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Iron Salt Aerosol 
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Post Iron Salt Aerosol
Iron Salt Aerosol is a method of solving global warming that I am now advocating as a primary strategy. I am working with scientists who have researched this topic for many years. We have established a website, http://ironsaltaerosol.com/

Please read the two page summary, the list of twelve cooling effects, and the poster I have produced for the Negative Emission Conference in Canberra next week, all linked at the home page of the website.

Very happy to discuss any questions or comments. I am particularly interested to discuss the strategic rationale for presenting iron salt aerosol as a primary method to pull us back from the dangerous brink of a hothouse climate.


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DWill, Harry Marks, Litwitlou
Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:36 am
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Post Re: Iron Salt Aerosol
Wow, truly good news. Sure is welcome right about now.


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Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:46 am
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Post Re: Iron Salt Aerosol
This strikes me as a really good initiative, as I have considered it from the first time I read about it. I am glad to see more of the details worked out, and the cost-benefit calculations strike me as reasonable even if I do not have the expertise to evaluate them properly.

I disagree slightly with the claim that it is far more cost-effective than any emissions reductions. Fossil-fuel emissions reduction by use of more energy-efficient appliances, as well as by substitution of renewables, is now essentially free. The up-front costs are more than justified by cost savings over a five-to-ten year period. Probably the substitution of nuclear power would be as cost-effective, though decommissioning costs have jumped in the last 30 years as the problem of disposing of the toxic residuals has been faced.

However I recognize that we are talking about at most 20 percent of fossil fuel use reduction by such free or low-cost methods. The next 20 percent, by use of hybrid vehicles or larger-scale renewables (such as solar thermal) would not be a whole lot costlier. If humanity had grasped the nettle in 1992 and put in place these low-cost methods, so much would have been avoided in the meantime that we would now have an extra 10 years to get our act together. A simple carbon tax would have done the job, but politicians and special interests were happy to sell out our climate instead.

Infamy is a strong word. We usually reserve it for traitors. That's how I feel about the fossil fuel industry.



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Litwitlou, Robert Tulip
Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:50 am
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Post Re: Iron Salt Aerosol
Harry Marks wrote:
This strikes me as a really good initiative, as I have considered it from the first time I read about it.
Hi Harry, thanks very much for this positive comment. The challenge is to see the big picture, which means finding an entry point to large scale carbon removal. Most people can’t see that vision, but only because it is so new and different. I am trying to explain these ideas in a simple way. Unfortunately, even the US National Academy of Science has decided to ignore the use of the ocean to remove carbon, illustrating the difficult politics that block this scientific field.
Harry Marks wrote:
I am glad to see more of the details worked out, and the cost-benefit calculations strike me as reasonable even if I do not have the expertise to evaluate them properly.
The balance of risk and reward in this work will be assessed through field trials and computer modelling. We need to prove safety and efficacy, like in drug trials, before scaling up. Our key calculation is that very diffuse spread of iron could remove carbon dioxide for less than a dollar a tonne, orders of magnitude below the cost of other methods.
Harry Marks wrote:
I disagree slightly with the claim that it is far more cost-effective than any emissions reductions.
I am not sure I ever made that precise claim. There may be some emission reduction activities with better economic return on investment, but the overall climate technology problem is achieving the needed scale and speed to stop global warming. Renewables can only displace new emissions, not actually remove CO2. If the goal is CO2 removal, emission reduction cannot be cost effective at all because that is not its purpose. When you look at a country such as Germany, with power prices triple those of the USA, there is reason to be suspicious of the economic claims of renewable energy. There is such conflicting information about subsidies depending on the economic and political vested interests of advocates that it is very difficult to know what is going on.
Harry Marks wrote:
Fossil-fuel emissions reduction by use of more energy-efficient appliances, as well as by substitution of renewables, is now essentially free. The up-front costs are more than justified by cost savings over a five-to-ten year period. Probably the substitution of nuclear power would be as cost-effective, though decommissioning costs have jumped in the last 30 years as the problem of disposing of the toxic residuals has been faced.
Yes, but we are still in a situation where world emissions are expected to rise to 54 GT per year over the next decade, with all the achievements of the Paris Accord only slowing that growth by 10%. Which illustrates that despite its cost effectiveness, emission reduction through renewable energy is marginal to achieving climate stability, which requires negative net emissions. My rough estimate is that we can achieve only 10% of the needed carbon removal through emission reduction, leaving 90% to be achieved through carbon removal methods like iron salt aerosol.
Harry Marks wrote:
However I recognize that we are talking about at most 20 percent of fossil fuel use reduction by such free or low-cost methods. The next 20 percent, by use of hybrid vehicles or larger-scale renewables (such as solar thermal) would not be a whole lot costlier.
Even accepting these figures, the overall policy for climate restoration should be to identify potential areas of least cost abatement, and thoroughly investigate those areas in order to minimise the expense of adapting to climate change and mitigating its effects. That policy is a very long way away from the attitude of either the left or the right in the current climate wars.


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Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:05 pm
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Post Re: Iron Salt Aerosol
Robert Tulip wrote:
The balance of risk and reward in this work will be assessed through field trials and computer modelling. We need to prove safety and efficacy, like in drug trials, before scaling up.
Heavy emphasis on field trials and accurate measurements, I hope, even though modelling will also inform the overall impact assessment I'm sure.

Robert Tulip wrote:
There may be some emission reduction activities with better economic return on investment, but the overall climate technology problem is achieving the needed scale and speed to stop global warming. Renewables can only displace new emissions, not actually remove CO2. If the goal is CO2 removal, emission reduction cannot be cost effective at all because that is not its purpose.
Yes, but the overall combination of removal and emissions reduction is the budget total that matters. I agree that removal would be a good idea, and I think the standard ideological response that it just delays the inevitably required emissions reduction was foolish before and nigh unto suicidal now. If geoengineering can remove the entirety of our current emissions without drastic environmental side effects, that is unquestionably a good thing. But it doesn't really change the fundamental case for charging for externalities, or capping them with tradeable permits, but only lowers the tax needed (or increases the amount of permits to be issued).

Robert Tulip wrote:
When you look at a country such as Germany, with power prices triple those of the USA, there is reason to be suspicious of the economic claims of renewable energy.
Well, I don't think there are many claims that going entirely renewable would be cheap in the U.S. any more than the German push has been. At current production levels it is clearly cheaper per Kwh delivered than fossil fuel electricity (on an unsubsidized basis). But if you try to scale it up, you have to tap less sunny locations, less windy locations, more remote locations, etc. Germany isn't a great comparison, because they are less sunny and more cloudy than much of the U.S., and their costs are high partly because they went off nuclear cold turkey.

Robert Tulip wrote:
Yes, but we are still in a situation where world emissions are expected to rise to 54 GT per year over the next decade, with all the achievements of the Paris Accord only slowing that growth by 10%. Which illustrates that despite its cost effectiveness, emission reduction through renewable energy is marginal to achieving climate stability, which requires negative net emissions. My rough estimate is that we can achieve only 10% of the needed carbon removal through emission reduction, leaving 90% to be achieved through carbon removal methods like iron salt aerosol.
Your estimate lacks resolve! Still, the political will doesn't seem to be there, and the sooner geoengineering can be proved out, the better. I see no reason why it should not be subsidized, (preferably by carbon tax revenues), for the amount of carbon harvested.



Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:18 pm
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Post Re: Iron Salt Aerosol
I hope the testing shows favorable results and that the numerous problems with international cooperation can be worked out. I still feel like insisting that renewables should be strongly pushed, because 10% is no small chunk, and because we will need them to generate nearly all of our power before very long.



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