Evaluating a Technological Fix for Climate

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Could Aluminum, Barium and Other Substances from Stratospheric Aerosol Geo-Engineering Programs be Destroying Eco-Systems around the World?

These schemes have varied from the simple, such as painting every rooftop and roadway white to increase planetary albedo, to the creation of space-based solar reflectors. The use of rockets, airplanes, and giant guns to deliver reflecting material to the stratosphere has been debated, and there is even a body of conspiracy theory on “chemtrails” where the gullible believe that experiments are already underway.

However, the strategy reviewed here, the deliberate injection of stratospheric sulfate aerosols to artificially create the cooling that the earth experiences from some natural volcanic eruptions, has seen legitimate scientific discussion. The National Academies have a significant presence in this debate, publishing in 1992 a 918-page volume on the policy implications of greenhouse warming (6) with a full chapter on geoengineering as one of the options that must be on the table.

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