Scientists at MIT think they may have finally found a way to reverse climate change. Or, at the least, help ease it some.
The idea revolves heavily around the creation and deployment of several thin film-like silicon bubbles. The “space bubbles” as they refer to them, would be joined together like a raft. Once expanded in space it would be around the same size as Brazil. The bubbles would then provide an extra buffer against the harmful solar radiation that comes from the Sun.
Could space bubbles reverse climate change?
The goal with these new “space bubbles” would be to ease up or even reverse climate change. The Earth has seen rising temperatures over the past several centuries. In fact, NASA previously released a gif detailing how the global temperature has changed over the years. Now, we’re seeing massive “mouths to hell” opening in the permafrost.
There’s also the fact that scientists just discovered yet another hole in the Earth’s ozone layer. As such, finding ways to ease or reverse climate change continues to be a high priority for many. This new plan is based on a concept first proposed by astronomer Roger Angel. Angel originally suggested using a “cloud” of small spacecraft to shield the Earth from the Sun’s radiation.
Researchers at MIT have taken that same basic concept and improved it, though, by changing out inflatable silicon bubbles for the spacecraft that Angel originally proposed. Being able to reverse climate change would be a huge step in the right direction. Shielding the Earth from the Sun’s radiation would only be one part of it, though. We’d still need to cut down on other things, too.
How will bubbles shield the Earth?
But how exactly what a “raft” of space bubbles shield Earth from the Sun’s radiation? Well, the basic idea requires sending the bubbles to the L1 Lagrangian Point. This is the location directly between the Earth and the Sun where gravity from both our star and our planet cancels out. As such, the space bubbles would theoretically be able to just float without much pull from either body.
The researchers say we’d probably still need to put some kind of spacecraft out there to help keep things on track. But, it could give us a good chance at reversing climate change, or at least slowing down the changes. It is important to note that MIT does not view this as an alternative solution to our current adapt and mitigate efforts. Instead, it’s a backup solution meant to help if things spin out of control.