Have you ever noticed drastic changes in the weather – seemingly too abrupt to be caused by nature? Or, saw airplane lines in the sky that don’t seem to dissipate? A bit of research on these questions unveils a likely culprit – geoengineering. As the temperature of the Earth’s surface warms – scientists and government officials are working to prevent continual warming through geoengineering – but at what cost to the planet?
Geoengineering is defined as the deliberate large-scale intervention in the Earth’s climate system in order to moderate climate change. Before the industrial revolution, the Earth balanced the rays from the sun by releasing heat back into space. Since the industrial revolution, toxic air pollution began trapping the heat from being released back into space. Because of this, our planet is warming. Science has started the process of geoengineering to slow the process of climate change. In doing so, they are releasing sulfates and other particles into the atmosphere, and modifying weather. Scientists are also working to cool the ocean temperatures by upwelling the deep ocean water. They are also adding lime and iron to create algae blooms to absorb excess CO2. Scientists around the world – as well as some climate activists – have called for more research into geoengineering techniques as we don’t yet know the long term impacts. Whether or not you agree with geoengineering – making an informed decision is imperative.
- Ocean fertilization disrupts the marine food chain, can produce harmful algae blooms and remove oxygen from some sea layers.
- It is a concern that rapid warming trends would happen if geoengineering were to be stopped abruptly.
- All proposed geoengineering techniques have potentially negative environmental impacts.
- Spraying aerosols into the atmosphere will continue to deplete our ozone layer.
- Several geoengineers have commercial interests in geoengineering techniques.
How can I make an impact:
Action 1: Global Goodness
- Be informed. Researching the science of geoengineering is critical making an educated decision on whether or not it is good for the planet.
- Work toward reducing your CO2 emissions. The more we reduce our impact on the planet, the less we have to work to save it. Look up some of our previous 100+ Ways to Heal The Planet to see how you can reduce your carbon footprint.
Action 2: Planet Protector
- All of Action 1
- Work toward reducing your consumption. The less we consume, the less that has to be manufactured and transported. .
- Support companies that are implementing sustainable practices to reduce their carbon footprint.
Action 3: Earth Angel
- All of Action 1 & 2
- Ask Congress to halt geoengineering until enough research has been done to decide whether it is harmful for people and the planet.