Scientists are studying ways to temporarily reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the earth to reduce the impact of climate change. Most theoretical studies have examined this strategy by itself, in the absence of looking at simultaneous attempts to reduce emissions, and found it to be ineffective as a long-term strategy.
Now, a new analysis of future climate change that considers emissions reductions together with sunlight reduction shows that such drastic steps to cool the earth would only be necessary if the planet heats up easily with added greenhouse gases. The study by researchers at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory explored sunlight reduction methods in a computer model that followed emissions’ effect on climate. The analysis shows there is a fundamental connection between the need for emissions reductions and the potential need for some sort of solar dimming.
Source: PNNL press release, October 11, 2012.