A new study being conducted by climate researchers shows that spraying millions of metric tons of sulfate particles into the atmosphere could reverse some human caused global warming. The researchers are working on these “geoengineering schemes” to figure out ways to slow the global warming being caused by CO2 released by human activities. Governments across the world are still struggling to control pollution caused by power generation, industrial activities and other human activities.
As in a volcanic eruption, one of these geoengineering schemes aims to cool the earth by blocking off some of the sun’s rays. This would involve spraying sulfate aerosols in the upper atmosphere.
Sciencemag.org says :
“Adding a million metric tons a year of smaller sulfate aerosols to the stratosphere reduced that increase to 1°C and forestalled some predicted effects on precipitation, including more rain in the Southern Ocean and along the equator. “Geoengineering pushes the climate more towards a climate that looks like today’s,” says atmospheric scientist Philip Rasch of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, which conducted the study.
But the models also suggest that the scheme could go too far: Adding excess sulfur could increase ice in Antarctica, “overcompensating” for warming, says Rasch, which could affect ecosystems and the global ocean-atmosphere system in a myriad of ways that scientists haven’t studied.”
Spraying millions of metric tons of sulfate particles into the atmosphere could reverse some human-caused global warming, a new study shows. But the simulations also reveal that the technique, which mimics the short-term cooling effects of volcanic eruptions, could chill the planet if overdone.
(source : Sciencemag.org)