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Stratospheric Aerosol Injection May Curb Greenland’s Ice Loss

A New Technique Being Shown May Help Slow The Ice Loss In Greenland

Despite Greenland’s name, the country is covered in ice. As a result of global warming, the ice sheets and glaciers in Greenland are melting and receding. As the ice melts, it raises the sea level. Coastal land which is highly populated can be drowned out. In an attempt to address the ice loss in Greenland, a new strategy was developed. An international group of scientists assessed the success of a new technique, stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI). Simulations were run to see how well SAI would work. The hope behind SAI is to decelerate the rapid melting of ice in Greenland caused by Greenhouse gasses.

According to John Moore, the person who led the study, “Stratospheric aerosol injection, or SAI, would artificially introduce aerosols into the stratosphere by aircraft or high-altitude balloons to create a cooling effect via global dimming and increased albedo—the degree to which Earth reflects sunlight.” The SICOPOLIS model was used to simulate the ice sheet loss in Greenland from 1990 to 2090. There were three different situations. RCP8.5 was the worst case scenario; RCP4.5 was right in the middle, could work under current conditions; and GeoMIP G4 which is RCP4.5 with five million metric tons of sulfur dioxide added to the injection. These scenarios were able to show that SAI would be able to protect Greenland’s ice sheets

This study has been able to show that SAI can protect Greenland’s ice sheets, SAI does not target the root cause of global warming. It only tackles one of the many symptoms caused by global warming. SAI could also be used world wide on other icey areas. SAI is a big step towards targeting the root cause of global warming and climate change.




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