Plans to dim the Sun’s rays in order to slow the effects of global warming are potentially dangerous and should be forbidden by governments, a group of scientists and policy experts have said. Such technologies could disrupt monsoons in Africa and interfere with crop growth.
What is the plan?
One of the plans includes injecting billions of sulphur particles into the atmosphere – but the success of any plan would be far outweighed by the drawbacks.
“Solar geoengineering deployment cannot be governed globally in a fair, inclusive and effective manner,” said the open letter, published in the journal WIREs Climate Change as reported by Phys.org.
“We therefore call for immediate political action from governments, the United Nations and other actors to prevent the normalisation of solar geoengineering as a climate policy option.”
The letter calls for an international non-use agreement to block funding of these technologies, as well as refusing to grant patents for them.
It is likely that artificially dimming the Sun could disrupt monsoons in South Asia and Africa as well as causing issues with crops; that said, other areas may benefit, as it would hamper the probability of drought in southern Africa.
The technology would also do nothing to stop the build up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is changing the chemistry of the seas considerably.
Such hopes for a rapid solution could, as the letter states, “disincentive governments, businesses and societies to do their utmost to achieve decarbonisation or carbon neutrality as soon as possible”.