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table below this is as large as the total production of several of the
oil producing regions and is a significant fraction of the U.S. use.
The SST could use all of the production from Alaska
we will need to develop an oilfield the size of the Alaskan field just to
take care of the SST.
We have all been made aware of the potential envi
ronmental effects of the development of Alaskan oil.
Such effects must be
added to the more obvious effects of the direct introduction of pollutants.
We should also ask if this additional jump in the demand for oil will
Influence prices to the rest of the consumers.
There has been growing
evidence of a squeeze on oil supplies and prices in the past months.
The V.S. net proved reserves of oil are about 30 billion barrels (20)
and we use about 5 billion barrels per year.
Thus a six year supply is
but this time figure has decreased over the past years.
Global proved reserves are about 600 billion barrels and at present pro
duction rates of about 17 billion barrels per year the global supply can
last 35 years.
A recent report by the National Academy of Sciences (21 )
includes an estimate of 2000 billion barrels as the ultimate possible
global supply and with many other countries becoming industrialized so
that annual use increases one can see that the 35 year figure is not un
The plastics industry represents a further future claim on this ofl.
One could argue that the prudent global inhabitant would attempt to
use these relatively small reserves in the most efficient manner possible
57.01 - 7110
One measure of efficiency is the passenger miles obtained per gallon of
The claims on the DOT budget this year for the most efficient rail
transit vehicles and systems already exceed the funds available (23).
Those claios have been made by the public
sector of the economy, local governments backed by their local citizens
and we see them now (wittingly or not) pursuing a policy of efficient use
of natural resources, prolongation of the age of oil, and minimization of
the global pollution problem.
The private sector is asking that the funds
be spent at the other end of the scale with opposite results.
A recent analysis of the rate of use of resources and its relationship
with global pollution problems, population, capital Investment, and quality
of life is the work of Professor J. Forrester of M.I.T. presented to the
based upon computer modelling to study the change with time of these five
There are clear interactions between the factors. Pollution
increases as rate of natural resource depletion increases and quality of
life goes down.
But nany interactions appear that are more subtle and
Professor Forrester shows that it is not always the obvious short-run
action that leads to optimum long run conditions. His work raises questions
about the desirability of across-the-board technological progress at the
present rate; an important hope for the future is that he finds that growth
conditions can give way to an equilibrium situation (constant population, high quality of life, and constant pollution). One of the prerequisites
to a lower natural resource usage rate than the present.
I would respectfully suggest that all those concerned with political
decision-making consider his arguments and discuss them.
It is quite
possible for example that the current fund request, if channeled into
development of high technology land based transportation systems (refined
versions of BART for example) could ultimately improve the quality of
life for a large number of people, decrease rather than increase the rate
of usage of natural resources, and decrease the global pollution levels.
All this could be done without any change in the number of jobs involved.
Figure 1. Temperature maps at an altitude of about 77000ft, to show
regions (enclosed) where clouds are most likely to form 1f additional
moisture is present.
The favored regions vary in position from day to day.
Figure 2. Temperature cross-section for the period June-August to supple
ment that shown in my Scientific American article attached.
denote areas of most probable additional cloud formation.
6. CONCLUDING COMMENTS
The stratosphere is a region in which there is a very delicate balance
between incoming solar radiation, chemical constituents and reactions,
infrared radiative processes and atmospheric motions.
It is much easier
to disturb this balance in the stratosphere than it is in the troposphere
and any disturbance persists for a much longer period of time.
posphere contains a natural self cleansing mechanism - rainfall
effectively removes much, but not all, of man's particulate injections (or gaseous Injections that evolve into particulates). There is no such
mechanism in the stratosphere and much of the removal of contamination
occurs by exchange of air between the stratosphere which is a very slow process (several years for the middle stratosphere). These facts should
be appreciated and fully understood before any deliberate long term changes
I oppose all technological developments which will ultimately introduce
quantities of trace materials directly into the stratosphere large enough
to influence the natural balance. To my knowledge the SST program is the
first of man's efforts which have involved sufficiently large amounts of
material so as to be comparable to the natural amounts involved and which
can be avoided by deliberate action now.
Carbon dioxide introduction is
presently necessary for survival; SST development is not.
The additional water vapor introduced by the SST can have at least
three effects: it can change the radiative heating rates:
the ozone distribution and thereby also alter the radiative heating rates
in the stratosphere as well as the ultraviolet radiation reaching the
troposphere, and it can, produce additional cloudiness in regions that are
already close to saturation.
I have studied at length the global ozone budget Including its seasonal
Large scale atmospheric motions contribute significantly
to the amount of ozone in the lower stratosphere - a finding borne out by
a comprehensive dynamical model of the atmosphere developed by the NOAA
Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (28). Hydrogen compounds appear to play a significant role in the ozone balance and the projected SST development will add significantly to the stratospheric content of hydrogen com
The feedback between potential stratospheric clouds and the
motion systems has not yet been studied.
It is desirable to apply such
comprehensive models to the "modified" stratosphere but we still have considerable way to go before the natural stratosphere is understood in
sufficient detail. Reactions involving the oxides of nitrogen seem impor
tant (11) and indeed nitric acid has been observed so it is not just water
vapor from the SST that is of concern. We should also bear in mind that although particles from the volcano had a large effect on the stratospheric
temperature it may have been gases that were actually injected with a
subsequent evolution of particles. The possibilities for such evolution
are very high in a stable region with a strong short wave solar flux.
I do not think we can be sure of the mass of particles that may evolve
heating and therefore more water vapor is admitted to the stratosphere.
4. Martell, E.A.: "Hydrogen Compounds in the Stratosphere and Mesosphere",
Paper presented in the session on Atmospheric Evolution, International Symposium on llydrogeochemistry and Biogeochemistry
Tokyo, Japan, September 6-12, 1970 5. Machta, L., private communication, 1970
9. Hampson, J.: Les Problemes Meteorologiques de la Stratosphere et de la
Mesosphere. p. 393, 1966. Presses Universitaires de France, Paris.
10. Leovy, C.:
J. Geophys. Res. 74, 417, 1969
11. Park, J. and London, J.: "The photochemical relation between water
vapor and ozone in the stratosphere", paper presented at AGU Fall
12. Harrison, H.: Science, 170, 736, 1970
13. Hesstvedt, E.: "On the photochemistry of ozone in the ozone layer".
Technical Rept., University of Oslo, Norway, February 1968.
14. Blum, H.F.: Carcinogenesis by Ultraviolet Lighti. Princeton Univer
sity Press, 1959.
15. Leach, W.M.: Biological Aspects of Ultraviolet Radiation, A Review of
17. Nicolet, M.: "Ozone and Hydrogen Reactions", Scientific Report No. 350,
March 10, 1970, Ionospheric Rescarch, Ionosphere Research Lab.