I am going to tell you something I probably shouldn’t: we may not be able to stop global warming. The Arctic Ocean, which experienced record melting last year, could be ice-free in summer as soon as 2013, decades ahead of what earlier models told us. We need to begin curbing global greenhouse emissions right now, but more than a decade after the signing of the Kyoto Protocol, the world has utterly failed to do so.
For most environmentalists, the answer to depressing litany is to keep pushing the same message harder: cut carbon and cut it now. But a few scientists are beginning to quietly raise the possibility of cooling the planet’s fever by geoengineering. The principle is straightforward – compensate for an intensified greenhouse effect by reducing the amount of solar radiation reaching the earth – but the technique seems like pure science fiction. Just a few: using orbiting satellite mirrors to bounce sunlight back into space, fertilizing the oceans with iron to amplify their ability to absorb carbon and even painting roofs white to increase solar radiation.
Geoengineering has long been the province of kooks, but as the difficulty of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions has become harder to ignore, it is slowly emerging as an option of last resort. The tipping point came in 2006, when Nobel Prize – winning atmospheric scientist Paul Crutzen published an editorial examining the possibility of releasing vast amounts of sulfurous debris into the atmosphere to create haze that would keep the planet cool. The price tag is even more amazing: somewhere between, a few hundred million dollars and a couple of billion dollars a year. Over the past couple of years, Global Warming has gone from being an outsider thing to something that is increasingly discussed.
The truth is, we’re already performing an unauthorized experiment on our climate by adding billions of tons of manmade carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Unless the geopolitics of global warmi9ng change soon, the Hail Mary pass of geoengineering might become our best shot.
What do you think? Comment please =) Thanks!!!