Creating Clouds Over the Great Lakes, and Insulating Green Homes

As heard at 9 a.m. Eastern, Nov. 16, 2012, on Q-90.1 FM’s Friday Edition (audio) …

photo great lakes cloud types
via NASA

Creating Clouds

Could solar geoengineering help reduce climate change impacts in the Great Lakes?

Harvard University researchers say in a new study that solar geoengineering can be tailored to manage specific risks from climate change.

Solar geoengineering aims to offset global warming caused by greenhouse gases. It involves increasing the concentrations of aerosols in stratosphere or creating low-altitude marine clouds to reflect sunlight away from the Earth’s surface and back into space.

The researchers say such efforts could be tailored by region and need, to maximize the effectiveness of solar radiation management while mitigating its potential side effects and risks.

The research focused on using the technology to counter the loss of Arctic sea ice.

A study co-author tells The Environment Report that solar geoengineering could be used to reduce temperatures and evaporation rates in the Great Lakes.

But any such tinkering would have worldwide effects. Critics of geoengineering have warned that such intervention could result in unforeseen consequences.

Solar engineering projects are still hypothetical at this point. Still, the researchers say their new model could come in handy if engineered solutions need to be implemented to control global warming.

Great Lakes temperatures have increased and ice cover has decreased in recent decades.

Dow Corning @ Greenbuild

Midland-based Dow Corning is introducing its new Vacuum Insulation Panel this week at the U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild 2012 Expo in San Francisco.

The energy-saving product is described as a high-efficiency insulation product featuring five to 10 times better thermal resistance than conventional insulation materials.

The panel also has a thin-profile construction to maximize usable floor space in buildings. The product contains up to 95 percent pre-consumer recycled content in its core and post-consumer recycled content in its packaging.

The Vacuum Insulation Panel has been used in a renovation at the historic University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom.

The Greenbuild Expo is the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building.

The U.S. Green Building Council is the developer of the LEED green building certification program. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

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