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Climate solar geo engineering  answer to climate change  | Upload Man-Made

Solar Geo-Engineering: Answer To Climate Change?

by: Sharai Hoekema
solar geo engineering  answer to climate change  | Upload

It sounds like the concept of a super futuristic, sci-fi blockbuster movie starring a handful of the earth’s most brilliant geniuses as well as a few brave, daring astronauts and engineers.

Solar Geo-Engineering

Solar geoengineering is a fancy term for spreading particles in our earth’s stratosphere, that will virtually block the sun from ‘breaking through.’
Although in all of these movies, it usually goes wrong whenever one country tries to take over control of the system. What better weapon could there be, after all, than the mighty sword of playing God and changing the global climate for good? Rather unfounded fears, thankfully, as scientists that are hoping to one day make this dream a reality now claim. 

How Does Solar Geo-Engineering Work?

The process of solar geoengineering most closely resembles significant volcanic eruptions that effectively reduces the temperature on earth through the release of small sulfate particles. Perhaps surprisingly, so, it adds up to be a relatively affordable solution for climate change. 

Most cost-effectively, specially designed aircraft are used to release the sulfate particles in the atmosphere, at an altitude of about 20 km. Removing it from regular commercial jets would not be sufficient enough, as it will lead to the particles falling out of the sky within a concise time. These modified airplanes will be able to carry a considerable amount of particles to the 20 km mark, at which the particles can remain afloat for at least a year. For this, it needs four engines instead of two and substantially more massive wings. Nothing that science hasn’t invented yet, and therefore relatively simple.

Estimations, as made by Harvard University, based on a hypothetical deployment program, show that it could come in at a remarkably low 2 million dollar per year. When compared to the annual budget currently spent on green technologies - an incredible 500 billion dollar - it seems to be a no-brainer. Why, then, has it not been implemented yet?

Facing The Opponents Of Geo-Engineering

Well, for starters, the entire topic of geoengineering is very controversial. First of all, for the argument given before, where hostile countries or persons could attempt to gain control of the system and eventually harness its power for bad intentions. Although experts are stating that this is theoretically impossible to do, as it would require thousands and thousands of high-altitude flights to affect the global temperature significantly - something that would not go unnoticed.

A second argument that opponents frequently bring to the table is the effect that it would have on people’s attitudes towards global warming and sustainability. After all, it does sound and feel like a quick, easy fix for global warming. As such, it would drastically weaken any attempts made to tackle the root causes of global warming in the first place. Why should we try so hard to cut back on our emissions if we can neutralize them in this way?

Finally, there are some side-effects that it could have on the planet, including lengthy droughts and damage to crops. This effect of the particles on the land has not been adequately investigated yet, adding fuel to the fire of those fears.

Geo-Engineering: Long-Term Solution Or Last Resort?

The effects of geoengineering are suspected to be quick and quite significant. Projections of its impact are that it will reduce global warming by 0.1 degrees Celsius per year, with a total reduction of 1.5 degrees Celsius. This would be sufficient according to recent reports, that indicated that there would be an increase in temperature of 3 degrees Celsius if emissions will continue to rise - which would be catastrophic - and naming a maximum increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius as much more desirable. 

Hence, geo-engineering would be capable of bringing the earth’s climate back down from the brink of disaster to a much more manageable level. The advocates of this technology claim that it is worth investigating, as it has the power to serve as the ‘last resort’ for nations if climate change becomes too bad. Yet they are also quick to emphasize that it should only be used - if ever - in combination with a climate change policy that includes hefty cuts in emissions, adaptation, and carbon removal from the atmosphere.

And this is probably what it is. Geo-engineering seems suitable as a final lifeline, yet it is not a solution in itself. It merely combats the symptoms of an underlying illness and does not, nor will it ever be, a cure of its own. Therefore, nations should - while taking it seriously as an option - never see it as a quick way out, allow them to sit back and relax. 

The only way to combat climate change is by permanently changing our behavior. As for geoengineering: it will only be a feasible plan of action if it serves an ultimate goal, rather than being the goal in itself.

Before you go!

Recommended: Recycling Human Waste In Space Into Plastic Tools And Food

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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JoTo - 49 WEEKS AGO
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Absolutely right that geo-engineering as described above should be kept as a last resort only. But having said so, it surely needs to be researched and investigated properly in case it is going to be needed. COP25 in Madrid has ended with huge compromises. Australia, despite having their noses rubbed into the problems of GW with extreme heat, drought and fires as never before, have just decided to start new coal mining projects on a scale as big as the size of the UK. Brazil takes no action to stop the destruction of the rainforests. USA ignoring the problem by denial. Africa just not being capable to do anything due to corruption and poverty. China & India only making things worse. So it is going to take a very long time before CO2 levels are going to be curbed. So GE as a last resort may well come into play.
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More like this:

Solar Geo-Engineering: Answer To Climate Change?

It sounds like the concept of a super futuristic, sci-fi blockbuster movie starring a handful of the earth’s most brilliant geniuses as well as a few brave, daring astronauts and engineers. Solar Geo-Engineering Solar geoengineering is a fancy term for spreading particles in our earth’s stratosphere, that will virtually block the sun from ‘breaking through.’ Although in all of these movies, it usually goes wrong whenever one country tries to take over control of the system. What better weapon could there be, after all, than the mighty sword of playing God and changing the global climate for good? Rather unfounded fears, thankfully, as scientists that are hoping to one day make this dream a reality now claim.   How Does Solar  Geo-Engineering Work? The process of solar geoengineering most closely resembles significant volcanic eruptions that effectively reduces the temperature on earth through the release of small sulfate particles. Perhaps surprisingly, so, it adds up to be a relatively affordable solution for climate change.   Most cost-effectively, specially designed aircraft are used to release the sulfate particles in the atmosphere, at an altitude of about 20 km. Removing it from regular commercial jets would not be sufficient enough, as it will lead to the particles falling out of the sky within a concise time. These modified airplanes will be able to carry a considerable amount of particles to the 20 km mark, at which the particles can remain afloat for at least a year. For this, it needs four engines instead of two and substantially more massive wings. Nothing that science hasn’t invented yet, and therefore relatively simple. Estimations, as made by Harvard University, based on a hypothetical deployment program, show that it could come in at a remarkably low 2 million dollar per year. When compared to the annual budget currently spent on green technologies - an incredible 500 billion dollar - it seems to be a no-brainer. Why, then, has it not been implemented yet? Facing The Opponents Of Geo-Engineering Well, for starters, the entire topic of geoengineering is very controversial. First of all, for the argument given before, where hostile countries or persons could attempt to gain control of the system and eventually harness its power for bad intentions. Although experts are stating that this is theoretically impossible to do, as it would require thousands and thousands of high-altitude flights to affect the global temperature significantly - something that would not go unnoticed. A second argument that opponents frequently bring to the table is the effect that it would have on people’s attitudes towards global warming and sustainability. After all, it does sound and feel like a quick, easy fix for global warming. As such, it would drastically weaken any attempts made to tackle the root causes of global warming in the first place. Why should we try so hard to cut back on our emissions if we can neutralize them in this way? Finally, there are some side-effects that it could have on the planet, including lengthy  droughts and damage to crops. This effect of the particles on the land has not been adequately investigated yet, adding fuel to the fire of those fears. Geo-Engineering: Long-Term Solution Or Last Resort? The effects of geoengineering are suspected to be quick and quite significant. Projections of its impact are that it will reduce global warming by 0.1 degrees Celsius per year, with a total reduction of 1.5 degrees Celsius. This would be sufficient according to recent reports, that indicated that there would be an increase in temperature of 3 degrees Celsius if emissions will continue to rise - which would be catastrophic - and naming a maximum increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius as much more desirable.   Hence, geo-engineering would be capable of bringing the earth’s climate back down from the brink of disaster to a much more manageable level. The advocates of this technology claim that it is worth investigating, as it has the power to serve as the ‘last resort’ for nations if climate change becomes too bad. Yet they are also quick to emphasize that it should only be used - if ever - in combination with a climate change policy that includes hefty cuts in emissions, adaptation, and carbon removal from the atmosphere. And this is probably what it is. Geo-engineering seems suitable as a final lifeline, yet it is not a solution in itself. It merely combats the symptoms of an underlying illness and does not, nor will it ever be, a cure of its own. Therefore, nations should - while taking it seriously as an option - never see it as a quick way out, allow them to sit back and relax.   The only way to combat climate change is by permanently changing our behavior. As for geoengineering: it will only be a feasible plan of action if it serves an ultimate goal, rather than being the goal in itself. Before you go! Recommended:  Recycling Human Waste In Space Into Plastic Tools And Food 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 geoengineering? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage.'
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