Climate change is a real problem. Human-caused outputs of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane are the main driver of an unprecedented rise in global average temperatures
The problem is so bad that any attempts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions may be too little and too late. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology have proposed a radical new solution
The thinking is based on two areas of concern. One is that try as we might to reduce or even eliminate greenhouse gas emissions moving into the future
the damage we’ve already done from over a century of advanced industrialization has already set the course of the Earth’s climate trajectory in a bad direction.
It may be so bad that even if we were to completely stop all greenhouse gas emissions tomorrow, we would still have to live with the severe impacts of climate change for decades
even centuries to come, including continued rising sea levels, more extreme weather events, and disruptions to food-producing regions.
Another way to tackle the problem is to sequester or remove carbon, or somehow limit the amount of sunlight reaching the surface of the Earth, for example by releasing aerosols into the atmosphere.
The team at MIT argues that this is generally a bad idea because our climate system is so complex and dynamic that introducing artificial factors into the atmosphere itself cannot be reversed.
The idea is to develop a raft of thin bubble-like membranes. Those membranes will reflect or absorb a fraction of the sunlight reaching the Earth by literally blocking it.
The team argues that if the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth is reduced by mere 1.5 percent, we could completely eliminate the effects of all of our greenhouse gas output.