Air pollution may be just the thing to fight global warming, some scientists say.
Prominent scientists, among them a Nobel laureate, said a layer of pollution deliberately spewed into the atmosphere could act as a ”shade” from the sun’s rays and help cool the planet.
The Dutch climatologist, awarded a 1995 Nobel in chemistry for his work uncovering the threat to Earth’s atmospheric ozone layer, suggested that balloons bearing heavy guns be used to carry sulfates high aloft and fire them into the stratosphere.
While carbon dioxide keeps heat from escaping Earth, substances such as sulfur dioxide, a common air pollutant, reflect solar radiation, helping cool the planet.
Tom Wigley, a senior U.S. government climatologist, followed Crutzen’s article with a paper of his own October 20 in the leading U.S. journal Science. Like Crutzen, Wigley cited the precedent of the huge volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991.
Pinatubo poured so much sulfurous debris into the stratosphere that it is believed it cooled the Earth by 0.5 degrees Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) for about a year.
Wigley ran scenarios of stratospheric sulfate injection — on the scale of Pinatubo’s estimated 10 million tons of sulfur — through supercomputer models of the climate, and reported that Crutzen’s idea would, indeed, seem to work. Even half that amount per year would help, he wrote.
A massive dissemination of pollutants would be needed every year or two, as the sulfates precipitate from the atmosphere in acid rain.
Äntligen en rationell lösning. :)