Earth Shading to Cure Climate Change?

Earth shading? What are these crazy climate scientists going to do, create an earth-sized parasol? No, not quite, but the concept is the same.

Much is being debated in climate engineering circles these days; from carbon scrubbers and seed bombing to dumping limestone in the ocean, reseachers are on the hunt for a scientific silver bullet to keep the earth cool.

Most recently, a meeting of the National Academy of Sciences seriously explored geoengineering projects that would ordinarily be deemed insane, but are looking more and more necessary to combat rapid global climate change.

"Earth shading" was one of the potential solutions up for discussion - and this does not mean plans for implementing a planetary parasol. What it means is that scientists think that putting sulfate particles, which reflect the sun's radiation, into the stratosphere could help reduce the earth's ability to absorb sunlight, thus promoting planetary cooling. The effect would mimic  what happens when volcanoes erupt ash and sulfur into the air.

Whether or not earth shading is a viable solution, the whole topic of geoengineering a climate change solution raises a lot of questions. Among them: how will the world's many countries come to an agreement about the solutions? Whose hand is ultimately on the earth's thermostat? and, Should we really be messing with our atmosphere any more than we already have?


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