Inventor's 'refrigeration system' for planet shows promise, but scientists are skeptical
December 19th, 2008 By Greg Gordon in Space & Earth science / Earth Sciences
Ron Ace says that his breakthrough moments have come at unexpected times - while he lay in bed, eased his aging Cadillac across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge or steered a tractor around his rustic, five-acre property.
In the seclusion of his Maryland home, Ace has spent three years glued to the Internet, studying the Earth's climate cycles and careening from one epiphany to another - a 69-year-old loner with the moxie to try to solve one of the greatest threats to mankind.
Now, backed by a computer model, the little-known inventor is making public a U.S. patent petition for what he calls the most "practical, nontoxic, affordable, rapidly achievable" and beneficial way to curb global warming and a resulting catastrophic ocean rise.
Spray gigatons of seawater into the air, mainly in the Northern Hemisphere, and let Mother Nature do the rest, he says.
The evaporating water, Ace said, would cool the Earth in multiple ways: First, the sprayed droplets would transform to water vapor, a change that absorbs thermal energy near ground level; then the rising vapor would condense into sunlight-reflecting clouds and cooling rain, releasing much of the stored energy into space in the form of infrared radiation.
McClatchy Newspapers has followed Ace's work for three years and obtained a copy of his 2007 patent petition for what he calls "a colossal refrigeration system with a 100,000-fold performance multiplier."
"The Earth has a giant air-conditioning problem," he said. "I'm proposing to put a thermostat on the planet."
Although it might sound preposterous, a computer model run by an internationally known global warming scientist suggests that Ace's giant humidifier might just work.