Science

Sun blocking through particles is an over-ambiguous plan

The massive dispersion of microscopic particles in the Earth’s stratosphere with the aim of blocking the rays of the Sun and thus “braking” the rise in temperature and climate change is a super-geoengineering scheme that will not benefit agricultural crops. It may reduce the global temperature (perhaps by almost a degree), but agriculture will not do good either in food security, according to a new American scientific study.

The rationale behind the proposal on particle dispersion is that, if things get worse with climate change, an artificial “veil” or a planetary “umbrella” of particles in the sky must be created, which will create a “shadow” over the Earth and reflect back into space solar radiation before it reaches the ground and trapped there by carbon dioxide.

This solar geomechanics, according to the new study, can actually reduce temperatures but at the same time reduce photosynthesis and this will damage plants and thus agriculture. Analyzing the similar effects of the ash of strong volcanic eruptions in the past (such as Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991), scientists have come to the conclusion that geomechanical interventions will reduce crop productivity due to the reduction of solar radiation.

Researchers, led by Jonathan Proctor of the University of California-Berkeley, who published the publication in Nature, analyzed data from 105 countries, studying satellite observations of the effects of volcanic eruptions on global agriculture. Negative effects from the aerosol umbrella were found in many vital crops such as rice, wheat and corn.

As the Proctor said, “it’s a bit like doing an experimental surgery. The side effects of treatment seem as bad as the disease itself. The shading of the planet will cool it, which will help crops grow better. But plants also need light to grow, so blocking sunlight will affect their growth. In agriculture, the negative impact will be at least equal in size to the benefits. ”

“It’s like using a credit card to pay off another credit card. At the end of the day you end up where you started without having solved the problem, “said Berkeley assistant professor Solomon Hsiang.

However, solar geomechanics should not be written off. “It may not work well in the case of agriculture, but in other sectors of the economy it can bring significant benefits,” Proctor said.

Certainly, according to the researchers, there are several other issues to explore, such as the impact of geomechanics on human health, ecosystems, the protective layer of atmospheric ozone and weather, as well as who will be responsible for interfering with its “thermostat” Earth through the planetary dimension of a particle dispersion experiment.

“Society must be objective for geomechanical technologies and develop a clear understanding of the potential benefits, costs and risks. At the moment, the uncertainty about all these factors is far greater than our understanding, “Proctor said. That’s why, he said, more research is needed on the human and environmental consequences of geomechanics, both good and bad.