Geoengineering: Making Earth a Better Place to Live In – Part 1
Posted on: March 28, 2019.

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It’s a tad challenging, to discuss in a single article, the manifold changes that occur in global climate. There are many thousands around the world who claim that climate change is very real—who are charged by their belief—and debate passionately that Earth will be in a constant state of change, as it has always been. Not surprisingly thus, “Climate Change” ranks right at the top in the list of most divisive political topics.

Furthermore, the fact that there is something happening in our environment—and that our world is rapidly changing—is being accepted by a majority of the people, a sentiment supported and agreed to by a large number of scientists the world over. The debate now turns to what should be done about it, given the scientific data that points to mounting perilous climate and weather conditions set to threaten the world. Of the many remedies provided to reverse the hazardous state of climate, one outstanding suggestion—in equal parts fundamental, fantastical, fanatical, and flabbergasting—continues to gain traction.


What is “Geoengineering”?

To understand the meaning of the term, let’s look at the two parts of the word: Geo, meaning “Earth”, and Engineering, meaning “to design” or “to build”. Thus “Geoengineering” means “redesigning or rebuilding the Earth”.

It shoulders the burden of altering climate for the better, taking steps to decrease damage, which, at the basic level, involves planting trees in massive numbers, or the installation of thousands of wind farms to generate renewable power. However, the scope of its meaning is reasonably broad, both by definition and application. Plainly put, Geoengineering—by definition, and regardless of its mission to repair or damage the Earth or its climate—involves any method or attempt to alter the environment, or anything that makes a significant impact on land, in the air, or the water.

Geoengineering definitely is, in equal parts, fundamental, fantastical, fanatical, and flabbergasting, as earlier mentioned, but certainly not science fiction or a far-fetched notion of attempting to reshape our planet and convert it into an environmental utopia like how it used to be many thousands of years ago. The theory of “Geoengineering” is only a new chapter in modern scientific literature, but in application, humankind has been protecting and preserving Earth, since many thousands of years ago. With lapse of time, however, the landscape of our planet has been progressively impacted by farming, construction of dams to redirect rivers, and clear-cutting of forests for paper, wood, and other materials.

Now, as a drastic consequence of the three Industrial Revolutions, and “Industry 4.0” underway, new temperature records are being set every day, month and year, fueled by carbon emission rates spiraling out of control. Subsequently, new critical measures are being sought after by environmental scientists to address today’s climate and weather crisis.

What are the challenges we face?

According to a report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the temperature of Earth’s atmosphere would increase by as much as 1.5°C in just over the next ten years, resulting in the depletion of Arctic sea ice to more frequent and extreme heat waves to loss of coral reefs to mass migrations seeking more favorable conditions. Consequences would be severe, though increased fish populations in formerly frozen seas, and higher yields of rice and soy, appear as favorable results of rising temperatures.

Humanity would have to cope with catastrophic weather conditions if the Earth’s atmospheric temperature were to cross the 2°C-mark, but preventing it from nearing that critical mark is no small task. Unprecedented changes would still be required, even if it is possible to restrict this temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius within the laws of chemistry and physics.

So now, what are the steps being taken in this direction?

…continued in the next part


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