solar panels Bloomberg/Getty Images

Für einen Planeten mit mehr Reflexionsvermögen

CAMBRIDGE –Der Kohlendioxidgehalt der Erdatmosphäre lag zum letzten Mal vor etwa drei Millionen Jahren so hoch wie heute – damals waren auch die Meeresspiegel 10 bis 30 Mal höher, als dies heute der Fall ist. Man hat sich lange Zeit bemüht, mit Klimamodellen diese enormen Schwankungen der Meeresspiegel nachzuvollziehen – bis jetzt. Tatsächlich gelang es nun erstmals mit einem hochwertigen Modell des antarktischen Eises und des Klimas, diese beträchtlichen Fluktuationen zu simulieren. Eine großartige wissenschaftliche Leistung, aber sie bringt auch niederschmetternde Neuigkeiten mit sich.

Das neue Modell zeigt, dass allein die Eisschmelze in der Antarktis bis zum Ende dieses Jahrhunderts zu einem Anstieg der Meeresspiegel um bis zu einem Meter führen könnte – ein Wert, der deutlich über früheren Schätzungen liegt. Schlimmer noch: es gibt Hinweise, dass selbst eine immens erfolgreiche Emissionssenkung den Westantarktischen Eisschild nicht mehr retten würde, was letztlich einen Anstieg der Meeresspiegel von über fünf Metern zur Folge hätte. Schon ein Anstieg von einem Meter könnte ganze Städte von Miami bis Mumbai bedrohen und immense wirtschaftliche Schäden verursachen.

Wir müssen die Hitze abstellen – und zwar rasch. Überaus vielversprechend in dieser Hinsicht ist die Veränderung der Albedo – eine Art des Geo-Engineerings, mit der man den Planeten durch eine Steigerung der Rückstrahlkraft der Erdatmosphäre abkühlt.

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