from time to time.

It would probably be necessary to build them in space, as such large structures can't be shot into space directly. But we do have the technology necessary. We just need to start doing it.

Its just one step of many.

[–] silence7 7 points 3 months ago (1 children)

This is a satellite with a surface area far larger than anything else people have ever done, in a location where you need to use energy to stay there. It's not going to be some simple launch-and-forget thing.

And it the need won't be done in 200 years. CO2 concentrations will remain elevated a lot longer than that.

[–] 4 points 3 months ago (1 children)

I said we have the technologies to do that and not that it's easy. Also nobody said it has to be one fucking gigantic one, many "small" ones would do the same. And yes, i said we have to also get to a negative carbon output, within about 200 years that is possible. Its however way less problematic than to put gigantic amounts of rare chemicals (or pounders) into the air, wich would also cause problems with many idiots.

[–] silence7 6 points 3 months ago (2 children)

Many small ones implies a huge and ongoing launch schedule.

And no, if we do this, we're not going to stop burning fossil fuels, or remove significant amounts of carbon — schemes like this mostly serve as propaganda for the fossil fuels industry to create continued permission to extract and burn.

[–] 2 points 3 months ago (1 children)

How would many small ones imply a huge and oncoming launch schedule, especially if you are using an L1 array? It’s much easier to repair and refuel a field of cubesats already on site than to get them there in the first place after all.

Moreover, why would orbital shades and or mirrors mean that we keep buring fossil fuels? We would be near net zero before such an array would being anywhere near complete enough to compensate for anything, and more to the point such an array would not serve as continued permission for fossil fuel companies, as it does nothing to address the majority of ecological effects such as ocean acidification.

The whole point of such an array is to save tens of millions of lives which will otherwise be ended by the damage already done long before they were even born by blunting more violent storms and reversing sea level rise, not exactly a carbon offset.

[–] silence7 3 points 3 months ago (1 children)

Because they're going to fail and drift out of position over time.

Remember here: we don't have any real history of maintaining stuff up there. It goes up, and is used until it fails, and then replaced. There are a couple exceptions in low earth orbit, but that's it.

[–] 2 points 3 months ago (1 children)

These things are by definition light sails that can move around just by tilting by a tenth of a degree, they wouldn’t use fuel for station keeping.

Even then, docking to a dead spacecraft and towing it to a nearby repair facility isn’t exactly a great feat beyond our imagination, even if haveing the cubesats slowly return to the station for repair after one gyro fails but before the other redundant ones do fails. Building such an array in the first place requires the sort of space infrastructure necessary to maintain it.

Moreover I find the appeal to having never tried something before to be a silly argument to bring into a climate discussion. After all, we don’t have any real history of running a large scale grid on renewables like solar and wind, so why bother testing or even researching it? Better to stick to powering things with coal and natural gas.

[–] 1 points 3 months ago

Don't bother, this guy is going to keep nickel and diming your clearly hypothetical topic. Obviously if we all tried, we could achieve your plan even if there are failures and ongoing work to maintain it.

[–] 1 points 3 months ago

For a few years, yes.

And no, i don't think so, but there is no hard facts we can argue about here, its possible that they would use that, but its not likely that it would work.