Artificially dimming the Sun may not help prevent Antarctic ice melt: Study

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Artificially dimming the Sun may not help prevent Antarctic ice melt: Study

Geoengineering has emerged as the newest choice to chill the local weather. But artificially “dimming the solar” does not work with out decarbonisation and entails excessive dangers, based on a brand new examine.

A key motive for the elevated curiosity in geoengineering is the avoidance of tipping factors at which the local weather might change abruptly and irreversibly. These embody the melting of the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets and the related metre-high sea degree rise.

Researchers from the University of Bern in Switzerland investigated the query of whether or not the melting of ice in West Antarctica could possibly be prevented by artificially influencing photo voltaic radiation.

“The window of alternative to restrict the international temperature enhance to under 2 levels is closing quick,” stated ice modelling specialist Johannes Sutter from the varsity.

That is why, he stated, it’s essential to make use of theoretical fashions to check the results and dangers of “photo voltaic radiation administration (SRM)” — a time period used to explain numerous strategies of blocking photo voltaic radiation to be able to make the Earth cooler.



Specifically, Sutter and his workforce use ice mannequin simulations to analyze what would occur if aerosols — suspended particles in a gasoline — launched into the stratosphere succeeded in blocking photo voltaic radiation from the earth — a dimming of the solar.

They discovered “that the simplest method to prevent long-term collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is fast decarbonisation.” The possibilities of a longer-term steady ice sheet are best if greenhouse gasoline emissions have been diminished to internet zero “at once.”

Further, to dim the Sun, Sutter stated that it could take an entire fleet of extraordinarily high-flying aeroplanes to unfold tens of millions of tonnes of aerosols in the stratosphere.

However, this technical intervention in the local weather must be maintained with out interruption and for hundreds of years. If the intervention have been stopped so long as the greenhouse focus in the environment remained excessive, the temperature on earth would rapidly rise by a number of levels.

Moreover, the potential unintended effects are nonetheless insufficiently researched and vary from a shift in the monsoon regime to modifications in ocean and atmospheric circulation. Ocean acidification would additionally proceed.


AntarticaScreenshot from Google Map

It also can have political and social results: The use of strategies comparable to photo voltaic dimming might result in local weather safety measures being slowed down and even prevented.

“Geoengineering could be one other international experiment and a probably harmful human intervention in the local weather system, which ought to in any case be prevented based on Article 2 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change,” stated Thomas Stocker, professor of local weather and environmental physics at the University.

(With inputs from IANS)

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