Defining success and limits of field experiments to test geoengineering by marine cloud brightening
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Marine cloud brightening (MCB) has been suggested as a possible solar radiation management approach to geoengineering the Earth’s climate in order to offset anthropogenic global warming. We discuss the utility of field experiments to test MCB. These experiments, if appropriately designed, would provide an unprecedented controlled environment to not only test MCB, but to understand aerosol impacts on climate. We discuss the science of MCB and review a set of field experiments that has been proposed as de minimis first steps to field test the concept. Our focus is upon issues of success determination, international oversight and/or governance, and outcomes if initial tests are deemed successful.
KeywordsPrecautionary Principle Cloud Droplet Cloud System Solar Radiation Management Cloud Property
The authors would like to acknowledge the Environment Institute of the University of Washington College of the Environment, which provided financial support for this work, including a seminar series and workshop at the University of Washington in which several of the special issue authors participated. We are also indebted to our colleagues in this special issue for useful critiques of our ideas.
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