In the laboratory we can maintain the low level temperature like 0 to -13 degrees. Like that can we do this process in atmosphere. For instance atmosphere temperature is 35 degrees can we change the temperature to 20 degrees or 50 degrees? Is it possible or not? If it's possible how can we do that?

  • $\begingroup$ earthscience.stackexchange.com/questions/1060/… $\endgroup$
    – user1066
    Commented Jun 11, 2016 at 3:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The entire atmosphere or just local spots? It's enormously inconvenient to try to heat the local atmosphere because hot air rises, you're constantly heating new air. Cooling air in a valley is more possible but still requires an enormous amount of work and energy. As a whole, the atmosphere is really heavy, trillions of tons. It's too big to heat up or cool down by conventional means. Covering the Earth with a big reflective mirror would probably be the most effective way to cool it down. Painting it black the most effective way to heat it up. Not sure either is a good idea. $\endgroup$
    – userLTK
    Commented Jun 11, 2016 at 7:46

1 Answer 1


You are talking about terra-forming on a global scale. To cool the entire atmosphere would result in two separate amounts of energy, one would be the thermal energy removed from the atmosphere, and the other would be the energy expended in the process. Both would be astronomic in magnitude, and orders of magnitude more than all previous components of the anthropic energy balance. How and where would we store such prodigious quantities of energy? Also, it would cost more than the gross economic product of the planet. And would it solve the problem? No, quite the reverse. It would only add to the greenhouse gas emissions. Even if we cooled the planet by 20 degrees, it would only be a matter of time before thermal equilibrium with respect to the atmospheric CO2 and water vapour would be regained. So there would be no long-term gain.

In order to cool the planet significantly we would have to reduce carbon emissions to practically nothing, and then use carbon capture and storage to depress global CO2 from the current 404 ppm to about 320 ppm. If we could do that in time for the next Milankovitch glacial entry point (an orbital feature), then there is a reasonable chance than we could put Earth back into 'glacial mode'. But as time goes by, this gets less and less likely. By the time we double CO2 relative to the pre-industrial era, another glacial epoch looks highly unlikely. By the time we triple the CO2, we can kiss goodbye to glaciation for ever.


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