Friday, August 07, 2009

Cloud-making ships to tackle climate change

No, this is not satire...

The idea of using ‘geo-engineering’ projects to tackle climate change is not new, but amongst the various proposals to either reduce sunlight levels or take CO2 out of the air by man-made means, one in particular is gaining increasing support from the scientific community.

A study by the think-tank, the Copenhagen Consensus Centre has suggested that the idea of autonomous cloud-making ships could be a cost-effective way of cancelling out the effect of man-made CO2 emissions. Dr Stephen Salter of Edinburgh University promoted the idea last year and the Royal Society is expected to voice its support next month.

The idea would cost £5.3bn and could be in operation within twenty-five years

What is a cloud-making ship?

Unmanned sailing ships would patrol the oceans, spraying tiny droplets of seawater into existing clouds in order to enlarge and thereby whiten them – bouncing more radiation back into space and cooling the atmosphere in the process.

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