2. The science of direct cooling

Walter Jehne outlines hydrological processes that naturally regulate and cool Earth’s climate.

For the past 4 billion years water has governed some 95% of the heat dynamics and thus climate of the blue planet via a range of sequential and interacting hydrological processes and influences.

These processes helped Earth to sustain relatively stable temperatures some 33oC above physical background levels and liquid water in its oceans. This enabled life to evolve 3.8 billion years ago and survive, despite marked fluctuations in CO2 levels and its far smaller greenhouse component effect.

The microbial formation of the Earth’s soil carbon sponge, its hydrology and the extension of plants over 29% of the planet’ s land surface from 420 million years ago further enhanced this hydrological regulation and buffering of the Earth’s climate, including its cooling over the recent millions of years, despite the natural progressive intensification of our sun and incident solar radiation.

Our degradation of these terrestrial bio-systems over the past 10,000 but particularly past 100 years has grossly altered these hydrological processes and the natural heat dynamics, cooling and climate of regions; as well as oxidised soil carbon sinks, as evidenced in the abnormal increase in CO2 levels.

Our disruption of these hydrological processes is accelerating dangerous hydrological climate risks that threaten many regions in the next decades. We can not now prevent or mitigate these by any level of CO2 emissions reduction or drawdown. As in nature we can however safely and naturally avoid and buffer these risks by restoring the natural hydrological cooling processes and balances.

Given that we are abnormally warming the planet by an average of 3 watts per square meter, or less than 1% of the incident solar radiation, our imperative is to safely cool it by this 3w/m2, urgently.

The following outlines how we can do this practically and in time if we restore natural hydrological processes that our current land management practices have impaired. As different elements of this sequence of these 10 natural processes may be more relevant in different regions, this must be considered in designing optimal practical rehydration and cooling strategies for a particular region.  (Walter Jehne)

Walter’s  processes are elaborated in the following pages with links to relevant video.

  1. The cooling effect of latent heat fluxes more>>
  2. The formation of warming, dimming and aridifying humid haze more>>
  3. Surface albedo effects and the heating of soils more>>
  4. The re-radiation of infrared heat from vegetation and soil surfaces more>>
  5. How we can safely turn down our abnormal greenhouse effect, warming and climate extremes more>>
  6. The natural conversion of the warming humid hazes into cooling, high albedo clouds more>>
  7. The natural nucleation and enhancement of rainfall more>>
  8. The re-opening of night time re-radiation windows more>>
  9. The restoration of biotic pump effects to restore rainfalls, rehydration and cooling more>>
  10. Why regenerating the Earth’s soil carbon sponge must be our key point of agency and action more>>

4 thoughts on “2. The science of direct cooling

  1. The health of soil is very important. However, you can’t just expect to “cool” the planet this way. The enhanced greenhouse effect due to co2 and other GHG increase in the atmosphere causes the approximately 3W/m2 of heating. Cooling the soil by enhanced evaporative cooling will help locally by evening out temperature extremes day/night but not average temperatures. But the global heat imbalance remains in the system until we reduce the GH effect and permit radiation egress from the bottom of the atmosphere to space to return to pre industrial levels.


      1. You are correct that the infrared radiation exchange between the ground and the atmosphere is larger (in both directions) than the incoming solar radiation. But of course, the net radiation transfer from the ground to the atmosphere is less than the incoming absorbed solar due to the addition of energy transfer from the ground to the atmosphere from convection and evaporation/condensation.

        The main benefit from greater soil and vegetaion moisture is a better averaging of temperatures in the day/night cycle. A good example are deserts. Very hot at night and, due to the very dry atmosphere, very cold at night.



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