The first test of a project backed to spray millions of tonnes of chalk into the stratosphere, to dim the sun and cool the Earth, could happen in June.
Harvard University experts will test the system by sending a big balloon 12 miles above the Swedish town of Kiruna and have it drop 2kg of chalk dust into the stratosphere.
The purpose of the estimated $3 million mission, backed by billionaire Bill Gates, is to have the chalk deflect a portion of the sun’s radiation and stop it from hitting the surface, and cool the planet.
But the plan has been massively criticised since its inception, with project director Frank Keutsch even calling the need for this scale of geo-engineering terrifying, and experts have warned that the novel technique could be disastrous for weather systems in ways nobody can predict.
Backed by a variety of private donors including Bill Gates, the test mission is launching from Sweden as they could offer a launch by the end of this summer.
The test balloon will lift 600kg of scientific equipment 12 miles above the surface of the Arctic town and if all goes well, about 2kg of dust will be released.
This will then create a dust plume several kilometres in length, not big enough to have any impact on the intensity of the sun’s rays hitting the Earth.
During the first test, the team will gather data on how particles of dust react with the air. This could then be fed into computer models to determine what would occur if it were ever carried to scale.
Keutsch told the Times he wants to learn the real effects, as current models may be too optimistic and make the technique look attractive, and that it would take tonnes of dust and plumes many hundreds of kilometres to make a difference, the theory being that the dust would create a massive sunshade.
This would reflect some of the sun’s rays and heat back into space, dimming those that get through and so protecting Earth from the ravages of climate warming.
Keutsch, whose Harvard laboratory is leading the project, says the strategy would only be deployed in desperation to stop parts of the planet from becoming uninhabitable.
Studies show that without any attempts to stop climate change, such as curbs on greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and other pollutants, parts of the world will be up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than they are today.
But this is something right out of a comic book villains playbook, and if the day does come when people commence messing around with the weather, then we’re done, but then all you have to do is look up geo-engineering, and you can see for yourself.
And Bill Gates attempting to play God will be a disaster, and it’s not a good idea to start terraforming the only planet you’ve got and which we can live on, and this man is a threat to humankind, and he needs to be locked up for the sake of himself, his family, and most of all, the sake of humanity and wasn’t there a little fella called Adolf Hitler who was comparable to Bill Gates, only he never had the money to buy the world’s governments.
Either that, or he believes he’s God, and we should all be extremely concerned, and it appears that Bill Gates has too much time on his hands – someone needs to give him something constructive to do – a bit of manual labour wouldn’t go amiss.