Can we effectively reflect some solar energy before it gets to the Earth's surface?
The stratosphere is the cold layer of Earth’s atmosphere above the layer where humans live and most weather happens (the troposphere). The stable stratosphere is a prime location to deploy albedo interventions like reflective balloons or tiny reflective particles (aerosols) . Increasing stratospheric reflectivity can reduce the damage caused by global warming while human cultures transition their economies away from burning fossil fuels . However, if we increase stratospheric reflectivity and simultaneously increase our burning of fossil fuels, it will then be more urgent than it is now to somehow offset warming forces because, if we subsequently stop maintaining the high reflectivity after CO2 levels have further increased, the earth will then become warmer than it is on a path to now . How and where best to deploy stratospheric interventions remains a topic of research . Here’s some great material from the field of Solar Radiation Management:
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1. Stratospheric solar geoengineering without ozone loss, Proc. (Keith, D. W., D. K. Weisenstein, et all, 2016)
2. Cost analysis of stratospheric albedo modification delivery systems, Environ. (McClellan, J., D. W. Keith, et all, 2012)
3. Rapid and extensive warming following cessation of solar radiation management, Environ. Res. (McCusker, K. E., K. C. , et all, 2014)
4. Geoengineering with stratospheric aerosols: What do we not know after a decade of research?, Earth’s Future. (MacMartin, D. G., B. Kravitz, et all, 2016)