"CAP & GOWN" Textile-based Architectural Ecology
On Commencement of a Planet's Stylization
Richard Brook Cathcart
1300 West Olive Avenue
Burbank, California 91506-2225
Installation of a textile cap above Western Australia's arid landscape will definitely cool that region's air, and it could induce greater summertime rainfall beneath the flat, square, mortarboard-like lid. Furthermore, a geographically vast demi-parasol's presence will likely stimulate that region's settlement and economic development at lower costs than would otherwise be the case. Complementary open ocean aquaculture, effected by deliberate redirection of saltwater currents and changed photic zone seawater contents brought about by macro-engineering's use of gown-like habiliment, is vital because the world-ocean is of critical importance as a planetary heat pump, and as an edible fish container. Humanity's possible near-term future geographical refashioning will have far-reaching consequences for the interdependence of affected marine ecosystems. The ocean's comprehensive control may result in larger commercial fish catches as well as permitting humanly advantageous regional climate mitigations. Earth-biosphere governance by professional macro-engineers, acting as planet stylization experts, is foreseen if these proposed macroprojects (of technological grip tightening via architectural ecology) are successfully completed; macro-engineering may be tasked with global stylization operations if Earth's atmosphere evidences abrupt changes disliked by industrially powerful and prosperous humans. Soon, architectural ecology (also known as geo-engineering) may become a textile garb-using profession only slightly less totalistic than terraforming. "Cap & Gown" textiles are logical spatial extensions in use of long-familiar geo-textiles, used by highway and railroad engineers and landscape architects; in these proposed cases, however, their use will be integrated into a World Wide Sensor Web.
Worn at commencement and other academic ceremonies, a costume consisting of a full-length gown with sleeves and mortarboard cap, identifies both graduating students and their professors as persons pursuing intellectual achievement within an organized and established school group. The mortarboard is a close-fitting academic cap with flat, square top and tassel. Installation of a textile cap above the wasteland of a remote, mostly uninhabited region of Western Australia will cause a noteworthy alteration of the dry sub-cap landscape. American architect Edward Mazria claims the building industry, guided by architects, accounts for ~50% of the energy use of Homo s. sapiens (Hawthorne, 2003)! It is not outrageously inaccurate to contend that Earth's biosphere is tending to become a vivarium managed by mankind: its land (~30% of the planet's area) is taking on the characteristics of a terrarium while the ocean (~70%) is trending towards a future status as an aquarium, or even an oceanarium! What near-term future role will modern and future textiles, descendants of long-used landform-stabilizing geo-textiles, play in conserving and preserving our planet's land and ocean situated "fabric of life"?
Textiles are fabrics woven or knitted from natural or synthetic fiber; synthetic fibers are slender, threadlike structures, derived from mineral or chemical components and used to make synthetic textiles. Synthetics are generally non-woven fabrics, materials with fibers interlocked by heat, moisture, or by adhesives. Few extant macroprojects have utilized textiles other than as roofing material. In this brief I propose a midair – the sense here is much less geographically precise than is indicated below – and a marine use of textiles to induce major alterations of regional climate regimes above Western Australia and in the Pacific Ocean. It is my thought and, perhaps, a belief that such building mainly using textiles will, eventually, lead Homo sapiens to a tender, quite decorous, management technique truly worthy of a technologically dominant Earth-biosphere species.
2. A "CAP" Macroproject for Western Australia
During the most recent 5,000 years of Earth's geological time, humans have become an ever more important factor of Earth-atmosphere change. Thomas Midgley (1889-1944), the inventor of Freon in 1930 – the first of the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used in refrigerators – changed the global chemistry of outdoor air. Indoors, Stuart Cramer (1867-1940) pioneered development of "air conditioning" – he neologized the term during 1906 – thereby instigating a remarkable technical advancement and geographical spread of human civilization. Some anthropologists suppose that human locomotion is, in part, necessary because adoption of an upright posture forever reduced species solar energy absorption by ~60%; humans chose to stick their heads in the clouds to avoid overheating! Travel to outer space, where sunshine is constant and unfiltered can be accomplished sometimes with the help of special togs, water-cooled garments such as [airtight] spacesuits (Nunneley, 1970). Willis Haviland Carrier (1876-1950) helped to perfect the globalized human body thermoregulation industry that may, quite soon, apply its so far successful consistent air conditions – that is, "air conditioning" – techniques to re-stylize the distinctive landscape of a large region, almost 100% government owned, of the surface of a continent, Australia. Western Australia, with its 2.525 × 106 km3, is the largest state in The Commonwealth of Australia and supports ~9% of that ecosystem-nation's population.
3. Window of opportunity
A telic motivation starts with isolating a need and then feeling anxious about resolving it; regional ecological doom is deemed to be undesirable and avoidable by utilization of progressive technologies (Cathcart and Badescu, 2004). "Climate control" (Hoffman, 2002) nowadays, and more so in the near-term future, denotes ambient environmental conditions both inside and outside of buildings: "No place exists where a clear dividing line between indoor and outdoor climates can be drawn" (Meyer, 2002). By its 1992 Framework Convention, humanity recognized climate change as a significant international problem, a geopolitical difficulty for human beings. Owing to the anthropogenic atmospheric buildup of carbon dioxide gas, which along with an increase in vaporous water content (Essenhigh, 2001) and industrial thermal pollution (Nordell, 2003) may be causing a global warming, it is predicted that Australia's mean temperature increase by AD 2100 will be 4.0-4.9°C (Mitchell and Hulme, 2000). Such an increase will affect rainfall patterns stemming from storms and tropical cyclones. Unchanged for the most part, most of Australia will continue to be influenced by a subtropical ridge of high air pressure linking the tropics and the mid-latitudes; normal pressure differences between atmospheric highs and lows range ~2%.
The early 21st century technology of aerospace flight allows human populations of Earth's hemisphere's (bisected by our planet's equator) to enjoy the food and fiber benefits of a so-called Permanent Global Summertime – the consumer's ability to buy at wholesale certain fruits and vegetables from different world regions at different periods of the year, thus enabling retailers to offer this produce either year round or for longer periods than their traditional local growing seasons. Nevertheless, a markedly heated future Western Australia could be an increasingly uncomfortable region in which to live. A technological opportunity, thus, now presents itself for Western Australia's public consideration – in other words, ~1.8 × 106 persons. Sustainable civilized regions are produced by expenditure of energy and the self-belief of settlers. "It is the robust expression of the human spirit in its buildings and its cities and all they contain which captures the true essence of civilization, good or bad" (Masterton, 2002). Macro-problems can be certainly alleviated with macroprojects planned by Macro-engineering's expert professionals. The public, and many specialists, worry whether human civilization can survive abrupt climate regimes change: textile-based architectural ecology may become a necessary adaptive technology for actual changes (Hulme, 2003).
4. The Planet Stylists
American science-fiction novelist Jack Williamson coined the noun "planet engineer" c. 1932 and "planetary engineer", also a noun, sometime around 1936; somewhat strangely, for the latter, the very earliest citation in the Oxford English Dictionary is 1951. Some of the most spectacular animal-constructed buildings are the mounds erected by the macrotermintine termites. Human-built skyscraper aggregations at Perth (31° 95' S by 115° 86' E) – about 70% of Western Australia's citizenry live in Perth – as well as elsewhere in The Commonwealth of Australia seem to, in effect, merely imitate the roofed structures piled up by some termites! As people have migrated throughout the continent, they have tended to leave hot, dry Western Australia, where there are very few permanent rivers or natural lakes, largely unsettled. Introduced pests, the rabbits in 1859, caused the construction of a 3,256 km-long rabbit-proof fence during 1901-07 to prevent their overrunning commercial stock pastures and farms; "styling" of a kind, such a barrier does not truly qualify as a desired macroproject, merely a necessary obstructive effort. The most recently erected fence protects the Cobourg peninsula east of Darwin from incursions into Kakadu national park of the poisonous cane toad; Darwin first became connected to Alice Springs and Adelaide by the Ghan railroad in February 2004. A study of the oeuvre – terraforming planets – of Richard Lionel Sidney Taylor reveals a common architectural feature that enables others to identify him purely from the style (Taylor 2001). [Antarctica's icy interior has a mean annual temperature of -40° to -60°C, while Mars is colder still.]
By further structurally modifying Western Australia's land surface, unsurprisingly, I modestly suggest that industrialized humans situated there deftly manipulate and adaptively alter the ways energy and matter flow through the geogenic environment as well as the anthropogenic environment (Ray et al., 2003). With the installation of a large-scale lid – American slang for "hat" – over a mostly uninhabited desert of Western Australia, it is to be hoped that almost religiously outdoorsy humans there will successfully adapt to a future warmer-than-today regional climate regime and will, also, provide some benefits to people living in contiguous national ecosystem-states. The macroproject herein proposed may, contemporaneously, foster economic development of a region of another continent, Antarctica.
5. Put a lid on it?
In 1909, Robert Williams Wood (1868-1955) experimentally demonstrated that elevated air temperatures produced under an ordinary clear-glass cover is not attributable to the spectral absorbability of glass. In other words, architectural ecology's built shells of enclosing glass, proved not to be equivalent to Earth's natural "atmospheric effect", are ineffective mechanical protection for humans situated beneath unless the shell's glass is extraordinary in its physical properties (Schlem and Dilute, 2003). All campers assume that keeping a tight lid on their provisions is vital; "lid" can be historically traced to a Gothic (3rd to 5th century AD) word hleithra, a tent. Thus, a covering or lid. It is hereby proposed to "calculate" the approximate effect that might be expected if humans were to emplace a horizontally deployed, thin and lightweight textile lid 3 km above a climatically significant large region of Western Australia's most barren countryside. This hypothesized arid land-covering suspended membrane megastructure, named "SHELL-LAND.AU", extends a previous investigation of the Northern Hemisphere (North Africa) to the Southern Hemisphere and, further, involves a new kind of fabric lid held aloft by a new kind of vertical inflated textile pylon! The diaphanous SHELL-LAND.AU roof – with the characteristic to pass at least 50% of impinging sunlight and with enough porosity to allow deposited moisture to seep through it – can be apprehended as an artificial temperature inversion, an aerial condition in which the temperature of the unfettered atmosphere increases with altitude; it will separate ~42% of the local Earth-troposphere from its other, unconstrained part situated above the slightly flexible cloth-like separator (roof) but below the tropopause. At 3 km altitude, the troposphere can be 0° C/273.16 K and frost can form – that is a neat aerologic severance temperature since I wish to preserve the present-day circulation (tropical summertime rainfall) of the lower troposphere because it brings perceptible moisture to the planned-to-be-covered region. Existing aircraft, following standard international flight paths overhead normally traverse the region at altitudes of ~8 km. At minimum, the translucent roof ought to reduce substantial long-term health risks from the effects of sunburn on people's exposed skins!
The probable climatic effect – employing a supercomputer version of a heliodor – resulting from the physical emplacement of a Cathcart-Badescu proposed Sahara-cover, a distended tent-like inflated building intended to mitigate the harsh present-day aerial conditions enveloping impoverished humans struggling to survive there will be benign, or better. Around 700,000 grounded balloons, covering Earth's largest desert, can ameliorate some of the nastier effects expected from a global warming, according to a simulation done at the Candida Oancea Institute of Solar Energy (founded 1979) in Bucharest, Romania, by Viorel Badescu. Inflated domes, making the outdoors the indoors can, alone, reduce that region's temperature by ~2°C. Such diminishment, plus the benefits accrued through growth of irrigated vegetation inside the road and rail served domes, will have a significant impact on the Sahara's future climate regime, cutting the UK's Tyndall Centre's AD 2100 temperature increase prediction for the region by 33 to 50%, depending on the particular ecosystem-country mapped. The proposed aggregation of domes, it is planned, are to be constantly monitored interactively via the World Wide Web and, in some special instances, via roving intelligent robots. Such real-time monitoring significantly augments, both spatially and relationally, the potential changes in precipitation over isolated grassland and desert ecosystems that are undergoing rigorous experimentation by biologists (Weltzin et al., 2003).
To date, nothing in the codified regime of control in international law precludes actualization of this oneiric macroproject. Atmosphere pollution traced to humanity's ground level, subsurface and aerial nuclear/thermonuclear tests, transboundary acidification emanating from smokestack industries as well as appreciable thinning of the stratosphere's ozone layer (caused, in part, by CFC emissions) has already become legally controlled (Prather et al., 2003). The ambiance around and within buildings/structures is the result of geogenic and anthropogenic causes; whatever the nature of the cause, the responsibility falls squarely on the supervisory planning macro-engineer to reckon with it.
Western Australia's predicted air warming by AD 2100 may cause many new macro-problems, such as a marked increase in solar ultraviolet radiation-induced autoimmune diseases for Sun-exposed citizens, for their properties, livestock, wild animal and plant life, and vast public property located in rural or unsettled regions. (Approximately 60% of all Australians are presently housed in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.) SHELL-LAND.AU won't be a man-made closed ecological system such as Biosphere-2 near Oracle, Arizona, USA., the 1.28 hectare sealed building in which 8 specially selected persons dwelled from 26 September 1991 until 26 September 1993. Biosphere-2 does seem to have fortified a "Plant Art" social group movement favoring greenhouse as well as outdoor vegetation plantings (Rapaport, 2003). Although widely-spread smog-forming anthropogenic contaminants, as well as smoke and ash fallout from bushfires, may pose a minor human health risk at certain periods of the year within SHELL-LAND.AU, nothing of the magnitude of the isolated and concentrated air pollution disasters, occurring from 1930 to 1952 in Belgium's Meuse River Valley, Donora, Pennsylvania, USA and London, UK can ever be possible because SHELL-LAND.AU ground coverage is just too extensive and, also, because it can be imagined that an Internet-monitored and activated compartmentalization scheme could contain airborne contaminants in a timely manner-in effect, a Chernobyl-type catastrophe could become self-isolating using automatic isolation curtains (vertically dropped drapes). Nuclear fission reactors are absent from Australia's national territory; atmospheric nuclear tests in Australia from 1952-57 at Monte Bello, Emu Field, and Maralinga dome deposited radioactive fallout on the continent. Furthermore, the term "sick building syndrome", an adverse ambiance causing unpleasant and unhealthy conditions for its users, will be inapplicable in any expert geographical and historical synthesis of SHELL-LAND.AU.
The USA's Supreme Court, ruling on 27 February 2001 in Whitman v. American Trucking Associations (531 US Reports 457) subtly stated its majority opinion that clean air is a priceless amenity, not subject to cost-benefit analysis in the legislative and executive concoction of national ambient air quality standards; I have no information whatsoever concerning The Commonwealth of Australia's legal consensus on this specific matter. Unlike the proposed North Africa megastructure, which was intended to suppress dust generation that has profound international biological consequences (Caribbean Sea coral kill-off and dust-induced human morbidity in the tropical New World region), SHELL-LAND.AU need not fulfill that functional requirement because the Southern Hemisphere is devoid of major dust activity (Garrison et al., 2003), except in the vicinity of Lake Eyre during droughts.
SHELL-LAND.AU, a megastructure name modeled on a World Wide Web address, will cause a transformation of the aerial imbrications of a very harsh Western Australia climate region on the spatially large-scale of so-called industrialized Nature (Josephson, 2002). Vast networks of all kinds girdle the world today. So intertwined are the telecommunications networks, they unite existing cities in a single global urban tapestry; nowadays, rural towns and hamlets, even isolated farmsteads and livestock ranches or people in various kinds of vehicles, can be an active participant in that global urban entity, the largest form of architecture yet devised! Internet users are deploying such maritime vocabulary as "navigators" and "surfing" to apprehend the abstractness of the World Wide Web. Due to the existence of inexpensive, tiny and smart sensors (in situ and remote), speedy and ubiquitous computers, wireless and mobile telecommunications networks, and autonomous and intelligent software agents, the World Wide Web can become a World Wide Sensor Web monitoring the Earth-biosphere globally, regionally and locally. Neil Gross (in the 30 August 1999 issue of Business Week) predicted the 21st century Earth-biosphere would "...don a electronic skin. It will use the Internet as a scaffold to support and transmit sensations." The World Wide Sensor Web will offer monitoring of the Earth's biosphere at all spatial levels and the data collected will be transmitted deterministically, triggered and on-demand and provide Homo s. sapiens leadership with a full-dimension, real-time description of all important Earth phenomena (Tao, 2003). It will become humanity's most valuable "furniture" in an Earth-biosphere almost converted to a "room"!
About 1999, American Land Art specialist Michael Heizer defined human civilization by two societal criteria: (1) "megalithic" societies putting together large buildings/structures with massive worked chunks of natural materials and (2) "piecemeal" societies assembling large buildings/structures using small, mass-produced chunks of natural and artificial materials. SHELL-LAND.AU is likely to cap my research on this macro-engineering topic since here is offered a new, covering architectural ecology macroproject representative of Heizer's "piecemeal" category (Taylor et al., 2003). Because it will indirectly modify Western Australia's surface, it is only comparable to its planned North Africa match, or to a major segment of a proposed Worldhouse intended to quickly terraform Mars for human inhabitation. An Earth Worldhouse, on the date of its completion would really be a terminal architecture appropriating a whole planet's biosphere, the true end of a globe's Nature (Pinson, 2002; Hayes, 2001). It would, in fact, be just an expanded site for the installation and repair work normally done by today's air-conditioning professionals! The Mars Worldhouse, invented by UK chemist Richard Lionel Sidney Taylor more than a decade ago, was by analogy brought forcefully to my attention by a mathematical discussion of pentagons and hexagons applied to the geographical pattern of Earth's continents (Tan, 1999/2000). SHELL-LAND.AU will be open-sided, posing little or no hindrance to the ordinary wind-stream regime caused by any stalled high-pressure air mass standing over Western Australia. Therefore, there is a strong probability that precipitation – at least summertime rainfall – will continue to occur beneath the flat-topped textile lid supported by ultra-strong carbon nanotube cables (Rivera et al., 2003). Following is a table of ideal, theoretical atmosphere equivalents for six relevant altitude levels:
|Temp. (K)||Density (kg/m3)||Pressure (N/m2)||Sound's speed (m/s)||Viscosity (N s/m2)|
|(1) sea level||288.15||1.22145||101327||340.2977||0.00001789|
|(2) 1 km||281.650||1.10807||89876.4||336.4377||0.00001757|
|(3) 2 km||275.15||1.00499||79496.7||332.5329||0.00001525|
|(4) 3 km||268.65||0.90707||70110.1||328.5817||0.00001693|
|(5) 4 km||262.15||0.81430||61641.8||324.5824||0.00001661|
|(6) 5 km||255.65||0.73184||54021.0||320.5331||0.00001628|
6. Megastructure raison d'etre
James Van Allen, using data measured and transmitted by the Earth-orbiting satellite Explorer 1 discovered Earth's two main radiation belts in 1958. Particles forming these belts spiral around magnetic field lines between the Earth's magnetic North and South Poles; Earth's space plasma surroundings, referred to as "space weather", directly affects the planet's ionosphere and, since c. 1940 can negatively affect regional and international electricity distribution systems (Arnold, 2003) and may be an extra-atmospheric, long-term controlling factor on global climate regimes. "Space weather" enveloping Earth may become physically regulated by humankind's space age, outer space emplaced, technology (Inan et al., 2003)! Within Earth's atmosphere, directed laser discharges seem effective in controlling destructive lightning (Vidal et al., 2002). SHELL-LAND.AU, planned to be erected below the Van Allen radiation belts, will be subjected to lightning discharges from above and below the confining textile roof and so it will be necessary to limit the damage caused, hence it would be helpful to future Australian maintenance crews to have useful event-process predictability, procedural mitigation plans, and bolt-strike technical protections.
Monitoring the Earth: Physical Geology in Action (2002) by Claudio Vita-Finzi elucidates the architecture model of humanity's space age panoptical systems approach using orbiting satellites carrying various sensors that are precisely controlled by state-of-the-art "data-surveillance" programs and are a part of the developing World Wide Sensor Web; CTRL [SPACE], Rhetorics of Surveillance From Bentham to Big Brother (2003), edited by Thomas Y. Levin, Ursula Frohne and Peter Weibel captures this viewpoint by invoking the reference to "ctrl" and space-bar keys of the computer-human interface. Downloaded satellite-acquired data is being processed by, amongst other world-class supercomputing machines, The Earth Simulator at the Earth Simulator Research and Development Center in Yokohama, Japan that commenced working on 11 March 2002 and which operates at 36.5 teraflops, or trillions of floating-point operations per second. Previously, general atmospheric circulation modelers used cuboid cells about 100 km on a side as supercomputer input geographical units; The Earth Simulator ought to be capable of processing visible simulations using cuboids with 20 km sides. Intense supercomputer processing of these granular cuboids, taken to resemble small dabs of paint apprehended as a whole [pointillism] a la Georges Seurat (1859–91), seems fitting since the continent of Australia resembles a painter's palette in plan! In AD 2004, IBM's supercomputer ASCI Purple will operate at 100 teraflops, the estimated speed of the human brain! Since more and more science and engineering is simulated on supercomputers rather than in laboratories, the speed of such machines is critical to advances in all fields and 1000 teraflop supercomputers are expected to become available after 2005.
Shortly after its completion in 1965, the 160 m-high Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39 in Florida, it became apparent VAB's 3.664 × 106 m3 interior generated clouds and, sometimes, even a very fine falling mist! A wall-less, 3 km-high textile roofing of some of Western Australia would not interfere with natural cloud formation event-processes, vertical rainstorm development or geographical movement of air masses. In other words, a covered but still essentially alfresco Western Australia region will cause an increased surface albedo and this ought to decrease net incoming radiation leading to radiative cooling of the air above the textile lid, which descends by passing through the high-porosity "cloth", thus suppressing convection, cumulus cloud formation and rainfall. Thus, in mid-air, just above the lid, cold desert-like conditions will prevail whereas before the lid's emplacement a hot desert prevailed at the ground's surface. The world's largest fabric-enshrouded "tent" is the UK's Millennium Dome in London, which has a volume of 2.68 × 106 m3. Larger buildings have been proposed. For instance, Buckminster Fuller offered a 3 km-diameter, 1.6 km-high geodesic dome arching over New York City's famous Manhattan Borough that, if constructed, would have had a volume of ~7.539 × 109 m3. The interior environmental conditions – such as weather – of really big volume buildings/structures of this type are not yet contemplated or recorded by the United Nations Organization affiliated World Meteorological Organization (founded 1947)! Periodically, detailed small-region weather forecasts are electronically issued by enterprising private-sector companies using the extant World Wide Web to, in part, control localized big building/structure heating, ventilation, air-conditioning systems (Freedman, 2003).
In 1900, Vladimir Koppen (1846-1940) proposed a precipitation-based classification of Earth's climates, a major departure from the then-current mapping classifications based on isotherms. He revised his empirical product in 1918, established a descriptive map classification system consisting of major climate groups, which were subdivided into climate types and subtypes. Koppen is credited with the idea that climate is driven by major patterns of global atmospheric circulation and his classification remains, even in the early 21st century, the most popular of all climate classifications yet devised. Some macro-engineers perceive Koppen's 20th century classification is most useful when taken as a flexible framework that can be tailored to specific needs rather than as a rigid and absolute classification system. The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) was first promulgated in 1998 (International Code Council 1998) and was followed, in 2000, by an updated edition; offering an inconsistent set of commercial and residential building envelope requirements tables, the 2000 version IEEC document badly needs revision. [Little discussion of this overdue Koppen classification revision was heard at the World Energy Council (founded 1924) sponsored 19th World Energy Congress in Sydney, Australia during 5-9 September 2004.] In terms of SHELL-LAND.AU, it will be possible to install lightly built, big footprint buildings/structures beneath the textile covering that will need to be properly made to endure artificial, new heating-dominant or cooling-dominant post-Vladimir Koppen climate regions! Those commercial and residential energy needs must be scientifically discovered through experimentation by our investigative successors.
7. Trained air for a civilized region
SHELL-LAND.AU, as currently outlined, will encompass parts of the Gibson Desert and the Great Sandy Desert, between 20° and 24° S, and 124° to 128° E; the Tropic of Capricorn crosses its southernmost section. Mount Cornish (363 m) in the Northeast and the Traeger Hills (432 m) in the Southwest are the highest topographical features. Approximating a mortarboard in plan, SHELL-LAND.AU will have an area of ~184,000 km2, or about 2.4% of The Commonwealth of Australia's total national ecosystem, and it will be enclosed with a 3 km-high high flat roof, giving SHELL-LAND.AU a ~552,000 km3 cuboid shape. Presently, the little-visited landscape has a general elevation of 0-600 m with a recorded annual median rainfall of ~100-400 mm. Its present-day climate classification of hot (persistently dry) and hot (winter drought), according to Australia's Bureau of Meteorology, will change under future land management policy and infrastructure impacts. Most of the land and soils that might be semi-shaded from the Sun has been little disturbed, owing to remoteness from human settlements, according to the Australia State of the Environment Report 2001. Generally speaking, a major part, indeed the very heart, of The Commonwealth of Australia's supposedly "useless" geographical heartland, as demarcated in 1947 by Thomas Griffith Taylor (1880-1963), comprised SHELL-LAND.AU. Some space age macro-engineers, planetary region stylists of another technical persuasion, have already relegated Western Australia's potential SHELL-LAND.AU as a no-man's land that is currently bearing only acacia, casuarinas trees, eucalyptus, saltbush and spinifex grass, lizards, mice and is, therefore, only suitable for rectifying antennas needed for collecting outer space or Moon base generated microwaves transmitted as a collimated beam to certain prepared Earth surface regions (Rogers, 1981)!
Unlike eastern Australia, with its completed and operating Snowy Mountains Scheme, Western Australia, especially in that ecosystem-state's region geographically defined (as SHELL-LAND.AU) for this climatologic macro-engineering modification brief, has not yet undergone the imposition of macroprojects. SHELL-LAND.AU about equals in area the developmental region outlined by John Job Crew Bradfield (1867-1943) with his pseudonymous Scheme to make possible large-scale freshwater diversions to Lake Eyre. SHELL-LAND.AU about equals in scope the audacious plan for a 150 km-long submarine irrigation freshwater tunnel from the Fly River near Papua, New Guinea, to the Australian desert outback in the State of Queensland and the Northern Territories suggested by Gamini Samarasinghe.
Fond of the outback, Australians generally exhibit an internationally recognized propensity for vast and innovative geographical thinking that is shared worldwide by macro-engineering's professionals. For example, by 2006, the world's tallest reinforced concrete convection structure – a solar tower designed to be 1 km high – could be looming the New South Wales outback; it will be a 200 MW solar chimney tension structure, inspired by the long-term R&D of Jorg Schlaich costing ~USA$0.56-0.67 × 109. Its circular greenhouse base diameter will be 6000-7000 m, creating a solar energy collector area of ~38 km2. Australian law requires energy retailers to ramp up their purchases of renewable energy by 2010. [Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Regulations 2003 (Number 1) 2003 Number 96 states: "The Act requires wholesale purchasers of electricity (liable parties) to surrender 'renewable energy certificates' to the 'Renewable Energy Regulator', or pay a penalty, to meet a share of the target, in proportion to their share of the national wholesale electricity market".] Even though the ground-heated air will flow out from the solar tower's top at a temperature higher than the normal ambient air temperatures present at a altitude of 1 km (see table in Section 5), the exiting hot air is not anticipated to cause any obviously adverse local weather or measurable long-term climate regime change.
At first thought, one might be tempted to concur with Bo Nordell (2003) that solar energy utilization would eliminate the environmental thermal load associated with the use of fossil-fuel and nuclear fission or fusion reactors and would, thusly, remove energy use as an basic restriction on attainable geo-economic growth limits for a long historic time to come-namely until all Sun-generated available solar energy is harnessed to some "desirable" use (Badescu and Cathcart, 2004)! However, this view cannot be valid for a truly practical, economically competitive solar power system because of necessary redistribution of energy inputs and thermal energy outputs that must be associated with solar energy use. In the desert, ~30-35% of the incident solar energy is normally reflected, absorbed by the air above, then finally lost to outer space. But, electricity generated at a rural or remote desert site will be transmitted (with some unavoidable thermal losses) to cities where additional thermal losses are then incurred during use (home, office, factory heating, industrial engines and kitchen appliances, indoor/outdoor lighting). The net effects are (1) redistribution of thermal loads between the desert generation sites and metropolitan regions and (2) a net reduction of reflected solar energy from the desert sites which will not be totally off-set by additional emitted radiant energy of cities. Thus, somewhere, additional thermal energy will appear as a heat load on the Earth's atmosphere, possibly causing global warming as Bo Nordell envisions.
8. A basic 3 km-high inflated pylon
Successful completion of a convection solar tower sets ample precedent for the subsequent emplacement of ~16 air-inflated (to a final height of 3 km) textile towers supporting carbon nanotube cables (Shenderova et al., 2003) knitted, or laced, to form the SHELL-LAND.AU (Bolonkin, 2003a)! The simplest shed is based on a flat grid, its structure extended by modular units along two orthogonal axes to form a cuboid. SHELL-LAND.AU can constitute an innovative long-span structural system, primarily a textile roof and its textile supports, to shelter human activities (Bradshaw et al., 2001). The 16 pylons, built by a team of ordinary well-paid construction workers, fully health insured, will be elevated by the sequential insertion of fabricated vertical sections at the ground surface, thus slowly raising the towers from the bottom up; the roof 3 km overhead, will be assembled by specially programmed construction robots such as already do such labor in Japan's most technology savvy major civil macro-engineering construction consortiums. Insurance liability for malfeasance will be kept low accordingly. The towers will each cost ~USA$5 × 106, will have a base diameter of ~5 m, according to Alexander Bolonkin, the world's foremost expert on this type of infrastructure; the towers cannot support a top-of-tower load, although Bolonkin envisages such towers as profitable tourist lookouts. In late June 1968, noted artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude's cloud white-colored 5,600 Cubic Meter Package was inflated and became airborne in Kassel, Germany. Originally, it was meant to be visible from a distance of ~25 km. However, severe technical problems made that goal unachievable. Alexander Bolonkin's public observation platforms would offer views of ~200 km in every direction during periods of clear air! Such networked inflated cable support structures, holding a suspended textile roof, reprises a unique Australian technical development – the inflated, inhabited building pioneered by Jens Gerhard Pohl (Pohl and Montero, 1975).
Earthquakes are rare, but not unknown, event-processes in Western Australia (Crone et al., 2003). The 16 even-spaced and horizontally tied-together inflated pylons, easily resting on the ground surface, will be extra-ordinarily stable; the 16 bundled or bunched air-inflated tower bases will, in essence, form a seismic (or base) isolation feature that uncouples the superstructure, allowing it to slide slightly as made necessary by nature's natural quivering. Such an anti-seismic behavior reduces each pylon's fundamental vibration frequency below its fixed base frequency and the predominant frequency of the ground. The response to ground motion of a solar chimney is not as good (Wilson, 2003)! If the pylons were under a supercomputer-operated "active control system" – perhaps as a small segment of the forecasted World Wide Sensor Web – the flexible pylons would change their resonance within seconds of any earthquake's onset, coping with the passing primary and secondary waves. I estimate the cost of installing an active control system at ~0.5% of Bolonkin's estimated total cost. Also, there is the prospect of further safeguard in the form of an application of the "indian rope trick" technique, used to stabilize very tall, reed-shaped structures via intentional timed vibration (Mullin et al., 2003). Whether toppled, or merely deflated by puncture initiated by any solid object (tool, aircraft or other vehicle), a repaired pylon-tower might be movable if it were partly inflated with helium gas instead of air; air could be pumped into the tower, bleeding off the recoverable helium at its top, after it has been properly reset on the same site, or shifted to a better site. Its absolute geographical position would, naturally, be monitored via GPS devices, some of which may be tip-mounted at elevation 3 km.
A towering air-filled chute would have small tensile forces acting on it and it could be fabricated from a specially designed sturdy mass-produced textile product which, however, must inevitably be subject to the general effects of ageing (UV radiation) that all such exposed woven or filmic materials are. Helium lifted freight elevators moving inside a chute over-pressured with air, if colorfully backlit during night might take on the charming characteristics of that famed psychedelic 1960's icon the Lava Lite Lamp invented by Edward Craven Walker (1918-2000) in 1963! Since aircraft, including helicopters, may fly beneath SHELL-LAND.AU's roof, and air-traffic control is always imposed, it seems reasonable to illuminated the 16 pylons at night for flying safety and to have flashing aircraft warning lights during the day. All 16 tower-chutes might become night-lighting standards, aero-avigation beacons, radio and television broadcasting facilities. The use of bright and glary "parking lot" lighting of any kind at night will alter the covered region's ground, aquatic and aerial ecology (Harder, 2002); the Sun at noon is ~230,000 times more intense than the blue sky surrounding it, which is too severe a demand on extant light-emitting diode (LED) image display technology to be equaled, so I cannot now currently imagine any possibility to instigate daytime equivalent lighting during Earth's night! Modest spot lighting could be powered by photons reflected onto the roof at night by solar mirrors orbiting the Earth while some of the incoming sunlight is passed through the textile roof material over its whole area. SHELL-LAND.AU, if not functioning as a simple sunlight attenuator, might provide an underside "screen saver" sky background in circumstances where it was warranted by human activity needs!
After thorough testing of all of its standardized structural components, SHELL-LAND.AU may acquire an additional function as the world's largest Internet terminal – far bigger than the familiar sports stadium Jumbotrons – with the illuminated pixels displayed on the white textile roof's flat underside. A large vertical Internet terminal was first tested 25 September 2002 with "Project Blinkenlights" for the celebration of the Nuit Blanche art festival in Paris, France. The Commonwealth of Australia's Internet Country Code is dot AU [.AU]; there are ~571 Internet service providers and ~10.6 million Internet users out of a 2003 population of ~19.2 million. The World Wide Web consists of multimedia data – mostly text and static graphics but also sound, animation, movie and video clips and virtual spaces – which are stored as hypermedia documents. The Commonwealth of Australia's national identity, and possibly its international geopolitical stature too, could be affected by such an artificial cloud electronic device's successful installation and continual operation (Healey, 2000). With an Internet monitor overhead showing an on-demand topographical map of the land directly below every glowing LED pixel, getting lost in Western Australia's covered desert could become virtually impossible; were the overhead LED electronic installation a part of the prospective World Wide Sensor Web, then no tracked person could ever again consider himself to be totally alone, out of touch with social, medical emergency or other comforting advice! Until Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey was published during 1968, Eric Blair (1903-50) had been the only widely read writer in the history of English-language literature who had sought to preempt a calendar year; "George Orwell" did designate a fictional Australia a province of "Oceania" in his 1984.
9. In the air!
The chief reason there has been insignificant progress toward a law of the Earth-atmosphere is because air is an undifferentiated mass of gases that is constantly circulating over the planet's water and land surfaces. Compared to Earth's volume, the atmosphere is a thin shell and the part of the atmosphere we understand the best – the troposphere – is only ~15 km thick; it is in the lower troposphere that all weather occurs and where the possibility of weather modification by technology presents itself. [go to http://www.nasm.edu/ceps/etp/earth/earth_atmos.html for a downloadable 15k JPEG file of Earth's actual atmosphere imaged in profile.] The USA's National Academy of Sciences – its Board on Atmospheric Science and Climatology – during 2003 published Critical Issues in Weather Modification, a 135-page report recommending the USA resume experiments with cloud seeding and other weather-modification techniques to discover whether drought conditions and violent weather patterns can be mitigated. SHELL-LAND.AU is a partial "dwelling", meant to serve humans by calming an almost deserted land region's weather. Some supercomputer simulations indicate Earth's arid lands probably will become more densely vegetated, and receive more rainfall yearly, because of the buildup of carbon dioxide gas in the planet's atmosphere (Grunzweig et al., 2003). It might be useful to permit any liquid freshwater pooling on SHELL-LAND.AU's top surface to drip on the landscape below after finding it way through the permeable segments of the textile lid; if done, then settlers might find useful all the experimental results produced by an interdisciplinary research network focused on grassland and desert ecosystem precipitation regimes that already uses textile enclosures: GOTO: http://zzyx.ucsc.edu/ES/PrecipNet.htm.
There is simply no known restriction on what may be imagined by the human mind in terms of textiles! Carbon nanotubes were discovered in 1991 by Sumio Iijima; carbon nanotubes exhibit extra-ordinary mechanical properties-tensile strength ~200 GPa and Young's modulus >1 TPa. Sandwiched carbon nanotubes, lodged between layers of polymer, comprise a fabric material that is reportedly super strong. Is it possible that such textiles will be coated with a filamentary photodiode woven into a SHELL-LAND.AU roof? In other words, the Western Australia side-less building could be "clothed" in a flexible, electric power-generating material! Inclusion of such devices will increase the roof's weight, making it necessary to manufacture a super strong "nano-Velcro" selvage, the narrow woven border of heavy materials finished to prevent raveling (Han, 1992). Isolative and insulating material such as cellular silica aerogel, invented in 1931 by Samuel Stephens Kistler (1900-75), with apparent density of 0.003-0.35 g/cm3 could be impregnated with gaseous helium to form a delicate, low mass SHELL-LAND.AU roof that even passes filtered natural sunlight. And, if such materials were introduced as vertical partitions within SHELL-LAND.AU, then there is the very interesting technical possibility that all designated peripheral segments of the building can be serviced by a machine designed to efficiently reradiate ambient environmental heat to outer space, thus allowing localized cooling (Larsen, 1993). Open-sidedness of SHELL-LAND.AU means, for sure, that neither sunrise nor sunset will be spoilt, obstructed from common view by persons walking and standing on the ground or floating on a lake/river surface anywhere sheltered by the installation's roof; ignoring the eave effect at its four edges, that is bound to create a new set of post-Koppen climates! A Cathcart-Badescu Sahara-style domical cover is not usefully comparable since the SHELL-LAND.AU sunscreen is above the usual cloud deck, so the Averkiev factor – the supposed interaction between ground and reflected solar radiation and clouds – cannot be considered yet. Carbon nanotubes coated with Teflon form a superhydrophobic material – a fabric with very high water repellency. SHELL-LAND.AU will be financially less costly that the Sahara-style land enclosure scheme revealed in 2004; as a matter of economic fact, it can be very much cheaper! Exactly what SHELL-LAND.AU's roof textile transmittance factor (~50%?) ought to be remains to be carefully determined by those best equipped to do so – namely, the well regarded Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, an R&D organization formally established in 1949 (Collis, 2002).
The principal public freshwater consumptive demand, crop irrigation, annually requires ~1 km3 per 75,000 hectares while the public's domestic consumption (in sanitary facilities) demand is ~1 km3 yearly per 106 persons. Specifically, in Western Australia, there is a need for only ~20% of The Commonwealth of Australia's total freshwater requirement for domestic needs each year; agricultural consumptive needs are an almost open-ended demand, limited only by suitable found soil geography. If drip irrigation agriculture is commenced beneath an installed SHELL-LAND.AU, or large human populations aggregate in widespread urban development zones incorporating both industrial facilities and homes that are efficiently serviced by Unitsky String Transport (GOTO: http://www.unitran.ru/index.htm ), then new and sufficient freshwater supplies must be made available. It would seem unquestionably appropriate that a vigorous, serious Australian public discussion of a "Maglev 2000 Water Train" (Powell and Danby, 2003) be undertaken before a SHELL-LAND.AU is finalized by well informed macro-engineers of the architectural ecology persuasion. From whence can new freshwater resources come?
Since 1933, The Commonwealth of Australia – more than 75% of that continent-nation is classified as hot and arid or hot and semi-arid – has claimed a large area of Antarctica as sovereign territory. All of Antarctica is a cold desert! Today, human activities (tourism, three Australian scientific research bases) on or near Antarctica are governed by the Antarctic Treaty System; the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (3 October 1991) allows minor mining activity if done for purely scientific purposes. For example, the Antarctic Muon and Neutrino Detector Array II, excavated hundreds of meters beneath the South Pole's ice completed the first map of cosmic neutrinos during 2003. A 100 times more voluminous observational device, IceCube, is scheduled for operation by 2006.
Antarctica's tabular icebergs might become "mineral" objects subjected to deliberate removal by public or private Western Australia-based corporate entities interested in using the melt-water harvested as domestic and/or crop irrigation water. Naturally calved, or artificially cut via laser and then subsequently extracted from its host mass, huge wrapped tabular icebergs from Shackleton Ice Shelf (65° S by 100° E) can be towed by powerful sea tugs at 2 knots for 42 days to Western Australia's Esperance Bay (33° 51' S by 121° 55' E). In shallow waters or in restricted channels, "An exotic variant of kedging would be a mammoth version of the old chain ferry. A tow cable would be laid on the seabed along the planned route, in much the same way as telephone cables are laid. The berg would be hauled along the cable by means of capstans" (Husseiny, 1978, page 82). If the end-of-trip draft of the delivered tabular icebergs is too great to permit entrance into Esperance Bay, then perhaps fabric dracones can ferry its melt water with very low impurities from the hanging curtain enclosed moored offshore iceberg to an appropriate strand landing place since extensive channel and harbor dredging would entail very high monetary costs; in that instance, some freshwater wastage will be inevitable and must be written off economically. Almost directly north of Esperance Bay, the city of Kalgoorlie (3° 45' by 121° 27') has been nominated as a candidate macroproject site for a second chimney-like solar tower in Australia; electrical energy generated there could power the "Maglev 2000 Water Train". The international trading of natural ice in various states has a very long commercial history (Weightman, 2003). About 83% of Australia's 2003 citizenry live < 50 km from the nation's shoreline, mainly in cities and towns on the continent's low-elevation southern coast.
10. Aerospace port
On 17 July 1962, U.S. Air Force Major Robert White became the first human being to fly to outer space and subsequently land back at his flight's point of origin. His X-15 reached a maximum altitude of 108 km – six times higher than the Concorde airliners retired from public intercontinental flight service in late-2003 – and a maximum speed of Mach 6.7. Aerospace professionals have since proposed an Antarctic macroproject, perhaps emblematic of humanity's space age, called the "ICE GUN", the barrel of which is a 1000 km-long tunnel to be bored through Antarctica's ice sheet and filled with helium gas. One or two tunneled aerospace plane launchers of this type, sited inconspicuously beneath ice that has been stably positioned for many thousands of years, could be placed in The Commonwealth of Australia's territory on the Earth's most unpopulated continent. [For full technical details on the "ICE GUN" concept, go to http://www.medianet.pl/~andrew/SPB1110.HTM .] The Australian Antarctic Territory comprises ~77% of the land area of The Commonwealth of Australia and ~42% of Antarctica! It is quite unlikely Antarctica can become a busy international travel destination but, rather, it might become a globally significant place of departure to outer space for passengers and high-value freight. Antarctic mineral mining (especially of petroleum) might be undertaken and that could foster other industrial installations. Synergistically, combined with SHELL-LAND.AU, Antarctica tabular iceberg mining, and the space age "ICE GUN", these macroprojects could sustain Western Australia's proliferating population through the 21st century. Perhaps, then, I ought to submit a pre-AD 2100 nickname for SHELL-LAND.AU: "Perth's Porch", an architectural ecology metaphor for commonly seen Australian outback homes with spacious, shady verandas, seems a catchy moniker!
11. "GOWN" macroprojects: modifying major marine currents
Open ocean aquaculture can be affected by deliberate redirection of salt-water currents and changed photic zone seawater contents brought about by a style of macro-engineering designated architectural ecology. The world-ocean is of critical importance as a nature-provided planetary heat pump, and as an edible fish container. Homo s. sapiens' near-term future interference will have far-reaching consequences for the interdependence of affected marine ecosystems. Comprehensive human control of the ocean may produce larger-than-present commercial fish catches as well as permitting advantageous regional, and even global, geo-engineering for climate mitigation purposes. Earth-biosphere governance by macro-engineers is foreseen as inevitable if this conspectus of seriously proposed comprehensive technological grip-tightening tasks is ever successfully finished. Humans have gradually graduated to become Earth's dominant species and this group now dons a "gown" – the inhabited Earth-surface transformed by the widespread use of certain futuristic textiles – as a symbol of that planet-managing power derived from science and technology.
Oceanography is the summarizing discipline of all scientific knowledge related to the world-ocean – a very large body of salt-water collected in a single planetary geological basin – and its influence upon the Earth-biosphere. In recent years, oceanographers have become aware of Homo s. sapiens' technological grasp of Earth's materials and energy (Jackson et al., 2001). Indeed, a well-informed, critical, independent-minded but essentially traditional view of oceanography has called for the preservation of the Earth-ocean's present-day circulation system via a climate policy governing technology (Keller et al., 2000)! Seawater currents are usually rather sluggish, moving at ~0.5 m/s except when constrained by a narrow strait where the speed may increase by a factor of as much as eight (Cathcart, 2003). This section of my report will focus on some architectural ecology macroprojects that, if implemented, could allow humankind to beneficially direct oceanic currents.
As yet, oceanography has no universally adopted, uniform system of nomenclature for marine regions; scientific methodology has been applied to identify oceanic provinces, however. For macro-engineering's purposes, the world-ocean must be partitioned horizontally and vertically in order to parameterize global budget calculations in complex supercomputer-run geo-models. The thermocline, separating the sunlit and turbulent near-surface mixed seawater layer (the home of the all-important phytoplankton) from the deep part of the world-ocean (where macronutrients for the phytoplankton mainly exist) is the most vital boundary from macro-engineering's viewpoint. More and more, people have come to realize the true economic value of the world-ocean (Westwood, 2001); oceanic currents situated above the thermocline are of vital importance for monetary and other production reasons (Markels, 1995). Herein, the "site" for a high-seas marine macroproject means that volume of seawater and its contents under the jurisdiction of a legislative body circumscribed by United Nations Organization-recognized, international law-defined boundaries that is proposed for, or designated as, a large-scale world-ocean economic developmental macroproject (Juda and Hennessey, 2001).
12. Aquarium development theory
World Ocean Circulation Experiment initiator Carl I. Wunsch, at the 21 October 2001 Opening Ceremony of the International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Oceans (IAPSO, named 1991) said: "I will speculate that in 50 years…the physical oceanography of the general circulation will have become, under the impact of growing computing power, matured understanding of fluid flows generally, and ever more powerful observation technologies, a largely 'solved' problem. There will be routine estimates of the three-dimensional state, at very high resolution... Will we have biologically-based instrumentation? Quantum computation? Will the main activities of physical oceanographers be directed at the 'engineering' applications of biological productivity, weather and short-term climate forecasting, pollutant movement? Is this the definition of success?" (GOTO: http://www.retina.ar/2001_ocean/eventa.htm )
I label this coming professional status that Wunsch tantalizingly alludes to "The Aquarium Theory" on the analogy of fish-tank maintenance by aquarists; if the world-ocean were pumped into an aquarium, that cube would have sides each measuring 1350 km; an aquarium is a building, and a building is a specialized instrument, at least according to the Spring 2001 single-topic issue on aquariums in the Marine Technology Society's journal (Volume 35, Number 1). Many of the physical boundaries on information processing will be met in only a few decades (Frank, 2002) and so "The Aquarium Theory" is very likely to become a useful conceptual tool for the operational understanding of, and capitalizing on, Earth's world-ocean! It is ironic that while oceanography has shown people that, even collectively, the species is at best a minor group of actors in nature – the ratio of the ocean's volume to land above sea level is ~11 – humankind's actions, nevertheless, lead the world-public in the opposite direction (Caldeira and Wickett, 2003). Arran Gare, in Nihilism Incorporated: European Civilization and Environmental Destruction (1993), suggested human advancement in science and technology has resulted in an "extreme" detachment (i.e., a special world known only to Homo s. sapiens) from the Earth-biosphere and an increasingly complete instrumentalization of Nature and human individuals caused by the onset of the World Wide Sensor Web outlined above in Section 5. For oceanography, determining prudent ocean policy for this ever-more plenary planet often requires the use of all kinds of technology to prescribe what ought or ought not be done; to preclude or mitigate pollutants by the "best available technology"; to measure and continuously monitor the world-ocean, as well as levels of industrial pollution and to develop techniques and technologies to cleanse oceanic pollution. "Synthetic Seas" are impossible of laboratory creation (Boyd, 1929) thereby focusing all available and developing expertise and extant and future manipulatory techniques on the fullest proper use of humankind's common property, the physically and robotically explored world-ocean realm.
Computational oceanography, based on technology-mediated observations, which someday may include robotized sea animals just as Carl I. Wunsch predicted, adopts Ian Hacking's "instrumental realism" philosophical perspective that theoretical entities are real if they are subject to experimental manipulability: "Experimental work provides the strongest evidence for scientific realism. This is not because we test hypotheses about entities. It is because entities that in principle cannot be 'observed' are manipulated to produce a new phenomenon and to investigate other aspects of nature" (Hacking, 1983). Etymologically, the verb "detect" means to take the roof off that covers something, to uncover it; aquariums often have horizontal protective lids as well as vertical in-tank subdivisions; maps generated by Oceanography's numerical geo-modeling are, in practical effect, potential juridical territory, defined rationalizations (regions) that facilitate surveillance and, ultimately, political control. It is interesting to note the Mediterranean Sea has been invaded by an exotic seaweed, Caulerpa taxifolia, that escaped from an aquarium at Monaco's Oceanographic Museum during 1988 owing to human negligence and nowadays poses an extremely serious threat of a basin-wide ecological catastrophe; should it spread to the connected Black Sea, it will then adversely affect ~0.8% of the world-ocean's area in some way or other (Meinesz, 1999).
13. The Anthropocene
Carbon dioxide gas resident in the Earth-atmosphere has been increased by ~30% from pre-Industrial Revolution times (Bazanson, 1922); on this basis alone, a new period of Earth's geological time has been delineated: the Anthropocene (Crutzen, 2002). Anticipated further "global change" lends and air of reality to such a geological time appellation. Humanity's planned efforts to abate or to mitigate such so-called unnatural Earth alteration is part of macro-engineering's raison d'etre (Keith, 2000). The first Symposium on Beneficial Modifications of the Marine Environment, co-sponsored by the USA.'s National Research Council and its Department of the Interior, was convened as a reporting sub-group of the Research Council's 11th Annual Meeting, held in Washington DC, on 10-12 March 1968. So far, macro-engineering applied to the world-ocean, which covers ~70% of the planet's surface, amounts to a few tiny incremental technology applications at coastlines; quite soon, however, this geographical restriction may fall to oceanography's advances. Multiple Antarctic tabular icebergs, delivered to Chile's textile curtained-off selected coves indenting a low-elevation strand for commercially profitable freshwater harvesting, first proposed by macro-engineers during the mid-1950s, is an example (Husseiny, 1978). Since diesel-powered ships belch a plume of fuel-waste smoke, in the absence of crosswinds there will be some contamination of any towed iceberg's topmost snow strata (Corbett and Koehler, 2003).
14. Marine macroprojects
Carroll Livingston Riker's Conspectus of Power and Control of the Gulf Stream (1913) is the first original American macroproject proposal presented that offers a means to affect the North Atlantic Ocean's climate regime for the purpose of reducing fogs dangerous to shipping and for warming ecosystem-states near the Arctic Circle. Recent climatological research (Seager et al., 2002) seems to supplant earlier predictions that any weakening of the Gulf Stream's northward flow would likely have dire consequences for Europe's climate regimes (Tank and Konnen, 1997). Riker campaigned relentlessly before the USA.'s Congress and influential private-sector political groups for the international construction of weirs in shallow water extending from Newfoundland in Canada across the Grand Banks in order to deflect from their present-day courses the Labrador Current as well as the Gulf Stream. If built, Riker's weirs would require enough strength to endure many drifting iceberg impacts, especially if the expected effect of atmospheric global warming (complete Arctic Ocean de-icing and partial Greenland deglaciation) truly materializes!
One of macro-engineering's most famous proposals is the damming of the Bering Strait separating Russia and the USA. The scheme's purpose is to melt the Arctic Ocean's floating sea ice and, therefore, to warm the Arctic Ocean as well as the climate regime of the far north. Its most ardent exponent since c. 1959 is Petr Mikhailovich Borisov, a Russian scientist. Can Man Change the Climate? (1973), Borisov's magnum opus on the topic, is an extraordinary blueprinted proposal to create an 80 km-long, 50 m-high dike inside of which is an elaborate system of mechanical pumps, pipe sluices, and hydroelectric generators arrayed to transfer cold seawater from the Arctic Ocean to the Bering Sea and, thence, to the North Pacific Ocean. The present-day need for Borisov's power-using dike-pump house seems to be fading since commercial shipping corporations and interested state-funded navies, basing their future business projections and strategic assessments on oceanography's current findings, suspect the Arctic Ocean may soon be entirely free of inhibitory flow-ice owing to natural or unnatural ongoing regional climate regime changes. The present-day hydrological condition of the Bering Strait was established approximately ~3000 years ago. Although a few supercomputer-using geo-modelers have examined the Bering Strait under conditions when it was blocked or when it was open, their published results add nothing to the obvious concern about what would happen to the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic Ocean under circumstances of a long-sustained, expensive planned suction pumping action (Goosse, 1997). Adding to the complexity of architectural ecology's geographical analysis and synthesis tasks is the effect on Borisov's scheme if Canada's James Bay Hydroelectric Project were built simultaneously, which macroproject involves the subtraction of ~60% of the freshwater currently flowing into James Bay, a narrow, southward-projecting part of Hudson Bay (Milko, 1986).
Another colossal macroproject proposal, emanating from one of macro-engineering's boldest thinkers, is the little-known plan to construct a submarine barrier within Drake Passage, which separates Antarctica from South America. Circa 1971, Keiji Higuichi announced his idea of emplacing a semi-solid barrier, a kind of immersed curtain-wall composed of towed, collected and sunk-by-loading icebergs, in the 1000 km-wide Drake Passage. In his view, the primary purpose of his physical blockade would be to divide the South Pacific Ocean from the South Atlantic Ocean in order to induce favorable Southern Hemisphere climate regime changes, which also includes the Indian Ocean. The Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), which is the only ocean current that flows around the Earth, is constricted by Drake Passage – navies see it as a shipping chokepoint too – especially between Burdwood Bank in the north and Elephant Island in the south in the overall dynamics of the wind-driven circulation in the circumpolar current (Cunningham et al., 2003). The ACC, with a net eastward seawater flow of ~150 × 106 m3/s, would be interrupted by Higuichi's ice-dam so that the current moving around Antarctica would be altered from a vortex to another shape, and accordingly, "...may have the effect of changing the general circulation on the global scale" (Higuichi, 1971). In effect, Higuichi proposed to recreate a local blockage last in place 30-35 million years ago! Opening of the Drake Passage led to the relative thermal isolation of Antarctica and the creation of the clockwise strong ACC. Even today, the ACC is the least understood aspect of large-scale world-ocean circulation; it is probable that artificial closure of Drake Passage would cause a symmetrical distribution of temperature near the Equator owed to induced meridional world-ocean overturning in Earth's Southern and Northern Hemispheres, both substantively and financially.
There have never been genuine, complete feasibility macro-engineering studies done of any of these three macroproject proposals – no actual plans have ever really been put forth linked to the acquisition of all needed wherewithal.
15. "Global Warming"
Earth's world-ocean can be comprehended as a open dissipative system linked with its surrounding system (Sun and outer space) through heat flux, salt flux and wind stress. The world-ocean receives a net input of heat from insolation in the equatorial zone, and excess evaporation results in an evident salt flux at its surface; in the Arctic and Antarctic, the world-ocean loses heat to outer space through long-wave emissions, and excess precipitation (i.e., rain and snow) results in a freshwater flux at the surface. Thus, there are net inputs of heat and salt near the Equator, and net outputs of heat and salt near the Earth's North and South Poles. This difference is the driving force for all thermo-haline world-ocean circulation; approximately, the topmost 3 m of the world-ocean has the same thermal heat capacity as the Earth-atmosphere!
The truth of "unnatural" Anthropocene global warming of the Earth-atmosphere remains a great and hotly contested public controversy (Finnigan, 2003). Some informed persons suspect that accumulating carbon dioxide gas, expelled during humankind's continuing Industrial Revolution, is not the global warming's driver. Still others, equally informed, accept carbon dioxide gas is the cause, not the symptom, and have publicized macroprojects to cure a perceived impending Nature preservation/conservation problem for the civilization of Homo s. sapiens. Participants at The First National Conference on Carbon Sequestration, held during May 2001, and sponsored by the US Government, offered ~160 macro-engineering scale projects that were intended by their formulators to relieve humankind of any extant and future worries about this particular alleged worldwide Earth-biosphere threat. Of the macroprojects suggested as potentially effective, regionalized ocean fertilization using airplane and/or ship-distributed iron filings has been bruited as most promising (Buesseler and Boyd, 2003). Regionalized fertilization as a carbon dioxide sequestration option was first proposed – by a US oceanographer, John Martin (1935-93) – during the late-1980s (Moore et al., 2002). Optimistic proponents are hopeful that it may be physically and economically possible to return Earth-atmosphere carbon dioxide gas levels to a pre-Industrial Revolution concentration! To their work, I can only add that they ignore still the very real possibility of deriving the needed fertilizing iron dust from outer space – a single large iron asteroid, properly bagged, pulverized and processed, would suffice to periodically inseminate the Southern Ocean, equatorial Pacific Ocean and, perhaps, the Northeast Pacific Ocean with exactly the correct amounts of material to foster useful phytoplankton blooms. Asteroid mining simply extends the frequent Pacific Ocean disposal of de-orbited steel spacecraft such as the 23 March 2001 destruction of Mir space station and may become also a viable alternative, or supplement, to an Earth endangering asteroid deflection or interception-with-destruction macroproject scenario. It is interesting to note that minor planet 2002 AA29, about ~100 m in diameter is a companion in Earth's orbit, never approaching Earth closer than 5.76 × 106 km; in AD 550, and again in AD 2600 and AD 3880 it will become Earth's second Moon for a period of ~50 years. The material composition of minor planet 2002 AA29 is unknown; if the asteroid is spherical and consisted of solid iron, then it would tally ~4,072,275 tonnes. Induced-growth patches of selected and cultivated phytoplankton will have to be guarded against invasion by contaminative ship ballast off-loading. Anthropogenic inoculation of certain carefully assessed world-ocean regions with industrially packaged and shaped-for-atmospheric entry iron filings bundles could be precisely guided to intended places of splashdown-dispersal; such an event-process is more refined than nature's generally sporadic meteor showers (Johnson, 2001)!
Some persons theorize Earth may soon enter another Ice Age geological time period, the first of its Anthropocene. To forestall such a stress upon civilization, Robert Glenn Johnson suggested there might be advantage in constructing a Strait of Gibraltar spanning dike regulating artificially the outflow of the salty Mediterranean Sea water into the North Atlantic Ocean (Johnson, 1997). By diminishing the normal outflow of Mediterranean Sea water, Johnson's dike would indirectly displace the Gulf Stream, and may help to stave off a sea-level rise attributable to a mass reduction of Antarctica's ice sheet. His theory of a historically abrupt near-term future onset of another Earth Ice Age is fully related in his Secrets of the Ice Age: The Role of the Mediterranean Sea in Climate Change (2002). In a brief posted on-line during June 2000, I significantly improved his intriguing macroproject idea, substituting a cheap suspended textile curtain for geologist Robert Glenn Johnson's massive and very costly riprap dike. GOTO: http://2100.org/text_Gibraltar.html. If a need for such a barrier indisputably arises, I expect a draped fabric facility to be sufficiently cost-effective because technological breakthroughs, heavy investment in materials and labor are unneeded. The dynamics of suspended membranes is usually considered as the case of a uniform pre-tensioned network that, in addition to self-weight, incurs a uniform loading everywhere; twin seawater currents at the Strait of Gibraltar, each of almost equal mass and opposed in movement, complicates the calculations, but does not make them infeasible. Free vibration of a correctly suspended textile curtain may not ever pose any actual problem for macro-engineering's professionals.
Summarizing, there is a lot of uncertainty attached to what is scientifically "known" or to what might be done in the practical terms of macro-engineering's agenda to "cure" real geophysical problems related to the world-ocean. Baseless environmental pantophobia must not be allowed to deter, delay or destroy planning efforts for all necessary and attainable infrastructures that can sustain the Earth-biosphere, and its supportive major marine currents.
16. A speculative macroproject proposal
Artists have long evidenced an obsession with the world-ocean; Christo devised impressive geographically large-scale macroprojects dealing with seawater and currents therein. Christo's Running Fence, built during March 1976 in California's Sonoma and Marin Counties, was a "iceberg" white-colored textile fence that entered, or exited, the North Pacific Ocean. Its construction, which involved many persons and groups and diverse sources of financing, required the first Environmental Impact Report ever for a work of art! Time, the weekly nationally distributed US news magazine, in its 9 April 2001 issue, featured a doctored cover photograph that showed a chicken's egg sizzling in an iron frying pan with the Earth as the yolk. In other words, the periodical's managing editor had chosen to subscribe to the common "global warming" environmental impact scenario; however, in the textual part of that issue (Volume 157, Number 14), a color photograph of its environmental editor, Charles Alexander, appears holding a cellophane-covered Christo-wrapped classroom-type Earth globe with but one hand, rather like artistic visual renderings of the mythological Atlas. What I apprehended from that startling photograph was the concept of Earth as an object, something of great manipulability. Accordingly, I have here soberly mused on new technical means of sub-dividing the world-ocean, both horizontally and vertically, using textiles.
During 1970, Jack Green divulged his comprehensive concept for an Equator-sited manned Pacific Ocean floating sea-base to generate electricity, fertilize demarcated oceanic regions for aquaculture, and to harvest seabed mineral deposits (Green, 1970). The world's largest artificial floating island, the Mega-Float Island-1 km long, 121 m wide, with a draft of 3 m-at Yokosuka Port, Tokyo Bay, Japan was fully installed by 10 August 2000. "Freedom", a fully mobile ship still in the design stage in the USA, may become a movable 1.3 km-long passenger-carrying luxury cruiser able to ferry ~115,000 persons on a permanent voyage to the vicinity of just about any port on the world's coastlines (McCrone, 2000). Military spin-offs of Mega-Float Island are proposed (Wilson, 2003) as is Green-approved sea-going teaching institutions (Cristol, 2002). Even self-moving submarines have been touted as homes for persons interested in direct photic zone interaction with the world-ocean regions (Wilson, 2002). Such gigantic nautical vehicles are not the ultimate possible, if the dreams of sane macro-engineers eventually are professionally accepted. These enormous buoyant craft macroprojects will surpass the historic World War II Allied efforts in their construction of the artificial off-shore ports used in the June 1944 invasion of France, as documented in Code Name Mulberry: The Planning, Building, and Operation of the Normandy Harbours (1977) by Guy Hartcup and Mulberry: The Return in Triumph (1965) by Michael Harrison. These ports were lashed by fierce North Atlantic Ocean storm waves and winds, almost coming apart during a critical moment in the Allied wartime effort. "Freedom", as well as other very large ships plying the high seas will be subject not only to storm waves and winds, but also large unpredictable rogue waves (Clauss, 2002), which sometimes do sink enormous ships so quickly that crews often have no time to distress signal other mariners for help!
Closest in kinship to Christo's 9 April 2001 global "fabric" enclosure is the Deliberately Restricted Ecospheric Environment (DREE) system first proposed by Richard Lionel Sydney Taylor in 1992. For Mars' terraformation, Taylor submits a DREE system within a quasi-global Worldhouse that will function close to the point of operating self-stability, mimicking closely the biological/geochemical cycles of the Earth-biosphere, with total energy inputs and outputs practically matched. His goal is to make Mars inhabitable by Homo s. sapiens for a long period of Mars' future geological time. The current mechanical efficiency of post-1992 air-conditioning systems is so great that it has, for all practical purposes, removed all restrictions of size and location for building activity in the Earth-biosphere; just about any kind of suitable thermal environment for humans, animals and plants can be created and maintained anywhere – in the Equatorial Zone, in the Arctic and on Antarctica, even in outer space aboard the International Space Station. This is a historic technical feat in architectural ecology's progress, as M. E. Ackermann revealed in Cool Comfort: America's Romance with Air-Conditioning (2002). Richard Taylor's DREE system concept simply advances this projected construction activity to an ocean-less nearby planet, Mars.
In the following Section, #17, I offer a new idea for the economic development of legal provinces in the world-ocean.
17. Pushing the envelope
Subsequent to a detailed survey of the known pertinent literature, I have become favorably disposed to an innovative technology's deployment in the world-ocean as a very reasonable cost means of directing major marine currents. The use of water mass movement control by flexible and sometimes porous "fabric" vertical curtains was first tested in freshwater reservoirs prior to 1990, and the results of those as well as later tests were elaborated upon by Tracy B. Veermeyen's "Use of Temperature Control Curtains to Modify Reservoir Release Temperatures" in the Proceedings, ASCE's First International Conference on Water Resources Engineering, San Antonio, Texas, August 14-18, 1995. (The generic term, "fabric", refers to an assortment of materials: fiberglass, PVC, ETFE foils, polyester, sometimes with various coatings such as PTFE or Teflon.) At the World Development Federation's First Virtual Global Super Projects Conference held on the World Wide Web during November 2001, I described a macro-engineering-scale proposal to block the Strait of Gibraltar's strong ocean currents with a vertically hung Kevlar drape held in place by unbraided carbon nanotube super ropes which nicely overcome the mechanical deficiencies of more common rope types. As long ago as 1996, vertical drapes were tested as a technique for controlling algal blooms in freshwater reservoirs (Asaeda, 2001); oceanographic supercomputers have modeled the general manner in which vertically anchored, porous "fabric" curtains trap surface waves (Yip, 2002).
What has been notably lacking – until now – is a study of the commercial applications of these kinds of textile/fabric curtains to world-ocean regions, and to aquaculture's and macro-engineering's various private-sector business pursuits.
18. World-ocean hang-ups
The first transatlantic metallic-core telegraph cable laying attempt in August 1857 failed; a second, successful, metallic submarine cable was laid, completed in July 1866. The first fiber-optic cable came into operation in 1988. Approximately 70-80% of all undersea cable networks are in use – cables fabricated and inserted into the world-ocean before the 1980s are becoming obsolete stock for the commercial telecommunications industry. An abandoned metallic undersea cable is used (via continuous voltage recordings) to monitor the real-time seawater transport of the Florida Current. Many more such retired underwater metallic cables are destined for discard because the global telecommunications industry is expending monies on more efficient submarine fiber-optic cables, which compete very well with Earth-orbiting relay satellites. The VENUS (Versatile Eco-monitoring Network by Undersea-cable System) capitalizes on a de-commissioned TPC-2 cable, draped on the seafloor between Guam Island and Okinawa Island, to record earthquake-generated data about the Philippine Sea Tectonic Plate (Kasahara, 2000). By 2007, NEPTUNE (North-East Pacific Time-series Undersea Networked Experiments), a joint US.-Canada venture, will provide oceanographers and other researchers with a real-time stream of data on the Juan de Fuca Tectonic Plate generated by 30 undersea monitoring stations linked by 3000 km of purposed-dedicated fiber-optic cable.
Metallic-core cables are sturdy, easily able to withstand high pressures and cold salt-water temperature, sometimes even to tolerate deep-sea fishing equipment disturbance by snagging; cables can, and have been, snapped. Can these manufactured product characteristics be of use to 21st century macro-engineering? A review of up-to-date oceanographic charts illustrating the routes of laid, but now disused submarine cables reveals they may already be installed along oceanic routes of potential use to well-funded, large-scale aquaculturists.
Imagine a futuristic development scenario: some persons speculate that nature's closing of the between-island gaps in the Indonesian Archipelago ~5 × 106 years ago may have caused the onset of Earth's most recent Ice Age (approximately 2.7 × 106 years ago), as well as the aridification of eastern Africa. Scientists are certain there was a global increase in sedimentation rates approximately 2-4 × 106 years ago (Peizhen, 2001). Today, the Pacific Ocean-to-Indian Ocean seawater transfer within the Indonesian seas – the Earth's only exchange of Tropical Zone water between two nearly separated oceans – is an important factor governing heat flows between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. This present-day cold seawater Indonesian Through-Flow (ITF), moving at a depth of ~300 m and below, is almost proved to be the "pacemaker" for the Asian monsoon and El Nino (Gordon et al., 2003). World Wide Sensor Web monitoring of the ITF may result in accurate predictions of the intensities of the Asian monsoon and El Nino a year in advance. What if, in the near-term future, Makassar Strait, which conveys ~90% of the ITF, was entirely blocked by filmic (Kevlar or other textile) drapery suspended below Makassar Strait-spanning carbon nanotube super ropes? If the ITF were halted entirely, the meridional seawater circulation, vertical stratification, sea-surface temperature and sea level of the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean would be drastically altered via technogenic means during a very abbreviated period of Earth's geological time! Could such drastic architectural ecology result in favorable or unfavorable climate regime effects? I do not know – only oceanography's yet-to-be-run complex super-computational geo-models might hold a tentative answer! Blockade – really a diversion – of the ITF will certainly affect the Indian Ocean and, consequently, Africa (Giannini et al., 2003). However, I do imagine that a north-south solid sea-screen blockade of the ITF would create, in its collective effect, the North-South marine ecosystem equivalent to the East-West imaginary line – a mapped ecosystem boundary line running through Lombok Strait between the island of Bali and the islands of Lombok and Sulawesi – biologist Alfred Russell Wallace (1823-1923) drew as the division between the South Asian and Australian biogeographical regions! If this macroproject idea seems a bit outlandish, I would like to remind readers that the Amazon River Basin – long inaccurately promoted by uninformed Greens as an Earth-biosphere "lung" absorbing carbon dioxide gas and exuding oxygen gas – was far more settled and transformed by Homo s. sapiens in the past than it is now; extant vast Tropical Zone rainforests once did not exist is the profusion they do today in the Amazon River Basin (Heckenberg, 2003)! The true beauty of using textiles and carbon nanotube super ropes to alter geographical reality is that they can be removed or moved, enlarged or diminished in area affected almost instantaneously; so, if any kind of correctable problem is obviously developing subsequent to any installation of such devices, then necessary remediation can be rapidly instituted at relatively low economic cost!
Utilization of Kevlar fabric marine curtains, as first proposed in November 2001 to strain the Strait of Gibraltar's entering and exiting natural seawater flows might be a feasible, economical material to use at Makassar Strait. Since the concern around Indonesia actually extends from the surface to the sea-bottom, the curtain would necessarily have to be anchored to the seafloor with deeply submerged tri-moored buoys at their bases and be secured horizontally by land-based anchorages, much like suspension bridges. The guys must be neutrally buoyant which are therefore straight (slack-less). The initial tension in these guys will be provided almost solely by the weight of the seawater displaced by the hollow basal buoys tied to the lowest edge of any deployed textile curtain. Computationally, by treating these buoys as point-masses whose inertia is distinctly greater than inertia of the guys, mathematical expressions can be obtained for the fundamental periods of pitching and heaving motion; when the guys are inclined to the horizontal by ~35°, these periods are equal. The added mass of the seawater shifted by the drape and the buoys is the most significant mass component. As far as I presently know, the elasticity of carbon nanotubes from which the guys may be manufactured is not in general linear, but the pertinent tangent modulus is acceptable for stiffness calculations for small vibrations. Small diameter carbon nanotubes have been extended elastically by ~5.8% before snapping and, therefore, a single-walled carbon nanotube must have a Young's modulus of ~37 GPa. It is worthwhile to mention that some aquatic plants have supporting stalks that have skeletal functions that need only resist tensile forces; the stipe that extends from the holdfast on a seabed rock to the buoyant float and blades of the Elk Kelp (Pelagophycus porra), for example. If the Makassar Strait's bed geomorphic characteristics are markedly untrustworthy, it may be possible to fasten the drapery to purpose-sunk ships, such as those (in the hundreds of surplus units) offered by the USA's Maritime Administration Amended Program Research and Develop Announcement for Ship Disposal Solutions, posted on-line 19 October 2001, closing 9-13 September 2002.
19. Equatorial mid-Pacific Ocean drapery
Perhaps in the not-too-distant future, I foresee, it will be possible to test this hanging textile sea-curtain aquaculture technique in the region bisected by Earth's equator. There are many aging metallic-core submarine cables crisscrossing the Pacific Ocean – most commence on the USA's West Coast, meet in Hawaii, then connect with Japan, New Zealand, and Australia. It just might be doable to corral artificially growth-stimulated blooms – patches of phytoplankton fertilized to encourage fish ranching – by controlling photic zones with deep-sea anchored pendant textile sea-curtains. The undersea cable routes between Hawaii and New Zealand appear, at least from a cursory examination of the existing Pacific Ocean cable system map, to have the greatest potential for the task being scrutinized. All in all, SCUBA divers might easily mistake such aquaculture facilities for oceanic spin-offs of Christo's orange-colored Valley Curtain, Rifle Gap, Colorado (1972)! And, there is much aquatic realm (world-ocean) similarity to an aerial realm (Earth-atmosphere) suspension and transportation system proposed by Alexander Bolonkin (Bolonkin, 2003b; Bolonkin, 2003c).
20. Mega-Float Giganticus
In 1927, Viktor Peterovich Kalmykov (1908-81), a Russian architect, suggested "Saturnii" [Saturn], the construction of an extensible (East-West) ring-city around Earth's equator that eventually, in its "hover" mode, would be elevated above the land and the ocean by atomic-power rockets. Finally, it was imagined to be capable of being orbited. Quite aside for the absence, even during the early Anthropocene, of powerful motors able to raise such a heavy object until it orbits Homo s. sapiens' homeland, I found it interesting to assess the value of an (uninhabited, flattish, water-supported textile with a sky-facing mirrored surface) "city" I have dubbed "Mega-Float Giganticus" confined to Earth's equatorial zone and the Pacific Ocean east of Australia. Comparatively speaking, "Saturnii" would be like a linked set of Mega-Floats (Kada, 2002), a megastructure 1,200 km long by 100 km wide and would appear from outer space to be a 120,000 km2 long glittery belt. It would not need to be rated for seaworthiness and since it is immobile it might not even qualify as a vessel, although this is not a firm assertion yet. Realistically, when afloat, "Saturnii" ought to be visualized as a larger version of Christo's pink-colored Surrounded Islands (1983). If "Saturnii" were ever orbited, the Earth-biosphere climate regime effects would be remarkable and favorable, especially in the context of proved global warming (Fawcett and Boslough, 2002).
Initially, I suspected a mirrored Mega-Float Giganticus would have a minor effect on Pacific Ocean equatorial zone climates, due to the small surface of the mirror as compared to the surface of the Earth. The calculation is not difficult in a first stage, but the difficulty arises when the impact of the changed albedo (natural regional energy budget) on climate change is evaluated, because this assumes as a solution the change in atmospheric circulation, an extremely arduous task! Following are some conclusions on the simplest thermodynamic effect of Mega-Float Giganticus' speedy early 21st century emplacement. Hydrodynamic changes, even the most obvious ones, in the partly covered Pacific Ocean are not to be examined here. Most relevantly, there will be a lot of anthropogenic tinkering with the surfaces of the nearby landmasses (Defries, 2002) that is sure to make nightmarishly complex any jigsaw puzzle-like full-scale architectural ecology geographical assessment.
Launched and assembled on 10 August 2000 in Japan, the world's first Mega-Float non-powered barge was purveyed as a model for a potential open ocean platform capable of becoming an airfield and a seaport at which to conduct (anti-terrorism, anti-nuclear weapon) inspections of cargo containers far away from vulnerable, densely populated coastal cities. W. A. Shurcliff – somewhat tongue-in-cheek – postulated a floating atomic particle accelerator (Shurcliff, 1965). Regardless of ocean depth, linked Mega-Floats could cover a vast expanse and would respond non-violently to propagating tsunamis (caused by asteroid impacts or sudden seafloor seismic shifts); virtually uninhabited, such emplacements would have manageable and minimal environmental impacts, and be "infinitely" extensible. (Mega-Float, in certain respects, mirrors sea-bottom artificial reefs.) In the historical past, after World War I, floating linear structures were planned as landing strips for short-range crossing the North Atlantic Ocean (Nelson, 2001) and a few were constructed as very long automobile and truck-conveying bridges over tidewater, as at Seattle, Washington, USA (Dusenberry, 1995).
AD 2003 marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of the first book on ecology to make Earth-biosphere "ecosystems" a central concept; Fundamentals of Ecology (1953), by Eugene Odum, was shaped by the USA's nuclear aerial and submarine testing during 1948 in the coral reefs near Eniwetok Atoll in the South Pacific Ocean (Odum and Odum, 1955). During 1971, Howard T. Odum, Eugene's brother, offered Environment, Power and Society and in a section entitled "An Ecosystem as Its Own Computer", stated: "...the many compartments and circuits that constitute systems of man and nature are themselves special-purpose computers" (Odum, 1971). It occurred to me that Howard T. Odum had described a network-community and so, by combining the undersea cables-hanging sea-screens [of Sections 18 and 19 above] with the still-forming World Wide Sensor Web, the resulting geophysical anthropogenic entity literally blends cyberspace and ecology. Future inhabited high seas infrastructures like Mega-Float Giganticus may come to be considered as the natural, and very human, concentration of consumers that is rather like Odum's tropical zone coral reef or a colossal patch of plankton! Vilem Flusser (1920-91) astutely philosophized that land-based mega-structures consisting of insignificant, undifferentiated, uniformly distributed particles (like salt crystals?) without – so far – any written history might be apprehended as the physical, geographic embodiment and equivalent of cyberspace. Hence, I now allege "The Aquarium Development Theory" – see Section 12 above – is scientifically valid, and demonstrably applicable for this particular discussion; at the very least, an ocean situated, plankton-like Mega-Float Giganticus represents both an incipient localized "aquarium lid" as well as a "human-made regional plankton mat"!
Another way of thinking about Mega-Float Giganticus is to view its operation as similar to a valve. Malacology recognizes oceanic mollusks such as bivalves and univalves; "volvere" is Latin meaning "to roll or swing" and the function of valves is to control incoming supplies and outgoing detritus, which is Mega-Float Giganticus' intended task! Italian vocabulary contains the word "nicchio", meaning a bivalve mollusk – that term also appears in ecology as "niche", a set of ecological conditions (based on the needs of a single species) which provides that unique species with the energy and habitat that enable it to reproduce and colonize. Research remains to be done that will even outline what kind of niche results when a Mega-Float Giganticus stays put for a long time at any specific world-ocean macroproject site. It is known, generally, what sort of hydro-elastic behaviors result (bending vibration) when a large-scale floating linear plate on ocean waves, whose horizontal extension is colossal and what vertical thickness is small compared with the wave's length, even when the mat-type structure's configuration is a simple straight-forward construction (Kado, 2000); sporadic inundation by storm waves and torrential rainfall were investigated minutely too (Takaishi, 2001).
Catastrophic weather in ancient times was simply thought to be nature's violent acts, during the first century of the Industrial Revolution acts of God, and in recent times – mainly post 1970 – so-called criminal acts of Homo s. sapiens. Why this absurd, irrational self-wounding bias? When Americans find themselves embroiled in an awkward predicament of any kind, they sometimes remark: "We're in a bit of a fix (or bind)?". The English-language "fix" traces back to "figere", Latin for "to fasten or bind". Hence, "technological fix", "techno-fix" means to "repair" something that is broken or improperly functioning. In 1971, in a chapter, "Ecology of Space Travel", penned by G. Dennis Cooke for Odum's 1971 text, the life-support system of human-designed spaceships became an extended metaphor for nature. One factor not specifically addressed therein is that of glare emanating from Earth's reflective world-ocean surface as it has been, and will soon be, altered by human constructions. Mere lambent light is softly bright or radiant, sometime brilliant; glare is a shimmering distraction or human health hazard. Strong sunlight reflections from surface-installed floating objects such as Mega-Float Giganticus will pose some problem for Earth-orbiting spationauts as can be imagined in the case of Earthlings gazing upwards at giant orbiting billboards. Although Mega-Float Giganticus will cover ~120,000 km2, it will be discontinuous; planned gaps between its very similar floating components will exist. A surface with an albedo of 1.0 is s perfect mirror, reflecting back all sunlight that shines on it, without itself receiving any heat or light. A surface whose albedo is zero is a perfect matte black surface, reflection-less and soaking up all the radiation that impinges its surface. Albedo may therefore be imagined as the relative permeability ("valve" function) of a surface to radiant energy flowing in either direction; a high albedo surface resists this flow, and low albedo surface facilitates it. But, the albedo of a surface may be quite different at different wavelengths. There is the useful potential for light-transmitting tunable fiber-optic cables to dangle, like mortarboard tassels, beneath Mega-Float Giganticus' component barges, thereby bringing free sunlight directly to the upper 200 m of the world-ocean that is blocked from receiving the Sun's life-sustaining energy (Mach, 2002). Such a system might be seen as prolonging oceanography's historic remote sensing via wire soundings (Hohler, 2002). In that instance, Mega-Float Giganticus could resemble in appearance a super-size jellyfish! In 1971, Bernhard Leitner invented "Sound Architecture", the use of sound (in air, water, rock) as a means of defining architectural space (Leitner, 1971); blocks of space filled with seawater, lying beneath each barge-like component of Mega-Float Giganticus, can be spatially defined via sound waves emitted by devices intended to warn away unwary, or too friendly, sea creatures such as dolphins.
21. Simplistic unitized Mega-Float Giganticus Model
Mega-Float Giganticus, if made operational, will function as a techno-fixing "valve". Dispersed, 120,000 km2 of mirrored upper surface barges will usefully reflect sunlight that is appreciably over-heating the Earth's atmosphere (Maddox, 1990); collected in one tropical zone locale – the Pacific Ocean near Australia – Mega-Float Giganticus components will also shade and cool underlying equatorial seawater currents, possibly modifying El Nino, the largest mode of climate variability of the climate system on longer than seasonal time scales. What is the potential of a matte black surface versus a mirrored surface Mega-Float Giganticus? It is my hope that perhaps during one human generation humans can gradually change climate conditions or even trigger a rapid and much more dramatic shift in projected abrupt and dangerous-to-humanity global change outcomes. All relevant water column changes worldwide will be geo-modeled in real-time (Wallcraft, 2002); marine ecosystem disruption and formation by altered seawater temperatures and currents will undergo grand-scale recordation.
To cost-effectively counter a supposed warming of the Earth-atmosphere, the technical possibility for deliberately increasing Earth's ocean albedo was examined by Lyndon B. Johnson's 1965 Presidential Science Advisory Committee. "Restoring the Quality of Our Environment" (PSA65) offered a macroproject plan involving the dispersal of buoyant reflective particles on the ocean's surface in order to cause a ~1% increase in reflectivity at a yearly maintenance cost of approximately USA1965$500 × 106. Converted to today's currency values, the AD 1965 macroproject's annual cost is approximately USA2003$2.85 × 109. Subsequent reports, published by the USA's National Academy of Sciences (NAS72, NAS77 and NAS92) continued to treat this proposed macroproject, and its variants, as practical counter-measures. Somewhat equivalent to Mega-Float Giganticus, David R. Criswell has proposed floating structures as rectifying antennas [rectennas] collecting Moon-base generated microwaves resulting from solar energy's garnishment: "Rectenna areas [located anywhere on Earth's equatorial zone surface] can be designed to reflect low-quality sunlight back into space and thereby balance out the net new energy the [Moon-based microwave generation facility could] deliver to the biosphere" (Watts, 2002). I hope to do the same, or better, using the marvelous invention of carbon nanotube super-ropes and textiles as well as Mega-Float!
I have estimated the obvious climate-altering effects likely to result from the intentional emplacement of a geographically large-scale textile "cap" placed over a mostly unused Western Australia region as well as a "gown" consisting of anchored carbon nanotube cable and various suspended textiles in adjacent ocean regions. My analysis and synthesis suggests that making these architectural ecology-based alterations of the real world is probably worth the economic cost. Clearly, however, the available knowledge about the likelihood as well as the potential socioeconomic impacts of these macro-engineering imposed changes is sketchy at best! From mere soil-holding geo-textile usage to establishment of a World Wide Sensor Web is a big technical as well as philosophical leap for Homo s. sapiens and architectural ecology's practitioners. This step forward in planet stylization means that humankind is graduating to a higher level of progress that, probably, will include Mars' 21st century terraformation.
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