On LiveScience.com, yet another scientist has determined that we need to launch a potentially toxic chemical into the air to combat the effects of global warming.
One way to curb global warming is to purposely shoot sulfur into the atmosphere, a scientists suggested today.
The burning of fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. It also releases sulfur that cools the planet by reflecting solar radiation away from Earth.
Injecting sulfur into the second atmospheric layer closest to Earth would reflect more sunlight back to space and offset greenhouse gas warming, according to Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego.
Crutzen suggests carrying sulfur into the atmosphere via balloons and using artillery guns to release it, where the particles would stay for up to two years. The results could be seen in six months.
The article goes on to explain that this happens naturally from volcanoes. During an eruption, thousands (possibly millions) of tons of sulfur get thrown into the air which if large enough can cool the average surface of the Earth.
Simple right? Except when you start putting sulfur in the air and with the right circumstances you get byproducts such as sulfur dioxide (SO2) which is a poisonous gas. The quantities would probably be small, but done over a long period of time could build up in the atmosphere. The Environmental Protection Agency has been working to decrease sulfur dioxide levels over the past thirty years. Why would we start adding sulfur to the air now?
Before trying to do such radical things as adding harmful substances to the air we breathe, can we at least try to get a non-biased group together that everyone respects to determine if global warming is a manmade or a natural cycle?