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Do volcanoes hold the antidote for a warming planet?

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WATERLOO — It sounds like something out of science fiction — shooting massive clouds of black carbon into the atmosphere to block out the sun and cool down the planet.

But the research behind so-called solar radiation management is very real, even if it may be many years before countries seriously consider slowing climate change by essentially mimicking volcanic eruptions.

That’s where scientists like Stanford University’s Ben Kravitz come in. He says it’s important we figure out now what manufactured sun shields would mean for the planet, because that kind of atmospheric tinkering had better be done right.

“We only have one atmosphere, and we don’t want to do this until we’re pretty sure we know what we’re doing,” he said. “We’re talking about a pretty big interference with the climate system … in terms of the science, there’s still plenty to do.”

Kravitz’s area of expertise is a field of study called geo-engineering, and specifically looking at ...

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