Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Floating solar evaporators

They float around, shading the sea and making clouds
  (+1, -3)
(+1, -3)
  [vote for,

The cheap version: A raft of polystyrene that has a matt black metal top. Water that splashes onto it will be heated and evaporate.

The slightly extravagent version: A dish shaped floaty thing with a large lens at the top (possibly fresnel or made from 2 thin films with water between them) to focus sunlight to a small area at the bottom where water is evaporated and escapes near the lens. beneath the water area is a small stirling engine (yes folks, this idea contains a stirling engine) which automatically pumps in more water when it no longer has water above its hot side.

The James Bond / Batman version: A large ship resembling an oil tanker traverses the edges of polar ice flows. As a large PA system blares out orchestra brass music, it unfurls its enormous sky-facing reflector and erects the central reflecting tower to capture the power of the sun. It's not long before the steam turbine gets up to speed and a billowing cloud of steam rushes from one of the ship's booms. Before long, the steam pressure has risen enough to engage the Bergmaker, an absorption cycle chiller unit which saps excess heat and power from the steam. The orchestral music reaches a cressendo as the rear of the ship begins to open, revealing the start of a new iceberg.

marklar, Aug 27 2007

Albedo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albedo
Nothing to do with sex drive [marklar, Aug 28 2007]

Changing the albedo of a Swiss glacier with humans(?) http://english.peop.../90783/6249800.html
[Klaatu, Aug 29 2007]


       Somewhat muddled. I'd delete everything but the last idea and re-title this Bergmaker.
ldischler, Aug 27 2007

       Is this a way tho heat up the earth faster (while fooling everyone with added icebergs - "you can't be too hot, look, there's an iceberg over there, yes, right behind the big ship")?   

       To cool: Leave the styrofoam white and increase the albedo of the earth.
loonquawl, Aug 27 2007

       Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't atmospheric water vapor act like a blanket to trap heat?
nuclear hobo, Aug 27 2007

       You're right, hobo, water vapor accounts for more than half of the greenhouse effect, though clouds reflect radiation back into space.
ldischler, Aug 27 2007

       I'm totally failing to get the point of this - sunlight already evaporates sea water. How does this improve things?
DrCurry, Aug 27 2007

       During the day, clouds reduce the temperature by reflecting radiation, during the night, clouds keep warmth closer to the ground by inhibiting convection.   

       Sunlight does cause evaporation, but in a large deep ocean the amount of evaporation is minimal as the temperature increase is slight. If you confine the heating to a small area, the ocean has no heat increase. In fact the Bergmaker reduces overall oceanic temperature while also reducing the albedo.   

       See the wiki link to albedo.
marklar, Aug 28 2007

       Difficult to know where and when some variant of this would be beneficial.   

       You can avoid the crystalizing salt albedo problem by having the black plastic surface a few centimetres below the water surface. It'll still increase evaporation, because almost all the heat of the Sun will be deposited in those top few centimetres, instead of distributed through several metres of water. The nett effect on the Earth's albedo will be very little, because very little energy is reflected up from deeper water; almost all the reflection from the sea is from the surface itself.   

       But if you put this device on the windward coast of a desert, then you'll make the desert hotter, because the increased water vapour will increase the local greenhouse effect. There will very rarely if ever be any cloud cover created. The nett effect on the planet will be heating.   

       Put it on the windward side of a wet region, and you'll make it wetter, and very possibly colder because of increased cloud cover. If the latter, then the nett effect on the planet will also be cooling.   

       Probably. What happens to the water vapour after it's passed over the desert may be of significance - but most likely of less global significance than the heating in the desert.
Cosh i Pi, Aug 28 2007

       Supposing you do find a way to make the transfer of solar energy from sea water to the lower atmosphere more efficient, that is the principal engine driving hurricanes. So you might want to retitle this "Hurricane Generator."   

       You'll probably get more votes - we all seem to like a little carnage, especially when it's half-baked and visited upon someone else - but I can't exactly imagine the residents of coastal regions thanking you for it.
DrCurry, Aug 29 2007


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