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Exploratory Meeting between NCM-UAEREP and University of Washington Marine Cloud Brightening Program

This past month, the UAEREP-NCM Research team met with the University of Washington’s Marine Cloud Brightening (MCB) Program team to discuss the MCB program’s recent demonstration of the Cloud Aerosol Research Instrument (CARI).

 

During the meeting, the two organizations discussed ways in which they hope to better understand the present-day effects of pollution aerosols on clouds, as well as investigate whether aerosol particles made from sea salt could be used to intentionally reduce near-term climate warming while greenhouse gas concentrations are brough down to safer levels. The meeting also explored potential collaboration areas in terms of feasibility studies and the potential for follow-on field studies.

 

Overall, meeting participants will additionally seek to understand the benefits, risks, and efficacy of the intentional use of aerosols to reduce warming through different implementations of marine cloud brightening.

 

Brightening clouds – often referred to as solar radiation modification, solar geoengineering, or climate intervention – is one of several ideas to push solar energy back into space. Compared with other options, such as injecting aerosols into the stratosphere, marine cloud brightening is a localized method and uses relatively benign sea salt aerosols, as opposed to other chemicals.

 

The CARI instrument experiment was the first outdoor test in the United States with the technology designed to brighten clouds and bounce some of the sun’s rays back into space. Scientists hope to see whether the machine, one which took years to create, can consistently spray the right size salt aerosols through the open air, outside of a lab.

 

Both the NCM-UAEREP team and the MCB Program team look forward to future opportunities for collaboration and knowledge exchange.

 

To learn more about the project, visit this article in the New York Times:

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/04/02/climate/global-warming-clouds-solar-geoengineering.html