At carbon capture plants to glacier protection with giant blankets, there is no shortage of ideas to combat the effects of climate change. Now a team of scientists plans to make the clouds whiter so they can reflect more sunlight to cool the Earth. 

The project focuses on a theoretical geoengineering method known as “Marine Cloud Brightening” (MCB). 

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Scientists plan to use geoengineering technologies to clear clouds from the sky, as a way to prevent further heat absorption. Image: Apollo51x – Shutterstock

According to researchers at the University of Washington, the Palo Alto Research Center and the National Library of the Pacific Northwest, the way the technique works is very simple: if the brightest white clouds reflect more Sun light, absorbing less heat, the more of them are produced, theoretically, we can cool the Earth.

With that goal in mind, these scholars have joined together in an “open international collaboration of atmospheric scientists” to research the potential of using MCB to help cool the Earth, according to The Byte website.

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Cloud clearing in the fight against climate change involves analysis by independent authorities

The MCB Project has a three-phase research process aimed at developing spray technology that aims to send microscopic particles of seawater into the sky to help illuminate low-lying clouds. 

Each phase of the project will be analyzed by independent authorities, according to a report on the studies. These analyzes are to ensure that the technology will not harm the atmosphere

If the plan works, the team believes cloud clearing could cool the atmosphere enough for a substantial increase in atmospheric carbon, potentially buying time to save the planet from the consequences of climate change. 

Without a doubt, it is a very ambitious project. Also, it's important to keep in mind that this is a “Band-Aid solution” at best, and that geoengineering of any kind faces a serious battle in the public and scientific communities.

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