A group of Harvard scientists plans to tackle climate change through geoengineering by blocking out the sun. The concept of artificially reflecting sunlight has been around for decades, yet this will be the first real attempt at controlling Earth’s temperature through solar engineering. It will be done over the Southwestern United States so what would this mean for us in Southern California? Some of you may get your wish to transform our landscape from desert to Pacific Northwest. Read on for details …
The project, called Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment (SCoPEx), will spend $3 million to test their models by launching a steerable balloon in the southwest US 20 kilometers into the stratosphere. Once the balloon is in place, it will release small particles of calcium carbonate. Plans are in place to begin the launch as early as the spring of 2019.
The basis around this experiment is from studying the effects of large volcanic eruptions on the planet’s temperature. In 1991, Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted spectacularly, releasing 20 million tonnes of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere. The sulfur dioxide created a blanket around Earth’s stratosphere, cooling the entire planet by 0.5 °C for around a year and a half.
This is precisely why the Harvard research team intends to spray tiny chalk (calcium carbonate) particles into the stratosphere in a controlled experiment. Computer models can only go so far in predicting the impacts this geoengineering technique, it is time for a real world test. With funding in part by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, the Harvard team will begin to answer the remaining questions as early as the spring of 2019.
While the potential negative effects are not fully characterized, the ability to control Earth’s temperature by spraying small particles into the stratosphere is an attractive solution largely due to its cost. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report estimated that the continual release of particles into the stratosphere could offset 1.5 °C of warming for $1 billion to $10 billion per year.
What would it mean for us in Southern California?
When Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted in 1991, the 1991-1992 storm season had 21 inches of rainfall in Los Angeles. The following season during the 1992-1993 time-frame Los Angeles had 27 inches of rain. Cooling from Pinatubo across the planet resulted in a lack of surface high pressure and warmer water in the Northern Pacific. This is similar to what we are experiencing this season with that same lack, as I previously forecasted months ago and you can read that article by CLICKING HERE.
Their experiment is pretty dangerous as we as humans have never tried a real-world climate change on our own. Should they be successful, Southern California would return to normal rainfall seasons, even pushing us above. The flooding/mudslides however may prove to be more deadly and erosion at the coast would change the beach landscape pretty quickly. The lack of warmer water in the Central/Northern Pacific would turn Southern California into Seattle type weather, both Summer and Winter. Our Summers would lack prolonged heatwaves and we would have more greenery and white-capped mountains.
The entire landscape of Southern California would be changed so as long as this experience works as advertised. I have said before that climate change is the result of a lack of major volcanic eruptions and not caused by man. This is what we need … and it would now be caused by man. Such patterns would alter the United States pattern as well. We would have more tornado outbreaks in Texas/Oklahoma/Kansas as low pressure would dominate the Western United States during the Spring…
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