A Harvard expert has come up with an idea that could revive the Ice Age in a snap and end global warming. It's just one of a handful of "geo-engineering" schemes dreamed up by experts to chill our warming planet and ward off the devastation wide-scale melting could cause.
The concept essentially mimics volcanic eruptions. It would be relatively cheap -- at least compared to the $2 trillion in annual repairs that climate change might cause by the year 2030, according to a recent report by David Keith, Harvard University's Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics.
It'd also be a quick fix, guaranteed to lower global temps because there's proof it works, Keith contends.
Mount Pinatubo's 1991 eruption in the South Pacific showed that particulate matter shot into the atmosphere cools the planet. The big blast blanketed the earth with sulfuric acid haze, enough to lower temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere a full degree Fahrenheit -- and 0.7 degrees worldwide -- in the following months.
Keith says large aircraft could sprinkle particulates that would limit sunlight penetration into the stratosphere. Perhaps those would be sulfates similar to what volcanoes unleash, creating a chemical umbrella over the Arctic and other select locales where ice is melting.
Such "solar radiation management" might come with troubling consequences, but the alternative may be worse. Global warming will melt sizeable portions of the ice caps and rising sea levels and devastating to cities by the shore ...