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Drought solution? Block the sun – South Africa Cape Town’s Radical plan to ‘dim the sun’ to prevent catastrophic drought

It was Mr. Burns, Springfield’s evil billionaire in The Simpsons, who realised the power you can wield if you control the sun.

‘Take one last look at the sun, Springfield’ he declared before launching a giant metal disc to rise high into the sky and block the sun.

OK, so this plan isn’t quite the same, but it’s not a million miles away either.

In a new paper, Environmental Research Letters published, researchers led by the University of Cape Town scientists proposed that they could prevent devastating drought by firing reflective particles into the atmosphere, and toward the sun.

The idea is that is the particles, launched in a gas, would permanently ‘dim’ the sun’s power, and prevent South Africa from a deadly drought.

They’re deadly serious about it, too.

The plan is reminiscent of one from The Simpsons. Credit: Fox/Getty

Dimming the sun

The researchers from the University of Cape Town are coming up with plans (from wild to mild) to try and reduce the impact of drought.

In their paper, they suggest injecting particles of sulphur dioxide gas into Earth’s upper atmosphere above Cape Town.

An enormous cloud above the city would form, reflecting sunlight, and effectively ‘dimming’ the ground below.

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