Though climate change is an urgent threat, the efforts to counteract it still remain politically divisive. Time is running out.
That’s why a group of researchers is playing the long game, determining solutions for an Earth ravaged even more by erratic weather and lessened sustainability.
To counter extended heatwaves—inevitable if the issue of climate change and rising temperatures go unmitigated—researchers wrote in a paper for Nature Climate Change that dimming the sun’s rays by spraying sulfate aerosols into Earth’s atmosphere would lessen the impending damage.
The phenomenon happens naturally in certain regions when volcanic ash projects into the sky, effectively dimming solar rays.
While the risks of this method are uncertain, the researchers insist that no land mass would be effected more negatively than the effect climate change would have.
However, the plan is being met with criticism from other experts.
Alan Robock, an environmental science professor at Rutgers, told The Atlantic:
“I don’t think it is correct to imply that geo-engineering is a good or safe idea…and there is no way to do what they modeled, as we cannot turn down the sun.”
Robock is referring to the simulations run by the research team, whose simulation ran on reduced solar rays rather than application of sulfate aerosols.
Robock isn’t the only skeptic.
“Most of the climate models project that solar geoengineering could offset most climate change for most people most of the time. But in climate models, if something goes wrong, you can run the model again. In the real world you don’t have that option.”
— Ken Caldeira (@KenCaldeira) March 12, 2019
Exactly. That's one of the many reasons solar geoengineering is so scary. The challenge here is that we have only one Earth and there are risks from CO2 and also risk from CO2 + geo. No risk free choice. https://t.co/t0A722KUys
— David Keith (@DKeithClimate) March 12, 2019
did nobody watch the Matrix prequel anime????
— Dan Greene (@Greene_DM) March 12, 2019
Every region of the planet except for the entire ocean
— Peter🌋Brannen (@PeterBrannen1) March 12, 2019
Rather than planning for imminent doom, maybe we should consider something else.
Like taking steps now to offset the crisis rather than waiting until we’re at the brink of its worst effects.
All we need instead is to en masse stop eating meat & conserve gas & electricity.
— Eurydice (@EurydiceEve) August 9, 2018
What if we dim the skies at the poles to allow the ice caps to regenerate so that they can return to their jobs of reflecting sunlight and regulating the gulf stream, etc. If that is coupled with drastic cuts in fossil fuel use, we might survive
— ZuZu Kitty (@CMVCat) August 9, 2018
This entire story is upsetting. Wtf is wrong with us? Why are humans so impossibly, relentlessly self centered?
— Lisa McGovern (@lmcgov) August 9, 2018
God forbid we curtail the power of fossil fuel companies to shape global policy
— High Quality Tax Rate 🤑 (@FluffMcWhitecat) August 9, 2018
Regardless of what happens, it looks like dark skies ahead.