Lately, the news regarding climate change has been dire. But researchers have come up with an unconventional plan to slow down global warming’s effects on Earth’s atmosphere. It involves tossing sulfates in the stratosphere in an effort to dim the sun.

There are several issues with this plan, though. The first is cost. The team estimates that it would cost $2.25 billion a year for the first 15 years. A second issue is the fact that there simply is no aircraft that could get the sulfates where they need to go. In order to make that happen, someone would have to build a specialized high-altitude tanker, which would then need to take about 4,000 flights every year. That number would increase linearly each year, the scientists believe.

Published in Our Blog
Monday, 26 February 2018 00:00

Solar Cooling Could Begin in 2020

By 2050, the sun is expected to be seven percent cooler, a process that could begin as early as 2020. The process, called solar cooling, is caused by a periodic event known as a grand minimum and experts say there’s no reason for concern.

The most recent grand minimum occurred in the mid-1600s and was called the Maunder Minimum. It happened during a time when parts of the Earth reached temperatures that led to the period being called the Little Ice Age, which started in 1300 and lasted until 1850. The cooling was not uniform across the planet, with Europe cooling while areas like Alaska experienced warmer weather.

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For decades environmentalists and consumers have worried about the ever-pervasive hole in the ozone layer. Discovered in the late 1970s, the hole was eventually attributed to chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), caused by man-made chemicals like refrigerants and aerosol sprays. If the hole was left unchecked, experts predicted it would contribute to the gradual destruction of the planet in the form of global warming.

But today that hole is shrinking, attributable, in part, to regulations that were enacted in the late 1980s to reduce CFCs in the environment. During the 2016 winter in Antarctica, the depletion of the protective ozone layer was observed to be approximately 20 percent lower than it was a full decade ago.

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