Scientists are considering an unconventional approach to counteract global warming: deploying umbrellas in space to block the Sun’s warming rays. Led by Yoram Rozen, a physics professor at the Asher Space Research Institute and director of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, the team plans to build a prototype for testing.
The major challenge lies in creating a shield covering an area of approximately one million square miles, roughly the size of Argentina. To address this, Rozen’s team proposes launching a swarm of smaller shades into space, working collectively.
The concept of using space-based shading to block a small percentage (one to two percent) of the Sun’s radiation has been around for decades. Previous ideas included placing dust at a “Lagrange point” or utilizing an actual “umbrella” tethered to an asteroid.
While a sunshade could help mitigate warming, it’s not a standalone solution, as Earth’s atmosphere still traps heat through greenhouse gas emissions.
Critics argue that a sunshade is financially impractical and unrealistic, given the accelerated pace of global warming and the challenges of outer space. Despite this, proponents emphasize the importance of exploring all potential climate change solutions.
Rozen’s team aims to secure $10 million to $20 million for building their prototype, acknowledging that their efforts may not single-handedly save the planet but could demonstrate the feasibility of the concept.
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