A stupid idea, but could it ever work?

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by alexb123, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. alexb123 The Amish web page is fast! Valued Senior Member

    Ok the earth needs to rid itself of a huge amount of water to counteract global warming etc.

    Could we make a huge balloon of water in the ocean and attach the balloon to some heavy duty string. This string would then be attached to the moon. What kind of weight could the gravitational pull of the moon lift from the earths surface into space? Is this possible on any level at all?
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  3. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    I do admire someone who titles their thread "A stupid idea.....". It is so much more refreshing than those who come along and say "I have a theory", when they don't.

    Well, Alex, it is, I am afraid, a largely stupid idea.

    Point 1: What makes you think we need to get rid of lots of water to counteract global warming? I am not sure why you came up with this. It is true that water vapour is an effective greenhouse gas, but to get rid of the water vapour we wouldn't have to get rid of a lot of water, we should have to get rid of nearly all the water.
    Point 2: Balloon implies floating. A balloon of water is not going to float. Perhaps you were just being sloppy and meant a lightweight container.
    Point 3: The moon would be unable to lift anything in this way at all. The 'balloon' would still be under the direct influence of the Earth's gravity.
    Point 4: If you did want to remove a large volume (and mass) of anything from the Earth's surface, the best way might be with a SKyHook or Beanstalk. This is a 'string' attached to a counterweight, so positioned that the midpoint of the system is in geostationary orbit. Consequently, the 'string' hangs down from space, remaining over the same point on the equator indefinitely.
    In practice the string would be composed of carbon nanotubes. Elevators would be mounted on it, running into space and back again. The kinetic energy of those coming down could be used to move those going back up. Power would be required to compensate for efficienty losses, but overall the system would be very energy efficient.
    So, you have kind of re-invented the SkyHook, which isn't bad for a stupid idea.
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  5. Well, its certainly a novel solution. Have you considered at all quite how much this "heavy duty string" you'd be using would in practice actually weigh at all...?

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  7. draqon Banned Banned

    now lets see...I havent thought of that Apocalypse end....ok so....the mass of the moon is 7.36 × 10^22 kilograms and its acceleration is 1.6m/s^2....and you want to displace water in a balloon, water that would weight how much? My guess to make any effect on global warming...you'll need the same mass as the moon...so...
    Dude...this is impossible on so many levels as well as impractical.
    1) What will the ballon be made of? What can possibly hold so much weight? especially latex...will pop...creating a tsunami...that will....perhaps it will pop before you get to even lift it and fill it with water.
    2) Now...u are talking of a heavy duty string...tell me of what dimensions and of what material is this string made of?
    3) Ok so....say u somehow bypass 1) and 2) .... how exactly will this water be pulled up?...what will create that force that will pull it up?...as far as I see if 1) and 2) are possible...youll crash the moon on Earth...another Apocalypse...so thats no tides...but wait...there will be a huge crater on Earth .... or maybe Earth will crack....so thats another Apocalypse....
    4) should I really tell you? But do you really think taking water out will help ease greenhouse effect....The balloon should contain people in it...they are the main cause of greenhouse effect...they and their enviromentally non-friendly machines....
    5)....Plus think about it, ever noticed how things tend to heat up in the atmosphere...those bottoms of them shuttles turn bright red? Well if your balloon theory would work in practice...looootsa water will stick to that latex or whatever it is made of...and suppose u get to lift it up, then that water will drip from high up...heat up and become more water clouds...casuing...more sunlight to be trapped in the atmosphere...or wait...perhaps...there will be so much water clouds...that we will have another Ice Age....
    5) In Conclusion...your idea of how to save Earth and humanity actually succeeds in terms of bringing the most variety of Apocalypses to the humankind...you can be proud....
  8. Mosheh Thezion Registered Senior Member

    REMOVING WATER wont cool the planet....

    only removing co2... by planting forests...

  9. draqon Banned Banned

    removing people will cool the planet...stabilize it...and make it healthy
  10. alexb123 The Amish web page is fast! Valued Senior Member

    The removing of the water was to couteract sea level rises.

    Ok seems the moon isn't up to to the job. What about a passing comet?

    We have designed a material that can hold a large amount of water. Now, we hook it up to a passing comet. What would happen?
  11. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    Sea level rise will be the least of our problems. How about many reflective balloons in low earth orbit that would reflect the sunlight or turn it into electricity to send back to the surface?
  12. draqon Banned Banned


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    Ok so...a comet...an object with a velocity and substantial mass...hmmm....you gotta be hell of a scientist to accomplish that...assuming you will be able to find strong enough materials...I suppose if that comet were passing and effected by a stronger gravitational field, say Jupiter...ull have to make that thing that holds a balloon reallly long...I am talking here lotsa parsecs...If you are so eager to stop greenhouse effect and are willing to make something as great as this...that would require so much money...I would rather look into other ways of handling the issue...plus water isnt the problem...the problem is the CO2 that causes greenhouse effect...water is our friend...thats were u and I came from...according to concept of evolution...and now...yet another apocalypse idea?...what if that comet didnt provide enough force to lift such mass?...if you are so eager to take water out of Earth...*sob*...then the best way is to create a huge tube that would suck the water out of Earth and bring it into space...maybe u can employ the property of water of clinging to the walls...so if you had a large tube filled with many very small diameter capillary thick tubes...that could somehow help you in taking the water up against the gravity...but then at the end you can make the water go up into space by employing magnetic field...since water molecules are charged...or maybe the vacuum will suck it out by itself...since its lotsa molecules per small area...a vacuum has almost no molecules...those water molecules will try to spread out....hmm...but then you will have to use a force to move a way the "cloud" of those water molecules...
  13. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    Well that makes marginally more sense.

    How are you going to hook it onto the comet. Tell me what material can withstand the loading of your water container and the sudden jerk as the 'string' tightens? None. Real or imagined.
  14. devils_reject Registered Senior Member

    Save yourself the trouble by inventing a virus and wiping out a metropolis or two and cutting down C02 level in the process. Or simply freaking use alernative fuel. I assume sea water consists of salf and salt melts glaciers, thereby expediting global warming right?
  15. doodah Registered Senior Member

    Removing (liquid) water by changing its physical state to (solid) ice is more pragmatic. Past ice ages lowered sea level by several hundred feet. Ice (snow) can be formed above freezing temperatures; ski areas do it all the time with pressure/volume and biologic agents (Snowmax).
  16. guthrie paradox generator Registered Senior Member

    The easiest method to coll the earth down without actually bothering to control emmissions etc would be by a large mirror in space. I worked that one out myself in 1999, then read about it being proposed by some scientists in about 2002.

    There is currently no known or even theoretical material that could be used to lassoe a passing comet in order to lift something out the sea. If you dont believe me, please show me your calculations.

    To save you the trouble, google for beanstalk and diamond, see what you get.
  17. protostar Registered Senior Member

    If the poles melt then the tectonic plates will change.
    As has been discussed in various articles, the crust of the earth
    is moving and the proof is in the hawaiian volcanos moving from
    their "hot spot". I think either the ocean waters will evaporate
    or become so contaminated by the hydrothermal super plume and
    other vents you won't have to worry about taking the water anywhere.
    I am interested in the fact that All the PLANETS and their moons are
    experiencing global change. ie neptune's dark spot disappeared and
    appeared again. huh, since there is not "energy source" (too far away from the sun) then, how could the spot just disappear and then reappear again?
    Cassini don't lie w/ it's pictures. So, that leads one to wonder if the energy
    source isnt within the planet. (its core)?
    but i have to keep in mind that the sun s magnetic field has increased by 230% in the last hundred years sooo possibly some energy came from there.

    I've read that the solar system may be entering into a new energy zone.
    now that's scary since planets can change orbits when their charge of energy changes sufficiently.
  18. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    Technically correct. The isostatic adjustment of the Greenland and Antarctic landmasses will modify existing plate motion, induce faulting, and facilitate volcanic eruptions in the destressed area.
    However, all of these effects will be comparatively minor, except on an occasional local level.

    Why would you think this? There is zero danger of this occuring.

    Of course it has an internal energy source. All the planets do. This is made up of residual heat from the time of planetary formation; radioactive decay; phase transitions within the planet. The occurence of weather on the gas giants is hardly surprising or new.
    Where have you read this? What do you mean by an energy zone? You are starting to sound like the reincarnation of Velikovsky.
  19. dixonmassey Valued Senior Member

    yup, and when all that forest will grow old and die, 99% of the captured CO2 will be released back into environment. Without finding a way to tranform forest into coal or something, planting forest will solve little. Increase in the acreage of forest will certainly make a small dent in CO2 levels, but that's about it.
  20. Mosheh Thezion Registered Senior Member

    THE oceans... remove co2 all the time... by forming calcium carbonate.. that settle at the bottom and forms new rock.

    all we as humans need to do.. is plant more trees and forests..

    and produce less co2.

    and soon the levels of co2 would normalise...

  21. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    But the forests produce methane, which is a more effective greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Alas, what to do.
  22. devils_reject Registered Senior Member

    where is this cited? I thought forrests produced oxygen?
  23. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    It is the result of some very recent research and has caused consternation for a variety of reasons:
    1) It screws up the notion of planting more forests to control carbon dioxide.
    2) Nobody had ever previously identified this rather important facet of vegetation.
    3) The reason and the mechanism are not understood.

    I first became aware of it through an article (and editorial) in New Scientist, January 14 2006 issue.
    For more information go here:

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