Search the Site

A Geoengineering Tryout

(Photo: dingbat2005)

We’ve written a good bit (in Chapter 5 of SuperFreakonomics and also the blog) about potential geoengineering solutions to global warming. This summer, with the SPICE geonengineering trials on hold in the U.K., two scientists are getting ready to try out a small-scale experiment in the U.S. From The Guardian:

Two Harvard engineers are to spray sun-reflecting chemical particles into the atmosphere to artificially cool the planet, using a balloon flying 80,000 feet over Fort Sumner, New Mexico.

The field experiment in solar geoengineering aims to ultimately create a technology to replicate the observed effects of volcanoes that spew sulphates into the stratosphere, using sulphate aerosols to bounce sunlight back to space and decrease the temperature of the Earth.

As lead researcher David Keith explained: “The objective is not to alter the climate, but simply to probe the processes at a micro scale. … The direct risk is very small.”

(HT: Jason Skidmore)