Science & Technology
Climate change fixes 'could harm billions'
November 27, 2014 | 59 comments
Could geo-engineering do more harm than good ? Image Credit: sxc.hu
Geo-engineering schemes designed to tackle global warming could prove disastrous for billions of people.
The science of geo-engineering involves utilizing new technologies and methods to artificially alter the planet's climate in an effort to tackle global warming and other environmental issues.
One method that has been proposed involves having a fleet of ships spray dense plumes of particles in to the sky to help reflect more of the sun's rays and cool down the planet. Another proposal suggests that injecting sulphate aerosols in to the air above the Arctic would help to curb the decline in sea ice.
There have however been significant concerns about the use of these techniques. Recent studies have indicated that geo-engineering projects designed to alter rainfall patterns could have dire consequences in some parts of the world, particularly in India and Africa were increased droughts could have serious ramifications for billions of people.
"We have a few islands of knowledge in a sea of ignorance and it's absolutely worth knowing more," said Prof Steve Rayner of Oxford University. "There is the potential that some of these technologies may be part of a broader tool kit of ways in which we can better manage climate change."
Previous efforts to experiment with geo-engeering techniques have to date proven predominantly unsuccessful. In 2009 an attempt to encourage plankton to bloom in the South Atlantic by dumping six tonnes of an iron solution in to the water ultimately failed to produce any useful results.
A balloon trial in the UK that aimed to test the methods needed to pump sulphate aerosols in to the atmosphere also ended up being canceled after widespread protests.
Source: BBC News
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