Physicists propose to combat climate change with moon dust

A group of researchers from the University of Utah (USA) believes that they have come across a possible solution to the problem of global warming caused by human activity. Their advanced solution is to launch millions of metric tons of moon dust into Earth’s orbit every year to partially block the sun’s rays and thus cool the planet.

“We looked at a variety of dust types and orbit solutions to see how much dust would be needed to make an impact on Earth’s climate,” explained lead study researcher and astrophysicist at University of Utah Benjamin Bromley. “We settled on a favorite concept, involving lots of moondust in a jet-like stream that can shade the Earth.”

The idea arose from previous work by Bromley and his co-authors on planet formation and cosmic collisions, where a small amount of dust “intercepts a lot of starlight.”

In his study, published in the PLOS Climate journal, Bromley and his colleagues used mathematical modeling to determine the ideal type of particles, their distribution, and the required mass to shade the Earth from the Sun. In their tests, they aimed to achieve a 1.8% attenuation of the sun’s heat, which equates to about six days a year of an “obscured sun.”

More dust would need to be added every few days to keep it going. It is noteworthy that the authors of the study did not include any cost analysis in the publication.

As for why moon dust seems like a good option for solving the climate change problem, Bromley explained that launching material from the moon is more energy efficient than launching it from Earth due to gravity. In addition, “the raw material is plentiful,” he added.

To be fair, Bromley acknowledged that moon dust is not the only answer to climate change.