Finally: A Garden Hose to the Sky
Well, it’s actually happening. An idea reported extensively in SuperFreakonomics has come to fruition, and some mad scientists are getting their way (and a little government funding) to build a garden hose to the sky — and potentially save the world by cooling it down.
A team of British researchers called SPICE (Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering) is trying to pump particles of water into the atmosphere as a test run before moving onto sulfates and aerosols that would reflect sunlight away from earth, mimicking the aftereffect of a massive volcanic eruption. SPICE is building the garden hose at an undisclosed location, with £1.6 million in U.K. government funding and the backing of the Royal Society.
Check out Steven Levitt’s interview with Jon Stewart from 2009, where he discusses the idea (beginning at about the 2:20 mark). And below, from SuperFreakonomics Illustrated, is a look at Intellectual Ventures’ plan to pump liquified sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere.