Space-Based Control of the Climate

by Michael Mautner, Univ of Canterbury, New Zealand,
Kelly Parks, Univ of Canterbury, New Zealand,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space II


The expected global greenhouse warming of 2 °C may be reversed by a space-based screen that intercepts 3% of the incident solar radiation. Space-based devices may also mitigate the ozone/UV problem and extreme weather phenomena such as cyclones. Against greenhouse warming, a fleet of screen units can be deployed in Earth orbit, at the sun-Earth L1 point, or in radiation-levitated solar orbit. The required material can be obtained from lunar sources by mass drivers. Active orbital control can be achieved using solar sailing methods. In the long run, similar devices may also modify the climates of other planets for terraforming. Space-based climate control is possible through the use of large energy leverage, ie., solar screens and reflectors manipulate 106 times the energy required for deployment. Therefore in the space scenario projected for several decades, substantial intervention with the climate will be facile, and this suggests serious studies.

Subject Headings: Climates | Lunar materials | Aerospace engineering | Space exploration | Thermal pollution | Solar radiation | Orbits | Solar power

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