Science & Technology
September 16, 2022 | 8 comments
The controversial plan would involve using a fleet of 125 tanker jets to shroud part of the Earth’s atmosphere.
Some climate experts have recently warned that human activities have pushed global warming passed a ‘tipping point’, making the melting of the ice caps a practical inevitability.
Now though, a new study headed up by Wake Smith from Yale University has put forward a controversial plan to refreeze the North and South Poles and stop the issue in its tracks.
To achieve this, scientists propose spraying microscopic aerosol particles into the atmosphere.
The particles – primarily sulphur dioxide – would be sprayed in two large clouds in both hemispheres at around 43,000ft where they would drift towards the poles and cast a slight shadow over them.
This, in turn, would reduce the temperature and minimize ice loss.
To accomplish such a feat, the scientists propose using a fleet of 125 military air-to-air refueling tankers that would be required to conduct 175,000 flights a year.
If this all sound a bit iffy, then that’s because it is – not least due to the potential unintended consequences of spraying such large amounts of particles into the atmosphere, but also because of the sheer logistics involved in launching more than 10,000 flights every month.
The study’s authors, however, remain adamant that it would be a beneficial exercise.
“If the risk-benefit equation were to pay off anywhere, it would be at the poles,” said Smith.
“Any intentional turning of the global thermostat would be of common interest to all of humanity.”
Given the sheer scale and impact of the project, however, it would most likely need the approval and support of the international community before it could ever realistically go ahead.