How does Geoengineering affect the Earth’s Environment?

This was something that I have wondered about… What is it? How does it work?

This lead me neatly to the door of a University colleague. I conducted an interview to the President of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Society at my University.

During this interview, we discussed some very interesting and useful ways  digital tech is impacting our planet, and in a really positive way.

One subject mentioned; Geoengineering!

cloudy sky

Geoengineering uses the clouds as a blanket for reflecting damaging sunlight out of the earths atmosphere. (image from Snapwire)

This is something that was relatively new to me, so I spent the week researching it. It is safe to say, my mind has been blown. How this works is actually really cool!

For any information on the Renewable Energy created that would have helped with the creation of this process, just head on over to another one of my blog posts.

So, what is Geoengineering?

It’s the alteration of the Earth’s natural system in attempt to stop the negative effects of Climate Change (NASA).

Nasa refers to it as not being the cure for global warming; simply a ‘band-aid’.

How does it work? 

There are 2 ways that Geoengineering has a large scale affect on the planet, according to Nasa:

  1. Solar Radiation Management: Reducing the amount of energy from the Sun that reaches the Earth. This could be done by mimicking a large volcanic reaction. Either a) injecting sulphate particles into the Earths upper atmosphere to create a cooling effect. Or b) injecting sea salt into the lower part of the Earths atmosphere. It would brighten the clouds so they become more reflective. This pushes part of the sun’s energy back out of the atmosphere again. This is a relatively quick method.
  2.  Carbon Dioxide Removal: This is more of a ‘clean up’ method which is a good thing. However, as only one in 2500 molecules in the air is CO2, this method is quite expensive. It is quite literally the removal of Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere. This can be achieved by encouraging ecosystems to “mop up” Carbon (like plants). Or introducing machines that actually absorb CO2. This hugely benefits the environment as our oceans then are absorbing less Carbon.

When oceans absorb Carbon, the water then becomes more acidic pH, contributing toward to the destruction of coral reefs and other marine wildlife.

Photo of a Turtle Underwater

Lets reduce the amount of Carbon our ocean absorbs with geo-engineering (image from Belle Co)

To conclude: Geoengineering is awesome and we need more of it in our lives.

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