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Stratospheric Aerosols: Establishing a Novel Optical Thickness Benchmark for Effective Climate Change Mitigation
  • Mihir Garimella
Mihir Garimella
Nashua High School South

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Abstract

Global Warming has been a problem at the heart of Earth’s environmental issues for nearly 5 decades, with the potential to affect a significant portion of the global population and cause catastrophic irreversible damage to the planet’s future. Changes in Earth’s climate due to the rise in global temperatures will have an enormous impact on communities around the world, along with a drastic displacement of humans and an extreme loss in natural biodiversity. Current methods of combating this issue have proven to be ineffective, requiring a more comprehensive and innovative approach. This project aims to propose a potential solution to mitigate the effects of global warming and limit temperatures to sustainable levels through the use of stratospheric aerosols. Through a process of data collection, experimentation, and modeling, I was able to correlate the presence of aerosols in the stratosphere to a consequent drop in temperatures and utilize regression prediction to forecast a 45% drop in global temperatures after examining the effects of volcanic ash in the stratosphere. I was also able to compare monthly aerosol concentration levels to declines in the growth of temperatures and conclude that by keeping aerosol optical thickness over 0.185, we can stabilize global temperatures and achieve climate change goals set to protect the Earth. By implementing the changes to Earth’s atmosphere, we can reflect heat from the Sun and create a cooling effect for the planet, potentially stopping climate change and saving billions of people.