Photograph via snooOG

Geoengineering: the deliberate large-scale manipulation of an environmental process that affects the earth's climate, in an attempt to counteract the effects of global warming.

Welcome to /r/geoengineering. Geoengineering refers to the proposed deliberate large-scale manipulation of an environmental process that affects the earth's climate, in an attempt to counteract the effects of global warming.

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NOTICE: Posting conspiracy theories or chemtrail info will result in a ban. All posts and comments must be on-topic and civil. This is not a place for political mudslinging.


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Need some advice

What is the best way to approach geo as a senior mech e student. I loved soil grading in school. What should I do after I graduate? Thanks in advance!

1 Comment
01:43 UTC


What is everyone's involvement in geoengeneering?

The title says it all, whats your involvement in geoengeneering? I'm interested in finding out how many of us are average citizens, climate scientists etc.

View Poll

10:54 UTC


A way to terraform deserts?

I'm a total newbie at climatology and geoengineering, so please, no judgement.

I had a simple idea when thinking about how awesome it would be if we could terraform the Sahara desert (or just some parts of it). It consists of a long pipe going down into the Sahara's large aquifers. With a water pump, the water would be pulled upwards and heated over boiling point, then, the steam would be expelled, go up the atmosfere and form clouds. If it rains, the rain would seep into the ground and refill the aquifers.

The problems I can detect are the possibility of the steam being carried out of reach by the wind or not even condensing at all.

Would this work? The fact that I've never seen this idea floating around before makes me think that it wouldn't.

07:21 UTC


Advice on Measuring Small Pressure Differences in Geological Settings

Hi everyone,

I am trying to put together a small project (it would fit in geoengineering, althought thats not my specialization, hence the question), where there is weak airflow (expected airflow is in milimeters per second) coming through a porous (but hard) medium (Darcy's law), low permeabilities, gravel with boulders. We already have a great way to identify where the flow is happening, but i would like to get some more quantitative way to describe the situation.

I've come across research where differences as low as a few Pascals (Pa) were measured, but I'm struggling to find suitable methods or devices for measuring such low differential pressures in a geological setting. Most of the existing literature and products seem to focus on measuring pressures in pipes, which unfortunately doesn't align with our scenario. Furthermore, their precision (although high for intended use) would nos suffice. Introducing a pipe to the location is also not a preferred solution.

Most of the literature (and products) are focused on measuring pressures in pipes, which is unforunatly not our case, and introducing a pipe to the location is not a desired outcome.

As the measuremnt takes place outside and for extended period of time, the sensor/device would need to be at least somewhat robust.

Can somebody point me somewhere? Thanks. Or tell me that this is insane (which i feel might be the case)?

A method for measuring the airflow more directly would also help, but i feel like that is impossible.

1 Comment
07:33 UTC


MCB - Saltwater Rain content/percentage ?

I'll ask very narrowly. I've read official fact sheets and such. Haven't found the paper that covers issue I'm curious about.

By spraying saltwater onto Marine Clouds... the ones who retain their rain until discharge it over land... are we just assuming that the amount of salt applied which become drop-nuclei when they come down as rain is below detectable? what is the salinization rate for terrestrial soils? Has that been considered?

It happens to ag land w well water and salt fertilizer residue... it can get so bad the land is lucky to be a solid patch of turf grass.

"Trust is the biggest liability of all." - 99th Rule of Acquisition

17:49 UTC


Carbon Capture and Storage. Inconvenient new data.

04:49 UTC


Using Drones to Pull Green House Gases

I've been thinking... Why don't we use either a big drone or multiple drones to fly through out the world, sucking up all of these bad green house gases (Methane, Carbon Dioxide, etc)?

Power Source? Solar panels... What has to be figured out is a way to either capture, or store it. Hell, we can convert it to something physical and have it dropped off at some specific location (GPS Tracked)?

I've always thought about this from time to time and even Google it to see if someone has thought about it already but I haven't read anything similar to this concept.

04:39 UTC

1 Comment
10:17 UTC


We can already stop climate change

12:45 UTC

1 Comment
20:00 UTC


Concentrated PV with dichroic Mirrors

Mirrors have the power to reflect Heat into the Space

17:43 UTC


nuke detonations

Why is it that nuclear weapon detonations aren’t considered for controlling climate change? Some bullets:

  • Nukes are known to cool the atmosphere
  • Nukes have been detonated many hundreds of times before and humanity is still here
  • We haven’t actually engineered this for optimal results - but we could. For instance, detonate in the spot with the optimal soil in order to put the best particulates into the atmosphere and also the least radiation.
  • This could be done on a rate that we are comfortable with to reduce temperatures - maybe only 1 or 2 degrees every 5 years.

Please treat this as a technical thought experiment only. Clearly the political backlash wouldn’t permit this.

22:53 UTC


Why did they build big dams in the parts of the Columbia River that used to be accessible to salmon migration, when they could have just built them behind the natural barriers that historically prevent salmon passage? Rivers like Kootenay, Pend Oreille, Spokane, above Shoshone Falls on Snake.

Why did they build big dams in the parts of the Columbia River that used to be accessible to salmon migration, when they could have just built them behind the natural barriers that historically prevent salmon passage? Rivers like Kootenay, Pend Oreille, Spokane, above Shoshone Falls on Snake. Why did they build big dams in the parts of the Columbia River that used to be accessible to salmon migration, when they could have just built them behind the natural barriers that historically prevent salmon passage? Rivers like Kootenay, Pend Oreille, Spokane, above Shoshone Falls on Snake. Some may say Grand Coulee needed to be where it was to Irrigate the Columbia Basin, but there was a cheaper gravity-fed plan to build canals from the Pend Oreille at Alebeni Falls which historically prevented salmon above these falls and now has a dam. This would have reached more of the eastern part of the basin this part has never been finished by the Columbia Basin Project. I mean we could have irrigated from Spokane or Lake Coeur d'Alene or even Lake Chelan all lakes and rivers that have falls preventing salmon. The dams in the many powerful rivers that never had salmon could have been made to produce more power and handle flood control. The gravity-fed canal could have made irrigating the basin possible even without the Grand Coulee Dam. Think about why there are no dams on the Fraser River. These rivers are sisters known as "Cheif Rivers" because they have fed the people and given life to the interior regions. The Fraser has no dams on its main tributary. The plans for large dams on the Fraser failed because it would affect the fishing industry that made BC. Washington State and its citizens originally did not want the dams especially Grand Coulee because of it's harm to the Salmon more Washingtonians wanted to irrigate the basin with a canal from the Pend Oreille, but the federal government wanted to do a mega project. For reference sorry for any typos or anything just want to get these thoughts out. I live under the Grand Coulee Dam and come from the peoples it has affected my ancestors died from the making of this dam and some worked on the dam and other dams. I think we needed to do something 60 years ago before the Columbia River Treaty dams were built in BC, but here we are with these huge barriers. We at least need fish ladders there are so many solutions we just need to put money where it belongs. These rivers are exploited for free by way of harvesting the river's energy through dams with that exploration comes a lot of profit and we need to do something. Grand Coulee Dam could stand till the next ice age, but every structure we build has an expiration date and I have heard it is somewhere between 200 and 300 years if we take care of the dam. But is this worth it? I don't think so. Let's take down Grand Coulee and make more efficient hydropower in places where it won't affect salmon our life.

01:26 UTC


Interaction of MCB and SAI could mean it rains gastric acid?

Mods deleted original post and anyway no one had replied so it makes sense to try a different wording.

  1. Known-known is that if Stratospheric Aerosol Injection of SO2 (Sulfur Dioxide) binds with water it produces Sulfuric Acid H2SO4

- This will form as acid rain. I believe no one contests this but here is link to the equation

  1. seems reasonable supposition -- spraying salt water onto clouds as part of Marine Cloud Brightening will turn the water/vapor contained in these clouds into a Salty or Brackish solution? If I am missing a key step please educate me. I cannot see, given Object Permanence, how the salt in the saltwater sprayed as part of MCB then suddenly leaves the cloud as dry-particulate. Dry particulate salts dotted onto terrestrial ecosystems will not be conducive either.

Atlantic Nor'easters apparently catch a decent amount of 'salt spray' as in water droplets not the result of evaporation and can impart a salty note when they deposit rain. I am going to assume the clouds treated in the marine environment will impart salty natured water in the form of rain? I've not seen this in the literature and asked about this on separate post. Pending further information I will continue to assume treated clouds will be 'salty' to X unknown degree.

  1. Known-known is that

NaCl+H2SO4 →NaHSO4+HCl

As in Sulfuric Avid plus salt produces Hydrochloric Acid and " Sodium bisulfate, also known as sodium hydrogen sulfate "


  1. Known-Known is Hydrochloric Acid is cornerstone of mammalian digestive gastric acid


  1. I may be iffy on how stratospheric sulfur interacts with water to form acid rain from Statrospheric Injection to Tropospheric rain clouds. Even while knowing I have ignorance of this mechanism it seems rather surprising that there would be no interaction and incorporation of the acid rain with the salty-water clouds formed via MCB. Even if this is the case, the salt rains and acid rains, while separate in the air, will rain on the same locations over the course of time. Salts left on surface after the salt water rain has evaporated will interact with the Sulfuric Acid of the next acid rain

-- when that acidic water reaches the left over salts this will form Hydrochloric Acid

  1. If I am so far correct, we would then create Hydrochloric Acid, aka Gastric juice.

  2. This would mean, in poetic license, that the surfaces of the planet would be 'Digested' as in exposed to digestive hydrochloric acid.

  3. I assume the only way to not be alarmed at this would be to insist that the concentrations would be so negligible as to not be a factor.

  4. cumulative effect of 200 years, perhaps, of Hydrochloric digestion of the surface and/or the simple sea Salt accumulation itself, or combined with the sodium hydrogen sulfate salt, itself an acid. Has this been ruled out?


Hopefully I have restated this in a more 'intelligible' manner more accessible by those with STEM background. I will not be offended to have missed a concept and thus my question is rendered moot.

On the other hand if it stands up as a plausible hypothesis I would urge any student or researcher or funder to run such an experiment. Siloing of MCB subfield from SAI subfield may have exposed an inadvertent blindside.

"We are of Peace. Always"



01:53 UTC


A Messy and Unhinged Introduction to Geoengineering

1 Comment
03:21 UTC


I want to reduce global temperatures by 15 degrees Celsius (fifteen), what would be the quickest and most efficient way to do this ?

How could I do this ?

17:35 UTC


Is there a verdict on the viability or thermodynamics of superchimneys?

Superchimneys were mentioned in passing in a video by Sabine Hossfelder. I couldn't figure out if it's a real idea or if it lacks credibility. It's basically the idea of using big, tall blimp-fabric chimneys to supercharge natural convection currents and encourage the transport of hot air to high altitudes at higher than natural rates. Does this idea work? https://www.superchimney.org/default.asp

23:24 UTC


Making it rain, give it a read

As the oceans heat up, the number and severity of hurricanes will increase. Hurricanes begin as tropical disturbances where a low-pressure area is formed. The low pressure creates an updraft with strong winds, which causes the ocean to evaporate more rapidly, creating a stronger storm. As this cycle repeats over thousands of miles of travel over the oceans, it becomes incredibly powerful, growing exponentially. When the hurricane reaches the shore, it causes tremendous damage to the shore, but it quickly weakens once it is over land instead of water.

If the low-pressure zones form close to shore, they increase in strength as they travel over the ocean, but they do not have enough time to become destructive before making landfall. Because of this, their only effect is to increase rainfall, cool the oceans, and create more clouds, which help reflect the sun’s energy back into space. All of these are good things.

Intense low-pressure zones can form naturally due to baroclinic instability. Horizontal differences in air temperature and pressure create vertical wind shear. The wind shear creates waves in the atmosphere, and if the interference pattern of the waves is constructive, it causes the magnitude to increase.

Instead of waiting for baroclinic instability to occur naturally, we could try to create them. Water evaporation and condensation absorb and release tremendous amounts of energy (2,260 kJ/kg), always occurring. We can accelerate the rate of water evaporation by spraying it as a droplet. The smaller the droplet, the greater the surface area to volume ratio becomes. Additionally, as the droplet settles, air flows over it, increasing the evaporation rate further.

A one-horsepower water pump (like this one ) can move 12 gallons per minute 100 feet at a pressure differential of 50 PSI. Assuming only half of the 12 gallons sprayed into the air evaporate (22.7 kg), it would still absorb 50 MJ of energy per minute. The energy inputted into the pump is only 44 kJ per minute22. By using evaporative cooling at 50% efficiency, it still magnifies the work done by the pump by over 100,000 %. This magnifies a 1,000 hp engine to a 1,000,000 hp engine.

This will cause the temperature of the surface of the ocean to decrease, humid air is less dense than dry air, causing the more humid air to form a low-pressure zone. As the humid air travels upwards, it cools and the water vapor begins to condense, causing the air to become hotter and more humid than the surrounding air. This will strengthen the low-pressure zone, and create a seed that can form a tropical depression.

Once the tropical depression forms, it will strengthen, further magnifying the work done by the pump, as it travels over the ocean. Because of this, we would need to ensure that the Tropic depression only travels a relatively short distance so they don’t become dangerous. Many coastal regions are arid and would greatly benefit from multiple tropical depressions throughout the year.

In addition to using this for generating rain, it could also be used to try to fight hurricanes. Hurricanes rely on warm water on the surface of the ocean to gain strength. If we were able to create tropical depressions, we could use them to fight hurricanes like we use controlled burns to fight forest fires.

Thank you for taking the time to look at this, and if you think it’s interesting please share it. If other research has been done on this, please share it with the group.

1 Comment
12:48 UTC


A Speculative Proposal For Atmospheric Carbon Capture

If feasible, the scientific and engineering communities should undertake an effort to create an environmentally friendly, self-sustaining, low cost means of atmospheric carbon capture. We propose the creation of a self-replicating atmospheric carbon capture device (RACC) - either an engineered bacteria or an analogue derived from available synthetic biology toolkits. The RACC should:

  • Be free floating in the atmosphere
  • Use common elements found within the atmosphere for self-replication
  • Utilize available solar and/or chemical energy
  • Capture atmospheric carbon and bond it into small flakes heavy enough to precipitate back to the Earth's surface

Deployment of the RACC can be carried out either via balloon or airplane.

Such a proposal raises substantial environmental and safety concerns that warrant careful consideration. To that end we propose the following design requirements -

  • Rigorous controls should be implemented to govern the self-replication phases of the RACC, mitigating the risk of unrestrained proliferation.
  • The RACC's operation should be confined between altitudes of 600 and 13,500 meters
  • All RACC devices should deactivate and safely break down once atmospheric carbon levels fall below 350 ppm
  • The resulting precipitate flakes should be too large for humans and animals to inhale
  • The RACC should become inert and break down safely if ingested by any plant or animal

This speculative proposal, while technically ambitious, could significantly mitigate climate change effects. This undertaking should be approached with great care, adhering to the highest standards of environmental safety and scientific responsibility. If a RACC under 10 microns can be engineered to meet these design requirements, it should be done as quickly and as safely possible.

14:33 UTC

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