Thursday, February 28, 2013

Latest hair-brained geoengineering scheme proposes Saturn-like rings in Earth's orbit

A forthcoming paper proposes the latest hair-brained geoengineering scheme to allegedly offset global warming. The authors suggest that transporting, at a minimum, 1 trillion kilograms of dust into space to form a "Sun-pointing elliptical Earth ring" will shield the Earth from solar radiation. The paper joins other geoengineering schemes including using a pipe to an airship to spew sulfuric acid into the upper atmosphere to "fix" the non-existent problem of man-made global warming.

The authors are apparently unaware that clouds act as the Earth's negative feedback cooling mechanism and have maintained relatively stable Earth temperatures for millions of years without any evidence of net positive feedback "tipping points." Not to mention, the scheme is irreversible if solar activity enters a lull such as the Maunder or Dalton minimums, and is an irreversible hazard to satellites and space travel. 

Heliotropic dust rings for Earth climate engineering

Publication date: 1 April 2013  [any coincidence that this is April fool's day?]

Source:Advances in Space Research, Volume 51, Issue 7

This paper examines the concept of a Sun-pointing elliptical Earth ring comprised of dust grains to offset global warming. A new family of non-Keplerian periodic orbits, under the effects of solar radiation pressure and the Earth’s J 2 oblateness perturbation, is used to increase the lifetime of the passive cloud of particles and, thus, increase the efficiency of this geoengineering strategy. An analytical model is used to predict the orbit evolution of the dust ring due to solar-radiation pressure and the J 2 effect. The attenuation of the solar radiation can then be calculated from the ring model. In comparison to circular orbits, eccentric orbits yield a more stable environment for small grain sizes and therefore achieve higher efficiencies when the orbit decay of the material is considered. Moreover, the novel orbital dynamics experienced by high area-to-mass ratio objects, influenced by solar radiation pressure and the J 2 effect, ensure the ring will maintain a permanent heliotropic shape, with dust spending the largest portion of time on the Sun facing side of the orbit. It is envisaged that small dust grains can be released from a circular generator orbit with an initial impulse to enter an eccentric orbit with Sun-facing apogee. Finally, a lowest estimate of 1×1012 kg of material is computed as the total mass required to offset the effects of global warming.


► The feasibility of an Earth ring for climate engineering is analysed. ► Orbital dynamics of high area-to-mass ratio dust grains around Earth are modelled. ► The perturbations of solar radiation pressure and the J2 effect are included. ► Stable Sun-pointing elliptical orbits are utilised to form an Earth ring.


  1. I agree but I believe the term is "hare-brained".

    1. Dictionary says either spelling is used

  2. Only deranged psychotics who have parted company with reality are capable of dreaming up such a daft, pointless and futile scheme as this. It is a complete waste of money and resources.

    How much would it cost to propel a trillion kg (ie a thousand-million tonnes) of dust into the required orbit, I wonder, given that space shuttle payloads were in the order of tens of tonnes? Are we looking at the cost of 100 million space shuttle missions here?!!!

    Which planet do these dreamers live on?

  3. Through the rings of Saturn and UP Uranus,What will there idiots come up with next?