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Refreeze the Arctic to beat warming, suggests American physicist

PTI
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Drastic MeasuresDavid Keith believes extreme geo-engineering may be the only way to handle a climate emergency.Photo: AFP
Drastic MeasuresDavid Keith believes extreme geo-engineering may be the only way to handle a climate emergency.Photo: AFP

A US scientist has offered a radical solution to global warming by suggesting that refreeze the Arctic using a few modified jets.

David Keith, professor of applied physics at Harvard University, used climate models to suggest that injecting reflective particles into the atmosphere could reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth, engineering a regional effect that could bring ice back to the Arctic.

He claims that reducing the penetration of sunlight by just 0.5 per cent could be possible to restore the sea-ice around the North Pole back to pre-industrial era levels, the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.

“Decisions involving (solar radiation management) do not need to be reduced to a single “global thermostat”, the study said.

Keith’s research suggests the whole operation could be accomplished with just a few modified Gulfstream jets, costing around USD 8 billion (Rs. 43456 crore) a year.

His studies explore the possibility that a technological solution could be found to the problem of global warming melting the ice caps on the North Pole.

Keith claims that “any significant nation” could find the resources to carry out the operation.

The amount of ice in the Arctic Ocean has shrunk to an all time low in September, with the total area covered now half what it was in the 1980s, the report said.

“The really hard questions here aren’t mostly technical.

They’re questions about what kind of planet we want and who we are,” he said.

However, while Keith believes action must be taken to tackle the amount of pollution spewed into the Earth’s atmosphere, he doesn’t yet advocate the kind of action his study suggest.

Open-air and large-scale geo-engineering of the kind Keith has suggested has been ruled out by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.

Keith suggested such drastic geo-engineering could have disastrous unintended effects but could be a viable response to a “climate emergency” such as the sudden collapse of ice sheets or a killing drought.PTI


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