Archive The dark side of tackling climate change

The dark side of tackling climate change

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By Jude Chukwuemeka

The latest effort brought by scientists and engineers to solve the problem of global warming is known as geo-engineering. It would require blocking some of the sunlight coming down to the earth. Looking at the process from the surface, it appeared to be cool, cool enough to block some precious rainfalls from reaching the surface of the earth. This is the final conclusion of some scientists who have taken a second look at the process of geo-engineering.

The process of geo-engineering the atmosphere could produce ‘cascading effects’ which would probably seriously disrupt the weather and even agriculture – which means that more desert areas could be created here on earth. A few scientists further claimed that the geo-engineering process may be unable to block away the rest of the greenhouse effects anyway.

Geo-engineering was first introduced in the year 2006 as a very cheap means of solving the problem associated with the heating of the atmosphere and the rest of planet earth. It was praised as a better panacea to the problem of climate change, since it was a lot cheaper method – about $2 billion per year. Yes, it was a lot cheaper than converting bad and dangerous fuels to clean energy such as wind, solar, nuclear and bio-fuels.

How It Works

The first phase of geo-engineering process required jet fleets criss-crossing the planet and release about five megatons of sulphur dioxide each year. The gas would mix with water in the stratosphere and later become sulphate aerosols. These will block, scatter sunlight coming to earth and disperse them back to space. This first phase would be responsible solely for countering heat from greenhouse gases. Since the sulphate aerosols will instantly block and scatter the sun’s rays, sunlight will not be able to warm the earth.

The second set of the process will disrupt earth’s temperatures, adversely affecting the weather. It would shrink the temperature gap between the oceans and surfaces of land. This would occur since land cools faster than oceans; and already, cooler seas will have a hard time balancing temperatures with dry lands.

The end result is that rainfall will become scarce for such areas as Asia and Africa. Farmers will be badly affected since they will not be able to get the rainfall needed for their crops.

Other measures designed to make geo-engineering work required using large ocean fleets to spray seawater up above the oceans. The downside to that is that the cooling effects would not be uniform, as such, global warming problems can be aggravated with the result being the drying of Amazon, threatening the species that have no other place as home but the rainforest.

Lastly, a few scientists have made it known that if the world is unwilling or unable to continue the geo-engineering process of blocking rays from the sun but we keep producing more CO  on
earth, we will be shocked that the global warming challenges we have now will be worse than at that time. So it boils down to better do nothing than to worsen an already aggravate problem.

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