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Posts posted by vent

  1. On 11/10/2020 at 12:28 AM, Omnifarious said:

    First off let me say I mean no disrespect. And if I seem brutally honest it's because it's my nature and belief in being forthright.

    There are a lot of things said in science documentaries and scientifically mined people that upset me. And they always speak with absolute certainty. Like this thing is perfectly well known and proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, like gravity. 

    I wanted to ask you weather or not they were really true but then I thought it would be easier to ask you about science and our certainty of it in general. I've heard that scientists are supposed to be open minded and never to be too certain of any thing. But in my experience, scientists are people who say "This is the way thing are and that's the end of it." That you could not be a scientist unless you took things as absolutes. It's particularly difficult for me to question these people because I can't help but assume they speak from a position of knowledge of which I am ignorant. When people talk like it's already proven, I can't help but assume it has been. When you're sitting in class or studying a book, you don't question what they're saying. If you did, how would you learn anything?


    For example this one says that we will NEVER be able to leave our local group of galaxies because the rest of the universe is accelerating away from us faster then the speed of light. 

    This one and this one state that traveling faster then the speed of light is impossible. Not just that it's impossible with current technology but it's impossible no matter how advanced we get. I tried to tell myself that we are always discovering new things, things we could not imagine before. I looked in the comments to see if anyone had the same thought and some did. But then someone countered that bay saying if we did learn anything could go faster then light, it would undo the laws of physics going back to Newton, who's work has proven solid to this day.

    And something that's always bothered me, the theory that the entire universe will inevitably end. So many time I've heard about how and when it will end. Once I went on one of those question posting websites and I asked "Will the universe end?" Not how will, not when will, just will? Is this something the scientists of the world know and agree on. The very first post I go simply said "Of course it will."


    What I want to ask is, not so much about the above stuff but about our scientific knowledge in general. What is the reason for all this certainty and rejection of doubt? Is our grasp of science that good? When we know something do we really know it for sure?

    Or is it something else? Are scientists today too sure of themselves? Is everyone taking their word as gospel? Do people talk as if things are facts because they want to sound convincing? Do documentary makers simply assume we will know they are not talking about absolutes even though they never said they were? Even though they implied everything they said was fact over and over again?

    I read somewhere that we might be living in a new dark age, because we don't think to investigate what our "higher ups" tell us.

    The only things scientists are really certain about is uncertainty. That may distinguish them from faith. 

  2. 9 hours ago, OceanBreeze said:

    I’m not sure what sort of artificial volcano you are referring to here. If, by artificial volcano, you mean actually injecting millions of tons of toxic sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere, as Mount Pinatubo did, then that is an absolutely terrible idea. Also, I am very sure nobody is even thinking of injecting huge amounts of any form of carbon into the atmosphere to initiate cooling; not after all the efforts being made to reduce such emissions. In order to form an informed opinion on this, especially with regard to the oceans, I think it would be helpful if you can first describe just what sort of aerosols these artificial volcanos would put into the atmosphere, in order to alter the atmospheric albedo.

    We have already been seeding clouds with silver iodide smoke, in hopes of making rain, with only mixed success, and then there are jet airplane contrails, industrial and city smog, and smoke from fields set on fire by the slash-and-burn farmers, which can all be considered as aerosols; but not all of them are considered to be desirable. All of these do have local effects on climate due to cloud creation and blocking of the sun’s rays. But to have a global effect the amount of aerosols released would need to be astronomical. For comparison, Mount Pinatubo ejected roughly some 10 billion tons of material and caused a 0.5 °C drop in global temperature, but the effect only lasted about 2 years. How can we artificially mimic that sort of ejection of particulate into the atmosphere and what sort of aerosol material could we use that would be safe?

    For an interesting, but rather long, read on the subject of atmospheric aerosols, see this link. One of the most controversial ideas presented is that air pollution may actually be preventing runaway global warming and if we continue to reduce air pollution while greenhouse gases inexorably accumulated, “few doubted that a dangerous global warming would be unmasked, surging past any possible aerosol cooling effects”

    I think this is an idea worthy of study but we first need to understand the risks associated with such purposeful alterations of our planet’s climate system and only proceed with extreme caution, if we proceed at all.



    Yes I mean an artificial volcano that emits sulfates like natural volcanos for solar radiation managment. I'm not sure what aerosol would be best, and I think a lot of people are looking into that. I think with sulfate aerosols one wouldn't produce too much acid rain, but still it would probably be better to use another aerosol if possible. The biggest problems are acid rain and ozone depletion, but other strategies, including the reduction of greenhouse gases have their own problem too including the amount of time and money it will take to change all the infrastructure. A short-term solution that could produce global cooling could make it easier for a lot of economies, particularly struggling economies. 

    I think you make a good point about the quantity of aerosol required but again this is a problem that may be possible to solve with a particular engineering solution. I don't know how, and I think artificial volcanos are still being researched. But again, other solutions also have their own problems.

    The reason I was bringing up this question though was because I was wondering if lowering the temperature through artificial volcanos could lower the rates of carbon dioxide dissolving in the oceans sufficiently. This may do away with the need for something like carbon capture which could make things more expensive. 


  3. Artificial volcanos are proposed as a strategy for short-term mitigation of climate change. Artificial volcanos put aerosols in the atmosphere which alters the atmospheric albedo and causes the atmosphere to cool, at least for the short term. One of the problems with artificial volcanos is that while the temperature is lowered the CO2 still remains there, and that CO2 can still dissolve in the oceans leading to carbonic acid, destroying several species. However, it seems to me that if the temperature is cooled the rate at which CO2 dissolves should also go down. Any opinion on this?

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