Human activity continues to exacerbate the problem of Global Warming. Currently, there is more carbon dioxide in our atmosphere than in all of human history. Two-thirds of extreme weather events from the past 20 years can be tied back to human activity, while both our summers and winters are getting much warmer.
But not all hope is lost.
Leaders and companies from across the world are working hard to combat climate change. One of the most prominant examples of this can be tied back to the enigmatic Bill Gates. Gates is currently backing a potential solution to global warming that centers around the technology of solar geoengineering.
Climate change is one of the toughest challenges facing the world. But don’t despair…— Bill Gates (@BillGates) September 1, 2019
Scientists and entrepreneurs are working on some innovative solutions. Here are four that I’m excited about: https://t.co/WKwW0PccbI pic.twitter.com/KEdegq2V0A
Solar geoengineering sounds like a plot point from a disaster movie. And admittedly, it is somewhat radical, but it's also a potentially effective means of stopping global warming. For the uninitiated, this technology would effectively mimic the effects of a massive volcanic eruption.
Andy Parker, project director at the Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative, discussed the potential benefits with CNBC, “Modeling studies have found that it could reduce the intensity of heatwaves, for instance, apparently it could reduce the rate of sea-level rise. It could reduce the intensity of tropical storms," he said.
Basically, planes would fly at high altitudes, spraying millions of tons of particles around the planet to create a massive chemical cloud that would cool the surface. However, do not get too excited yet. The technology is not officially ready but is coming close. Even more so, the process could go on to affect regional weather patterns. Even more so, it could potentially eradicate the blue sky.
However, the good news is that this process is affordable. Stephen Gardiner, author of “A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change," shared his opinions about the technology and clearly outlined the benefits, “These consequences might be horrific. They might involve things like mass famine, mass flooding, drought of kinds that will affect very large populations," he said.
It will be interesting to see if this becomes a viable solution, as the potential side effects to the process could outweigh the benefits. But for that to be determine, a lot more studies and tests will be needed.