Our planet faces severe consequences related to climate change and the main reports point to an even warmer world until 1024. To join forces in the mission to face this great challenge ahead, an international group of atmospheric scientists proposed the creation of “whiter” marine clouds that reflect more sunlight into space, as an alternative for cooling the Earth’s atmosphere.
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The collaborative project Marine Cloud Brightening (MCB), conducted by the University of Washington in partnership with the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and the Northwestern National Library Pacific, focuses on a theoretical method of geoengineering called marine cloud clearing. According to the researchers, the main objective is to explore the increase in the reflection capacity of low marine clouds from sea water.
The team was inspired by the white “clouds” emitted by ships, also known as “ship tracks”. The advantages of such a simple system are many, such as the use of the water available at sea. Furthermore, it is a project that can be carried out at sea level, which means not relying on aircraft — which would generate more cost and pollutant gas emissions.
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Now, the MCB focuses in three steps. In the first, they investigate whether it is possible to increase cloud reflectivity reliably and predictably. In the second, the results are modeled to better understand how the project could affect local and global climate. Finally, the team is studying how to design a spraying system that produces water particles with the ideal sizes and concentrations.
The researchers believe that, if the idea works, whiter clouds could cool the atmosphere. The project itself would not solve climate change, but it could give the world more time to deal with greenhouse gases and high atmospheric carbon rates.
Source: Futurism, Interesting Engineering
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