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Earth’s solar reflector?Scientists explore potential risks and benefits



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Credit: Pixabay/CC0 public domain

In the past ten years, there have been nine hottest years in human history. In this climate change trend, if there are no major changes, the future of life on earth will be questioned. Should a fossil fuel-powered society promote climate change, should humans use technology to stop global warming?

Since September 201

9, the Climate Intervention Biology Working Group (a team of internationally recognized experts in climate science and ecology) has gathered together remotely every month to solve this problem by reflecting part of the solar radiation. A problem and scientific knowledge of the consequences of a cooler earth on the earth. Radiation far from the earth-a climate intervention strategy called solar radiation correction (SRM).

The team’s seminal paper “Cooling the Earth by Reflecting Sunlight on the Potential Ecological Impact of Climate Intervention” was published in a recent article. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (NASA).

“Participating in this working group is an eye-opener for me,” said co-author Peter Groffman, an ecosystem ecologist at the Center for Advanced Science Research at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and the Cary Ecosystem Institute. “I did not realize that the modeling of climate interventions is so advanced, and I think that climate modelers are not aware of the complexity of the affected ecosystems. This strongly reminds us of the importance of multidisciplinary analysis of complex issues in many aspects. . Environmental Science.”

The interdisciplinary team consists of Phoebe Zarnetske, a community ecologist and associate professor of the Michigan State University’s Integrated Biology and Ecology, Evolution and Behavior Program, and Jessica Guviovich, a distinguished ecologist from the Stoney Department of Ecology and Evolution. Gurevitch) co-leads Brooke University.

The conversation between Gurevitch and Alan Robock, a distinguished professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University, gave birth to the founding group, which understood more clearly than most that the Earth and Atmosphere Engineering is more than just one Kind of science fiction.

Zarnetske said: “Lack of knowledge about the ecological impact of climate intervention.” “As scientists, we need to understand and predict the positive and negative impacts on the natural world, identify key knowledge gaps, and begin to predict their possible impacts. What kind of impact will terrestrial, marine and freshwater species and ecosystems have. Adopted in the future.”

With other climate interventions (eg absorption of carbon dioxide (CO)2 pcs). The working group expects them to have a lively discussion, and open access papers will encourage an explosion of scientific exploration on how a climate intervention strategy called Solar Radiation Correction (SRM) that coincides with the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions will affect the natural world.

The feasibility of SRM work across the earth depends on accurate predictions of the numerous results provided by the mature computer simulations of the GeoMIP (GeoMIP).This NASA This paper lays the foundation for extending the scope of GeoMIP to include the incredible range and diversity of the Earth’s ecosystems.

Gurevitch explained: “Although climate models are very advanced in predicting the climate results of various geoengineering scenarios, we know very little about the potential risks that these scenarios may cause to species and natural systems.” “Extinction, changes in populations Are the risks and the need for living organisms to migrate and survive under SRM greater than the risks of climate change, or does SRM reduce the risks caused by climate change?”

“Most GeoMIP models only simulate non-biological variables, but what about all living things that are affected by climate and depend on solar energy?” Zarnetske added. “We need to better understand the possible impact of SRM on everything from soil microbes to monarch butterflies migrating to the ocean system.”

Zarnetske’s SpaCE Lab (SpaCE Lab) specializes in researching how the entire ecological community from micro to global respond to climate change, giving it unique advantages and helping the working group prepare future SRM scenarios (such as stratospheric aerosols) Illuminate important data. Intervention (SAI) is the focus of this article.

SAI can reduce some of the sun’s radiation by reflecting sunlight back into space, which is similar to what happens after a large volcano erupts. Theoretically, it is possible to continuously replenish the cloud and control its thickness and position to achieve the desired target temperature.

However, this article reveals the complexity of insufficient research on the cascading relationship between ecosystem functions and climate under different SAI scenarios. They believe that in fact, regardless of whether SRM is adopted, climate change mitigation must continue. The question is whether there are some or some SRMs that can benefit in addition to decarbonization efforts.

Zarnetske said: “Although SAI may cool the earth’s surface to a global temperature target, the distribution of cooling may be uneven, which affects many ecosystem functions and biodiversity.” “Rainfall and surface ultraviolet radiation will change, and SAI will increase. Acid rain, and will not reduce ocean acidification.”

In other words, SRM is not a panacea for addressing climate change. Before the efforts of the working group spurred new research on the impact of different climate intervention scenarios, SRM was more like shooting in the dark.

Gurevitch added: “We hope this article will draw more attention to this issue, and hope that scientists will strengthen cooperation in the fields of climate science and ecology.”

The Climate Intervention Biology Working Group is funded by the National Science Foundation and will meet at two upcoming scientific conferences: this month at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and at the “Ecology “Response of the Biosphere to Geoengineering” in “Science”. American Association, August 2021.


Geoengineering is only part of the solution to climate change


More information:
Phoebe L. Zarnetske and others, “By reflecting sunlight to cool the earth, the potential ecological impact of climate intervention”, NASA (2021). www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1921854118

Provided by the Graduate Center of the City University of New York



Citation: The earth’s solar reflector? Scientists explore the potential risks and benefits retrieved from https://phys.org/news/2021-04-sun-reflector-earth-scientists-explore.html on April 6, 2021 (April 5, 2021)

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