Friday, December 4, 2015

climate change

Much of the energy we consume is converted into low grade heat and dumped to the environment; even much of the motion resistance is low grade heat, all contributing to climate change. But larger than that is the reduction of the heat sink in these parts.

Around here, Northern Alberta somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of the land was swam before the farmers cleared and ditched. That was a lot of land, a lot of water providing a major heat sink. Water has a thermal capacity of 1 kilo-calorie per kilogram per degree C, or 4200 joules per kilogram per degree Centigrade. Soil, is much less, some 10 to 20 percent, depending on the moisture content. In addition, mass transfer, circulation, keeps the surface of the water much closer to the water mass temperature, unlike soil where a few inches below the surface will be much cooler in summer.

All this proposed taxation to deter consumption is fine, but what is done with the moneys is important. It can be targeted at keeping mans contribution low, or it could be utilized to deal with the inevitable climate warming. Some of that warming is natural, some is man made. At some point we will enter a cooling cycle, and we humans will freeze out... Oh well, there are too many of us anyway. We need to survive until then. Here, restoring the heat sinks would be a good place to start. And then there is the latent heat of vaporization to also consider. This could add considerable to both the cooling and short cycle rainfall, making farming more durable on the prairies.

Spray that water on the land, and we will capture carbon, cool the climate and generate potential short cycle rainfall. Dump sewage on the land in the fall, and that will act as fertilizer. We will need to watch the salt content though. Too much salt and the land will be destroyed. There are few crops that will grow in salted land, and even less that can be harvested to remove the salt.

But then, I was only a geotechnical engineer, so this is slightly out of my area of specialization, not out of my area of training. I specialized where the work was at the time.

 Anyway, what do I know?

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