During the last ice age, huge masses of ice covered the northern U.S., Canada, northern Europe and northern Asia. All that ended around 12,000 years ago, but we could be closer to another one than you think now that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has received funds from congress for a controversial geoengineering project that aims to cool our planet.
David Fahey, the director of NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory Chemical Sciences Division, reportedly told staff that the federal government wished to examine the science behind geoengineering, something he described as a “Plan B” for climate change. Along with $4 million in funding, he was given the go-ahead to study two methods of geoengineering.
The first approach entails injecting sulfur dioxide or another aerosol into the stratosphere to shade the planet from more intense sunlight. This concept is modeled after what occurs naturally when volcanic eruptions emit huge clouds of sulfur dioxide that have the effect of cooling the earth. In the second approach, an aerosol of sea salt particles would be used to enhance the power of low-lying clouds over the ocean to serve as shade.