Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Global Cooling II

Orbiting SunShades
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Same basic problem/solution as with the original Global Cooling entry but a few twists...

Originally envisioned as a potential weapon during the 1960's as a way to control sunlight and weather over unruly third-world countries, this concept requires huge rolls of Mylar film to be launched into low earth orbit where they are unrolled, stitched together and then moved to an appropriate place and angle so as to either deflect sunlight away from earth or to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto a particular region, (think of three suns)...

Not enough snow in Vail, drought in Kansas, frosty in Daytona at Spring Break, pesky guerillas in Colombia doing dirty deeds under the cover of darkness ??

Tilt the reflectors and voila ! Problem solved.

In additional to the royalties received from resorts, agribusiness and governments we also anticipate significant advertising revenues from Coke, Anheuser-Busch and Rolaids for placing their product logo where everyone can see them whenever they cast a glance skyward...

And you thought billboards were an eyesore.

If not technically feasible at the present it will be soon enough.

dwezel, Jan 07 2002

Space Billboard http://www.halfbake...a/space_20billboard
A earth-viewable advertisement in low-earth orbit [dwezel, Jan 08 2002]

SpaceBalls !! http://wason.home.m...allDescription.html
Test inflation of an Echo satellite in a blimp hangar [dwezel, Jan 08 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

The World in Its Extreme http://www.theatlan.../langew/extreme.htm
About the Sahara. [horripilation, Oct 21 2004]

Znamya http://www.space-fr....org/Events/Znamya/
Shiny things in space! [rapid transit, Oct 21 2004]

global cooling http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8379643/
[theircompetitor, Jun 28 2005]


       Plants use sunlight to convert CO2 and H2O into carbohydrates and oxygen. Sunshades would reduce the effectiveness of photosynthesis.   

       BTW, for some reason models of "global warming" often ignore things like the effect of increased temperatures on growing seasons (generally increasing them). They also ignore many other effects which substantially reduce the effect of man-made CO2. Wonder why that is...
supercat, Feb 27 2002

       If the sunshades took an appropriate polar orbit, I believe they could always be sunlight that fell outside of the disc of the earth (thus, no shadows, no lost light on the surface)   

       It doesn't solve global warming, by blocking sunlight, but it does provide a great way to generate lots of electricity. Turn that mylar into a solar panel, and beam the juice back down to earth via laser or microwave (and an appropriately large "No Fly" zone)   

       With that much less burning fossil fuel, global warming should be a thing of the past.
slacy, Feb 27 2002

       Do it for parts of the Sahara. A little shade would do a lot of good there. But ban the advertising bit -- require that the shades be as plain and starlike as possible.   

       From the link:   

       "The Sahara is the world's largest desert, about the size of the United States including Alaska. It fills the northern third of Africa, stretching 3,100 miles from the Atlantic to the Red Sea. In the north it is bounded by the Atlas Mountains and the Mediterranean. In the south it encounters no geographic barrier. There it has expanded into the populated grasslands of the Sahel, uprooting millions of people, throwing them against one another, and spawning wars. Expansion, which is apparently the result of long-term climatic changes, accelerated by overpopulation, overgrazing, and deforestation, is neither uniform nor ineluctable. There are years even now when rainfall and vegetation push the desert back. From north to south the Sahara is at present about 1,200 miles deep."
horripilation, Dec 03 2002

       The Russians had a similar idea recently. But their idea was to reflect sunlight onto the nightside of the planet. (see link)
rapid transit, May 16 2003

       the science magazine came up with this like 2 years ago is this to stop global warming?
mike743, Jun 28 2005

       The thing would have to be HUGE. And would probably be destroyed in 5 min by space debris.
Greenspan, Jun 29 2005


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