Uh-huh… and what is the cost in lost primary productivity. That’s actually not easy to work out because lumber trees might actually grow better due to scattering allowing greater insolation of the forest understory while field crops would likely fare worse due to loss of net insolation. Also places experiencing drought could claim it’s due to reduced insolation reducing evaporation and storm formation and so on. Developing an agreed regime and compensation structure for the inevitable losers from such “climate interference” should prove far more entertaining than such a simple instrument as Kyoto and Son of Kyoto. How’s that popping corn crop coming along?
Planes or airships could carry sun-dimming materials high into the atmosphere for an affordable price tag of below $5 billion a year as a way to slow climate change, a study indicated on Friday.
Guns, rockets or a pipeline into the stratosphere would be more expensive but generally far cheaper than policies to cut world greenhouse gas emissions, estimated to cost between $200 billion and $2 trillion a year by 2030.
Transporting a million tonnes of particles to at least 18 km (11 miles) above the Earth every year to form a sunshade is “both feasible and affordable”, U.S. scientists concluded in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
The strategy, called “solar radiation management”, broadly imitates a volcanic eruption. The 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, for instance, blasted out a haze of sun-reflecting particles that slightly cooled the planet.
The authors did not examine whether such “geo-engineering” of the planet was a good idea. Other studies show it might have unwanted side effects, such as changing rainfall patterns.
“One attribute of solar radiation management is that it is quite inexpensive,” co-author Professor Jay Apt of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh told Reuters.
“That doesn’t mean it’s the preferred strategy.”