Cloud brightening experiment in California temporarily stopped

Local officials in California have halted a cloud brightening experiment due to potential health concerns, as researchers tested a technology to combat global warming by reflecting sunlight.

Christopher Flavelle reports for The New York Times.


In short:

  • The University of Washington researchers were using a device to spray sea-salt particles on the U.S.S. Hornet to increase cloud reflectivity.
  • The experiment began on April 2 and was the first of its kind conducted outdoors in the U.S.
  • Alameda city officials demanded a halt on May 4, requesting further review of the experiment's health and environmental impacts.

Why this matters:

Geoengineering solutions like cloud brightening are being considered to manage the Earth's temperature amidst rising global greenhouse gas emissions. While offering potential short-term relief, they also pose significant scientific and ethical questions, emphasizing the ongoing struggle to balance technological intervention with natural climate solutions.

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