The next big volcanic eruption could help combat global warming caused by climate change, researchers believe.
As experts seek to come up with new and innovative ideas to combat global warming caused by climate change, one unique way that is getting a lot of traction has to do with volcanoes. It begins with something that scientists call solar radiation management, which involves spraying aerosol particles into the stratosphere that would serve as a reflector, sending light from the sun back in to space.
A massive eruption of a volcano is one way to send a huge amount of rock and ash in the air, which combines with water vapor to make aerosols. Such huge eruptions have happened throughout history, and have resulted in a global cooling period, and that makes them fascinating subjects for study.
The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines back in 1991 showed that this is certainly possible, as it caused temperatures to be lowered by almost a full degree Fahrenheit worldwide for a period of about two years. The next big eruption could help scientists study it and understand how the process works, and lead to breakthroughs in our own efforts to cool the planet by spreading aerosols through jets or other methods.
“In November of 2006 the NASA Ames Research Center and the Carnegie Institution of Washington Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University sponsored an expert workshop on the use of solar radiation management as a strategy for coping with the challenge of climate change,” reads a 2007 NASA paper on the subject of managing solar radiation. “The basic concept of managing Earth’s radiation budget is to reduce the amount of incoming solar radiation absorbed by the Earth so as to counterbalance the heating of the Earth that would otherwise result from the accumulation of greenhouse gases.”