During the documentary “Hot Topic”, they mentioned that in 1991 Mt. Pinatubo erupted, releasing large amounts of aerosols (sulfates) into the atmosphere. The sulfates cooled the Earth by 0.5 deg C [Wikipedia.] This cooling slowed down many efforts made to address the climate change issue.
Taking this idea, there is talk about releasing sulfate particles into the stratosphere to block the sun’s rays and help cool the Earth. I first heard this Monday on the radio program “Earth and Sky Radio”. (On the website you can listen to the radio program in full.)We briefly commented on this idea in class Thursday.
In the program Richard Turco of UCLA is very skeptical of “geoengineering” saying we would have to release tens of millions of tons of sulfates into the stratosphere and somehow have the particles disperse “so that it’s a very, very fine particle to get the adequate optical efficiency that we need, and then doing this on a continuous basis, essentially until the climate crisis is over, a thousand years from now.”
“Geoengineering” doesn’t seem very plausible to me, but we’ve already “engineered” global warming… why not “engineer” global cooling? It was effective back in 1991 with Mt. Pinatubo. Are there ramifications for releasing the sulfate particles? Thoughts?