Quinquennial SO2 Emissions via Artificial Solar Panel Volcano by Samantha Spritz
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Additional comments from the Judges:
Well laid out proposals. There is a lot of SO2 produced from power already which is pumped into the air, why do we have to use the magma to get SO2 into the air for the reaction? The link to transportation could be strengthened, while the link to the industrial sector is well done.
It is not easy to envision the relationship between the distinct elements of the proposal: magma and lifestyle changes. Additionally, the feasibility of the proposal is questionable and the time span for the implementation is excessively long.
This proposal calls for the deliberate creation of volcanic eruptions by injecting magma into a magma chamber that is already full. The eruptions would result in large amounts of SO2 being ejected, that would react to produce sulfate aerosol, resulting in a temperature drop, therefore counteracting the effect of global warming. What is not clear is whether the eruptions would be created in natural volcanos or in artificial volcanos. The title includes the wording “artificial solar panel volcano”, but this is not further described in the proposal. Instead, the text seems to indicate that the proposal is directed at developing countries with natural volcanoes and lists a few of them (Guatemala, Argentina, Honduras, Mongolia, Fiji, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Malaysia, Colombia, Bolivia, and Indonesia). If artificial volcanoes are to be built, then the proposal needs to explain how the artificial volcanoes will be created and how the process will function and to include a list of countries where these artificial volcanoes would be built. In summary, the concept is not clearly presented. Moreover it is not clear how magma is harvested to produce renewable energy (in what form?) to feed the energy needs of the various end-use sectors, and in particular the transport sector which is given special attention in the document. The proposal suggests to integrate, in addition to transportation, land use/waste management, industry/buildings/energy supply and adaptation sub-proposals. Lifestyle changes seem to be given a high priority. However it is not clear how the different building blocks fit together and why the sectoral actions are needed, given their objective is to reduce GHG emissions—and that may no longer needed if an alternative way to reduce temperatures has been found through man-made volcanic eruptions. The benefits are not clearly analysed with an assessment of their quantitative impact on society and the economies. The plan’s costs only refers to the US, whereas the proposal is to be implemented in developing countries. Or is it that the funding will come from the USA? The challenges may include more than lifestyle changes, as there is no history of human controlled eruptions, and it may take a while to master the process. Also the effects of large release of SO2 emissions are not well understood, but what is known indicates that there could be risks of acidification, which is as harmful as CO2.The long timeline does reflect the need to develop completely new processes.
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