- Geoengineering is a term that refers to technology that can alter Earth’s natural cycles to cool down the planet. It’s being increasingly discussed as a potential way to address climate change.
- Putting mirrors in space,capturing carbon dioxide, andseeding clouds with particles are all ways ofmanipulating weather or the atmosphere.
- But some scientists and politicians think geoengineering could damage the planet orlead to war.
- Here are 11 strategies researchers have put forth to hack the planetand combat climate change.
Oceans are hotter than they’veever been in recorded history. Ice Sheets aremelting at unprecedented rates. Sea-level rise threatenscountless species, coastal cities, andlocal economies.
As researchers’ warnings about the consequences of climate change get more dire, some scientists and politicians are suggesting we do more than just curb our greenhouse-gas emissions — they want tohack our climate.
The technical term for this isgeoengineering.
The concept evokes fantastical images of weather-controlling satellites, giant space mirrors, and carbon-sucking tubes. But some techniques for modifying Earth’s atmosphere aren’t in the realm of fantasy.
In fact, discussions about manipulating the atmosphere to cool the planet are growing increasingly mainstream. Climeworks, a company that captures carbon dioxide from the air,opened its first commercial plant in Switzerland in 2017. Y Combinator, Silicon Valley’s largest incubator, hasrequested proposals from geoengineering-focused start-ups. And some political candidates,including presidential hopeful Andrew Yang, think the US needs to beat other countries to these technologies.
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