Sunday, December 21, 2008

Patent efforts of Ron Ace in geo-engineering

GREG GORDON of Mcclatchy-tribune writes of Ron Ace's U.S. patent petition for what he calls the most "practical, nontoxic, affordable, rapidly achievable" and beneficial way to curb global warming and a resulting catastrophic ocean rise.

IPBiz is not sure what a patent "petition" is. [It could be a petition for accelerated examination, but Gordon doesn't say.] Inventor Ace has an issued patent US 6,688,129, titled Geothermal space conditioning, with first claim

A geothermal system, comprising: a water storage container; a heat exchanger thermally coupled with said storage container; a water inlet leading from an underground potable water source to said storage container for supplying potable water to said storage container; and a water pump connected to said water inlet for returning potable water from said storage container to said underground potable water source through said inlet.

but one suspects Gordon is talking about something else.

Gordon's comments about patenting are naive and wrong, such as A patent certifies that an invention is unique, not that it would work. Gordon apparently is unaware of the enablement requirement of 35 USC 112.

Further, contemplate the science as reported by Gordon:

The evaporating water, Ace said, would cool the Earth in multiple ways: First, the sprayed droplets would transform to water vapor, a change that absorbs thermal energy near ground level; then the rising vapor would condense into sunlight-reflecting clouds and cooling rain, releasing much of the stored energy into space in the form of infrared radiation.

The phase change of liquid water to gas-phase water requires the heat of vaporization, presumably the source of "absorbs thermal energy." The vapor pressure of gas phase water above liquid water is determined by temperature and may be calculated using the Clausius-Clapeyron equation. Once the equilibrium vapor pressure is reached, one is done, and further "spraying" will not create more vapor phase water. When the vapor phase water reaches something at, or below, the dew point, the vapor phase water condenses, releasing the enthalpy of vaporization. Water evaporates and clouds form all the time. Gordon did not discuss the energy consumed to spray the liquid water relative to the incremental enhancement in water vapor.

Gordon also wrote:

Kenneth Caldeira, a climate scientist at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University, roughly simulated Ace's idea in recent months on a model that's used extensively by top scientists to study global warming.
The simulated evaporation of about one-half inch of additional water everywhere in the world produced immediate planetary cooling effects that were projected to reach nearly 1 degree Fahrenheit within 20 or 30 years, Caldeira said.
"In the computer simulation, evaporating water was almost as effective as directly transferring ... energy to space, which was surprising to me," he said.


David Travis, a University of Wisconsin-Whitewater professor who's studied clouds extensively, praised Ace's innovation, but said he's "generally opposed to geo-engineering" solutions and can't imagine evaporating water on a large enough scale to have a near-term effect.

Caldeira, who plans to submit his computer findings for peer-reviewed publication, is among scientists so concerned about sluggish progress in curbing greenhouse gases that they met last year to consider geo-engineering options.

One thing is certain: Ace is dead serious. He's tenaciously compiled more than a thousand pages of research, sometimes during all-night binges despite a fight with cancer. He said he's invested large sums in patenting his global-warming inventions.

Gordon also wrote: Ace's invention looks less loony when compared with some others. NASA scientists conceived the multi-trillion-dollar idea of orbiting megaton mirrors in space to deflect sunlight. Other scientists have proposed reflecting solar energy by placing mirrors on thousands of high-altitude balloons, by foaming the oceans' surfaces or by filling the upper atmosphere with tiny sulfates or inert particles, or by adding water droplets to low-level ocean clouds from 1,500 unmanned boats.

Although the USPTO has no experimental facilities and does not review data, Gordon wrote: "I never saw myself making a dime on it," said Ace, who said he'd donate his patent to the U.S. government if he gets one. "It's mostly that the data seemed to be incorrect, and I wanted to know what is right."

A variant of the article was carried in the Seattle Times.

***One IPBiz reader wrote-->

I was so impressed that you still knew Clausius-Clapyron, I knew you had
things well in hand.
And yes, what an idiot, looking at one half of the issue (only
evaporation). Why, if he had looked at the other half, he would have
seen global warming!

***Of previous erroneous pronouncements from Stanford profs, recall Baker on Proposition 71/CIRM and Rosenberg on "transistors only for hearing aides" (the latter involving a phantom citation and discussed in 8 JMRIPL 80)

***On the other side of global warming, Tipler to Katz-->

As regards global warming, my view is essentially the same as yours: Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is a scam, with no basis in science.

It is obvious that anthropogenic global warming is not science at all, because a scientific theory makes non-obvious predictions which are then compared with observations that the average person can check for himself. As we both know from our own observations, AGW theory has spectacularly failed to do this. The theory has predicted steadily increasing global temperatures, and this has been refuted by experience. NOW the global warmers claim that the Earth will enter a cooling period. In other words, whether the ice caps melt, or expand --- whatever happens --- the AGW theorists claim it confirms their theory. A perfect example of a pseudo-science like astrology.


Blogger Phil said...

Patent or not, Ace's proposal is very practical.

4:48 AM  
Blogger Bhuvan Chand said...

i really impress with you blog and plz keep writing for this blog. i also start collection of information about causes of global warming in my blog.

5:37 AM  
Blogger Pieter said...

If water evaporates, it needs energy (heat) which is called 'Heat of Evaporation'. So the surrounding air will cool off. After a while, the water vapor will be transported to other places and will condense again to droplets of water or ice crystals forming clouds and eventually rain. This condensation releases heat, called 'Heat of Condensation'. The same amount of heat that was removed by the evaporation process is brought back in the system by the condensation process. The result is zero cooling of the planet at the expense of a great amount of energy, money etc. A ridiculous plan if one looks at fundamental physical principles. Ron Ace must read a text book on thermodynamics!

12:36 PM  

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