Unexpected explanation for the abnormally high surface temperatures recorded in the North Atlantic Ocean (Part 2)

This sudden rise in sea temperatures highlights how little we are aware of our own climate altering activities and could indicate that the global climate change is worse than previously believed.

Still, there is hope, this event proved that we can take measure to mitigate the consequences of our global greenhouse gas emission. There are other ways to seed clouds, which involve less harmful components for the environment than sulfur dioxide.

For instance, it’s possible to spray nano-sized ocean salt crystals into the air from the back of a boat using a high-pressure turbine. The salt crystals are able to mix with low-attitude clouds, in order to make them brighter and reflect more sunlight away from the ocean surface.

Experiments of the sort have already been tried by the Southern Cross University, using a prototype built by EmiControls, as a mean to prevent bleaching events of the Great Barrier Reef[1].

However, geoengineering is still a heavily debated topic[2]. Geoengineering or climate engineering revolves around a deliberate large-scale intervention on Earth’s natural systems to counteract climate change[3]. Usually, it involves either carbon dioxide removal or solar radiation management[4]. Example of the former being, carbon capture and storage (CCS) or biochar (one of the products of pyrolysis of biomass) while the technique used in the experiments mentioned above falls under the solar radiation management category.

One of the major concerns around geoengineering is the potentiality that by addressing the consequences of climate change, we might discourage efforts being made towards the reduction of heat trapping gases emissions[5].

On the contrary, an argument could be made that we are already in the process of geoengineering the planet through the unchecked pollutions produced consistently by human activities but instead of doing it purposefully, we are doing it recklessly and in the worst way possible.

The point raised by the climate engineering opponents is not to be dismissed immediately but the dramatic rises in temperatures recorded in 2023[6] and the effectiveness of the method, demonstrated by the studies on ship tracks, might make us consider this solution going into the future. Especially knowing that the rate of biodiversity loss is 0.01 to 0.1% of all species going extinct each year[7] and that the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates 70 to 90% of coral reefs will die as global heating gets to 1.5C[8].


[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_engineering

[3] http://www.geoengineering.ox.ac.uk/www.geoengineering.ox.ac.uk/what-is-geoengineering/what-is-geoengineering/

[4] IPCC (2022) Chapter 1: Introduction and Framing in Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA

[5] “What Is Solar Geoengineering?”. The Union of Concerned Scientists. Dec 4, 2020.

[6] https://climate.copernicus.eu/summer-2023-hottest-record

[7] https://wwf.panda.org/discover/our_focus/biodiversity/biodiversity/

[8] Same as n°1

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