The earth is heating up at an accelerating rate. This heat could cause more droughts, forest fires and economic collapse. Many reports give mankind less than a hundred years before we reach a point of no return. One way to cool off the planet is to put sulfur dioxide into the earth’s stratosphere. This gas reflects the sun’s solar energy, thus a cooling effect. This would have a major effect on the earth’s warming.
Scientist had noticed in the past that after a volcano erupts the earth gets cooler for a few years. They found that the eruption injects sulfur dioxide and ash into the stratosphere. The sulfur dioxide combines with water vapor forming an aerosol that reflects the sun. Less energy is absorbed by the earth, causing global cooling. Some studies suggest that areas of the globe are affected differently by the amount of sulfur dioxide in the stratosphere.
We could use this to cool regions of the earth to grow glaciers and stop the permafrost from melting. This cooling at the equator might reduce hurricanes. Areas of drought might be helped by increase snow in the winter. The cooling of the earth would have a positive economic effect because of more food and plentiful water.
The most costly part of this plan is putting the gas into the stratosphere. The best delivery system might be the space shuttle. Many deliveries in low orbit would be needed to test this idea. Another option is a high flying plane. Other option may exist but cost effectiveness would have to be reviewed.
The greatest problem is that sulfur dioxide damages our ozone layer. The cost would be too high to repair the ozone. The solution is to come up with another gas that does not damage the ozone. Test would have to be done to fine the best solution. Experiment would need to be done over decades. Every country would need to review the data before anything could be fully implemented.
With the earth heating up, we are running out of time. New areas of study are a slow process and we should not wait for the last minute to try something. With civilization as we know it hanging in the balance. We need many solutions at our disposal to solve the Global warming.
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