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Climate Change Shelter?

Climate Change Shelter?13-06-2014 22:37
Prudence dictates preparing for the worst, but the worst is scientists saying the world will get too hot for any humans to survive. Even if there is someplace humans can survive the heat & humidity, the plant kingdom will be decimated, so there won't be anything to eat. Or that's the theory.

As an admitted non-scientist, I'm thinking that in theory any place is survivable if you create an internally sustainable mini-ecosystem. So, assuming the exterior planet is unlivable, is it still possible to design and build a sustainable sheltered eco-system? What would that look like? What would you need? What would you need to balance?

We obviously cannot store enough O2 tanks for 10 million years, which I read somewhere was how long it may take earth to get habitable again. So if the atmosphere is going to turn unbreathable, all this is hopeless. So, my first assumption, is that the air will be breathable and may simply need some filtration.

The notion that this might be feasible occurred to me when reading about aquaponics -- combining hydroponic gardening with fish farms. The fish feed the plants and vice versa. The crop yield is actually much better than with normal farming.

So let's say you took an apartment building somewhere. Maybe Detroit because it's dirt cheap, tons of vacancies, somewhat north, rising oceans are not a factor, and has abundant water supplies. Not the best projected area for 100 years in the future, but far from the worst.

First, I'd look into sealing the entire exterior of the building and replacing windows and such to make it basically air-tight, like the space station. You put in filtration systems in numerous windows. These are systems that you don't use initially; they are for down the road, should the atmosphere get really bad for breathing. It might be this can be done with some kind of interior lining. Maybe it'll turn out easier just to build a whole new building, but I like the notion of "recycling" an old building.

I guess you'd want to try to figure how many people do you reasonably need to have a big enough gene pool in case, for whatever reason, you were the last survivors. Maybe the number is lower if you have people from diverse ethnic backgrounds? You'd hope there might be a number of these enclaves, with some ability to travel between, so you could exchange people and this would not be an issue. So if you had to build this too small to be independently sustainable, on a genetic level, that would not be a deal breaker.

You'd then designate which rooms will be for sleeping, for aquaponic systems, for exercise, for cooking, some kind of tech shop, a library, etc.

You'd want to work out an external water source. A well to an underground water supply would be ideal. Second would be maybe a reliable pipeway to a large supply (like huge river). Radical envronmental changes may require you to consider various options and alternatives. Rain-catchers over large flat areas that would route water to tanks for usage would be ideal.

Sustainable water filtration would also be ideal.

You'd want sustainable power. I'd think rooftop solar panels, maybe with wind all around the outer perimeter, would be part of that. If possible, maybe you can put various adjacent solar panel or wind power systems around.

You also can look into human-power collection. Theoretically, you can find a way to hook a treadmill to a battery charger so that your exercise will charge batteries. As your people stay in shape, they can be producing power.

To the maximum extent possible, you want to make things inside fungible, and even replaceable from stuff you are growing.

You figure how you can get the best agricultural diversity both in terms of fish and plants for the aquaponics.

You figure what else you may need to meet dietary requirements. It might, for example, be possible to have a room with hydroponic or aquaponic plants that honey bees live off of, in a way that would let you have an indoor bee farm, if it seems like honey would be worth the effort.

You probably want to gut the elevator and use only stairs, as that's a pure luxury and power drain, and you can find better uses for that space.

I guess if you had architects and engineers and scientists and farmers figure out what is most feasible for retrofitting of a building like this, and then you found maybe a dozen or more such buildings close enough to build interconnecting underground tunnels, that would give you an added level of security / safety net.

The knowledge is out there, it's just a matter of applying and distilling it to this problem. If NASA figured out how to put a man on the moon in a decade, and did it, this is not impossible.

I don't think it's to much to conceive of or too expensive. I expect you'll pack people in closer living quarters, dormitory style for the most part. I think as the danger becomes more obvious, more and more people will be willing to invest in a place in such a building. Maybe the super-rich are already building such things, or have built them. But I don't see where 1000 families could not join together, pick a location, move there, and start work, assign people different learning / research tasks. Like some are to learn the solar power stuff, some figure what you want for computer technology, for a library, some learn aquaponics, etc.

Ultimately, it may not be needed in our lifetimes, but if we don't start now, we may not get this sort of thing figured out by the time we do need it. If we aren't looking into this kind of thing now, aren't we making the exact same mistake people made over the last 100 years that got us into this mess?

It is a million to one shot? Yeah. Is that a better shot than zero? You bet.

Well, that's my thought for a response to the threat of global warming. No one is saying you have to quit working now to do this full time, but if you can find a way to do your job via telecommuting, or find a similar job where-ever you and the other enclave members decide is where they want to build their buildings, this could be what you spent your spare time and weekends working on, for example.

31-03-2015 07:47
For breathing, probably just need CO2 absorbents, but within a few dozen or maybe hundred generations, evolution will probably allow people to breath provided CO2 is below 2,000 ppm

Habitable locations for human life likely include polar regions and areas above 45 latitude. This is not limited to antartica.

In other regions, it may be hospitable living underground with many reflective mirrors to mitigate solar radiation in the day, and pumping water at night to radiate heat and maintain cool enough temperature.

With some cleverness, maybe once most life is extinct, the human population much reduced, we might find a way to sequester co2 quickly. Coal doesn't really form in present day because fungus breaks down fallen trees (unlike in the carbonaceous era) but perhaps we can manipulate the system and grow algae in pools only to extract and dry the remains and pump underground.
31-03-2015 11:32
Abraham3Profile picture★★☆☆☆
ken2esq wrote:
Prudence dictates preparing for the worst, but the worst is scientists saying the world will get too hot for any humans to survive. Even if there is someplace humans can survive the heat & humidity, the plant kingdom will be decimated, so there won't be anything to eat. Or that's the theory.

That is not the theory. That is your fantasy. My apologies for the blunt tone, but your entire post is nonsense.
05-10-2015 18:32
Yeah, what active climate scientists have said it could get too hot to survive?

For me, it just means not loving somewhere like Phoenix, or any place that is already too hot, by my personal measure.
05-10-2015 18:45
sokoban wrote: evolution will probably allow people to breath provided CO2 is below 2,000 ppm

Humans can breathe much higher concentrations of CO2. CO2 is not a poison nor is it a pollutant. As long as there is sufficient oxygen in the air, we'll be fine. There's no need to "sequester" CO2 or to worry about it in any way, unless of course, CO2 levels start to drop. CO2 is essential for life on earth. More would be better.

Global Warming: The preferred religion of the scientifically illiterate.

Ceist - I couldn't agree with you more. But when money and religion are involved, and there are people who value them above all else, then the lies begin. - trafn

You are completely misunderstanding their use of the word "accumulation"! - Climate Scientist.

The Stefan-Boltzman equation doesn't come up with the correct temperature if greenhouse gases are not considered - Hank

:*sigh* Not the "raw data" crap. - Leafsdude

IB STILL hasn't explained what Planck's Law means. Just more hand waving that it applies to everything and more asserting that the greenhouse effect 'violates' it.- Ceist
05-10-2015 18:59
trafnProfile picture★★★☆☆
Hi everyone,

Though I'm not quite on the same page, I love the creativity of Ken2esq's original post here. It's amazing to see the detail and thoughtfulness someone can place into an idea. Thank goodness people don't get frustrated by others' opinions of them or what they think or the Wright brothers would have never given us manned flight (on second thought, given AGW, we might have been better off without it - who knows?).

As to the CO2 issue, yes, both O2 and CO2 are critical to life, but in the right concentrations and proportions. High CO2 concentration is often used by anesthesiologists to knock people out during surgeries, and excessively high levels of O2 can actually burn lung tissue. So there are limits to how useful these gases are, and more is not always better.
27-02-2017 20:08
ken2esq wrote: Prudence dictates preparing for the worst, but the worst is scientists saying the world will get too hot for any humans to survive. Even if there is someplace humans can survive the heat & humidity, the plant kingdom will be decimated, so there won't be anything to eat. Ken

Ken, is that what you've been taught?

Just because there are lunatics in the world doesn't mean you have to believe them.
28-02-2017 00:32
"old sick silly sleepy sleezy slimy steenkin' filthy vile reprobate rooting (& rotting) racist pukey proud pig AGW denier liar whiner wake-me-up" woofs: Ken, is that what you've been taught?

The other day "wake-me-up" addressed someone who hadn't been around for 6 years. Now "wake-me-up" addresses another poster, AS IF THEY ARE CURRENTLY HERE, who posted ONLY ONCE & 2 & 2/3rds YEARS AGO.
"wake-me-up" needs to.... wake-up!

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