JAN 20, 2022 2:00 PM PST

Experts Say: Don't Dim the Sun to Fight Climate Change

WRITTEN BY: Matthew Lundy

In a Perspective piece published this week in WIREs Climate Change, an international team of experts have decried solar geoengineering – the process of affecting or limiting incoming sunlight to change the Earth’s climate – and called on governments from around the world to sign on to an “International Non-Use Agreement.” The journal article is paired with an open letter signed by 63 named experts, consisting largely of professors and researchers.   

Solar geoengineering is a potential method of combating climate change and global warming. Many of the harmful effects of climate change, such as increased drought and lower crop yields, are a result of increasing global temperatures. In an effort to limit these effects, solar geoengineering projects, such as “the injection of aerosols in the stratosphere” to take an example from the article, would limit the amount of sunlight that enters our atmosphere. This lower amount of sunlight would cause global temperatures to decrease because the major source of heat on Earth is sunlight.

The researchers behind the article and open letter are calling for an international agreement rejecting the use and proliferation of this kind of project. The article justifies this stance by citing various concerns with the potential technology and subsequent governance. Scientific concerns include worries about unintended effects of altering such a fundamental aspect of our planet. The authors state that such worries could persist even with more research, asserting that “…there is deep-seated disagreement about whether the risks and effectiveness of solar geoengineering could ever be fully understood before deployment…”  

The authors also sound alarm over the implausibility of proper international governing of solar inhibitors, which could impact every nation on the planet; they “see the deployment of solar geoengineering as impossible to govern fairly and effectively in the current international political system.”

The Perspective piece presents yet another worry in the minimization of tested and reliable means of mitigating climate change, such as eliminating our current carbon emissions, in light of the possibility of future adaptation strategies, like solar geoengineering. While more research could bring about a more manageable alternative to current ideas of solar geoengineering, such a future unknown cannot justify a lack of climate action now.

 

Source: WIREs Climate Change

About the Author
MSc in Science Communication, BS in Astrophysics and Philosophy
Science communicator passionate about physics, space, and our, unfortunately, changing climate; exploring the universe through written word and the occasional video.
You May Also Like
JAN 30, 2022
Technology
Why the 5G Rollout Has Caused Problems at Some Airports
JAN 30, 2022
Why the 5G Rollout Has Caused Problems at Some Airports
As mobile networks have gotten better, upgrading them hasn't been much of an issue. But the latest network is causing co ...
FEB 22, 2022
Plants & Animals
Soy Milk Production May Not Be Economically Viable in Developing Countries
FEB 22, 2022
Soy Milk Production May Not Be Economically Viable in Developing Countries
Soybeans have been lauded as a beneficial crop to help support emerging areas of the world, largely due to its nutrient ...
APR 01, 2022
Chemistry & Physics
Detecting Chemical Weapons with Flies
APR 01, 2022
Detecting Chemical Weapons with Flies
Forgot expensive mechanical detectors; the newest innovation in chemical weapons is blowflies. Students led by Nick Mani ...
APR 12, 2022
Microbiology
Thousands of Novel RNA Viruses Found In Ocean Water Samples
APR 12, 2022
Thousands of Novel RNA Viruses Found In Ocean Water Samples
Microbes have colonized every part of the world, including our bodies, and there are so may we know nothing about. Advan ...
APR 18, 2022
Microbiology
Earth's Oldest Life Forms May be Over 4 Billion Years Old!
APR 18, 2022
Earth's Oldest Life Forms May be Over 4 Billion Years Old!
We've learned a lot about life that came before us by studying fossils. The ancestry and evolution of ancient microbial ...
MAY 10, 2022
Plants & Animals
Cutting calories and timely eating increases mice longevity
MAY 10, 2022
Cutting calories and timely eating increases mice longevity
Who doesn’t want to live forever? Let’s face it, the whole mortality thing is boring, and we want to be aliv ...
Loading Comments...