Scientists have discovered that the recent spike in global temperatures may be caused by a reduction in sulfur dioxide pollution from shipping vessels. Ships have long emitted sulfur dioxide, which cools the planet by seeding clouds and reflecting sunlight. However, new regulations that limit sulfur in ship fuels took effect in 2020, leading to a loss of this cooling effect equivalent to a large volcanic eruption each year. Models show this reduction in sulfur dioxide pollution can explain the extra warming seen in the North Atlantic. While pollution is bad, the new regulations provide a natural experiment that gives insight into how intentional geoengineering could potentially combat climate change in the future.

  • realitista@lemm.ee
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    11 months ago

    My fear with geoengineering is that is allows us to become complacent about solving the primary problems, and then also creates its own set of unexpected secondary problems.

    • Taako_Tuesday@lemmy.ca
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      11 months ago

      At least to your second point, in the video he explains that there are ways to seed clouds for cooling purposes without any major side effects, and the experiment hes talking about is that this shows it can be done on a large scale. Whether it would make us complacent on getting CO2 out of the air, though, it might but at least it would be the start of a solution.

      • archomrade [he/him]@midwest.social
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        11 months ago

        Hank also says that we’re at point where we need to cut emissions AND carbon capture AND geoengineer in order to mitigate climate disaster. It can’t be a one and done solution anymore, we’re beyond that

        • suburBeebiTcH@beehaw.org
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          11 months ago

          And considering we are at risk for loosing tons of biodiversity in the oceans from this heating (see mass coral bleaching event in florida) I think we have to start seeding clouds and whatever mitigating factors we can

      • prole@beehaw.org
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        11 months ago

        Right, but their point was kind of about side-effects we’re not aware of at the time. So that’s kind of the entire point, that we think there are no negative side effects only to later find out we were wrong.

        So that doesn’t really address what they said at all.

        • Guadin@k.fe.derate.me
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          11 months ago

          Exactly this. We think we know everything when we start doing stuff. But after a while we found out we where wrong and fucked up.
          We don’t fully understand/comprehend nature and how it all interacts. We shouldn’t be so ignorant to think we do understand it.

        • FaceDeer@kbin.social
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          11 months ago

          If only we were allowed to study this approach without so much immediate reflexive opposition.

      • zephyreks@lemmy.ca
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        11 months ago

        Sounds like something China can pioneer and that the West will adopt a decade or so later after China shows it really does have no major side effects.

        • FaceDeer@kbin.social
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          11 months ago

          A while back there was a round of interest in the possibility of countering global warming by using specialized high-altitude planes to spray calcium carbonate particulates into the upper atmosphere, and it was calculated that global warming could be countered with an ongoing expenditure of $2 billion per year. That’s peanuts for a country like China, so if climate change starts causing them significant identifiable losses I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they gave it a go.

    • BrioxorMorbide@lemm.ee
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      11 months ago

      become complacent about solving the primary problems

      We have been complacent about solving the primary problems for decades. At this point we should be doing all we can, and if a way to combat the symptoms gives us more time to finally get our shit together and do something useful before everyone turns into doomers giving up because it’s too late anyway then I think that’s a good thing.

    • trashhalo@beehaw.orgOP
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      11 months ago

      You think we can solve primary problems? Cause all I see is us driving off a cliff. If we aren’t willing to hit the breaks I’ll settle for turning the car into a bush

    • parpol@programming.dev
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      11 months ago

      I wonder if there is a solution that involves a less dangerous gas instead of sea water. Spraying large volumes of water into the stratosphere is not really possible yet, so if it just rose as a gas it would be more doable.

      • FaceDeer@kbin.social
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        11 months ago

        A while back there was a round of news suggesting calcium carbonate particulate stratospheric injection would be a good substitute for sulfur dioxide.

    • inso@lemmy.sdf.org
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      11 months ago

      I’m not sure that spreading salt is a good idea when you consider that salt kills life when you spread it on land.

  • undercrust@lemmy.ca
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    11 months ago

    Step Two: Harvest giant ice cube from a comet and drop it in the ocean every few years

  • japps13A
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    11 months ago

    Fascinating. I heard something similar with particle pollution in big cities.

    • FaceDeer@kbin.social
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      11 months ago

      Indeed. There are people who wail and lament about how we’ve passed a “tipping point” and the climate is doomed to catastrophic warming no matter how much our emissions are reduced at this point, and then when you bring up the possibility of studying geoengineering they snap back at you with a “but not like that” reflex.

      Frankly, I think there are environmentalists who like the notion of inescapable doom. It gives them an “I told you so” feeling of victory, perhaps, or absolves them of any further effort. Or they’ve decided humanity is evil and deserves to be “punished.” I don’t know, it’s just so wearying trying to deal with that reaction.

      At the end of the day, when major governments are faced with the choice of collapsing under a wave of migrants and famine and taking a stab at spraying some aerosols into the upper atmosphere as a hail Mary, they’re going to try the thing that isn’t guaranteed disaster. Would be nice if we could do some studying of it first.

    • Takatakatakatakatak@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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      11 months ago

      Me too, and quickly.

      If certain scientists believe they can turn such an inhospitable planet as mars into a liveable environment…why can’t we fix up earth?