‘Tackling climate change with quick fixes preposterous’

December 18th, 2008 - 1:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Dec 18 (IANS) A scientist has dismissed reversing climate change with quick fixes as preposterous and impracticable.Richard Turco, professor at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), sees no evidence that such quick fixes would be as quick or easy as their proponents claim and says many of them would not work at all.

“For example, one concept to deliver reflective particles to the upper atmosphere on aircraft would require numerous airports, fleets of planes and a weather forecasting network dedicated only to this project,” he said.

“Its operation might be comparable to the world’s entire commercial flight industry. And even after that massive investment, the climatic response would be highly uncertain.”

“Some of these proposals are preposterous, mind-boggling,” Turco said. “What happens, for example, when you spray liquefied sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere?”

It would mean that planes or balloons would have to fly as high as 21 km - higher than any commercial aircraft can reach.

Turco presented his new study, conducted with colleague Fangqun Yu, research professor at the State University of New York, at the American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting in San Francisco, said an UCLA statement.

“We’re talking about tinkering with the climate system that affects everybody on Earth,” said Turco, an atmospheric chemist with expertise in the microphysics of fine particles suspended in the atmosphere.

“Some of the ideas are extreme. There would certainly be winners and losers, but no one would know until it’s too late,” he warned.

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