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Planetary Cheat Codes Could Counter Climate Change

| 12 Sep 2013 15:37

Lord Rees, astronomer of the Royal Society, suggests a variety of 'plan B' schemes to be used in the fight against global warming.

Now, if fixing climate change was as simple as opening up the Earth's command console and entering: atmosphere_remove_CO2_50%. The amount of the prime suspected culprit of global warming would drop by half and the uniform rise in temperature would stop in its tracks. Unfortunately, life doesn't have any cheat codes. But the Astronomer Royal, Lord Rees, wants to "hack the planet to counter climate change." In a speech to be given at the British Science Festival in Newcastle, he is set to discuss a variety of geoengineering projects that could help solve global warming.

What has prompted the well credited member of the astronomical community to share his ideas on ways to tackle climate change? His own pessimistic views on global efforts to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere within the next 20 years. If the current targets are not met, we could see gas concentrations in the atmosphere rise to 500 parts per million by the end of this century. This could lead to a global temperature rise of 6°C and melt the remaining ice caps whilst intensifying the effects of global warming.

"If the effect is strong, and the world consequently seems on a rapidly warming trajectory into dangerous territory, there may be a pressure for 'panic measures'," Rees will say. "These would have to involve a 'Plan B'."

So, what are these plans I hear you ask? I can assure you, all of them are rather outside the box. These include positioning mirrors in space to redirect some of the suns energy back into space, boosting the growth of carbon dioxide consuming algae by saturating the worlds oceans with iron and encouraging cloud formation in the upper atmosphere to reflect some of the suns energy away from the Earth's surface.

The political minefield of global carbon dioxide output is always a nervous proposition with countries failing to agree on where the Earth's thermostat should be set to. But, whilst many may debate the merits of his ideas and how to go about implementing them, none are a permanent fix, merely efforts to buy time before one can be found. And with no feasible solution on the horizon, Earth might have to look into the delivery costs of ice from Halley's Comet!

Source: The Telegraph

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