In a last ditch effort to save the world from global warming, researchers are calling for giant mirrors to be put into space.
According to the Calgary Herald, the call for space mirrors comes from none other than the Royal Society, whose members once included one of the the world’s earliest Apple fanboys, Sir Isaac Newton.
The report calls for risky and unorthodox technologies such as giant space mirrors or capturing CO2 from the ambient air to blunt the effects of climate change if emission reductions prove to be too little, too late.
The Royal Society report said that global emissions continue to increase at a rate of about three percent each year and the Royal Society warned that nothing should divert nations from the goal of reducing greenhouse gases.
Plan B for cooling the Earth is geoengineering, or deliberate, large-scale intervention in the Earth’s climate system, the report said.
The report’s author, University of Calgary environment and energy physicist David Keith, said that cutting emissions is necessary to manage climate risk, but it’s not necessarily sufficient. He said that CO2 stays in the atmosphere forever. So even if you cut emissions to zero tomorrow, there’s still some risk.
Keith’s report, Geo-engineering the Climate:Science, Governance and Uncertainty, said that there could be two approaches to geo-engineering. The first could include techniques that remove CO2 from the atmosphere, and solar-blocking schemes that reflect a small percentage of the sun’s light and heat back into space.
It suggests that large mirrors sized 100 square meters each or a swarm of reflective materials in space could work.