Harvard Scientist Wants To Refreeze Arctic To Reverse Global Warming

David Keith, a geoengineer at Harvard University, has proposed a radical plan to reverse global warming,: He wants to refreeze the Arctic using man made techniques. According to Keith, his plan would involve forcing reflective particles into the Earth’s upper atmosphere — the stratosphere — thus reducing global warming effects.

Writing in the Nature Climate Change journal and Environmental Research Letters, he explains to his colleagues:

“One approach is to disperse particulates at high altitude to reduce the effective solar flux entering the atmosphere.”

The idea isn’t that radical. Keith came up with the idea after Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted in 1991, sending 15 million tons of sulfur dioxide into the upper atmosphere. That sulfur dioxide created a “hazy layer” of aerosol particles, creating a cooling effect for almost two years.

Keith is proposing something similar to save the Arctic sea ice, which is at an all-time low. The large-scale geoengineering solution could reduce the penetration of the sun by at least 0.5 percent, according to his papers.

For now, the $8 billion geoengineering plan remains a radical option. The solar geoengineering investigators hope their ongoing research sparks a global conversation about the environment.

“If one is optimistic, one might hope that the injection of this new technology into climate policy will energize the topic, breaking the static trench warfare that now characterizes much of the debate about climate and perhaps producing a better outcome. But, that is a wish, not a prediction,” Keith said in a recent Q&A with the Belfer Center Newsletter.

The scientist believes there are solutions for global warming including enforcing global conversation, reducing carbon-dioxide emissions, and increasing wind power. What we currently lack, according to Keith, is urgency, attention to the problem, and action.

Do you think we’re doing enough to conserve the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions?