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Climate cooling earth by sun dimming or warming by co2 | Upload General

Cooling Earth By Sun Dimming Or Warming By CO2

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by: Sharai Hoekema
cooling earth by sun dimming or warming by co2 | Upload

Geoengineering, better known as climate intervention, is a topic that is subject to much debate and, unfortunately, controversy. Many feel that executing such initiatives would constitute ‘playing God’, something that we somehow tend to look at as something to be frowned upon. 

Cooling Earth By Sun Dimming

Yet would any deity, if given a choice, not opt for saving the planet so aptly created – if needed through drastic changes to the climate? I would think so. One of the most promising initiatives is looking to hit the dim button on our sun, by reflecting her rays into space when they reach our atmosphere.

What is geoengineering and how does it work?
Geoengineering (literally "Earth-engineering") is the currently fashionable term for making large-scale interventions in how the planet works to slow down or reverse the effects of climate change. The first is to try to cool the planet by reducing the amount of incoming solar energy.

The biggest problem with the sun is that it sends a whole lot of 'heat' (sunrays) in our direction. We can try to counter this by inserting some particles in our stratosphere that act like a sunscreen of sorts. These reflect the sun’s rays into space so that they do not reach the earth. The process through which sun dimming takes place is now being investigated, although it has already – accidentally – been tested in the real world. 



                                                     Geoengineering May Be the Answer to Climate Change

 

For instance, the eruption of volcano Mount Pinatubo (Philippines) caused some 20 million tones of sulfur dioxide to be spewed into the stratosphere. These finer particles somehow threw up a shield against the sun – a sunscreen, if you wish – that resulted in global cooling. The world became about half a degree Celsius colder, which effectively brought us back to pre-Industrial Age times.

Recommended: Global Cooling Or Warming: CO2 Matters Because It Doesn’t

Mount Pinatubo (Philippines) Cloud, car, trees

Recommended: Taal Volcano: Hazardous Eruption Feared. What Is The Future?

Sun Dimming Effect: Turn Down The Thermostat

So the idea of switching our earth’s thermostat from ‘automatic’ to ‘manual’ is nothing new. The whole concept of geoengineering has been floating around for several decades, has generated a massive amount of literature and laboratory studies. But also an enormous amount of fear. 

What are some examples of geoengineering?
Examples of this approach include: spraying seawater thousands of metres into the air to seed the formation of stratocumulus clouds that will deflect sunlight; installing sun-shields or mirrors in space to reflect the sun; or injecting sun-blocking particulates into space.

This particularly applies to sun dimming. Even Hollywood has taken notice and dedicated several blockbuster movies to the concept of messing with our climate, often with disastrous consequences. All of this has led to the inherent notion that manually adjusting our climate will disrupt the fragile balance of our ecosystems. Some fear that decreasing sunlight will disadvantage certain regions, that will be faced with sun-deprived crops or disadvantageous shifts in rain patterns. Others fear that it will become a political toy that will increase inequality.

Recommended: Delay Climate Change With Submarines Which Produce Icebergs

Graph, sun, reflection

Recommended: Cooling By A Grand Solar Minimum Or Global Warming By CO2?

The time has now arrived to move past this stage of ‘what-iffing’ and start taking action. The reality is that the drastic consequences of global warming can no longer be avoided. We ought to do something equally drastic. This means either sucking enormous amounts of CO2 out of the air – or artificially adjusting our climate thermostat. Even better would be to start doing both.

Cooling Earth By A-Sun Dimming Effect: A Modest Test 

Thankfully, scientists are now fast moving towards implementing sun dimming. Harvard scientists are looking to inject calcium carbonate into the stratosphere through balloons. Calcium carbonate is the essential ingredient found in products like cement, paper, and cake – and could potentially be the ideal particle for reflecting sunlight. Cheap, clean, and highly effective.

2 men, 1 woman, equipment
Harvard scientists will attempt to replicate the climate-cooling effect of volcanic eruptions. 

This project, which has been dubbed the Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment, will be the first real climate engineering project to be tested. Even though its scale is relatively small, its results could prove to be huge. Also though the scientists claim they are merely observing a chemical reaction, there are a lot of environmentalists closely following their every move.

What are the benefits of geoengineering?
Solar geoengineering could also reduce poleward shifts in species ranges, which has been posing serious risks to tropical fisheries. And it could lessen the amount of sea-ice loss, which could reduce the impacts on high-latitude ecosystems and climate, and help to limit changes in ocean circulation and glacier melt.

After all, or so they say, focusing on climate engineering efforts could distract us from the actual problem – our CO2 emissions that should be cut. Their argument seems valid. After all, it is always better to treat the disease rather than the symptoms. Yet, at the same time, sometimes you can only start to administer medicines after ensuring that the patient is stable – achieving this by relieving dangerous symptoms.

Nevertheless, the Harvard team is committed to keeping their experiment small to avoid most of this scrutiny. At the same time, it has installed an external advisory committee – and generally paying a lot of attention to decent oversight and accountability.

Recommended: Artificial Intelligence For Climate Change And Environment

Sun Dimming: Joining Forces

To make the experiment work, several parties have joined forces and are working on creating an ideal testing environment. The stratosphere in itself is a perfect working environment, as it is relatively easy for particles inserted here to spread all around the earth, providing a full cover. The key is to have them released in a strategic location and at vital time intervals, to keep this cover-up.

Once again, this requires the expertise of many different scientists and experts. While some frown upon this lack of one clear expert on the topic, others celebrate the fact that it will indeed result in a ‘melting of the minds,’ making the experiment more reliable.

graph layers atmosphere

Cooling Earth: An Eye On The Sky

There have been several initiatives before that sought to alter our climate somehow. However, most of these have failed in the early stages of development, more often than not over bureaucratic and political hurdles. This makes Harvard’s SCoPEx project so remarkable, as it has managed to raise funding through philanthropists and angel investors, including Bill Gates. All systems go, at this stage.

This does not mean that everything is set up for success. There are still a lot of uncertainties, such as the size of the particles, the navigation of the balloon dispersing them, and finding a way of measuring the amount of calcium carbonate in the stratosphere so that its effect can be measured appropriately. 

Sun Dimming: Up To The Stratosphere 

The scientists running this project are finding solutions for these queries – often relying on external support and initiatives. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Colorado, USA, has provided the Harvard team with an instrument that can measure the size and number of particles released. An important step forward, as this will allow the team on the ground to measure the effectiveness.

Cloud, dim sun

Separate teams are working on the balloon and the spraying-system projects that still involve a lot of uncertainties. The first launches will determine how far they are in combatting climate change through geoengineering. 

Cooling Earth By A-Sun Dimming Effect

We should not be naive and assume that geoengineering is going to solve all of our problems. The drawbacks have been equally well-documented as the benefits. They might even cancel each other out. The dimming of sunlight could, for instance, result in lower agricultural yields. Additionally, it could cause droughts in other areas, which are equally bad for our agricultural industry.

What is most likely to cause dimming?
Aerosols have been found to be the major cause of global dimming. The burning of fossil fuels by industry and internal combustion engines emits by-products such as sulfur dioxide, soot, and ash. These together form particulate pollution—primarily called aerosols.

Another pressing concern is that of the intellectual, physical, and financial requirements for creating a balanced geoengineering system that will protect that earth as a whole. Who will pay for it all, who will be responsible? Who will secure it, and how do we ensure that it does not benefit one nation over another? Will it is government-led, or will it be an independent organization or enterprise running it?

Cylinder

One thing is sure; geoengineering is a route that we should go down if we are to make a fist and fight climate change. While the benefits seem clear, the downsides are still purely theoretical and might not even apply. If we can only get the technology and the politics of it right, we would be stupid to ignore it. And yes, it may only be a short-term symptom reliever. But who would deny additional oxygen if we are suffering from lung failure? While it may not cure the actual disease, it may give us enough literal air to properly fight it.

Before you go!

Recommended: Solar Farms In Space: Next Step In Renewable Energy

Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below.
We try to respond the same day.

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Click on 'Register' or push the button 'Write An Article' on the 'HomePage.'

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Cooling Earth By Sun Dimming Or Warming By CO2

Geoengineering, better known as climate intervention, is a topic that is subject to much debate and, unfortunately, controversy. Many feel that executing such initiatives would constitute ‘playing God’, something that we somehow tend to look at as something to be frowned upon.  Cooling Earth By Sun Dimming Yet would any deity, if given a choice, not opt for saving the planet so aptly created – if needed through drastic changes to the climate? I would think so. One of the most promising initiatives is looking to hit the dim button on our sun, by reflecting her rays into space when they reach our atmosphere. What is geoengineering and how does it work? Geoengineering (literally "Earth-engineering") is the currently fashionable term for making large-scale interventions in how the planet works to slow down or reverse the effects of climate change. The first is to try to cool the planet by reducing the amount of incoming solar energy. The biggest problem with the sun is that it sends a whole lot of 'heat' (sunrays) in our direction. We can try to counter this by inserting some particles in our stratosphere that act like a sunscreen of sorts. These reflect the sun’s rays into space so that they do not reach the earth. The process through which sun dimming takes place is now being investigated, although it has already – accidentally – been tested in the real world.   {youtube}                                                      Geoengineering May Be the Answer to Climate Change   For instance, the eruption of volcano Mount Pinatubo (Philippines) caused some 20 million tones of sulfur dioxide to be spewed into the stratosphere. These finer particles somehow threw up a shield against the sun – a sunscreen, if you wish – that resulted in global cooling. The world became about half a degree Celsius colder, which effectively brought us back to pre-Industrial Age times. Recommended:  Global Cooling Or Warming: CO2 Matters Because It Doesn’t Recommended:  Taal Volcano: Hazardous Eruption Feared. What Is The Future? Sun Dimming Effect: Turn Down The Thermostat So the idea of switching our earth’s thermostat from ‘automatic’ to ‘manual’ is nothing new. The whole concept of geoengineering has been floating around for several decades, has generated a massive amount of literature and laboratory studies. But also an enormous amount of fear.   What are some examples of geoengineering? Examples of this approach include: spraying seawater thousands of metres into the air to seed the formation of stratocumulus clouds that will deflect sunlight; installing sun-shields or mirrors in space to reflect the sun; or injecting sun-blocking particulates into space. This particularly applies to sun dimming. Even Hollywood has taken notice and dedicated several blockbuster movies to the concept of messing with our climate, often with disastrous consequences. All of this has led to the inherent notion that manually adjusting our climate will disrupt the fragile balance of our ecosystems. Some fear that decreasing sunlight will disadvantage certain regions, that will be faced with sun-deprived crops or disadvantageous shifts in rain patterns. Others fear that it will become a political toy that will increase inequality. Recommended:  Delay Climate Change With Submarines Which Produce Icebergs Recommended:  Cooling By A Grand Solar Minimum Or Global Warming By CO2? The time has now arrived to move past this stage of ‘what-iffing’ and start taking action. The reality is that the drastic consequences of global warming can no longer be avoided. We ought to do something equally drastic. This means either sucking enormous amounts of CO2 out of the air – or artificially adjusting our climate thermostat. Even better would be to start doing both. Cooling Earth By A-Sun Dimming Effect: A Modest Test   Thankfully, scientists are now fast moving towards implementing sun dimming. Harvard scientists are looking to inject calcium carbonate into the stratosphere through balloons. Calcium carbonate is the essential ingredient found in products like cement, paper, and cake – and could potentially be the ideal particle for reflecting sunlight. Cheap, clean, and highly effective. Harvard scientists will attempt to replicate the climate-cooling effect of volcanic eruptions.  This project, which has been dubbed the Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment, will be the first real climate engineering project to be tested. Even though its scale is relatively small, its results could prove to be huge. Also though the scientists claim they are merely observing a chemical reaction, there are a lot of environmentalists closely following their every move. What are the benefits of geoengineering? Solar geoengineering could also reduce poleward shifts in species ranges, which has been posing serious risks to tropical fisheries. And it could lessen the amount of sea-ice loss, which could reduce the impacts on high-latitude ecosystems and climate, and help to limit changes in ocean circulation and glacier melt. After all, or so they say, focusing on climate engineering efforts could distract us from the actual problem – our CO2 emissions that should be cut. Their argument seems valid. After all, it is always better to treat the disease rather than the symptoms. Yet, at the same time, sometimes you can only start to administer medicines after ensuring that the patient is stable – achieving this by relieving dangerous symptoms. Nevertheless, the Harvard team is committed to keeping their experiment small to avoid most of this scrutiny. At the same time, it has installed an external advisory committee – and generally paying a lot of attention to decent oversight and accountability. Recommended:  Artificial Intelligence For Climate Change And Environment Sun Dimming: Joining Forces To make the experiment work, several parties have joined forces and are working on creating an ideal testing environment. The stratosphere in itself is a perfect working environment, as it is relatively easy for particles inserted here to spread all around the earth, providing a full cover. The key is to have them released in a strategic location and at vital time intervals, to keep this cover-up. Once again, this requires the expertise of many different scientists and experts. While some frown upon this lack of one clear expert on the topic, others celebrate the fact that it will indeed result in a ‘melting of the minds,’ making the experiment more reliable. Cooling Earth: An Eye On The Sky There have been several initiatives before that sought to alter our climate somehow. However, most of these have failed in the early stages of development, more often than not over bureaucratic and political hurdles. This makes Harvard’s SCoPEx project so remarkable, as it has managed to raise funding through philanthropists and angel investors, including Bill Gates. All systems go, at this stage. This does not mean that everything is set up for success. There are still a lot of uncertainties, such as the size of the particles, the navigation of the balloon dispersing them, and finding a way of measuring the amount of calcium carbonate in the stratosphere so that its effect can be measured appropriately.   Sun Dimming: Up To The Stratosphere   The scientists running this project are finding solutions for these queries – often relying on external support and initiatives. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Colorado, USA, has provided the Harvard team with an instrument that can measure the size and number of particles released. An important step forward, as this will allow the team on the ground to measure the effectiveness. Separate teams are working on the balloon and the spraying-system projects that still involve a lot of uncertainties. The first launches will determine how far they are in combatting climate change through geoengineering.   Cooling Earth By A-Sun Dimming Effect We should not be naive and assume that geoengineering is going to solve all of our problems. The drawbacks have been equally well-documented as the benefits. They might even cancel each other out. The dimming of sunlight could, for instance, result in lower agricultural yields. Additionally, it could cause droughts in other areas, which are equally bad for our agricultural industry. What is most likely to cause dimming? Aerosols have been found to be the major cause of global dimming. The burning of fossil fuels by industry and internal combustion engines emits by-products such as sulfur dioxide, soot, and ash. These together form particulate pollution—primarily called aerosols. Another pressing concern is that of the intellectual, physical, and financial requirements for creating a balanced geoengineering system that will protect that earth as a whole. Who will pay for it all, who will be responsible? Who will secure it, and how do we ensure that it does not benefit one nation over another? Will it is government-led, or will it be an independent organization or enterprise running it? One thing is sure; geoengineering is a route that we should go down if we are to make a fist and fight climate change. While the benefits seem clear, the downsides are still purely theoretical and might not even apply. If we can only get the technology and the politics of it right, we would be stupid to ignore it. And yes, it may only be a short-term symptom reliever. But who would deny additional oxygen if we are suffering from lung failure? While it may not cure the actual disease, it may give us enough literal air to properly fight it. Before you go! Recommended:  Solar Farms In Space: Next Step In Renewable Energy Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your article about cooling or warming from our planet? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage.'
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