Geoengineering: Nonfiction or Science Fiction?
Enter geoengineering. Geoengineering is a deliberate large-scale manipulation of an environmental process in order to counteract climate change.
It kind of sounds like something you’d see in a science-fiction movie. Ever watch The Matrix? Just in case you’re of the few that haven’t, the humankind of the real world altered the atmosphere to block out the sun so artificial intelligence wouldn’t be able to use solar power to survive. While that example isn’t exactly geoengineering, the concept is similar. Instead of altering Earth’s natural systems to thwart A.I., we are trying to neutralize global warming.
One type of actual geoengineering is the injection of sulfate particles into the stratosphere, and another is putting mirrors into Earth’s orbit. Both of these have one aim in mind—shading our planet thereby reducing rising temperatures and all the adverse effects that come with it.
Before either of these radical approaches can be taken, research has to be conducted. ScienceDaily recently posted an article about a study done to assess the geoengineering approach of artificially shading the planet. Scientists used climate models to simulate the approach and found that it significantly decreased both precipitation amounts and frequency. In North America, monsoonal rains dropped by around 7 percent. In South America and East Asia, they dropped by 6 percent.