Geoengineering is the category of technology that includes ideas aimed at intentionally changing our climate. with the aim of reducing. “What can we do…if we keep doing anything?”David Keith joked, At Harvard University (USA), on the occasion of the TedEx conference in 2007.
All kinds of technologies fall into this category. Techniques (Ko2), for example. In the most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ( ) declares that we are no longer in a position to do without her. If we still hope to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
But geoengineering is also about other technologies, which are a bit more controversial. Because it aims to modify our climate quickly and on a large scale, without always making sure of the acceptability of side effects. Like techniques that aim somehow “to intervene at the source”to play on the solar radiation that the Earth receives.
This is what team (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA). Idea: send bubbles into space to scatter some rays that hit our planet. Because researchers estimate that a deflection of just 1.8% of solar radiation can be enough to reverse the trend .
In case the weather gets out of control
Concretely, the researchers plan to publish a real set of . It’s all on the side of the L1 Lagrange point. That point in the space between the Earth and the Sun where the gravitational effect of both bodies cancels each other out. The optimum position could in fact be slightly closer to our Sun and a raft stabilization mechanism – possibly based on the raft’s geometry – would be necessary then.
The envelopes of these space bubbles can consist of a thin layer ofor a reinforced with . This has not yet been determined. The researchers have already begun a series of tests. To see if silicon bubbles can be inflated under conditions similar to those prevailing in space. under about 0.0028 Only and at a temperature of about -50 ° C. But more studies are needed to confirm the selection of the appropriate material and to determine the ideal envelope thickness for these space bubbles.
And the technology to blow it into space has not yet been developed. Just like the person who managed to shoot bubbles into space. Why not, some kind of magnetic metronome?
According to the researchers, the big advantage of their project is that this group of space bubbles does not directly interfere with terrestrial ecosystems. Thus they should pose fewer risks to our planet. But this remains to be verified. This raft can also be simply destroyed – which, from another point of view, raises the question about very important. and even gradually to avoid a very violent shock to our planet and its inhabitants., because researchers estimate that it could be useful for 50 to 200 years – when it becomes unnecessary – or if it turns out to have unexpected side effects. All without generating
But before such a raft can float in space, a lot of work will still be required. Work that MIT researchers believe is necessary to get started. Being prepared in case our climate gets out of control. Because they also remind us that such a project cannot, under any circumstances, replace efforts to limit our efforts.From and adaptation to global warming.
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