Let's take it from the top—fossil Fuels. When you burn oil and coal, you release a mixture of gases such as CO2, N2O, and other harmful gases which trap heat on the earth's surface, giving rise to the problem of the statement: Global Warming.
To keep this global warming in control, we need to cut on fossil fuels for our energy needs and rely more on renewable sources.
But here comes the financial restriction, switching to renewable is expensive, for example, for India to switch to renewable sources, we need $2.5 trillion that's equal to our GDP currently.
But, we technically need to limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius (compared to pre-industrial levels). And to do this, we need to cut emissions by about 45% by 2030 (compared to emissions in 2010).
That’s 8 years from now and we are way off target.
Enter Solar Geoengineering, or solar radiation modification (SRM) is a proposed type of climate engineering in which sunlight (solar radiation) would be reflected back to space to limit or reverse human-caused climate change.
On June 15th, 1991, the Pinatubo volcano erupted and shot ash and gas miles up into the atmosphere. Nobody thought much of it at the time except for the fact that it was the second-largest volcanic eruption of the century. But then they saw cooling. In fact, this event alone cooled the earth by around half a degree celsius in the following months.
How did this happen?
It turns out that ash and gas that the eruption let out in the atmosphere, turned into aerosol which reflected sunlight back into space, and ultimately cooled the earth's temperature by half a degree celsius over the following months.
So in principle, if you could somehow limit the amount of sunlight hitting the earth’s surface, you could prevent global warming. And no, you don’t have to wait for eruptions. You could insert the aerosols yourself or even place giant mirrors in space. It’s all the same. So long as you can limit solar radiation hitting the deck, you’re good as gold.
And unlike renewable, this is extremely inexpensive, a researcher believes that it would cost just $10 billion or one ten-thousandth of global GDP.
So then why not just do it?
Because it may give rise to whole new issues. Issues we never thought of before. Averting sunlight can have an impact on photosynthesis. It could affect plants’ ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It can even have an impact on rainfall and humidity — things that may be irreversible. And if we ever tried to reverse it, it could accelerate global warming even further.
So yes, this solar geoengineering can be a part of a solution that solves global warming, but this alone won't help.
What do you think of this Novel Solution?
Do let us know your thoughts on the above topic in the comment section and let a healthy conversation begin.
Like if you loved it, Subscribe to support us & Share if you learned something new.
Follow us on Instagram
Follow us on Twitter
The above information is to spread financial literacy. We are not SEBI-registered financial advisors, kindly consult your financial advisor before making any investment decision.