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US: Scientists Send Sunlight Back To Space In A Secret Test To Cool Earth


Washington: After 2023 became the warmest year on record for the globe, US scientists attempted to temporarily chill Earth by reflecting part of the sun’s rays into space.

They used a technique called cloud brightening, which involves increasing the brightness of clouds to reflect a small amount of incoming sunlight and so reduce local temperatures. If the technique works, it will place many devices above oceans with their faces directed toward the sky in an attempt to reduce the rising sea temperatures.

On April 2, scientists at the University of Washington used a snow-machine-like apparatus atop a retired aircraft carrier in San Francisco to shoot a mist of salt particles skyward at a fast rate of speed. The study was carried out as part of the CAARE, or Coastal Atmospheric Aerosol Research and Engagement, covert project.

British physicist John Latham introduced the notion of using clouds as mirrors to reflect incoming sunlight in 1990. To block solar heat and cool Earth, he suggested building a fleet of 1,000 ships that would circumnavigate the planet and spray seawater droplets into the atmosphere.

Simple science is used to explain the technology’s concept: many little droplets reflect more sunlight than a small number of huge droplets. Therefore, it might be possible to reflect sunlight into space by misting aerosol saltwater into the atmosphere. But it’s really important to get the particle size and quantity exactly perfect. Particles that are too large will make clouds even less reflective, whereas particles that are too small will prevent reflection. To do this test, scientists must spray quadrillion of these particles each second, with each particle being 1/700th the thickness of a human hair.

Scientists are searching for innovative solutions that could produce noticeable effects quickly, as many nations are failing to keep global temperatures at 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. While some argue that the procedure can counteract the heat brought on by more CO2, many of scientists believe it would be difficult to forecast the outcomes of the solar modification technology.

They claim that long-term changes in climatic patterns could result from excessive technology use. Changes in ocean temperatures, for example, might affect marine biodiversity and precipitation patterns, boosting precipitation in certain regions while decreasing it in others.

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