Dr. Edward Teller, who helped develop the atomic bomb 60 years ago, has turned his attention to possible ways to reverse global warming. Most scientists have decided that if current trends continue, the Earth’s average surface temperature will be 2.7 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit higher in 100years.
One solution may be to blast tiny particles into the atmosphere. The particles would deflect enough sunlight to trigger global cooling. Another plan would be to launch 50,000 mirrors into orbit to reflect sunlight back into space.
“The sooner, the better,” says Teller. “The simplest plan is to put into the high atmosphere small particles that scatter away one or two percent of the sunlight.”
Interestingly, those who believe that the government is secretly spraying a substance into the atmosphere, in the form of chemtrails, say that the reason may be to deflect sunlight and cool down the atmosphere.
Ken Caldeira, Teller’s colleague at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, checked Teller’s theories by running computer models. “My first thoughts about this was that it simply wouldn’t work,” he says. “Much to our surprise, our modelresults indicated that geo-engineering schemes would move our climate back to what it was before.”
Caldeira feels the best plan of action is “putting a huge satellite out in space between earth and sun.” The huge solar shield would act as an orbiting sunshade to cool the earth. With this scheme, particles wouldn’t have to be blasted into space, which would turn our blue sky white. The 50,000 mirrors would cause the sunlight to flicker here on Earth.
Steve Schneider, an expert on global warming from Stanford University, doubts that geo-engineering will work. “We don’t know what the precise effects would be, whether the cure would be better or worse than the disease,” he says. He’s concerned that eliminating harmful greenhouse gases on Earth will take at least 200 years of planning and negotiation, which is a long time for a global treaty to last. “Two hundred years of continuous planetary management on a global scale-that’s asking a lot of political institutions that have never been able to get along for mo re than a few decades at a time.”
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