The poles are warming several times faster than the global average, causing record smashing heatwaves that were reported earlier this year in both the Arctic and Antarctic.
The poles are warming several times faster than the global average, causing record smashing heatwaves that were reported earlier this year in both the Arctic and Antarctic. Melting ice and collapsing glaciers at high latitudes would accelerate sea level rise around the planet. Fortunately, refreezing the poles by reducing incoming sunlight would be both feasible and remarkably cheap, according to new research published today in IOP Publishing’s Environmental Research Communications.
Scientists laid out a possible future program whereby high-flying jets would spray microscopic aerosol particles into the atmosphere at latitudes of 60 degrees north and south – roughly Anchorage and the southern tip of Patagonia. If injected at a height of 43,000 feet (above airliner cruising altitudes), these aerosols would slowly drift poleward, slightly shading the surface beneath. “There is widespread and sensible trepidation about deploying aerosols to cool the planet,” notes lead author Wake Smith, “but if the risk/benefit equation were to pay off anywhere, it would be at the poles”.
Particle injections would be performed seasonally in the long days of the local spring and early summer. The same fleet of jets could service both hemispheres, ferrying to the opposite pole with the change of seasons.
Read more at IOP Publishing
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