Harvard Scientists Propose 'Dimming The Sun' To Tackle Climate Change
The method would involve spraying sun-dimming chemicals into the Earth's atmosphere
Harvard and Yale scientists are proposing 'dimming the sun' as a way to tackle climate change, according to reports.
The method would involve spraying sun-dimming chemicals into the Earth's atmosphere to block out the natural light.
The research conducted scientists at Harvard and Yale universities, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, suggest using this technique, known as stratospheric aerosol injection - which they claim would cut global warming in half.
The technique would mean spraying huge amounts of sulfate particles into the Earth's lower stratosphere.
The scientist intends on delivering the sulfate with a specially designed high-altitude aircraft, naval style guns, and even balloons.
Despite there is zero proof that the techniques would work, researchers state that "developing a new, purpose-built tanker with substantial payload capabilities would neither be technologically difficult nor prohibitively expensive."
Estimates that the total cost of launching a theoretical system would cost the taxpayer around $3.5 billion, with running costs of $2.25 billion a year over a 15-year period
"We make no judgment about the desirability of SAI," the report states.
"We show that a possible deployment program commencing 15 years hence, while both highly uncertain and ambitious, would indeed be technically possible from an engineering perspective. It would also be remarkably inexpensive."
According to CNN: The researchers also recognize potential risks: coordination between multiple countries in both hemispheres would be needed, and stratospheric aerosol injection techniques could expose crop yields, lead to droughts or cause extreme weather.
The proposals also don't address the issue of rising greenhouse gas emissions, which are a leading cause of global warming.
And despite the conviction of the report's authors, other experts were doubtful.
"From climate economics, solar radiation management is still a much worse solution than greenhouse gas emissions: more costly and much more risky over the long run," said Philippe Thalmann of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, an expert in the economics of climate change.
David Archer of the Department of Geophysical Science at the University of Chicago said, "The problem with engineering climate in this way is that it's only a temporary Band-Aid covering an issue that will persist permanently forever, actually hundreds of thousands of years for fossil fuel CO2 to finally go away naturally.
"It will be tempting to continue to procrastinate on cleaning up our energy system, but we'd be leaving the planet on a form of life-support. If a future generation failed to pay their climate bill, they would get all of our warmings all at once."