Stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI) is a proposed geoengineering technique that involves injecting sulfate particles into the stratosphere, the layer of the Earth's atmosphere that is located above the troposphere (where weather occurs) and below the mesosphere. This technique has been proposed as a way to combat global warming by reflecting some of he Sun's incoming radiation back into space, thereby cooling the Earth.
Many scientists, environmentalists, and Make Sunsets are calling for the deployment of SAI because of the urgent need to address global warming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that if we don't take immediate action to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, we are likely to exceed the 1.5°C (2.7°F) temperature increase target set by the Paris Agreement. This could have catastrophic consequences for the planet, including more frequent and intense heatwaves, forest fires, droughts, and storms, as well as rising sea levels and more acidic oceans.
One reason why SAI is seen as a potentially valuable tool in the fight against global warming is that it has the potential to be deployed much faster than other technologies, such as Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) methods. CDR involves removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it in various ways, such as in trees, soils, or underground. While CDR is an important part of the solution to global warming, it can take decades to scale up to the level needed to make a significant impact. SAI, on the other hand, could be deployed relatively quickly, potentially providing a much-needed cooling effect while we work on other solutions. To put into perspective on how scalable SAI is 1 gram of sulfate particles deployed at 20 km (65,000+ ft) up can offset 1 ton of CO2 that's 1 to 1,000,000 leverage. 4,000 grams (the weight of a baby, 8.8 pounds) of sulfates can offset 4,000 tons of CO2. The biggest Direct Air Capture project currently running is offsetting the same amount of CO2 over a year. Make Sunsets can offset the same amount with one balloon in less than a day.
Another advantage of SAI is that it is a relatively low-risk technology. While there are potential side effects and unintended consequences of injecting sulfate particles into the stratosphere, many of these have been studied and can be mitigated with careful planning and monitoring. In contrast, other geoengineering techniques, such as ocean fertilization, have much higher risks and are therefore considered less viable options.
Of course, SAI is not a silver bullet and should not be seen as a replacement for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We must continue to work on transitioning to renewable energy sources, improving energy efficiency, and reducing our overall carbon footprint. But SAI could provide a valuable stopgap measure, buying us time to develop and implement these other solutions while also providing some much-needed relief from the effects of global warming.
In conclusion, stratospheric aerosol injection is a promising geoengineering technique that could help us combat global warming. It has the potential to be deployed quickly and is relatively low-risk. While it is not a replacement for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it could provide valuable support as we work to address this urgent global crisis. It is time for us to start seriously considering the deployment of SAI.
Author's note: 99% of this blog post and title was written using the help of ChatGPT and the hero image was generated using DreamStudio. The title was generated based off the content of the blog post.
This year in France, for the 2d year in a row, we celebrated X mas with shirts and beach shorts, instead of scarves and gloves. Reading your blog gave me hope and faith in humanity. And a dream : get back to pre industrial temperatures, get back to the real world.
Andrew – Thank you for makesunsets.com – history will remember you.
I saw on your FAQs that you have agreed to debate if there’s an audience of 200 or more. I totally want to be there in the audience to root you on. i assume that’s the type of content we can expect from your youtube channel (just subscribed)
but homie – if i had a dime for every cease and desist letter you’re going to get….
Some of the letters will be worse no doubt and I hope my supportive comment balances those out. Get a good lawyer and stay strong brother.