SCOTLAND (CBS Seattle) — Scientists from Scotland may have taken a page from famous cartoon villain and roadrunner gourmand Wile E. Coyote for a solution to global warming.
The Week reports that researchers in Scotland want to move a giant asteroid between the Earth and sun and then disintegrate it in order to create a giant dust cloud.
They’re hoping that the dust cloud would be enough to block enough of the sun’s rays to drop the Earth’s temperature 3 or so degrees. The cloud would be 1,600 miles wide, or more than double the width of Texas, and the mass of it would be roughly 11 quadrillion-pounds.
That would be 1 billion multiplied with 11 million more billions.
The plan doesn’t call on blowing up the asteroid Armageddon-style, but scientists would want to disintegrate it with something called a “mass driver.”
A mass driver is a device to propel objects in space. This one would be used to chip away at the asteroid piece by piece, until the dust cloud is formed.
The scientists even have an asteroid in mind, 1036 Ganymed, which is a large asteroid that orbits around Earth and Mars.
Despite the thorough plan, there are lots of things that could go wrong.
Russell Bewick, a scientist for University of Strathclyde in Scotland, told MSNBC: “A very large asteroid is a potential threat to Earth, and therefore great care and testing would be required in the implementation of this scenario.”
According to The Week, the group’s findings will be published next month in Advances in Space Research journal.