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CO 2 cooldown


I'm sure we all appreciate that Bellamy, Barrett and the editor of the ICE Proceedings are trailing their collective coat in publishing their shocking heresy about global warming and its causes.

As a concerned bystander it seems to me at least possible that the carbon dioxide effect is being overstressed. After all, emission trading is potentially protable for some.

But the response to the paper surely should not be personal abuse.

First, if there are differences about data or its analysis they need to be set out in further scienti c papers. But that is a matter for scientists rather than for engineers.

As engineers, we are looking for solutions to a problem - global warming - and at present all the attention is on reducing the emission of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

The Bellamy/Barrett paper is a warning that although this will help, it is not enough. We need to be looking for other ways of keeping cool.

In the paper are accounts of how heat is radiated through the atmosphere into space, and how some wavelengths are less easily intercepted by greenhouse gases. If heat energy can be somehow persuaded to radiate in those 'penetrating' wavelengths, cooling can be achieved. This would involve large-scale changes to the radiating surfaces of the earth.

Who knows, perhaps fields of sugar cane may turn out to be better radiators than rain forests?

Christopher May, Woodbine Farm, High Street, Chew Magna, Bristol BS40 8PW

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