Micro Bubbles, generated by ships, could prevent climate change

By Curious

The complex topic of the global climate changing usually brings out the worst of arguments between environmental protectors and the governments, while everyone of us bears on his own the results of the pathogenic human activities.

Activities, which we are not ready to give up though they kill our planet, because we don't know how to live without them. Let's admit it - we depend on our cars, ships, planes, chemicals, phones...we have simply forgotten how to live in compatibility with the Nature. And the key word here is "forgotten". Because we usually forget to look for the answers in what we have already found and keep searching for new survival methods which frankly get closer to science - fiction, than to realistic scenarios.

Unlike this, a small group of scientists from the Leeds University, UK, published a theory which joins the forces of the contemporary shipping industry and...soft drinks. If a glass of cold, fuzzy drink can cool you down, why shouldn't it have the same effect on Earth's climate. Of course, we will need the oceans, not just a glass to change the weather conditions. The vital role for achieving of the results is set on the vessels, which are planned to produce bubbles, while they sail across the seas. The authors of the theory suggest that if the bright weaks, generated by the ships, are consisted by bubbles large about one micron, then the amount of sun radiation and temperature increasing will be reduced, due to the improved sun rays' reflection.

The best about this theory is that the necessary equipment for its performance has been already designed and even implemented on board for the needs of air lubrication systems, stated Julia Crook from Leeds University and author of the study. She also pointed out that currently available systems are capable of producing bubbles with size 1 mm, while those needed for rays reflection should be about a micron. Therefore geoengineering should step in and some regulations should be established to make the theory actually work. If this is done, than 32 000 large ships may reduce surface temperature about 0.5°C. According to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calculations this equals to 5.2bn tonnes of carbon offset.

Though the invention will have a positive effect on climate, shipowners are being suspicious about it. In time of global economical crisis, they want to know if the investment in implementing new air lubricating systems will be cost-effective, because their focus is on saving fuel, for which bubbles of 1 mm are perfectly enough.