Geoengineering Might Not Save Us From a Cloud Apocalypse

The findings, published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, build on modeling done last year that showed we could face a heat death by cloud loss if world leaders let carbon pollution continue to increase.

The same group of scientists used the same modeling approach to see what would happen as emissions rise but the world comes together to reflect sunlight back into space.

The process, known as solar radiation management, is something that’s increasingly being scrutinized by researchers as world leaders fail to come to grips with the climate crisis.

“So the question suggested itself whether the clouds can still become unstable and break up at high greenhouse gas concentrations even when solar geoengineering compensates much of the initial surface warming.”

“The cloud breakup described in our paper can dramatically amplify the termination shock, adding to the known geoengineering risks,” Schneider said.

But the problem of climate change has also become more urgent, and while it’s certainly possible the world just goes to town and burns through the remaining dead dinosaurs still underground, such a path appears less probable.

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