A lot of you are too young to remember that decades before the greenies became obsessed with global warming they were obsessed with nuclear winter. (One reason why some older people may not be as convinced of global warming is that we've heard climate warnings before. I'm not saying that's me, but I'm sure that for a lot of older people it's like the constant fads plaguing the health obsessed segment of society. Many of whom have been touting one miracle substance after another over the years. Ever heard of laetrile? DMSO? Herbal "cures" for cancer, heart disease, diabetes? Mega-dosing of vitamins and/or minerals?)

I wonder if global warming could be managed by a carefully managed program of nuclear detonations? Sure, there'd be some details to work out (we wouldn't want to poison the atmosphere with radiation), but if we could deal with that, we could just manage global warming (assuming global warming is real, of course).

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The difference between health fads and climate change is that climate change is a far more serious issue and has science backing it up. To my knowledge, the health fads generally either don't have any science backing it up or has psuedo-science instead.

Now to the main point of the discussion: harnessing nuclear winter scenarios to manage global warming. I don't think this would work. The nuclear winter which people were afraid of was caused by huge bombs, blasting huge amounts of smoke, rubbish, and fallout into the atmosphere, effectively blocking out the sun and poisoning the planet on a massive scale. In my opinion, a better plan would be to construct floating mirrors and put them in the middle of the largest oceans. The mirrors would need to be at least as big as current sea-ice loss.

Why not just emulate volcanoes?

When one of the super volcanoes goes, we'll be wishing for global warming!

Now, as I understand it, global warming is part of a cycle that also damages the ozone layer, but volcanoes do, too. Am I wrong?

Yes, no, maybe, and sometimes.

Volcanic eruptions create a temporary cooling effect. It has to do with the sulfates that they give off in the ash reflecting more energy away before it gets to the ground. A very large eruption can cause the world to cool very slightly for about a year then the effect dissipates. While it is possible to put these types of aerosols into our atmosphere, it drastically increases incidents of acid rain and when the effect runs out, we'll still end up with rampant warming.

I've never heard anything about global warming damaging the ozone layer. In fact, if it's been happening all this time (which I'm sure it has been), then we would already be seeing depletion of the ozone across the globe. What is happening is that the continent-sized hole we created above Antarctica has for the most part repaired itself now that we aren't blowing tons of pollutants into the air.

Nathan Myhrvold has proposed one solution. In a choice between global warming gone awry and acid rain, I think the acid rain is preferable. It may also be mitigated by chalking, which is already routine practice in these parts.

Never heard of a relation between global warming and the ozone layer? The main cause of depletion of the ozone layer, we are told, is the increasing presence of chlorofluorocarbons in the atmosphere, but they do also affect climate change.

'On October 2, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) held a briefing about the stockpile of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in old equipment and building infrastructure, and the enormous potential for these potent greenhouse gases to accelerate climate change. These CFC “banks” store the equivalent of 18 billion tons of carbon dioxide, approximately one-third of which will be emitted over the next decade under business as usual. This briefing explained how CFCs contribute to climate change, opportunities in international treaties and pending federal legislation such as the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2454) to incentivize safe collection and destruction, and the pros and cons of alternative gases.' (more here)

Another significant contributor to global warming has been the depletion of the rain forests, that once gone, will never return. The land exposed by the deforestation isn't even fertile - the rainforest, to grow, depends on the balance of falling leaves decaying and regular rainfall to wash those nutrients into the soil - without the trees and the self-fertilizing process they provide, the soil itself is basically worthless for growing anything.

Granted, most of these exist in impoverished third-world countries where people have to make a living, but if the US can pay farm subsidies to regulate the supply and demand of certain crops, it would seem, that since global warming affects the entire planet, the UN should be able to pay those countries some form of subsidy, not to cut down the rainforest. That money could be used to retrain the lumber workers for other jobs unrelated to the lumber industry.

Speaking of ozone, it's simply O3, and easy to make (though a bit unstable) - why couldn't it be manufactured and somehow dispersed into the area over Antartica?

That is an interesting question.

I thought of it years ago, I just didn't know anyone who might have an answer.

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