Dimming the Sun to Save Earth: Scientists Considering New Approach to Combat Climate Change

Such an idea to fight against climate change is interesting but there are some obstacles which may cause further issues in the world

The world is getting warmer, and the effects are quite visible. Siberia recorded the warmest temperature in 2020, Greenland lost a huge amount of ice caps and small pacific island countries are urging for immediate help to stop the sea level rise. Meanwhile, a group of researchers found a solution for the warming planet that may sound like a plot of a Sci-Fi movie but they are considering this option in reality.

The scientists said that if Earth absorbs less sunlight, it may help the blue planet to cool down, which would offer a solution for global warming. In a recently released paper, scientists from the University of Cape Town have suggested that spewing reflective particles into Earth's atmosphere could ultimately prevent the planet from enduring devastating drought as a result of climate change.

Not a Sci-Fi Idea

climate change
Scientists find new way to combat climate change National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

"We assess the potential for geoengineering using stratospheric aerosols injection (SAI) to offset the risk of 'Day Zero' level droughts in a high emission future climate using climate model simulations from the Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering Large Ensemble Project," said the researchers in the study which was published in Environmental Research Letters.

Their idea of injecting some particles into the Earth's atmosphere to prevent some amount of sunlight from reaching the surface of the planet may sound very dramatic but to save the planet from the environmental crisis scientists need to consider such wildest possibilities.

The researchers suggest that using their models from the project they could potentially reduce the chances of a "Day Zero"—which indicates the day when there will be no freshwater left and devastating droughts become a reality—by 90 percent.

Is It Effective Enough?

Even though the idea could change the catastrophic future of our planet, there are some issues that remain. If this plan works, artificially making changes to the atmosphere, while dimming the Sun cannot be the only part of the climate-mitigation plan. As reported the atmospheric aerosols would not do anything to reverse the climate change scenario by itself, it would rather mask the effects of the problems on Earth.

Climate chnage crisis Pixabay

The plan to geoengineering the environment, would not actually solve global warming, and it cannot resolve the damages already done. Rather, it could make things worse about which we are not completely aware of but many of us have seen in Sci-Fi movies.

Another issue would be to get a go-ahead signal from the whole world. To make sure that such a huge project runs smoothly, countries around the globe need to unanimously agree to the plan. But as per the Mail and Guardian, such geoengineering efforts could become a source of a massive conflict between nations.

In terms of controversial solar radiation management (SRM), a study was published earlier this year, funded by Decimals from South Africa and Benin that said it could reduce the impacts of climate change across most of the African region. But as per another study parts of West Africa could face a worse situation if sun dimming were used to combat the environmental crisis.