Reducing global warming with dust?
While we were developing the systems design for the ” What if Greenland was Africa’s Water Fountain?” exhibition, we explored different methods for reducing the melting of Greenland’s ice-caps, including setting up a satellite in space in an orbit that would reflect solar rays away from Greenland’s land mass. After learning more about satellite orbits and asking Freeman Dyson for his opinion, we soon realized this was a “stupid idea,” as the renowned physicist commented upon his learning of our ideas. Today, an article in the New York Times mentioned what might be another naive, or perhaps ingenious way of reducing global warming. It suggests pouring particles in the stratosphere (i.e. a five-gallon bucket of sulfate particles every second) to keep the earth from warming this century. The particles would reflect the sun rays back into space and cool the earth within months.This would be a plan B for global warming according to Ken Caldeira, the article’s author, who admits this idea could have many downfalls but it is worth exploring since the technologies are readily available and relatively low-cost: rockets, aircraft, and naval artillery. There has also been a precedent to this proposal. Back in 1991, a volcano in the Philippines erupted and temporarily cooled the earth as a result of the sulfate particles entering the stratosphere.Here is the complete article.