Whitening clouds by spraying them with seawater, proposed as a “technical fix” for climate change, could do more harm than good, according to research.
Whiter clouds reflect more solar energy back into space, cooling the Earth.
But a study presented at the European Geosciences Union meeting found that using water droplets of the wrong size would lead to warming, not cooling.
As science advisor John Holdren resasserted in 2009 of strategies such as space mirrors or aerosol injection, “The ‘geo-engineering’ approaches considered so far appear to be afflicted with some combination of high costs, low leverage, and a high likelihood of serious side effects.”
Two major problems for most of the ‘hard’ geoengineering strategies — aka solar radiation management aka smoke and mirrors — are that they still require aggressive mitigation, and they must meet a very strong test of science.