ferrypilot
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Virgin 25 Million Dollar Prize.

Thu Feb 15, 2007 8:14 am

Sir Richard Branson is apparently very concerned about the large amount of Carbon Dioxide that airliners are pumping into the atmosphere. ...And so is offering a prize of $25,000,000- to the scientist(s) who can invent a method to scavenge that carbon dioxide back out of the air.

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JER757
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RE: Virgin 25 Million Dollar Prize.

Thu Feb 15, 2007 8:23 am

Wonder who heard about this first... the science world or the press?

Nothing against the guy but he doesn't half go after the column inches!
Gale force fog... don't you love it?
 
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Stitch
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RE: Virgin 25 Million Dollar Prize.

Thu Feb 15, 2007 8:28 am

$25 million will buy a lot of trees. Those scrub CO2 out of the air pretty good.  Smile

Also,I read recently on BBC.co.uk that there are two companies in Arizona working on "wind scrubbers" that will help remove CO2 from the atmosphere near powerplants and such.
 
ferrypilot
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RE: Virgin 25 Million Dollar Prize.

Thu Feb 15, 2007 9:09 am

If I was him I would have offered this prize to the person who can find or invent a new and clean source of energy.
 
PanAmOldDC8
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RE: Virgin 25 Million Dollar Prize.

Thu Feb 15, 2007 9:13 am

Quoting Ferrypilot (Reply 3):
If I was him I would have offered this prize to the person who can find or invent a new and clean source of energy.

I couldn't have said it better myself
Barbados, CWC soon, can't wait
 
JumboBumbo
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RE: Virgin 25 Million Dollar Prize.

Thu Feb 15, 2007 9:14 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
$25 million will buy a lot of trees. Those scrub CO2 out of the air pretty good.

That's exactly what I said when I heard about the award.... I'm a hydrologist so that was my knee-jerk tongue-in-cheek reaction....

Seriously though, the much scarier part of airliners with respect to climate change is the amount of water vapor (and the associated affect it has on atmospheric energy balance) being spewed into the troposphere.
 
ferrypilot
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RE: Virgin 25 Million Dollar Prize.

Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:10 am

Quoting JumboBumbo (Reply 5):

Seriously though, the much scarier part of airliners with respect to climate change is the amount of water vapor (and the associated affect it has on atmospheric energy balance) being spewed into the troposphere.

I have not heard of this can you explain some more? ...Are you refering to water vapour that was originally in the fuel? ...or water vapour sucked in the front of the jet? ...Presumably you are saying that water vapour is hotter than we would like it to be after it leaves the engine and this is overheating the atmosphere???
 
khobar
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RE: Virgin 25 Million Dollar Prize.

Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:32 am

Quoting Ferrypilot (Reply 6):
I have not heard of this can you explain some more? ...Are you refering to water vapour that was originally in the fuel? ...or water vapour sucked in the front of the jet? ...Presumably you are saying that water vapour is hotter than we would like it to be after it leaves the engine and this is overheating the atmosphere???

Water vapour is a byproduct of combustion.

Water vapour = number 1 "greenhouse" gas. CO2 pales in comparison, and man accounts for only a fraction of the CO2 in the atmosphere, and transportation accounts for only a fraction of that, and aircraft account for only a fraction of that.

But please, Sir Richard, do the right thing. Lead, don't follow. Save the planet by grounding your fleet. We know it will be painful, but remember, you're doing it for the children. Think of the children, Sir Richard! Think of the future of mankind!  Wink

But you won't - you're making far too much money from both ends.

To find man-made global warming - all ya gotta do is follow the money.
 
kaitak744
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RE: Virgin 25 Million Dollar Prize.

Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:41 am

Quoting Ferrypilot (Reply 6):
I have not heard of this can you explain some more? ...Are you refering to water vapour that was originally in the fuel? ...or water vapour sucked in the front of the jet? ...Presumably you are saying that water vapour is hotter than we would like it to be after it leaves the engine and this is overheating the atmosphere???

Its basically the airplane contrails.
 
IPFreely
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RE: Virgin 25 Million Dollar Prize.

Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:42 am

Quoting Ferrypilot (Reply 3):
If I was him I would have offered this prize to the person who can find or invent a new and clean source of energy.

If I were him, I'd keep the money for myself.  Smile
 
JumboBumbo
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RE: Virgin 25 Million Dollar Prize.

Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:05 am

Quoting Ferrypilot (Reply 6):
I have not heard of this can you explain some more? ...Are you refering to water vapour that was originally in the fuel?

Yeah, so... let me underscore... CO2 impacts of aviation are substantial, but by no means the only contribution of aviation to climate change. The chemical reaction for any combustion engine is something like

CX HY OZ -> CO2 + H2O + energy

where X, Y and Z are numbers depending on the fuel being burned (this is also complete combustion, you usually get other gases like carbon monoxide and fuel isn't all C,H and O, there's also some sulpher and nitrogen there as well). H2O and CO2 are both greenhouse gases. The other problem is that at the elevations at which airliners fly, there is almost no naturally occuring water vapor. Moreover, the temperature in the stratosphere (I mistakenly said troposphere above) is very low, and therefore any water vapor introduced artificially freezes or condenses almost immediately (contrails). These contrails actually affect radiation balance in the upper atmosphere by: (a) reflecting some radiation back out into the atmosphere in the shortwave end of the spectrum, and (b) absorbing some radiation and then emitting it (in all directions) as longwave radiation. So contrails have this effect of reducing the amount of shortwave radiation that would normally reach the earth's surface, while increasing the longwave radiation component (both longwave and shortwave contribute to evaporation at the surface).

The other problem is that there aren't many mechanisms by which this water vapor can be removed from the stratosphere (weather phenomena are largely confined to the troposphere, or 0-10km... although volcanic eruptions can deliver significant amounts of water vapor to the stratosphere), and often (as can frequently be observed) persist as high cirrus clouds. This effect of is known as cirrus cloud enhancement, and it is not frequently included in climate change assessments. However, in the days after September 11, 2001 when flights were grounded in the US there was a unique opportunity to study the difference in energy balance at the earth's surface under contrail-less skies... the effects were quite amazing and scary.

This is just a brief overview of the issue, but it is becoming a major one in the climate change community... here are a couple links (including one to an article posted on A.net... it has several references to articles published in journals like Science and Nature)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aviation_and_climate_change

http://www.airliners.net/articles/read.main?id=85

http://www.agu.org/sci_soc/prrl/prrl9919.html

Hope that helps...  Smile
 
ferrypilot
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RE: Virgin 25 Million Dollar Prize.

Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:05 pm

Quoting JumboBumbo (Reply 10):
This is just a brief overview of the issue, but it is becoming a major one in the climate change community

Thanks for the explanation and taking the time to write all that.
 
khobar
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RE: Virgin 25 Million Dollar Prize.

Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:20 pm

Quoting JumboBumbo (Reply 10):


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aviatio...hange

"CO2 emissions from aircraft-in-flight are the most significant and best understood[2] element of aviation's total contribution to climate change."

Wrong, but that's what one would expect the IPCC-folks to say. The days after 9/11 demonstrate this very well. In just 3 days, repeat, in just 3 DAYS, the diurnal temperature range over the United States was changed by 1.1 degrees Celcius. "Sept. 11-14, 2001, had the biggest diurnal temperature range of any three-day period in the past 30 years." In just 3 days.

CO2 emissions from aircraft don't amount to a hill of beans compared with water vapour. No wonder the IPCC routinely leaves out large chunks of science in their "scientific" papers - it wouldn't look good for them to do real science.
 
rsg85
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RE: Virgin 25 Million Dollar Prize.

Thu Feb 15, 2007 2:01 pm

Apparently Richard got the idea from his wife???
i suppose 25 million to clean up the mess his aircraft create is cheaper than developing new cleaner engines for his entire fleet
 
CXfirst
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RE: Virgin 25 Million Dollar Prize.

Thu Feb 15, 2007 4:19 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
$25 million will buy a lot of trees.

So you use $25 million to cut down trees in the amazon, so they can be replanted another place? Or to grow new trees? That would take ages.

-CXfirst
 
JumboBumbo
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RE: Virgin 25 Million Dollar Prize.

Thu Feb 15, 2007 9:28 pm

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 14):
So you use $25 million to cut down trees in the amazon, so they can be replanted another place? Or to grow new trees?

Nooo!!! You plant trees elsewhere, reforesting especially places that were previously deforested. And actually, young trees uptake CO2 at rates much greater than mature trees (young trees need to grow to obtain access to light at the top of the canopy, mature trees just need to make enough sugar and starch for maintenance and storage during dormant periods while driving transpiration to obtain some trace elements from soil water).

But, then again, in would be nice to have that money fund some research to determine the best ways to improve efficiency in developed economies, couple it with conservation in the near term, while over the long term preserving existing forests, deploying innovative technologies in developing economies to reduce their depenence on carbon-based fuels for economic growth, and transitioning to renewables and limited use of (improved) nuclear technologies for energy production.

All talk aside, however, it is nice for a philanthropist to at least attempt to start an X-prize-like award in climate change research to stimulate some R & D. Now if only Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates would donate at least a little money to research in this area....
 
ferrypilot
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RE: Virgin 25 Million Dollar Prize.

Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:51 am

Quoting JumboBumbo (Reply 15):

All talk aside, however, it is nice for a philanthropist to at least attempt to start an X-prize-like award in climate change research to stimulate some R & D. Now if only Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates would donate at least a little money to research in this area....

I very much agree with this statement. ...In particular I believe a prize should be offered to help find an effective way to extract tidal energy (for generating electricity) from the sea. ...It seems to me there is "massive and unlimited energy" in the oceans of the World begging to be used. And I'd be very interested to hear any engineer explain why there seems to be so little interest in exploiting this avenue???
 
ferrypilot
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RE: Virgin 25 Million Dollar Prize.

Sat Feb 17, 2007 4:38 pm

Quoting Ferrypilot (Reply 16):
It seems to me there is "massive and unlimited energy" in the oceans of the World begging to be used. And I'd be very interested to hear any engineer explain why there seems to be so little interest in exploiting this avenue???

Are there no engineers out there with any thoughts on this?
 
ltbewr
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RE: Virgin 25 Million Dollar Prize.

Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:04 pm

Perhaps better would be for the money to go to finding ways to improve aircraft energy use and reduce emissions.
Branson should also invest in 'wind farm' projects to produce electricity in the UK - he could name it 'Virgin Wind Power'. Wind power is becoming a very important and 'clean' source of production of electricity in some areas of the EC, especially Denmark. Companies there and elsewhere in the world are developing huge, very efficient and cost sound windmills. There is plenty of areas in the UK with sufficient and sustained winds where 'wind power' would work. In Eastern England, they built a number of windmills 100's of years ago, some still standing and in use, to drain marshy areas, so it is already proven wind can work there.
 
khobar
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RE: Virgin 25 Million Dollar Prize.

Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:58 pm

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 18):
Branson should also invest in 'wind farm' projects to produce electricity in the UK - he could name it 'Virgin Wind Power'. Wind power is becoming a very important and 'clean' source of production of electricity in some areas of the EC, especially Denmark.

Wind power is damaging to the environment (requires man-made structures and land that could lead to the destruction of trees, grass, shrubs, flowers, etc.) and a danger to birds and other animals, as the folks in California are finding out. Doh!
 
vv701
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RE: Virgin 25 Million Dollar Prize.

Sun Feb 18, 2007 1:35 am

But the money Branson promised at his news conference on 9 February in London with Al Gore is small beer at only $25 million:
http://www.news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6345557.stm

At his news conference with Bill Clinton in New York on 21 September last year he promised more than 100 times this amount - $3,000,000,000, the profits over the next ten years that Branson forecasts the Virgin Group will make from its transportation companies like Virgin Atl;antic, Virgin Blue, Virgin Galactica, Virgin America and Virgin Trains - for research into non-fossil fuels:
http://www.news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5368194.stm

A week after this original announcement he was at Javits Exhibition Centre, New York on 28 September, unveiling the prototype of the rocket that Virgin Galactica will send fare paying passengers shooting through the ozone layer on a sub-orbital joy trip into space:
http://www.news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/5388482.stm

After teaming up with first Clinton and then Gore, who will Branson team up with for his next announcement?
 
luv2fly
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RE: Virgin 25 Million Dollar Prize.

Sun Feb 18, 2007 2:15 am

Quoting Ferrypilot (Thread starter):
Sir Richard Branson is apparently very concerned about the large amount of Carbon Dioxide that airliners are pumping into the atmosphere. ...And so is offering a prize of $25,000,000- to the scientist(s) who can invent a method to scavenge that carbon dioxide back out of the air.

And yet he wants to start another airline to blanket the skies in the USA, where another carrier is not needed! Hello solution one, obvious as the nose on ones face.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
ferrypilot
Posts: 623
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:19 pm

RE: Virgin 25 Million Dollar Prize.

Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:36 am

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 18):
Branson should also invest in 'wind farm' projects to produce electricity in the UK - he could name it 'Virgin Wind Power'

That name has a good ring to it, ...perhaps you could sell it to him!

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 18):
Wind power is becoming a very important and 'clean' source of production of electricity in some areas of the EC, especially Denmark.

I went to Denmark for the first time in my life last June. In fact I flew across the middle of the country from coast to coast in a Cessna 172. And I have to say I was more than a little shocked to see so many of those modern windmills for generating electricity. They have so many of them they seem to go on forever. ..."I really do not want to be the one seen to be detracting from a clean source of energy" ...But unfortunately I think those windmills are an eyesore that spoil the open countryside. And my understanding is that they do not generate much electricity compared with hydro-electric methods. Why can't we find a way to generate electricity from the tides and the waves and swells in the oceans???

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