CLI­MATE CONDITIONERS

BBC Earth (Asia) - - Science -

1 SU­PER­CHARGE THE STRATO­SPHERE

In­stead of mak­ing clouds brighter, another idea is to re­lease par­ti­cles into the at­mos­phere that can re­flect the Sun’s ra­di­a­tion them­selves. This year, Har­vard pro­fes­sors David Keith and Frank Keutsch, de­sign­ers of the Strato­spheric Con­trolled Per­tur­ba­tion Ex­per­i­ment (SCoPEx), plan to launch a high-al­ti­tude bal­loon 20km into the air near Tuc­son, Ari­zona, and spray a small quan­tity of cal­cium car­bon­ate par­ti­cles to see what hap­pens.

2 OCEAN SEED­ING

“Give me half a tanker of iron, and I will give you an ice age,” said the late oceanog­ra­pher John Martin in 1988. Although he was half jok­ing, Martin stood by his idea of us­ing iron to boost plank­ton and in­crease the car­bon diox­ide taken up from the at­mos­phere. Since then, sev­eral tests have been car­ried out. A key ques­tion is how much of the plank­ton will ac­tu­ally sink to the seabed, lock­ing the car­bon away from the at­mos­phere.

3 SPACE REFLECTORS

It sounds im­plau­si­ble – place a gi­ant re­flec­tive sun­shade in space to block off some of the sun­light that reaches Earth. Wacky as it sounds, this idea has been re­ceiv­ing some con­sid­er­a­tion: in a re­port by the Royal So­ci­ety, it was sug­gested that in the long-term, some form of space sun­shade may be cheaper and less risky than a geo­engi­neer­ing project in the strato­sphere. Tests are cur­rently con­fined to mod­el­ling ef­fects of var­i­ous ap­proaches.

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