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MIT scientists think they may have finally found a way to reverse climate change. Or at least help make it a little easier.
The idea revolves heavily around the creation and use of multiple thin film-like silicon bubbles. The “space bubbles,” as they call them, would be joined together like a raft. Once expanded in space, it would be roughly the same size as Brazil. The bubbles would then provide an extra buffer against the harmful solar radiation coming from the sun.
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Could space bubbles reverse climate change?
The goal with these new “space bubbles” would be to mitigate or even reverse climate change. The earth has experienced rising temperatures over the last few centuries. In fact, NASA previously released a GIF detailing how global temperature has changed over the years. Now we see huge “mouths to hell” opening up in the permafrost.
In addition, scientists have just discovered another hole in the Earth’s ozone layer. As such, finding ways to mitigate or reverse climate change remains a high priority for many. This new plan is based on a concept first proposed by astronomer Roger Angel. Angel originally proposed using a “cloud” of small spacecraft to shield the Earth from the Sun’s radiation.
Researchers at MIT took the same basic concept but improved it by swapping out inflatable silicone bladders for the spacecraft originally proposed by Angel. Being able to reverse climate change would be a big step in the right direction. However, shielding the earth from solar radiation would only be part of it. We would also have to cut other things.
How will bubbles shield the earth?
But how exactly does a “raft” of space bubbles protect Earth from the Sun’s radiation? Well, the basic idea requires that the bubbles be sent to the L1 Lagrange point. This is the place directly between the Earth and the Sun where the gravity of both our star and our planet cancels out. As such, the space bubbles could theoretically just float without much drag from either body.
Researchers say we’d probably still need to put some kind of spacecraft out there to keep things on track. But it could give us a good chance of reversing climate change, or at least slowing down the changes. It is important to note that MIT does not view this as an alternative solution to our current adaptation and mitigation efforts. Instead, it’s a backup solution designed to help when things get out of control.
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