February 12, 2024, at 08:55
The planet is in bad shape. The prospects for the continued existence of many ecosystems are becoming increasingly cloudy in light of the climate crisis. The safety of human nutrition also appears questionable in the medium term. However, there is still no political consensus in sight to implement greenhouse gas reductions at the necessary extent and speed.
So some scientists are working on an alternative plan, namely impacting the atmosphere on a planetary scale. Specifically, the main idea is to introduce sulfur aerosols into the stratosphere. This method may work and lead to global cooling. This is known from observing the consequences of large volcanic eruptions. After the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, a large amount of sulfuric acid was released into the high air, causing the global temperature to drop by about 0.5 degrees for a year and a half. However, the thinning of the ozone layer has also been detected. So this method is definitely not without side effects.
However, if the current trajectory of climate policy continues, things could become more difficult. Then you may end up in a situation where the risks of geoengineering are less than those of sustained temperature rise. To date, there is no real end to the arms embargo, nor a binding international treaty prohibiting targeted manipulation of the Earth's atmosphere. If the situation becomes critical, an individual country could decide to begin intervening.
Before this happens, it seems appropriate to establish sound scientific foundations for the proposed methods. Even if the majority of climate researchers currently reject this. They believe that there is a great danger in overlooking what constitutes a basic necessity in the seemingly simple solution, which is geoengineering: combating the root causes behind global warming in a timely manner.
doctor. Master Blaise Gasparini
University of Vienna
Institute of Meteorology and Geophysics
“Food practitioner. Bacon guru. Infuriatingly humble zombie enthusiast. Total student.”