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Posted Sun Mar 15 2009: from London Times:
Artificial trees and brightened clouds may help to cool us down
THE threat of devastating climate change is now so great that some scientists say it is time to investigate a Plan B - geo-engineering on a planetary scale. Such methods of altering the world’s climate may become necessary, they say, unless emissions of greenhouse gases fall within five years. Ideas that were once the realm of science fiction - such as creating artificial trees to absorb carbon dioxide, or reflecting sunlight away from the Earth - are coming under serious scrutiny as temperatures and CO2 emissions continue to rise. The issue has become so pressing that the Royal Society, Britain’s national academy of science, is preparing a report on the feasibility of geo-engineering.... One method under detailed analysis is to make clouds brighter – especially in the Pacific where the ocean temperature has great influence on world climate.... Professor Stephen Salter of Edinburgh University is investigating how ships could spray droplets of sea water into the atmosphere where they would evaporate, leaving tiny salt crystals to rise on air currents into the clouds. The crystals would act as “nuclei” around which water vapour could condense and thus increase the reflective power of the clouds, bouncing more of the sun’s energy back into space.
[Read more stories about: climate impacts, faster than expected, global warming, geoengineering, technical cleverness]

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