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Can the thinning of clouds prevent climate change? Scientists propose a radical plan

Can the thinning of clouds prevent climate change? Scientists propose a radical plan

As the Earth continues to evolve into a warmer climate, scientists are working to develop strategies to artificially cool the planet in case the situation becomes really horrible.

But many of these geo-engineering techniques have their own consequences, including changes in precipitation that can cause droughts in some parts of the world.

In a new review of three widely discussed geo-engineering techniques, researchers have discovered that a method known as & # 39; cloud thinning & # 39; our best bet is.

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In the study, the researchers say that it could be possible to cool the planet without causing significant precipitation changes, using a method known as cloud thinning that targets cirrus clouds. File photo

In the study, the researchers say that it could be possible to cool the planet without causing significant precipitation changes, using a method known as cloud thinning that targets cirrus clouds. File photo

By reducing the coverage of peaked cirrus clouds at high altitudes, researchers at Zhejiang University in China say that it would be possible to inhibit global warming.

This can be done by spraying powder over the clouds, causing ice crystals to form around the individual grains and eventually fall down because of their weight, according to New Scientist.

In the study, the researchers say that the deliberate reduction of the cover and optical thickness of cirrus clouds at high level could potentially reduce global warming by adjusting the long-wave radiation effect of cirrus clouds. & # 39;

These clouds are high in the sky and can help to reduce the rising temperatures without having dramatic consequences for precipitation.

The team also investigated the idea of ​​injecting aerosols into the stratosphere in order to deflect more sunlight back into the room & # 39; and sow stratocumulus clouds in a strategy known as "cloud clearing", thereby reflecting more sunlight.

The findings are published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres.

By reducing the coverage of peaked cirrus clouds at high altitudes, researchers at Zhejiang University in China say that it would be possible to inhibit global warming. File photo

By reducing the coverage of peaked cirrus clouds at high altitudes, researchers at Zhejiang University in China say that it would be possible to inhibit global warming. File photo

In the study, the researchers discovered that all three of these geo-engineering strategies changed the global rainfall in their simulations.

And these levels have never returned to normal, according to New Scientist.

However, the side effects were much smaller for the thinning of the leaves.

According to the researchers, "for the same amount of cooling achieved, thinning of cirrus clouds produces a much smaller precipitation reduction than stratospheric aerosol injection or marine cloud clarification."

WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF GEOENGINEERING STRATEGIES?

Scientists have proposed all kinds of solutions to combat climate change, including a number of controversial geo-engineering strategies.

Among the many are:

Afforestation: This technique irrigates deserts, such as those in Australia and North Africa, to plant millions of trees that could absorb carbon dioxide.

Disadvantage: This vegetation would also draw in sunlight that the deserts are currently reflecting in space and thus contributing to the greenhouse effect.

Scientists have proposed all kinds of solutions to combat climate change. File photo

Scientists have proposed all kinds of solutions to combat climate change. File photo

Artificial ocean upwelling: Engineers would use long pipes to pump cold, nutrient-rich water up to cool surface water from the ocean.

DisadvantageIf this process ever stopped, it could cause oceans to balance their heat levels and change the climate quickly.

Ocean alkalinization: This includes piling up lime in the ocean to chemically increase the absorption of carbon dioxide.

Disadvantage: Study suggests that it has little use in reducing global temperatures.

Ocean iron manure: The method involves depositing iron in the oceans to improve the growth of photosynthetic organisms that can absorb carbon dioxide.

Disadvantage: Study suggests that it has little use in reducing global temperatures.

Solar radiation management: This would reduce the amount of sunlight that the earth receives by shooting reflective sulphate-based aerosols into the atmosphere.

Disadvantage: Carbon dioxide would still accumulate in the atmosphere.

However, there are still many uncertainties about the feasibility of the plan. Cloud loss was only presented in 2009 for the first time, according to New Scientist.

But in comparison with the other options, the researchers say it could be promising.

In general, I think cirrus cloud thinning, if it works in reality, would be preferable to stratospheric aerosol injections, & # 39; Long Cao from the University of Zhejiang told New Scientist.

It appears that the known side effects of cirrus cloud dilution are less than stratospheric aerosol injection and clarification of marine clouds. & # 39;

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