SCIENCE + TECHNOLOGY

Climate change effects may be lessened by lunar dust

Feb 15, 2023, 3:00 PM

Effects of Climate Change may be lessened by Lunar Dust...

FILE - Impact craters cover the surface of the moon, seen from Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022. A group of University of Utah students could work towards establishing a moon base after winning NASA's Big Idea competition. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

(AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

SALT LAKE CITY —Imagine facilities on the moon extracting moon rock and processing it into a fine powder or “dust.” Furthermore, launching said dust into orbit “to diminish the amount of radiation that reaches us here on Earth.”

Astrophysicist and Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Utah, Ben Bromley, has proposed just that in a research article he published about the issue this month. Bromley said it could delay the effects of climate change and offset earth’s temperatures by a degree or two.

There would need to be more than 10 billion kilograms of sub-micron dust particles. This amount is naturally available, according to Bromley.

Professor Bromley said electromagnetic launchers could send the dust to “Lagrangian L1” a point in space that is in equilibrium with the sun’s and earth’s gravitational pull.

“That would allow us to get some shade here,” Bromley told KSL Newsradio hosts Dave and Dujanovic. Then, the dust would linger there temporarily and dissipate into the vastness of space.

 

Bromley emphasized that this method is by no means a solution to the effects of climate change.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us in terms of the main problem — the thing that we should never give up focus on — the reduction of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” he said.

Such an endeavor would be massive but could give us enough time to mitigate the issue.

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Climate change effects may be lessened by lunar dust