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Reflecting sunlight to cool down Earth not a permanent solution against climate change, warn scientists

Scientists from prominent institutions have said that the measure is not a solution to the ongoing climate change crisis

RH Desk
New Delhi, March 1

Warning about its negative side effects, a group of 70 top scientists have advised a rigorous study into reflecting sunlight away from the Earth to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Also known as “solar geoengineering”, scientists from prominent institutions have said that the measure is not a solution to the ongoing climate change crisis. The only permanent solution, according to them, is to urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions immediately.
“Climate change is causing devastating impacts on communities and ecosystems around the world, posing grave threats to public health, economic security, and global stability,” the scientists wrote in their open letter published on a website dedicated to publicizing a scientific viewpoint on the issue.
“Natural systems are approaching thresholds for catastrophic changes with the potential to accelerate climate change and impacts beyond humans’ ability to adapt.”
The signatories come from prestigious institutions around the world, including Columbia University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and NASA. The letter, however, has been published as an independent effort by the scientists.
The scientists have also expressed their apprehensions about the landmark Paris Climate Accord, signed in 2015. The accord is aimed to keep global warming “well below” 2 degrees Celsius compared with pre-industrial levels.
“Even with aggressive action to reduce GHG emissions it is increasingly unlikely that climate warming will remain below 1.5-2°C in the near term,” the scientists wrote. “This is because reversing current warming trends will require a significant reduction in the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, which significantly lag behind reductions in emissions due to their long atmospheric lifetime.”
In another highlight, the scientists have also underlined the role of air pollution in counteracting global warming.
“Aerosols from human activities are currently estimated to be offsetting about a third of greenhouse gas climate warming,” the scientists wrote.
But as the air gets cleaner after several governments take serious measures against air pollution, the planet will experience global warming more starkly.
“Reductions in aerosol emissions in the coming few decades will rapidly ‘unmask’ a significant but very uncertain amount of climate warming,” the scientists warned.

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