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Darkening the sun can reduce the risk of future drought in Cape Town

in spite of Recent slight decrease by COVID-19 Pandemic, Greenhouse gas emissions continue to accumulate in the atmosphere.they are Predicted to rise Once the economy recovers again.

Current commitments by governments around the world to reduce emissions insufficient To keep global warming at a safe level (ie less than 2 ° C).Targeted by recent developments in China and the United States May be within reach again If all countries actually fulfill their pledges.


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More fundamental suggestions for reducing the risk of climate change are being discussed. Among these are solar geoengineering (also known as solar radiation management or modification).Most commonly proposed Solar radiation management technology A deliberate injection of sulfur aerosol into the stratosphere (the layer of the atmosphere about 15 km above the surface of the Earth) creates a thin veil that reflects a small amount of sunlight back into space. This cools the earth and offsets the warming of greenhouse gases.

Solar radiation control has never been tested outdoors, but a large volcanic eruption that injects aerosols high into the atmosphere and temporarily cools the climate. Is proof The increase in stratospheric aerosols can cool the planet. But solar geoengineering only offsets global warming. It does not reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Therefore, an approach that relies on solar radiation management while continuing to burn fossil fuels is very risky.

Solar geoengineering is highly controversial and is often assembled as a temporary measure to buy more time to reduce the effects of climate change and reduce emissions. It is also important to emphasize that even such an emergency deployment may need to last for more than a century. Many researchers are worried that even increasing the potential of solar geoengineering may reduce the motivation for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Also, solar geoengineering does not bring the climate back to its pre-industrial state. In fact, using solar radiation management to offset global warming can increase the risk of drought. Asia, Sahel,and South America..It may also be Damage the ozone layer And Change the geography of vector infectious diseases Malaria etc.

The potential benefits and side effects of solar geoengineering need to be better understood to inform discussions about potential developments, especially on climate risks that are relatively under-researched in developing countries. ..

Cape Town Day Zero Drought

There are very few studies on the impact of solar geoengineering on Africa’s climate.a few Available studies only Evaluated Although the impact on the local climate is large, many climate impacts are perceived by society on a regional scale.recently Research Through the “Day Zero” drought lens in Cape Town, we investigated the impact of solar geoengineering on regional drought and water availability.

Day Zero was a serious water crisis from 2017 to 2018. Nearly 4 million Residents of Cape Town have run out of water after three years (2015-2017) of severe drought.The likelihood of such a drought is expected to increase at maximum 80% by 2100..

Apply the approach used in Attribution science, Research We used a climate model to assess how solar geoengineering affects the potential for a drought as severe as the future Day Zero drought. According to the results of the climate model:

  • In a high-emission climate scenario, a drought severe enough to trigger the 2018 Day Zero event, which is today’s 100-year event, will occur once every six years in the future.
  • Solar geoengineering can reduce the risk of day-zero level droughts in Cape Town by more than 90% compared to a future with high greenhouse gas emissions until the end of the 21st century.
  • The underlying mechanism of this reduction in drought risk is that solar geoengineering offsets the southward shift of the meteorological system that will bring rain to Cape Town, which is predicted to occur due to greenhouse gas warming. It seems.

However, these findings are specific to the study area, the events analyzed, the deployment design of solar geoengineering, and the climate model used. Changes in any of these factors can lead to completely different results.

Impact, trade-offs, and ethics

Designing the climate to benefit Cape Town is clearly not a viable solution to the climate crisis. However, the results highlight potential trade-offs that exist throughout the region in terms of the evolution of solar geoengineering.

Solar geoengineering can beneficially reduce the risk of drought in Cape Town, but at the same time it can reduce some rainfall. West Africa Summer rain area with South Africa..

Solar geoengineering carries the real risk of creating “winners” in some parts of the world, but it creates “losers” in other parts of the world. For example, research shows that solar geoengineering can lead to an unequal distribution of benefits and impacts. Economy, Infection And Agriculture, Above all. Importantly, we are not addressing the associated crisis of ocean acidification due to elevated carbon dioxide.

Which voice will be the most powerful in the governance of solar geoengineering research and potential negotiations on future developments in solar geoengineering? Will fairness be central to the decision and will the highest-risk people have a substantial say?

Existing climate negotiations can be skeptical. It can create strong regional trade-offs between countries, especially those in the southern part of the world that are often excluded from geoengineering conversations.

It is important to quickly reduce greenhouse gas emissions rather than relying on the darkening of the sun to achieve the global goal of keeping global warming levels below 2 ° C. It reminds me of sex.conversation

Romaric C. Odoulami, Postdoctoral fellow, University of Cape Town. Christopher Trisos, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Cape Town, and Mark New, Director of the African Climate Development Initiative at the University of Cape Town.

This article will be republished from conversation Under a Creative Commons license.Read Original work..

Darkening the sun can reduce the risk of future drought in Cape Town Darkening the sun can reduce the risk of future drought in Cape Town

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