Controversial Method to Cool the Earth Gains Traction as Temps Rise

( – Earth has been experiencing rising temperatures and the fight to figure out the best way to control them presses on. The human impacts on climate change have pushed people to develop ways to combat this and it has brought up some pretty interesting ideas that are gaining traction.

Solar radiation modification, also known as solar engineering, is a concept that proposes to reflect sunlight into space to manipulate the planet’s temperature. Last year, the White House published a report that mentioned this process and how they intend to understand the risks and benefits of it.

The controversy over these methods is substantial as people are concerned about the possible impacts. We know that experts have been looking into cooling the climate for decades, but experiments to do it have not been completed because of the fear of the potential impacts. Many said that we need significantly more resources and scientists to be able to control an experiment like this and understand the effects on climate events, water cycles, and food production.

In 2022 a group of more than sixty climate scientists signed a letter that called for an agreement not to pursue solar engineering at all. With this, many states in the United States are actually considering laws that would make it illegal to release chemicals to change the weather or intensity of sunlight.

ABC News chief meteorologist and chief climate correspondent Ginger Zee joined together with two teams to look into two methods that could reflect enough sunlight to cool the temperatures. These methods include marine cloud brightening and stratospheric aerosol injection.

The cloud brightening method is a method by scientists that occurs somewhat by our ships that travel oceans already. With the right combination of sea salt and stratocumulus clouds, they can brighten the clouds in the sky which would reflect more sunlight away from our planet.

Stratospheric aerosol injections would include sulfur being put into the stratosphere as a way to reflect sunlight which could help with the effects of carbon dioxide.