Since there are no currently active contests, we have switched Climate CoLab to read-only mode.
Learn more at
Skip navigation
Share conversation: Share via:

Carl Fischer

Apr 30, 2015


1 |
Share via:
Interesting idea, albeit not completely new: This US patent may even cover ping-pong balls...??? But there are more thoughts on this here: and here: Still, your idea is simple and easy to implement. Best Carl

Patrick Ray

May 28, 2015


2 |
Share via:
I like the thinking behind this idea, too, Peter. And I agree with Carl that you would do well to better incorporate previous research. What is the new idea here? I question the ping pong ball idea, and wonder if a solid plastic sheet would be more effective. It could be inlaid with styrofoam or something to make it float. I would also be concerned about chemical leaching. Though products are sometimes called inert at first, we can learn later that they are not perfectly inert, as happened with Nalgene and bpa. No one wants hot plastic sitting on top of their drinking water. And from my small amount of reading, it seems that this (evaporation from surface waters) remains a really significant problem, to grow more significant with climate change, and there is not a winning solution out there yet. Keep refining this one!

Peter Cobley

May 30, 2015


3 |
Share via:
Dear Carl & Patrickray Thank you for your response. I believe you are correct regarding the patent, however they have proved that the idea works and have stats to prove that it is even more effective than I had thought. The question is why have the inventors not applied the idea for the benefit of the population? I have no real interest in financial gain from this and therefore consider that it could be worth approaching the patent holder and either encouraging them to use the idea or allow its use as a non profit exercise. Firstly, as you are both US based, what is your opinion of this? Secondly, the patent is not worldwide!! Therefore this concept could be rolled out in Africa, South America etc.. Kindest regards Peter.

Noël Bakhtian

Oct 3, 2015


4 |
Share via:

Throwing shade (balls): As part of LA's battle with drought, the city has dropped 100 million 'shade balls' into its major reservoir. The 4-inch plastic balls are meant to prevent some 300 million gallons of water from evaporating annually, and can also help combat issues like algae and birds. Bloomberg has more: And don't miss video of Mayor Eric Garcetti releasing the last of the balls into the water: