Geoengineers: Who will rule the climate?

Global climate change has recently become quite significant, so researchers are thinking about ways to control it. Geoengineers, for example, suggest various methods of doing this, some as easy as managing temperatures with air conditioners. However, ecologists fear that any drastic interference with the climate system could trigger a catastrophe.
The recent scientific trend of geoengineering means radical human interference with nature. Supporters of this new science, for example, suggest launching solar-reflective screens into orbit; planting eucalyptus forests in the Sahara desert to convert it in a rain forest; pumping carbon dioxide in underground storages and evaporating sea water with special vessels to create white clouds. Partly, these solutions were prompted by nature itself. Thus, scientists noticed long time ago that after a volcanic eruption, lots of small substances are released into the atmosphere, forming a dust veil that blocks sun rays, therefore, triggering a drop in temperature. Director of the Institute of Global Climate and Ecology, Dr. Yury Izrael argues that if planes spray some 600,000 tons of aerosol particles containing sulfur dioxide in the stratosphere, this will cool the world by 1-2 degrees. Physics, actually, says it’s possible to alter the climate but it could be really dangerous, warns the head of the Climate and Energy program of the WWF Russia Alexey Kokorin. "If we make a machine to reflect solar radiation, for example, a screen, of the smallest water particles – the so-called sulphur screen, or mirrors protecting us from the Sun, then redistribution of solar radiation between the poles and the equator can change, and this process will trigger a new ice age. That’s why scientists warn against large-scale experiments with the nature ". Nevertheless, geoengineering gets lots of support as many are lured by simple solutions it offers. Moreover, a number of economists find them the most effective ones, as they promise results in a couple of years instead of centuries envisaged by the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. Professor of the St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University Sergey Avakyan stands for a more harmless interference, like planting trees. “We need more trees to accumulate carbon dioxide – boreal and taiga forests are perfect – but they grow only in the northern hemisphere – Russia and Canada . So instead of cutting trees down, we should be planting them – the effect is scientifically proven ". Opponents of geoengineering methods claim that people are so far not ready for a radical interference with the climate system and there are no international treaties to regulate such projects. Meanwhile, scientifically speaking, geoengineering is a great research discipline and it should be given every opportunity for continued research. Svetlana KalmykovaSource: Voice of Russia

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