Humans cannot expect a safer, cooler world from technological fixes.
To cool the world and boost plant growth, such methods may do the trick. But if they work by dimming the sunlight, the plants will ultimately suffer.
Scientists and others have misgivings about the experimental technology, with many seeing it as at best a strategy of last resort to help avoid calamitous climate change.
Think of it as down-to-earth geoengineering. Some simple actions could make a big difference to city life in the long, hot summer.
Research indicates that if such a remedial action worked and then was stopped, global warming would resume at up to 10 times the speed.
Attempts to limit climate change by using the novel technologies known as geo-engineering are very unlikely to work, leading biologists say.
While the “future dramatic removal of huge volumes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere” could restore greenhouse gas concentrations to pre-industrial levels, the world’s oceans would “stay warmer, and more acidic, for thousands of years, and the consequences for marine life could be catastrophic” unless the burning of fossil fuels is stopped, a team of German researchers warns.
Reducing the bleaching of corals by blocking the sun’s rays might buy time to keep tropical reefs alive if efforts are increased to halt global warming.
American scientists say they are making progress with carbon capture and storage, a process that would help render harmless the chief greenhouse gas.
Resorting to geoengineering to tackle climate change would be an admission of failure, UK scientists say.