- Scientists have published a paper discussing the possibility of using particles released into the atmosphere to reduce sunlight and quell global warming.
- The plan will reduce the chances of a severe drought by up to 90%, researchers say.
- Geoengineering on a global scale can save humanity or potentially create even more problems.
Hey, so you know the plot for some disasters or post-apocalyptic movies (like Snooker, for example), where the world becomes so hot that scientists take action and make the Earth absorb less sunlight, thereby cooling it? Yes, it never works, or it works too well, and after all the Earth is doomed. It’s a fun plot device for a movie, but it seems that a group of scientists were actually considering it as a possible solution to stop one of the effects of global warming.
In a new paper published in Letters on environmental research, researchers led by scientists at the University of Cape Town suggest that the release of reflective particles into the Earth’s atmosphere could ultimately prevent the Earth from suffering devastating droughts as a result of ongoing climate change. No, this is not a joke.
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The idea – absorbing a specific type of particle into the atmosphere to prevent some percentage of sunlight from reaching the surface – may sound like a totally ridiculous idea, but if we are talking about preventing a global collapse, we need to be open to even the craziest possibilities. The researchers who wrote this paper suggest that by using models from the geoengineering project of a large stratospheric aerosol ensemble, we could potentially reduce the chances of a “Day Zero” drought (a term given on a hypothetical day when the world officially expires clean water for all mankind) by 90%.
It’s pretty impressive if it really worked as planned, but there are still a few other issues. For example, how Futurism points out that simply fighting a catastrophe like a drought on a planet would not actually solve global warming. It would potentially alleviate one of the symptoms of global warming, but it would not actually reverse the damage already done. In fact, it can potentially make matters worse in ways we have not yet fully grasped.
Another major obstacle between humanity and global geoengineering is the fact that in order to make such a decision, everyone will have to be on board. One country cannot just go and decide to dim the lights for the rest of us without ensuring that all countries agree with the decision. Of course, this is likely to lead to a serious reversal by many nations, and there is even the potential for military conflict to arise when both sides refuse to withdraw. Trying to save the planet from drought could eventually cause another kind of catastrophe with the end of the planet: nuclear war.
In any case, labor is just that, paper and I still do not plan to put these ideas into motion …