According to the Rutger's co-authored study, Geoengineering, spraying sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere to combat global warming would only temporarily and partially benefit apple production in northern India.
In a 2018 study, Robock and other researchers found that spraying sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere may eventually combat global warming. Such geoengineering would create a massive sulfuric acid cloud to block some solar radiation and cool the Earth. But if the spraying were to suddenly cease, there would be a major impact on animals and plants, which would be forced to try to move to suitable habitat to survive.
In their new study, scientists studied the impact of global warming and stratospheric geoengineering on the production of deciduous fruit in Himachal Pradesh, the second-largest apple-producing state in India. They used a climate model to project temperature changes and shifts in suitable habitat for apple orchards under a moderate greenhouse gas emissions scenario and efforts to limit warming.
"We found that global warming would reduce apple production by affecting the winter chill period necessary for the plants," Robock said.
Combating global warming is necessary for the finest production of the fruit ultimately.
The work was done in collaboration with Jyoti Singh and Sandeep Sahany from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi in India and the Centre for Climate Research Singapore.