MIT believes it has the solution to curbing global warming that has become uncontrollable

Geoengineering is the category of technology that includes ideas aimed at intentionally changing our climate. with the aim of reducing Global Warming. “What can we do…if we keep doing anything?”David Keith joked, physical At Harvard University (USA), on the occasion of the TedEx conference in 2007.

All kinds of technologies fall into this category. Techniques Capture, store or recover carbon dioxide (Ko2), for example. In the most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) declares that we are no longer in a position to do without her. If we still hope to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

But geoengineering is also about other technologies, which are a bit more controversial. Because it aims to modify our climate quickly and on a large scale, without always making sure of the acceptability of side effects. Like techniques that aim somehow “to intervene at the source”to play on the solar radiation that the Earth receives.

This is what team looking for Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA). Idea: Send bubbles into space to scatter some rays Sun that hit our planet. Because researchers estimate that a deflection of just 1.8% of solar radiation can be enough to reverse the trend Global Warming.

If the weather gets out of control

Concretely, the researchers plan to publish a real set of Bubbles the size of Brazil. It’s all on the side of the L1 Lagrange point. That point in the space between the Earth and the Sun where the gravitational effect of both bodies cancels each other out. The optimal position could in fact be a little closer to our Sun and a stabilization mechanism for the raft – perhaps based on the raft’s geometry – would be necessary then.

The envelopes of these space bubbles can consist of a thin layer of silicon or a Material reinforced with graphene. This has not yet been determined. The researchers have already begun a series of tests. To see if silicon bubbles can be inflated under conditions similar to those prevailing in space. under the pressure about 0.0028 atmosphere Only and at a temperature of about -50 ° C. But more studies are needed to confirm the selection of the appropriate material and to determine the ideal envelope thickness for these space bubbles.

And the technology to blow it into space has not yet been developed. Just like the person who managed to shoot bubbles into space. Why not, some kind of magnetic metronome?

According to the researchers, the big advantage of their project is that this group of space bubbles does not directly interfere with terrestrial ecosystems. Thus, they should pose fewer risks to our planet. But this remains to be verified. This raft can also be simply destroyed – which, from another point of view, raises the question about Sustainability, because researchers estimate that it could be useful for 50 to 200 years – when it becomes unnecessary – or if it turns out to have unexpected side effects. All without generating space debris very important. and even gradually to avoid a very violent shock to our planet and its inhabitants.

But before such a raft can float in space, a lot of work will still be required. Work that MIT researchers believe is necessary to get started. Being prepared in case our climate gets out of control. Because they also remind us that such a project cannot, under any circumstances, replace efforts to reduce emissions From greenhouse gases and adaptation to global warming.

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