Computer model looks at cooling the Earth

Sep 14, 2006

A U.S. computer model study suggests two unusual methods, including injecting sulfates into the atmosphere, might be used to stabilize the Earth's climate.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research model involves using reductions in greenhouse gas emissions as well as injections of climate-cooling sulfates into the stratosphere. Researcher Tom Wigley says that might prove more effective than either approach used separately.

Wigley's model calculates the impact of injecting sulfate particles, or aerosols, every one to four years into the stratosphere in amounts equal to those lofted by the volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991. It found that, if environmentally and technologically viable, such injections could provide a "grace period" of up to 20 years before major cutbacks in greenhouse gas emissions would be required, he concludes.

He said his study doesn't endorse any particular approach to reducing climate change, nor is it intended to address any technical and political challenges involved in potential geoengineering efforts.

Instead, it analyzes whether the much-discussed idea of injecting sulfates into the stratosphere could, in fact, slow global warming and therefore provide more time for society to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide.

The study appears in the journal Science.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Urgent action needed to tackle Sahel's lack of rainfall: UN

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A human-caused climate change signal emerges from the noise

Nov 29, 2012

By comparing simulations from 20 different computer models to satellite observations, Lawrence Livermore climate scientists and colleagues from 16 other organizations have found that tropospheric and stratospheric temperature ...

Climate change threatens to worsen US ozone pollution

May 05, 2014

Ozone pollution across the continental United States will become far more difficult to keep in check as temperatures rise, according to new research led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). ...

Natural ozone changes suggest good news for future

Apr 28, 2014

(Phys.org) —New NASA research on natural ozone cycles suggests ozone levels in the lowest part of Earth's atmosphere probably won't be affected much by projected future strengthening of the circulating ...

Recommended for you

Earth's resource budget for 2014 already spent, NGO says

19 hours ago

In under eight months, humanity has used up its yearly quota of replenishable Earth resources, according to a report published Tuesday by an environmental thinktank that monitors mankind's impact on the planet.

User comments : 0