Pies in the Sky: A Solution to Global Warming?

As the reality of global warming sinks in, the scramble for solutions has begun. In the mainstream are ideas for energy conservation and non-carbon energy sources such as wind and nuclear power.

Much more speculative are some ambitious plans for high-tech parasols to block sunlight before it reaches this planet.

At the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) meeting last fall, Roger Angel, an astronomer and optics expert at the University of Arizona, produced a highly detailed – and highly futuristic — proposal for a sunshade huge enough to cut incoming sunlight by 1.8 percent.

That, he says, should counteract the warming expected from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

The Early concept calls for a giant sun-shield near the L1 Lagrange point, about 1.8 million kilometers (about 1.2 million miles) above Earth.

Angel suggests that the shield, covering an area slightly smaller than the area of the continental United States west of the Mississippi River, would be best made as a cloud of 16 trillion free-flying circular refractors, each 2 feet in diameter.

Source:  Astrobiology Magazine


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