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Apart from politics, geoengineering sparks a heated debate whenever the topic comes up. People have different opinions about this topic and are always ready to express themselves passionately about it. The discussions are always around those who believe the earth is constantly changing and those who believe in geoengineering.
Despite this, environmental changes have proven that the word is changing for the worst. This has transformed the debate into what should be done to prevent damaging changes. One of the proposed remedies is geoengineering.
The definition and application of geoengineering are usually intertwined. The definition may be complex but it can be simplified by referring to it as "earth engineering". This can be translated into any means that can be used to change the environment in order to repair the earth. The application, on the other hand, refers o the actions taken by humans to transform the earth.
According to research studies, if correct measures aren't taken, global warming could ruse to up to 1.5 degrees Celsius in the next 10 years. The impact of this being felt all over the world with consequences like the arctic sea diminishing and extensive heating felt across the various regions.
Some people may argue that this could be beneficial inline of fish being found in former icy areas but the end results are still unpleasant. The report recommended that global warming should not be allowed to rise to 1.5 degrees as that could make it closer to 2 degrees which is catastrophic. It is very clear that maintaining the temperature is an uphill task that some even deem impossible. However, with determination, it can be done.
Pros and cons of geoengineering
Geoengineering can be used to maintain the temperature into two main ways which are its categories. These are carbon dioxide removal and solar radiation management.
If the latter is implemented, the goal will be to reduce the amount of heat reaching the earth from the sun. Some methods that can make this possible are:
Stratospheric sulfur aerosol
This could involve having airplanes to distribute sulfur aerosol or any other product that can reflect light in the air.
Marine cloud brightening
This works with the notion that if seawater is sprayed into the atmosphere, thicker and more reflective clouds that hinder radiation absorption will be formed. Carbon dioxide removal, on the other hand, can be done by carbon capture and storage. This will involve turning carbon dioxide into bio-energy and storing it under capture.
Direct air capture
For this to work, carbon dioxide will have to be pulled from the environment and taken underground directly. This method may seem like the easiest yet it is the most expensive and difficult.
The ocean will have to be fitted with items that can absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. These are phytoplankton which has high iron content. Alternatively, foam could be used in the water instead but it would work by forming a reflection.
The ideas above may not provide solutions to the root cause of temperature problems but they are still worth considering. They have to be done as soon as possible if they stand a chance of working. Technological advancements also continue to offer more hope of providing more direct solutions.
Read this article to find out more.