By Injecting Dust Into The Atmosphere, Scientists Hope to Refreeze the Polar Regions

By Injecting Dust Into The Atmosphere, Scientists Hope to Refreeze the Polar Regions

Scientists have proposed the notion of refreezing the North and South poles by blasting microscopic particles into the Earth’s atmosphere to obstruct sunlight. Although they acknowledge there are certain risks, they claim that this is a “possible and incredibly cheap” strategy to mitigate some of the effects of the climate issue.

According to a recent study, the goal is to release aerosol particles into the stratosphere in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres using a fleet of 125 high-altitude military aircraft.

Particles would drift toward the poles and shield the area below from sunlight if injected at a height of 13,106 meters (43,000 feet) at a latitude about equal to Anchorage in southern Alaska and the southern tip of Patagonia.

Less heat results from less solar energy. The researchers claim that if done properly, this may bring the temperature in the polar areas down by 2°C (3.6°F), or roughly to pre-industrial levels. Lower global temperatures would thus be encouraged.

“Even though this could be a game-changer in a world that is fast warming, stratospheric aerosol injections only address the surface-level symptoms of climate change. Not penicillin, but aspirin. It cannot replace decarbonization, “Wake Smith, a geoengineering specialist from Yale University and the study’s lead author, said in a statement.

Smith stated, “Any deliberate adjustment of the global thermostat would be of common interest to all of humanity and not just the domain of Arctic and Patagonian nations.

According to the team’s calculations, this approach would only cost $11 billion annually, which is a relatively tiny quantity of money when compared to what climate change is predicted to cost the world.

Arctic amplification, also known as polar amplification, is a phenomena that is causing the Arctic to warm more quickly than any other region of our world. But that’s not the main reason this plan specifically targets the polar areas. Because it is sparsely populated, the researchers chose this area of the planet because relatively few people would be affected if something went wrong.

According to Smith, “there is widespread and understandable anxiety about using aerosols to cool the planet,” but the poles would be the place where the risk/benefit ratio would be most favorable.

You’re not alone if you think the idea of blotting out the Sun belongs to humorously terrible villains. Early in 2022, a number of scientists and academics of governance signed a letter calling for a prohibition on technology that aims to lessen the amount of sunlight that reaches the Earth. They contend that while the seductive nature of this kind of approach is being increased by the worsening climate problem, it may also have unanticipated global repercussions.

The signatories stated in their letter that “the hazards of solar geoengineering are poorly understood and can never be fully known.” There are concerns regarding the consequences on weather patterns, agriculture, and the provision of necessities like food and water, and impacts will differ among places.

They said, “The hypothetical possibility of solar geoengineering in the future risks becoming a potent justification for corporate lobbyists, climate deniers, and certain governments to postpone decarbonization programs.”