Sunday, November 23, 2008


The albedo of an object is the extent to which it diffusely reflects light from the sun. The Earth has an albedo of 0.29 (i.e. 29% of incident sunlight is diffusely reflected back into space). At present, the Earth is warming up. If the Earth's albedo increases to 0.30 we will reverse the warming process and Earth will cool down - it is that finely balanced.
So here's a plan: Let's pump seawater on to areas that are completely unused and essentially useless and let it evaporate. Deserts; about 30% of the Earth's surface. I'm thinking Sahara, Gobi, central Australia, the "Empty Quarter" in the Middle east and the Kalahari for starters. When the water evaporates (this by itself will cool the Earth) it will leave behind a highly reflective layer of salt. More sunlight will be reflected, the Earth will cool down, we will all be saved. Yay!
Since deserts do very little for the planet at the moment, it would be a pleasant change for them to be actually useful. That 1% increase in albedo might just do it.

1 comment:

GC said...

Personally, I don't have a problem with albedos. Just because they have white hair and eyebrows doesn't make them bad people.

Anyway, a great plan.

Although, generally I don’t like any ideas which mess with Mother Nature. She knows best, and when we meddle she bites back. Hard.