Philanthropist Bill Gates is financially backing an effort to reverse global warming by dimming the sun before its rays hit the planet.
Have they really thought this one through?
The plan, spearheaded by Harvard University, is to spray millions of tons of tiny mirrored particles into the stratosphere to reflect solar radiation away from Earth.
The Swedish Space Corporation agreed earlier this month to give it its first trial run in June of next year, by launching a balloon near Kiruna, a town in the Arctic Circle, according to Reuters.
”There are very many real concerns” about the risks of climate change and solar geoengineering, said David Keith, who is involved in the project. He’s a professor of applied physics at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
”Understanding them requires a range of activities including experiments,” continued Keith, who is also a professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.
The unmanned test flight won’t actually release any particles into the stratosphere. It will instead check communications and other systems and work out maneuverability issues with the balloon.
However, Keith claimed it will be an important beginning leading up to the next step — releasing up to 2 kg (4.4 lbs.) of non-toxic calcium carbonate dust into the atmosphere.