Do drastic times for our climate call for drastic measures? That is the question governments around the world are asking themselves as the impacts of climate change take an increasingly deadly toll on the earth.

Plagued with raging wildfires and relentless heatwaves, some countries are now turning their attention to a controversial climate intervention measure known as solar geoengineering.

David Keith, lead of the Climate Systems Engineering Initiative at the University of Chicago. “They might deliberately do that to reduce some of the risks of accumulated carbon dioxide, to cool the planet, and to reduce extreme storms.”

Keith, a leading advocate for research on solar geoengineering, along with other researchers, believes this could be done by making clouds or oceans more reflective of the sun’s rays. But the method that gets the most attention is called stratospheric aerosol injection.

“There’s a part of the atmosphere, maybe twice as high as a regular aircraft flies, where particles last for a couple of years. You could put those particles there where they were to scatter a little bit—maybe 1% of sunlight back to space. That’s the thing. We studied by far the most. The thing that we’re most confident in, in some crude way would work,” Keith said.

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Areas of Focus: Climate Change
Climate Change
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Climate Science
Climate Science
EPIC’s interdisciplinary team of researchers is contributing to a cross-cutting body of knowledge on the scientific causes of climate change and its social consequences.