CAN WE PUT A HALT ON GLOBAL WARMING?

The evidence that humans are causing global warming is strong, but the question of what to do about it remains controversial. Economics, sociology, and politics are all important factors in planning for the future.

Even if we stopped emitting greenhouse gases (GHGs) today, the Earth would still warm by another degree Fahrenheit or so. But what we do from today forward makes a big difference. Depending on our choices, scientists predict that the Earth could eventually warm by as little as 2.5 degrees or as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Scientists have rather major plans to keep the earth surface cool.

Experts are considering ploughing sulphate aerosols into the upper atmosphere which would cause some of the sun’s rays to be reflected back out into space.

This could potentially cool the Earth down and help counter the effects of climate change, scientists say.

The move would also help reduce coral bleaching and help to calm powerful storms.

However, the move could affect seasonal weather patterns which some people rely on for livelihood.

Rob Bellamy of the Institute for Science, Innovation, and Society at the University of Oxford, said: “One of the main concerns with solar radiation management is not necessarily its effectiveness, but its side effects.

The idea behind solar geo engineering is simple. For the last four decades, humanity has struggled to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas entering the atmosphere. We have decommissioned nuclear plants, introduced millions of new gasoline-burning cars to the roadway, and dawdled through treaty after treaty. Meanwhile, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has only risen.

It sure seems like we’ll need some more time to get our act together. So maybe we should toy with another variable: While we try to reduce the planet’s heat-trapping gas, maybe we can also try to reduce the amount of heat entering the atmosphere in the first place.

Interest in the technique has spiked recently. An administration hostile to climate mitigation has taken power in the United States, and some countries risk falling short of the promises they made under the Paris Agreement. It seems suddenly plausible that the industrialized world will not succeed in staving off two degrees of temperature rise.

There are several ways of holding off that warmth. They all involve bouncing sunlight back into space before it penetrates too far into the lower atmosphere. Over the past decade, scientists have discussed some different ways to do this: by brightening clouds over the ocean; by pushing cirrus clouds to form in the high atmosphere; or by spraying a reflective gas into the sky at high altitudes and mimicking the effect of a large volcanic eruption. Nevertheless  scientist are taking all necessary measure to reduce the effects of this crisis.

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