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Soaring temperatures across the world has people asking, ‘how to cool the Earth’. With climate change activists pointing fingers at human activities, here is some food for thought.

The idea of the planet’s air to cool Earth’s ever-warming climate seems to be getting serious. Two different high-powered groups – one of scientists and one of former world leaders have come up with ethics and governing guidelines to deal with Earth’s ever-warming climate. The newly formed Climate Overshoot Commission includes the former presidents of Mexico, Niger and Kiribati, a former Canadian prime minister, the ex-chief of World Trade Organization and other national minister level officials. The commission will hold its first meeting in Italy on June 8.

How to cool the Earth: What is on the agenda?

The first point is to come up with a governance strategy on reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in air. The second important thing on the table is on finding out how to lower temperatures by reflecting sunlight back into space with artificial methods.

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The American Geophysical Union, the largest society of scientists that work on climate issues, announced an ethics framework for “climate intervention” is being prepared for debate during the major international climate negotiations to be held later in November in Egypt.

Though both groups denied from advocating geoengineering, the two said that the ideas need to be discussed with global warming shooting past the international goal of limiting temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since preindustrial times. As per the reports, the world has already warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) since the mid-1800s and is likely to pass the 1.5-degree mark in the 2030s.

Geoengineering is used to insert particles in the air to reflect sunlight or whiten clouds, or the less-disputed carbon dioxide removal. The technology sucks carbon out of the air but we also need more nature-based solutions such as more trees and getting oceans to sponge up more carbon.

Climate Overshoot Commission Executive Secretary Jesse Reynolds said in a Monday interview with PTI, “The climate change problem is at a point where even extreme options need to be thought about seriously,” He added, “Now, to be clear, thinking about them includes the possibility of rejecting them. But not thinking about them does not seem to be a responsible path forward.”

However, the idea needs to follow ethical guidelines before anything is done to get the public trust, much like the scientific community did with the possibility of human cloning, said AGU Executive Director Randy Fiser.



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