The main cause of global warming is the emissions of so-called greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane. Scientists say the problem is so serious that any attempt to reduce it will now be too limited and too late. The situation is so bad that if we want to stop all emissions completely tomorrow, we still have to live with the damage already done for decades or centuries to come. Some of the proposed methods for dealing with the emergency include removing carbon from the air or in some way limiting the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface, for example by releasing aerosols into the atmosphere. But MIT researchers are thinking about space. The idea is to develop a series of Thin, bubble-like membranes It reflects or absorbs part of the sunlight that reaches the Earth. The team argues that if only the amount of sunlight reaching Earth is reduced1.5%we can completely eliminate the effects of greenhouse gas production.
What are bubbles made of? And where will they be placed?
It is not yet clear what they will make but the research team claims to have tested them in the lab: “We produced a thin, spherical envelope in a vacuum at 0.0028 atm and -50 °C, with a thickness of 500 nanometers.“.
On the other hand, the choice of a material for a thin film that is able to resist in space is one of the main points of this idea. Further research will investigate the use of other types of materials with low vapor pressure to rapidly inflate and assemble bubble rafts (including silicon-based molten materials and graphene-enhanced ionic liquids that have very low vapor pressures and relatively low density).
Anyway, it will be placed around L1 Engagement Point of the Earth-Sun system where, in a way, it must be held in place, counteracting the pressure of the sun’s radiation and surviving the micro-meteoroids.
Blocking even 1% of solar radiation would require a tangle of bubbles thousands of kilometers wide, making this the largest structure in space. And if you want to take it apart after that, it will be very easy to hook it up and just float away. But the Earth’s climate is really complex and it is certainly impossible to pre-assess all the consequences of such an intervention. Moreover, with such a solution, it is likely that humans on Earth will continue to pollute as they have in recent decades.
For now, this project is inspired by an idea originally proposed by an astronomer Robert Angel Whoever first thought of a swarm of small ships in L1 capable of creating some kind of solar shield to cool the planet, it’s still just a concept or a little more solar geoengineering. These studies are a set of techniques that aim to reflect a small part of the sunlight that reaches the Earth and provide the opportunity to solve a problem Global Warming With no direct effect on stratospheric chemistry.
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