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Top Story

Blocking sunlight to cool Earth won't reduce crop damage

Injecting particles into the atmosphere to cool the planet and counter the warming effects of climate change would do nothing to offset the crop damage from rising global temperatures, according to a new analysis by National Science Foundation-funded researchers. By analyzing the past effects of Earth-cooling volcanic eruptions, and the response of crops to changes in sunlight, the team concluded that any improvements in yield from cooler temperatures would be negated by lower productivity due to reduced sunlight. The findings have important implications for our understanding of solar geoengineering, one proposed method for helping humanity manage the impacts of global warming. The authors emphasize the need for more research into the human and ecological consequences of geoengineering, both good and bad.

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