All is not lost – the Arctic can be quickly cooled


Despite the fact that the Arctic is initially a cold region, it is warming several times faster than the Earth as a whole. Judge for yourself – over the past 50 years, the temperature on the planet has risen by about 1 degree, and in the Arctic this figure has exceeded 3 degrees. According to scientists, it may soon turn into a rainy region altogether without snow and ice. The consequences of this will be catastrophic. First of all, the flora and fauna, which are not rich in the region, will suffer. In addition, the permafrost on which entire cities and infrastructure facilities are built will begin to melt. But that’s not all. In the process of permafrost thawing, a large amount of methane will be released into the atmosphere, which will further accelerate the process of global climate warming. Melted ice can significantly raise the level of the ocean. In general, the prospect is not encouraging, but, according to scientists, this process is easy to stop.

How to cool the Arctic

One reason the Arctic is warming rapidly is because the region absorbs so much solar energy. Moreover, massive forest fires exacerbate the situation, as soot settles on the surface of the ice, as we talked about earlier. As a result, the surface begins to reflect solar energy even less.

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From this it follows that in order to cool the Arctic, it is necessary to ensure the reflection of solar energy so that it does not heat up the atmosphere. But how can this be done? Nature itself gives a hint. After powerful volcanic eruptions, when a column of ash rises into the atmosphere with sulfuric acid aerosols and other volcanic emissions. All this suspension is carried by the winds, which leads to the effect of a volcanic winter. By the way, it was the consequences of volcanic eruptions that prompted scientists to assume that a nuclear winter would come after a nuclear war.

The atmosphere is cooling after the ejection of volcanoes

How much does volcanic ejecta cool the atmosphere? After Mount Pinatubo erupted on the island of Luzon in 1991, the average temperature in the region dropped by 0.5 degrees. But this is far from the most serious consequence of a volcanic eruption. It was truly global in 1815 after the eruption of the Tambora volcano, located in Indonesia. This year, the inhabitants of Europe and North America were left, in fact, without a summer. All summer months frosts were noted and even snow fell repeatedly.

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Artificial cooling of the planet

Do not rely on volcanic eruptions, as they are extremely rare. But it is possible to artificially create an aerosol layer of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere, which will reflect sunlight. In this case, it will be possible to control the process of cooling the planet. True, in practice everything is not as simple as in theory. The fact is that about 10 million tons of aerosol will have to be delivered annually to a height of 20 km.

To cool the atmosphere, you can artificially spray an aerosol that will reflect solar energy.

In addition to the fact that the volume of the aerosol itself seems fantastic, the problem is that the planes are not capable of climbing to such a height. If, however, the aerosol is sprayed at a lower altitude, it will fall to the Earth along with precipitation. However, scientists have found a way to solve the problem.

In their study, published in Environmental Research Communications, the authors argue that the aerosol can be sprayed at latitude 60 in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere, rather than at the equator as previously thought. But the most important thing is that closer to the poles, the “air conditioner” can be delivered to a lower altitude – only 13 kilometers. For many aircraft, this height is quite achievable.

It is possible to stop the melting of the Arctic with conventional planes

Under the influence of high-altitude atmospheric currents, the aerosol will move to the poles, where it will be able to solve the problem assigned to it. Of course, the labor intensity is still very high, but it does not look fantastic. It will be enough to make 175,000 sorties per year. This will require an air fleet of 125 aircraft. For comparison, this number of flights in the world is made by commercial aircraft in just two days of operation.

True, in this way it will not be possible to cool the entire surface of the planet. But at least partially, the problem will be solved – the temperature will stabilize in the regions that are most susceptible to global warming. For example, in Antarctica it will be possible to prevent the destruction of glaciers, which threaten the planet with rising water levels.

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