As the world struggles with how to keep climate change to the Paris accord goal of below 2C, scientists look to technologies such as solar geoengineering as a way to cool the planet. However, new research shows suddenly ceasing the method could be more disastrous for biodiversity than never starting.
In 1991, when Mount Pinatubo erupted, 20 million tonnes of sulphur dioxide was propelled into the stratosphere. In the two years that followed, the global average temperate fell by half a degree.
The cooling effect of the eruption is something scientists theorise could be replicated by planes regularly spreading sulphate aerosol. Spread high enough, the tiny particles absorb and reflect sunlight back into space for years.