Sunday, February 04, 2024
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Web Desk

Can giant 'space umbrella' help cool down Earth's temperature?

Critics argue that sunshade is cost-prohibitive and unrealistic due to rapid pace of global warming

By
Web Desk
An illustration of a giant sail in space to block a portion of solar radiation. — The New York Times via Technion Israel Institute of Technology and Asher Space Research Institute
An illustration of a giant sail in space to block a portion of solar radiation. — The New York Times via Technion Israel Institute of Technology and Asher Space Research Institute

Scientists are developing a prototype to prevent our planet from overheating by sending umbrellas into space to block the Sun's warming ways, Futurism reported.

The team, led by Asher Space Research Institute physics professor and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology director Yoram Rozen, claims to be ready to build the shield, which would stretch approximately one million square miles, or about the size of Argentina.

That is a big problem. Since that's far too big of a structure to launch into space on a single rocket, Rozen and his team are proposing a scheme in which a swarm of smaller shades are launched into space, where they'll work together.

"We can show the world, 'Look, there is a working solution, take it, increase it to the necessary size,'" Rozen told the New York Times.

Researchers suggest that instead of completely blocking out the Sun with a giant parasol, we can only block between one and 2% of our star's radiation to mitigate the effects of global warming.

Last year, a team of scientists from Harvard and the University of Utah explored the idea of placing dust at a "Lagrange point" between the Sun and the Earth to overcome climate change.

A team proposed using an actual "umbrella" attached to an asteroid to achieve the same effect, but this would only be part of the solution as Earth's atmosphere still traps heat through greenhouse gas emissions.

Critics argue that a sunshade is cost-prohibitive and unrealistic due to the rapid pace of global warming and the challenges it would face in outer space.

However, supporters of the idea argue that no stone should be left unturned in finding solutions to climate change.

Rozen and his team are now looking to secure anywhere between $10 million and $20 million to build their prototype.

"We at the Technion are not going to save the planet," he said. "But we’re going to show that it can be done."