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Developing mathematical theories of the physical world: Open Access research on fluid dynamics from Strathclyde

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Minimum mass solar shield for terrestrial climate control

McInnes, C.R. (2002) Minimum mass solar shield for terrestrial climate control. JBIS, Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, 55 (9-10). pp. 307-311. ISSN 0007-084X

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The use of a large solar shield located sunward of the Sun-Earth interior Lagrange point is considered to offset increases in mean global surface temperature due to enhanced greenhouse warming. The three-body mechanics of the problem are investigated to optimize the shield location, thus minimizing the shield mass and improving on previous studies of this concept. While shield mass is minimized, the required mass is still of order 1011 kg to offset an enhancement of greenhouse warming of order 2 K. Clearly, such schemes require significant technological capabilities, although the optimization presented in this paper reduces the scale of the problem to some extent.