Scientists turn to climate engineering to cool Earth

Several geoengineering projects are currently underway to help fend off climate change by cooling down the planet.


NSFW    OSLO, NORWAY — With global warming causing heatwaves, rising sea levels, and potentially bringing about more devastating consequences, scientists are turning to climate engineering solutions to keep temperatures down.

Science reports that geoengineering has two approaches to cool the planet — carbon dioxide removal and solar radiation management.

Taking the 'direct air capture' approach is Swiss company Climeworks, which uses several collectors to suck in air that contains carbon dioxide.

The carbon dioxide is filtered and collected, while other air molecules are returned to the atmosphere.

A separate Harvard project, meanwhile, is working on dimming sunlight, reports Reuters. The team plans to release limestone particles using a high-altitude balloon, and then observe its effect on the stratosphere.

The limestone spray will supposedly reflect solar radiation and slow greenhouse gas warming. It will also neutralize the acids that destroy the ozone, thus helping to restore that protective layer.

Another technique aims to cool the seas and prevent coral bleaching by spraying salt generated from seawater to create more reflective clouds.

Critics of geoengineering warn that such 'solutions' are a temporary fix, and run the risk of dealing more damage in the long run.

It's definitely a radical step from reducing carbon emissions, which many believe is the more effective way to curb global warming.
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