As some of you may know, I am a proponent of big science climate mitigation solutions** for a variety of reasons* (primarily expediency). Well, because of that interest, Google Newsfeed just informed me of another possible method – except this one works from space rather than taking up valuable real estate here on Earth.
note: MIT itself puts this cautionary note on its proposed sun protection solution:
It is important to note that MIT does not see this as an alternative solution on our current adaptation and mitigation efforts. Instead it is a backup solution designed to help when things get out of hand.
note 2: This MIT solution relies on deploying their solar shading solution in the gravity-neutral L1 part of space, the Lagrange point (the pivot point between the Earth and the Sun). Smart, it’s a similarly gravity-stable place that keeps the James Webb Space Telescope orbiting the Sun — with the bare minimum of course corrections required.
MIT scientists believe they have figured out how to completely reverse climate change
through Joshua Hawkinsbgr.com – July 9, 2022
The idea revolves heavily around creating and deploying multiple thin film-like ones silicone bubbles. The “space bubbles,” as they call them, would be interconnected like a raft. Once stretched in space, it would be about same size as Brazil. The bubbles would then arise an additional buffer against harmful solar radiation that comes from the sun.
Researchers at MIT have adopted the same basic concept [a “cloud” of small spacecraft] and improved on it, however, by swapping out inflatable silicon bladders for the spacecraft that Angel originally proposed. Being able to reverse climate change would be a big step in the right direction. However, shielding the earth from solar radiation would only be part of it. We would also have to cut other things.
Researchers say we’d probably still need to put some kind of spacecraft out there to keep things on track. But there could be us a good chance to reverse or at least slow down climate change. […]
I have to admit that I’m a bit dissatisfied with the scale of this solution. What if it filters out TOO MUCH solar radiation?, is the first question that comes to mind. But then again, at the pace we’ve been going, TOO MUCH TRAPPED SOLAR RADIATION is exactly the problem we face as a technological civilization hoping to survive past 2100. Heck, the way most climate prediction models have underestimated feedback amplification effects, reaching 2050 without serious societal collapse can be a stretch.
It would be good to have such “last hope” mitigation tools in your pocket just in case all else fails. Hopefully we never have to use them on a large scale as governments rise to the challenge of carbon reduction. Once they do, perhaps these achievements will inspire some urgency to figure out how to stop the methane freight train hurtling down the planetary warming timeline.
Finally, world governments so skillful take proactive steps to solve big problems – and by that I mean, Not as much.
*Some reasons why I am committed to Big Science Climate Mitigation solutions:
- Expedient, our ramp-up time for course corrections, is running out quickly.
- The scale of the problem is global.
- Most scientists are pretty smart.
- Governments have been slow to respond, especially on any scale beyond half-measures.
- Big Science got us into this mess, Big Science may be able to get out of it.
- Feedback loops are accelerating the pace of ecosystem threats due to climate change.
Some big science climate mitigation solutions** that I think make sense:
Carbon Capture: Mechanical Trees.
Carbon capture: Seeding of plankton blooms.
- Carbon Capture: Algae/Algae Farms.
- Carbon capture: chimney scrubbing.
Tapping into the tidal power
Breakthroughs in fuel cells and batteries.
- Breakthroughs in CO2/Methane Enzymes.
- Huge wind farms.
- Huge solar parks.
- Massive reforestation.
- Think globally, act and work locally.
We only have one planet. There is no Planet B to save us from our predicament.
Smart Science only maybe.