Injecting particles into the stratosphere to shade and cool the Earth will never stop climate change. This is the dramatic claim made in the July 2014 issue of Nature Climate Change by an international group of prominent scientists.

In theory, the amount of solar radiation that falls on the Earth can be limited quite simply by dispersing fine sulphate particles in the stratosphere. The group of scientists investigated whether applying solar radiation management would have the desired effect and, if so, whether such an international-level intervention was politically achievable.

They showed that although geoengineering can reduce the average temperature of the Earth, it cannot halt climate change. In fact, it would result in a completely new climate with very different effects in different regions. As these effects would be negative in some areas of the world (extreme drought, for example), it is highly unlikely that political consensus would be achieved.

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