Published in Physics World, 31 Aug 2012
Researchers in the US have estimated that modification of stratospheric albedo – a widely discussed geoengineering technique to counteract some of the effects of climate change – could cost as little as $5bn a year. Although this is just a small fraction of the gross domestic product (GDP) of most western countries, the team stresses that there are many potential risks of geoengineering the planet in this way.
Geoengineering aims to mitigate man-made climate change by making large-scale modifications to the Earth’s surface or atmosphere. One of the main proposals discussed by scientists is stratospheric albedo modification: changing the reflective power of the atmosphere 10–50 km above the Earth’s surface so that more solar radiation is reflected back into space. Such a modification would be achieved by pumping tiny particles known as aerosols into the upper atmosphere. […]
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