CLIMATE change may end up causing World War 3 if individual countries start to try and save themselves by hacking the weather with a process called geoengineering.
Many experts are in favour of geoengineering, which involves manipulating the atmosphere by blocking sunlight or isolating excess carbon, but weather hacking in one region could have negative impacts in another and lead to global conflict, according to scientists.
It is solar geoengineering that appears to be the most problematic and not so much carbon capture because solar geoengineering would involve spraying chemicals into the air that would block some sunlight.
When speaking on the sun blocking topic, geoengineering researcher Juan Moreno-Cruz told Business Insider: “The threat of war never is out of the question.”
If geoengineering is going to happen then all countries would have to be informed and agree because some areas may be more negatively effected than others.
Andrea Flossmann, a scientist at the World Meteorological Organization, explained in a WMO report: “The atmosphere has no walls. What you add may not have the desired effect in your vicinity, but by being transported along might have undesired effects elsewhere.”
How scientists would dim the Sun
Here’s how scientists could try and slow down climate change…
- When volcanoes erupt, they send a mixture of gases and particles into the air and some of them have a cooling effect because they reflect sunlight away from the Earth
- Some scientists want to mimic this natural effect by spraying their own sunlight reflecting particles into the astmosphere with a giant aerosol
- They could do this by attaching aerosol technology to a giant tethered weather balloon and having it fly up into the stratosphere, the second major layer of Earth’s atmosphere
- They could then pump an aerosol spray containing a sunlight reflecting compound up a tube attached to the balloon and then have the aerosol spray out when it reaches the top of the tube
- When the aerosol spray is released into the atmosphere it would form a protective layer that reflects some sunlight
- Researchers at Harvard are planning to test this technique in 2019
- Possible negative side effects include regional warming, whitening of the sky and unknown health implications
Earth’s temperatures are set to soar to dangerous levels so a lot of scientists think the unknown consequences of geoengineering are worth the risk.
The worse case scenario is that Earth’s atmospheric chemistry is irreversibly altered and causes freak weather conditions like monsoons, hurricanes and heatwaves that could kill thousands and increase global tensions.
However, geoengineering may be the only way to reach the goals for reducing climate change set out in the Paris agreement and so many countries may agree to trialling it anyway.
In other news, two thirds of ice in the Alps will melt by 2100 due to climate change, scientists warn.
Global warming could cause £54trillion in damage as heat melts the Arctic permafrost.
And, a shocking UN report has found that humans are putting one million species at risk of extinction.