Updated: Dec 14, 2021
Climate change is an increasingly worrying issue for future generations. It threatens to harm wildlife, cause drastic weather patterns, and pollute the water we drink and the air we breathe. Despite mass awareness about this issue, many people feel helpless to the already worsening climate. However, science may be the key that we are looking for.
Geoengineering, also known as climate engineering, is a way to change Earth’s climate system on a large scale. The two main types of geoengineering are solar geoengineering and carbon dioxide removal.
Solar geoengineering shows promise to rapidly reverse some risks of climate change by deflecting sunlight away from Earth’s surface. One solar geoengineering method is Marine Cloud Brightening, which uses seawater to increase the brightness of clouds, thereby increasing their reflectivity. One uncertainty of this method is whether it affects precipitation patterns and leads to flooding or drought in some areas. Another method is Stratospheric aerosol injection, which injects small particles into the atmosphere. A possible side effect of this method is that it may whiten the sky or change the temperature of the stratosphere due to the absorption of sun rays.
Carbon Dioxide Removal
Carbon dioxide removal attempts to remove harmful gases from the atmosphere to reduce global warming. This method could include forest restoration or directly capturing air to remove carbon dioxide. Another method called bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, or BECCS, would remove carbon by converting land to biomass plantations. Despite the promise of this method, it may lead to a loss of biodiversity and threaten wildlife.
Though there are uncertainties and possible side effects for each of these methods, the negative effects might be worth preventing further climate change. There is still so much more climate change research to be done, so stay hopeful!
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