Startups want to cool Earth by reflecting sunlight. There are few rules and big risks

Abi Cohen2024

Photo of clouds by Sy Clark on Flickr
Alan Robock
Alan Robock

Entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are attempting to pioneer solar geoengineering to combat climate change by reflecting sunlight. Startups like Luke Iseman’s Make Sunsets launch balloons filled with sulfur dioxide and helium into the stratosphere, seeking to offset warming. However, the lack of regulations raises concerns about unforeseen risks. RCEI Affiliate Alan Robock, emphasizes the need for thorough research and global governance, stating that Implementing stratospheric aerosol injection wouldn’t return the world to a pre-global warming climate state. Such solar geoengineering methods could potentially diminish the strength of the summer monsoon, leading to less precipitation in areas where billions reside. There is also a possibility of influencing the ozone layer and ultraviolet radiation levels, which could have implications for crop productivity and the global food supply. Despite technological advancements, uncertainties remain, underscoring the importance of cautious approaches and international cooperation.

Read the full article here