The US National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) have called for the establishment of a research program to investigate the feasibility of solar geoengineering solutions to the climate crisis. Although the academy insisted that disabling emissions against climate change should be considered the “first line of defense”, it said that failure to achieve this goal could require further final measures to reduce the sun’s heat. In a newly published report, NASEM explains that solar geoengineering “attempts moderate warming by increasing the amount of sunlight by reflecting the atmosphere into space or reducing the network of outgoing thermal radiation.”
However, since such an approach would probably create an array of still unknown side effects, the Academy requested that the United States establish a research program to determine the broader effects of solar geoengineering technology. It is therefore important to recognize that NASEM does not advise setting up such interventions as a solution to climate change at the moment. Rather, policymakers have been asked to initially invest $100 million to $200 million to investigate the benefits and benefits of solar geoengineering in order to help determine whether the technology should be considered when creating future climate strategies.
The report identifies three specific strategies that are believed to be appropriate for the study. The first of these is stratospheric aerosol injection, which involves the release of tiny reflective particles into the stratosphere to bring incoming sunlight back into space. Previous studies have indicated that volcanic eruptions cool the climate by the air of high particles in the atmosphere, suggesting that such a method may be effective. However, there remains uncertainty about how this effect can be artificially reproduced.
The second technique is known as marine cloud illumination and involves the injection of particles into the lower atmosphere to increase the reflection of low-cloud clouds over the ocean. Finally, the report highlights the possibility of thinning of the cirrus clouds, as a result of which the high-temperature cirrus clouds are prevented from retaining their trapped heat. However, the authors of the report point out that “such a approach may be hindered by a very limited understanding of the properties of the Ceres cloud and by micro-physical processes to determine how Ceres can be modified.”