Climate-Cooling Efforts May Hurt US Rainfall
A British climate-cooling balloon experiment would have sprayed water into the atmosphere to test its effect on reflecting sunlight.
CREDIT: Hugh Hunt, SPICE project
Human efforts to change the Earth's climate by force could lead to much less rainfall for North America and Europe, scientists warn in a new study.
Such geoengineering projects usually aim to fight global warming by cutting back on heat-trapping carbon dioxide (CO2) or reflecting sunlight back into space. The new study by scientists from Germany, Norway, France and the UK used four computer models to simulate what might happen if carbon dioxide continued to rise as geoengineering efforts reduced the sunlight reaching the Earth, according to Reuters.
The end result showed that rainfall fell by as much as 15 percent for much of North America and northern Eurasia. [Changing Earth: 7 Ideas to Geoengineer Our Planet]
Many scientists consider geoengineering a desperate but perhaps necessary last resort for a warming planet, but environmentalists often argue the side effects of geoengineering could be even worse. One recent British climate-cooling experiment was canceled due to the team's internal disagreement over a patent.