Document Detail


Global temperature stabilization via controlled albedo enhancement of low-level maritime clouds.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18757272     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
An assessment is made herein of the proposal that controlled global cooling sufficient to balance global warming resulting from increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations might be achieved by seeding low-level, extensive maritime clouds with seawater particles that act as cloud condensation nuclei, thereby activating new droplets and increasing cloud albedo (and possibly longevity). This paper focuses on scientific and meteorological aspects of the scheme. Associated technological issues are addressed in a companion paper. Analytical calculations, cloud modelling and (particularly) GCM computations suggest that, if outstanding questions are satisfactorily resolved, the controllable, globally averaged negative forcing resulting from deployment of this scheme might be sufficient to balance the positive forcing associated with a doubling of CO2 concentration. This statement is supported quantitatively by recent observational evidence from three disparate sources. We conclude that this technique could thus be adequate to hold the Earth's temperature constant for many decades. More work--especially assessments of possible meteorological and climatological ramifications--is required on several components of the scheme, which possesses the advantages that (i) it is ecologically benign--the only raw materials being wind and seawater, (ii) the degree of cooling could be controlled, and (iii) if unforeseen adverse effects occur, the system could be immediately switched off, with the forcing returning to normal within a few days (although the response would take a much longer time).
Authors:
John Latham; Philip Rasch; Chih-Chieh Chen; Laura Kettles; Alan Gadian; Andrew Gettelman; Hugh Morrison; Keith Bower; Tom Choularton
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences     Volume:  366     ISSN:  1364-503X     ISO Abbreviation:  Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci     Publication Date:  2008 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-09-25     Completed Date:  2008-12-09     Revised Date:  2013-04-24    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101133385     Medline TA:  Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  3969-87     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
MMM Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research-Boulder, Boulder, CO 80307-3000, USA. latham@ucar.edu
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Computer Simulation
Conservation of Natural Resources / methods*
Disasters / prevention & control*
Ecosystem*
Engineering / trends*
Greenhouse Effect*
Models, Theoretical*
Temperature*
Weather*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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