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Home / Science / The first experiment to darken the sun will mimic a volcanic eruption to reverse global warming

The first experiment to darken the sun will mimic a volcanic eruption to reverse global warming



Scientists plan to simulate the effects of a massive volcanic eruption to combat global warming.

Plans to erode the atmosphere by blocking the sunlight were previously circulated, but an experiment that Harvard researchers will launch next year will be the first to test the theory in the stratosphere.

The team will use a balloon suspended 12 miles above the ground to spray tiny chalk particles over a kilometer-long area to reflect the sun's rays away from the planet. 19659004] In this way they will try to replicate the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991 on a small scale.

During this event, the volcano spewed 20 million tons of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere, creating a haze that cooled the planet by 0.5 ° C for about 1

8 months, bringing the Earth back to pre-industrial temperatures.

Scientists argue that replicating this effect on a large scale would be possible for the world before climate change, which prevents the melting of sea ice and prevents the coral from fading.

With the fight against climate change increasingly desperate, geoengineering has proven to be an increasingly appealing prospect – albeit controversial criticisms from scientists and environmentalists.

Some have suggested that solar geoengineering could have profound complications, such as the extinction of crops, while others say it diverts attention away from reducing fossil fuel emissions.

Team member and experimental physicist Professor David Keith According to her analysis, the benefits of such experiments could ultimately outweigh the negative effects.

"Despite all concerns, we can not find areas that would definitely be worse," he said Nature .

"If solar geoengineering is as good as what is shown in these models, it would be crazy not to take it seriously."

In any case, the scientists hope for their stratospheric experiment Controlled Interference (Scopex)) will shed light on how effective such a strategy would be in reality.

Once the chalk dust has been released, the motorized balloon re-enters the cloud, measuring how it spreads in the air and affects the chemistry of the stratosphere

The team is currently seeking the ideal location in the Southwestern US to carry out the experiment, which was partly funded by Bill Gates of Microsoft.


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In November a separate study concluded that solar engineering geoengineering could be "remarkably cheap" as a means to offset the greenhouse gas emissions of humanity.

However, the potential effects on the ozone layer and local weather conditions are still high Unknown, scientists have emphasized the need for careful experimentation before bold steps are taken.


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