Sulphur Spray to Reflect Sun and Refreeze the Poles

Science

In an attempt to mitigate the effects of global warming, scientists have theorised that using planes to release microscopic aerosol particles in the air will increase the amount of sun reflected back into space, hence helping to refreeze the icecaps. However, this method would require 175,000 journeys a year via plane, causing millions of tonnes of CO2 to be emitted.

On winds from high altitudes, aerosol particles will gradually travel in the direction of the poles, creating a reflective barrier over the Earth. In order to achieve a 2-degree reduction in temperature in the poles, more than 13m tonnes of particles sprayed over spring and summer is essential.

“scientists have theorised that using planes to release microscopic aerosol particles in the air will increase the amount of sun reflected back into space“

There is an opposing argument that the process may cause more harm than good since air travel is one of the worst causes of carbon emissions globally. Additionally, increasing the amount of solar reflection means less sunlight reaches the ground for photosynthesis, lowering crop production.

Rolling this out would require worldwide consensus, with some stakeholders apposing the impact it could have on inhabitants of polar areas. However, just 1% of people reside here. Additionally, the initiative would cost £10 billion, a considerably cheaper option compared to carbon capture etc.

Other innovative methods are also being conducted by CCR to reduce climate change impacts. One being ships taking water from the Arctic ocean and putting it into the atmosphere to lighten clouds, increasing the albedo.

The CCR is in favour of a global geoengineering ban until tests have demonstrated its safety and there is consensus that its implementation is urgently required.

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