While many scientists have some dire warnings against us trying to geoengineer our way out of the climate crisis, others don’t necessarily see it that way and are working on new methods to solve the problem.

Researchers at the University of Washington’s College of the Environment Institute are studying the idea of cloud brightening, utilizing ships to shoot salt water high into the atmosphere over the oceans in order to create long-lasting cloud cover. The additional clouds reflect more sunlight back into space, resulting in a cooling effect on the planet. In order to encourage discussion amongst other climate scientists, UW atmospheric physicist Rob Wood detailed how a small-scale experiment to test the idea would work in a paper published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

“What we’re trying to do is make the case that this is a beneficial experiment to do,” Wood said, adding that because geoengineering is controversial he “would rather that responsible scientists test the idea than groups that might have a vested interest in proving its success.”

Geoengineering is the concept of scientifically manipulating our environment in order to effect the climate. It is mainly discussed as a way to reduce global warming. The 25 authors of the paper have their own concerns about adverse effects that geoengineering projects like cloud brightening could have, and as we have previously mentioned here on Revmodo even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has deemed most concepts as ineffective and too expensive. Research should definitely be continued, but I am hopeful that the solutions being tested don’t end up doing more harm than good.

[via Science Daily]

Image Credit: Datskevich Aleh/Shutterstock