The best way to stop climate change, would be to reduce the emission of CO2 until a carbon equilibrium is reached. Then not release any more CO2 than at the same time due to plant growth is bound.

But the world is far away. Instead of less, more and more CO2 is blown into the atmosphere. The bigger the doubt will be enough, that the efforts to save the climate, the more interesting other approaches. They promise a shortcut on the long way to stabilise the climate.

The science writer Tim Smedley, in his book “Clearing the Air: The Beginning and the End of Air Pollution” some of these visions. All have in common is one thing: Not less, but more and more technology to bring the climate back into balance. Instead of the natural conditions in the years prior to 1950 to restore, you want to create a climate artificially in a world climate that is cooler.

Less sun, less heat

the starting point for many Considerations is the eruption of the volcano Pinatubos in the Philippines in 1991. He hurled particles in ten kilometers of altitude. This dust veil had a noticeable cooling effect, he kept the rays of the sun. This discovery led to several concepts. The most exotic idea is to use a kind of giant sun in the universe, which could donate to the earth’s partial shadow.

Technically less complex models to establish the role of ice and clouds. About 30 percent of the sun’s rays are currently of white surfaces in the space, reflected back. The bright area is reduced by the melting of the ice – strengthened, the increase in the Climate.

The open ocean reflects only 6 percent of the sunlight, and takes up 94 percent. As long as no clouds are over the water. Marine STRATO-Cumulus clouds reflect a good part of the sunlight, they also cool the sea. So, what if it were possible to produce more and whiter clouds?

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Since the seventies, it is known that the ships move a cloud trail behind. The dirt from your chimneys acts as a Condensation nucleus. The particles around the water droplets collect. In the 1990s, Stephen Salter, a Professor at the University of Edinburgh, and the atmospheric scientist John Latham worked together. Your proposal amounts to a kind of cloud ships. They work like a snow cannon, but you should of course produce no snow, but white clouds.

clouds of cannons on the sea

As condensation nucleation should, of course, be used of the carbon black of the ship’s diesels, Salter and Latham want to use salt particles that one could gain from the sea water. Technically, the project is more complex than initially expected, because sea water is added in the long run, the spraying equipment and particularly the valves. Nevertheless, these ships would be no high-tech project, but a simple structure.

The latest Design of the two is an unmanned sailing vessel, pumping an ultra fine mist of sea salt in the direction of the clouds. The now Emeritus Professor is quite optimistic. Salter said to Tim Smedley: “If we are spraying approximately 10 cubic meters per second, we could make up for all the damage we have done to the world, again.”

300 Ship could reduce the temperatures accordingly in the world by 1.5 degrees. At the same time, the targeted use of some of the vessels could mitigate the formation of hurricanes, at least, if you selectively reduce the heating of the sea water. The same promises Stephen Salter of phenomena such as El Niño.


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A cloud-ship fleet of small Autonomous sailing vessels still looks pretty, of course. Other researchers dream of, to vaccinate high layers of the atmosphere with chemicals that would form a veil that the sun’s rays reflected there, long before they have reached the deeper layers.

These techniques promise a real prospect to reduce the rise of the climate, and the comparatively very low cost. Nevertheless, such projects are controversial, and add to that barely above laboratory tests. What is the reason?

Experiment with an uncertain outcome

on the one Hand, there is a clear Opposition of climate researchers and activists. They fear that the fight against the increase of CO2 is in the atmosphere energetic, when there are alternative, cheaper and more convenient methods. Then still more and more fossil fuel would be burned to media. Instead of an expensive global energy transition, around the strike, would you fogging prefer the seas with clouds, haze in the outer atmosphere and possibly even a shade sail made of Gold in the world hanging space.

Even if the project succeeded, it would be anything other than a natural world environment in a natural balance. If the Geo Engineering have only begun on a large scale, give it to stop, no possibility of ever again, the fear.

The second reason for the rejection lies in the technology itself: The research can only tell partial effects of the interventions in advance. But no one can predict the full impact of these interventions on a System as complex as the global climate. More clouds mean more reflection of Solar, no one will deny. However, hardly anyone can guarantee that the desired cooling would be the only effect of the measure and a forced cloud formation over the oceans is likely to remain ineffective. Rain could change the air currents might be looking for new ways. Maybe we would live fast ceiling in a kind of headlock under a thick cloud.

source: Tim Smedley, “Clearing the Air: The Beginning and the End of Air Pollution”, justice and responsibility in climate and energy policy, the Royal Society, “Marine cloud brightening”

Climeworks CO2 vacuum cleaner: These Swiss factory to the world, the-save the climate-Fullscreen

These fans suck in normal ambient air.

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