US National Science Foundation study

Climate change to reduce Himachal apple production - geoengineering methods are not fail safe

Experts say that climate change could reduce apple production in India by affecting the winter chill period necessary for the plants. According to a study, they fear that even methods of geoengineering would have a limited effect on its output.

The research was conducted by the US National Science Foundation (NSF); it assessed the impact of climate change on the production of the deciduous fruit in Himachal Pradesh, the second-largest apple-producing state in India. The focus was on geoengineering methods, such as spraying sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere to combat global warming, that can only offer a temporary benefit to the production.

According to the research, published in the journal Climatic Change, nations might decide to spray sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere to combat warming during a climate emergency. They claim that  such geoengineering, or climate intervention, would create a massive cloud that would block some solar radiation and cool the Earth. But if the spraying were to suddenly cease, the study said, there would be a major impact on animals and plants, which would be forced to try to move to a suitable habitat to survive.

"The spraying of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere to combat global warming is used only temporarily and partially to benefit apple production in Himachal Pradesh," the study noted. Moreover, abruptly ending geoengineering might lead to total crop failure faster than if it were not done at all, it added.


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