Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, announced that he is funding an ambitious project at Harvard University in the United Kingdom, whose main mission is to combat global warming.
The Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment, or SCoPEx, aims to reduce the sunlight that hits the planet Earth, spraying in the atmosphere a non-toxic dust of calcium carbonate (CaCO3), which will cause the radiation to return to Space. Basically, this geoengineering method Would “darken” the Sun.
According to the Forbes, the first test will be carried out in June, in the Swedish city of Kiruna. The researchers will send a balloon with various scientific equipment to the sky that will test the project’s operation and communication capacity at 20 kilometers altitude.
The launch, which will not release stratospheric aerosols, will serve as a test that, if successful, could be an important step towards a second experimental phase that will aim to release a small amount of dust of CaCO3 in the atmosphere.
The aerosol would reflect the sun’s rays, offsetting the effects of climate change.
Experts still do not know the exact amount of CaCO3 needed to cool the planet, or whether dust is the best option. However, previous studies have already suggested that the substance may even be the best alternative to reduce stratospheric heating.
As soon as there is confirmation that the substance is safe, the balloon will be sent again. According to the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, SCoPEx can reduce global temperatures by 1.5 ° C.
The project was put on hold for a few years after the controversy over its impact (so far, unpredictable) and possible extreme changes in the planet’s weather patterns.
Some environmentalists also argue that the effect is just the opposite: the strategy can convey the idea that there is a kind of “green light”To continue with emissions of harmful gases, without bringing about changes in behavior.