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Mirrors in the desert may fight global warming

Heat-reflecting sheets in arid regions could cool climate by increasing Earth’s reflectivity or albedo, argue scientists writing in the International Journal of Global Environmental Issues.

Takayuki Toyama of Avix Inc in Kanagawa, Japan, and Alan Stainer of Middlesex University Business School in London say that blanketing 60,000 square kilometers of desert with reflective sheeting would “be adequate to offset the heat balance and lead to a net cooling without any need to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide” according to a statement from Inderscience, publisher of the journal. The cost would be $280 billion.

The geoengineering scheme would not address other issues associated with the build up of CO2 in the atmosphere including ocean acidification and air pollution, but the authors claim it might help counter desertification. The effort might also impact local weather.

“Cosmic Heat Emission concept to ‘stop’ global warming” in Int. J. Global Environmental Issues, 2009, 9, 151-168

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