来源:网络整理点击:时间:2019-04-10 02:17

In a lab at Harvard, researchers are trying to replicate the conditions of the stratosphere–the part of the atmosphere that stretches roughly six to 31 miles above the surface of the planet–in test tubes. Their goal: to better understand what might happen if humanity eventually decides to embark on a radical, controversial plan to temporarily cool the planet by spraying clouds of particles into the sky.


If it ever happens, the process might involve sending planes into the sky to release particles of a compound like sulfur dioxide that can reflect some sunlight back into space and could temporarily cool the planet. It's not a fix for climate change, and it's a form of geoengineering so extreme that it carries risks that may not be fully predictable. But as climate change progresses, it's possible that the global community may someday decide it has to try it.



"Our team here is doing the research because we believe there's still a lot of uncertainties around solar geoengineering, and we think there's a chance for potential benefits around the world," says Elizabeth Burns, managing director for Harvard's Solar Geoengineering Research Program. "But we also think there's the chance for very real risks."

哈佛大学太阳能地球工程研究项目总经理伊丽莎白·伯恩斯说:"我们的团队正在进行这项研究,因为我们相信太阳能工程仍然存在很多不确定性,我们认为全世界都有可能从中受益。"。 "但我们也认为这存在现实的风险。"

In one new study in Nature Climate Change, researchers from Harvard, MIT, and Princeton used a state-of-the-art, detailed computer model to look at what might happen if solar geoengineering was used to cut global temperature increases in half. In the scenario, they found that reducing warming would also offset the increasing intensity of hurricanes and would help moderate extreme rain and a lack of water for farming (in the model, rain decreased, but so did evaporation). Less than 0.5% of the world might see increases in impacts from climate change. That's in contrast to some previous studies that found that this type of geoengineering might benefit some parts of the world while large other areas were harmed. Still, the study is limited, and doesn't look at all of the potential effects.

在《自然气候变化》杂志的一项新研究中,来自哈佛大学、麻省理工学院和普林斯顿大学的研究人员使用了一种最先进的、详细的计算机模型,来观察如果利用太阳能工程将全球气温上升减半会发生什么。 在这种情况下,他们发现,减缓气候变暖也会缓解飓风强度,并有助于缓和极端降雨和农业用水的缺乏(在模型中,降雨减少了,但蒸发也减少了)。 世界上受气候变化影响的地方不到0.5%。这与之前的一些研究相反,那些研究发现,这种类型的工程可能使世界上的一些地区受益,而其他大部分地区则受到损害。 尽管如此,这项研究是有限的,并没有看到所有的潜在影响。

The concept of spraying chemicals into the sky to cool the Earth is not new. It's the same process that happens naturally when volcanoes erupt. In 1991, when Mount Pinatubo erupted and spewed millions of tons of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere, it cooled the planet by half a degree Celsius for more than a year. But it's only more recently that researchers have started seriously studying what might happen if humans deliberately do something similar. At this point, it's still a very small area of study, with relatively little funding, and many unknowns.