Scientists from Yale and Harvard Universities propose to spray sun dimming chemicals into the Earth’s atmosphere to tackle climate change.
This technique was published in the Environmental Research Letters. The technique is hypothetical, it uses stratospheric aerosol injection, which they say could cut the rate of global warming by half.
It would involve spraying large amounts of sulfate particles into the Earth’s lower stratosphere at an altitude of 12 miles. These researchers propose to use high-altitude aircraft, balloons or large naval-style guns.
Our existing planes fly at altitudes of about 7.5 miles, currently we don’t have any existing technology that could fly at 12 miles with heavy payloads. So scientists would need to design special aircrafts which is capable for this mission.
They believe they can launch the hypothetical system in 15 years, and need $3.5 billion dollars to set up the infrastructure. Once its set, operating costs per year would be approx $2.5 billion dollars.
Scientists have identified risk if stratospheric aerosol injection becomes a reality. It could jeopardize crop yields, lead to droughts or cause extreme weather. Also this does not address Greenhouse gases which is the major cause for climate change.
This method to tackle climate change is interesting, and a temporary fix, as it buys us more time. However the only solution is to change our energy consumption ways to try and address climate change and global warming.