What is Solar Geo-Engineering?

The Earth's energy balance is determines by the climate which is regulated by the balance between incoming and outgoing solar energy. But the excessive use of stratospheric sulphate aerosols causes the rise of phenomena like Global Warming and Climate change. In this article, we have explained the concepts of Solar Geo-Engineering and Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative which is very useful for the competitive examinations like UPSC-prelims, SSC, State Services, NDA, CDS, and Railways etc.
Created On: Jan 21, 2019 18:36 IST
What is Solar Geo-Engineering?
What is Solar Geo-Engineering?

The Earth is the only known planet in our Solar System where all forms of life exist just because it has its own control system like oceans, land, air, plants and animals, and the energy from the Sun all affect each other to make everything work in harmony. The Earth's energy balance is determines by the climate which is regulated by the balance between incoming and outgoing solar energy. But the excessive use of stratospheric sulphate aerosols causes the rise of phenomena like Global Warming and Climate change. Many environmentalists are working on the climate engineering to reduce global warming.

What is Solar Geo-Engineering?

Solar Geo-Engineering

It is also called Solar Radiation Management (SRM). It is a process through which the reflectivity (albedo) of the Earth’s atmosphere or surface is increased, in an attempt to offset some of the effects of GHG-induced climate change. The technique mimics big volcanic eruptions that can cool the Earth by masking the sun with a veil of ash or similar other things.

National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC)

Methods of Solar Geo-Engineering

1. Space-Based Options/Space Sunshades e.g. using mirrors in space, placing vast satellites at Lagrange Point 1, space parasol, etc.

2. Stratosphere-Based Options such as injection of sulphate aerosols into the stratosphere.

3. Cloud-Based Options/Cloud Seeding e.g. Marine Cloud Brightening (by spraying a fine seawater spray in the air), seeding of high cirrus clouds with heterogeneous ice nuclei.

4. Surface-Based Options e.g. whitening roofs, growing more reflective crops, etc.

Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative

It is an international, NGO-driven project, financed by Dustin Moskovitz (co-founder of Facebook) for expanding the discussion of Solar Radiation Management climate engineering research governance to developing countries. This initiative is a partnership between the Royal Society and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

The prime objective of the initiative to ensure that any geoengineering research that goes ahead – inside or outside the laboratory – is conducted in a manner that is responsible, transparent and environmentally sound.

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