Mirrors In Space = A Lousy Idea
We thought we finally had it all figured out. The simple solution to curb global warming. But it turns out the suggestion to strategically...
We thought we finally had it all figured out. The simple solution to curb global warming. But it turns out the suggestion to strategically position a bunch of giant mirrors in the atmosphere unfortunately won't reverse climate change.
Some astronomers and other spacey people-like University of Arizona's Roger Angel, director of Steward Observatory Mirror Laboratory and the Center for Astronomical Adaptive Optics-wanted to refract sunlight with satellite mirrors or "sunshades" back into space, in an attempt to cool the planet back to comfort. But, researchers at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom implemented state-of-the-art global climate models to simulate this idea, through which they learned that some places (like the equator) do cool down, while other places (like the poles) still heat up. Way to rain on the parade, U.K. They conclude that sunshades are not only ineffective at cooling the globe overall, they wouldn't do a darn thing to keep us from getting burned by the carbon dioxide problem, ocean acidification, or climate-related changes in plant growth.
On the bright side, they could be a really great way to deter really vain and easily distracted alien invaders from attacking Earth.
Image: Illustration of what sunshadesmight look like, according to the Discovery Channel.