Scientists Weigh In On Dimming Sunlight Amidst Climate Crisis

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Scientists Weigh In On Dimming Sunlight Amidst Climate Crisis

Global warming is one of the biggest challenges that humanity is facing. The climate crisis has already done irreparable damage to our planet and the idea of "solar geoengineering” seems like the last resort. Solar Geoengineering will involve shooting particles into the stratosphere to reduce the Sun’s heat.

 

Despite a lot of criticism of the idea of interfering with Earth’s ecosystem, a lot of scientists are considering the possibility, according to a report from The New Yorker. The White House recently announced a research plan to study the possibility of geoengineering. This suggests the idea is no longer science fiction as the temperatures across the globe continue to rise rapidly.

Earth Heading Towards Doomsday?

Even if we completely halt the use of fossil fuels, our planet is swiftly moving toward a disaster. The Paris Agreement, an international treaty on climate change, was signed by 196 nations in a bid to restrict global warming to as close to 1.5 degrees Celsius as possible.

However, achieving this target is nearly impossible. As per an October report by UN Climate Change, efforts put in to curb greenhouse gas emissions aren’t sufficient to meet the goal by the end of the century.

This has resulted in a lot of researchers leaning towards investigating the possibility of dimming sunlight through geoengineering. Very much like particles delivered by an enormous volcano — past ejections have been displayed to decrease temperatures — spraying sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere could have similar outcomes.

While many experts agree that these particles could provide shade and cool temperatures to Earth’s surface, they will have to learn about the consequences of doing so on a global scale.

Can Geoengineering Have Side Effects?

Fluctuating temperatures could cause extreme weather, such as flooding, in unexpected locations across the globe. According to The New Yorker report, an increase in local reservoirs can amplify the spread of diseases like malaria. Besides, there can be disastrous political ramifications as well.

"We believe there’s no governance system existing that could decide this, and that none is plausible," said Frank Biermann. "You’d have to take decisions on duration, on the degree — and if there are conflicts — 'we want a little more here, a little less here’—all these need adjudication."

Simply put, the idea can cause a lot of disagreement and might never get off the ground as it would require everybody to onboard, to begin with.

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