fox news – Once started solar geoengineering is too dangerous to stop


fox news – Once started solar geoengineering is too dangerous to stop
Artificially cooling Earth to counter global warming could destroy our planet if the process is abruptly stopped, according to new research.Some scientists have suggested firing aerosols into the atmosphere to help combat global warming by imitating a natural side-effect of volcanic eruptions.The aerosols, one of many ‘geoengineering’ techniques proposed as a way to deal with climate change, would cool Earth by blocking incoming solar radiation.Now a study has found that if the aerosol approach is attempted and then suddenly halted, the planet could warm ten times faster than normal.Experts have previously warned the technique is a ‘risky strategy’ that could wreak havoc on our weather patterns, triggering severe droughts or devastating cyclones.The research centres on the impact solar geoengineering methods that inject aerosols into the atmosphere may have on the environment. The controversial approach, known as stratospheric aerosol injection, is designed to reflect some sunlight before it reaches Earth’s surface. The process would mimic the natural aftermath of volcanic eruptions, when sulphuric acid and other gases are naturally injected into the atmosphere. Experts suggest that planes or hot air balloons would spray millions of tons of sulphur dioxide a year into the upper atmosphere at the Equator over the course of decades. While some scientists claim this could cool down Earth, others suggest it could wreak havoc with our weather patterns.A new study from Rutgers University in New Jersey found that suddenly halting so-called ‘solar geoengineering’ would have severe imacts on our climate.The stoppage would drastically accelerate climate change, with severe consequences for the planet’s wildlife, researchers found.’Rapid warming after stopping geoengineering would be a huge threat to the natural environment and biodiversity,’ study coauthor Professor Alan Robock said.’If geoengineering ever stopped abruptly, it would be devastating, so you would have to be sure that it could be stopped gradually, and it is easy to think of scenarios that would prevent that.’Imagine large droughts or floods around the world that could be blamed on geoengineering, and demands that it stop. Can we ever risk that?’Geoengineering means attempting to control the climate in addition to stopping the burning of fossil fuels, the main cause of global warming.A popular idea among scientists is to create a sulphuric acid cloud in the upper atmosphere as volcanic eruptions do to reflect solar radiation and cool the planet.To investigate the potential environmental impacts of suddenly halting this process, scientists used a computer simulation of Earth.They assumed that aeroplanes would spray 5 million tons of sulphur dioxide a year into the upper atmosphere at the Equator from 2020 to 2070.An even cloud of the gas around Earth would lower the global temperature by around 1 degree Celsius (about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) – about the level of global warming since the Indust