The climate researchers intend to launch a high-altitude balloon that would spray a small quantity of reflective particles into the stratosphere.
- by James Temple March 24, 2017
Harvard University professor David Keith
A pair of Harvard climate scientists are preparing small-scale atmospheric experiments that could offer insights into the feasibility and risks of deliberately altering the climate to ease global warming.
They would be among the earliest official geoengineering-related experiments conducted outside of a controlled laboratory or computer model, underscoring the growing sense of urgency among scientists to begin seriously studying the possibility as the threat of climate change mounts.
Sometime next year, Harvard professors David Keith and Frank Keutsch hope to launch a high-altitude balloon, tethered to a gondola equipped with propellers and sensors, from a site in Tucson, Arizona. After initial engineering tests, the “StratoCruiser” would spray a fine mist of materials such as sulfur dioxide, alumina, or calcium carbonate into the stratosphere. The sensors would then measure the reflectivity of the particles, the degree to which they disperse or coalesce, and the way they interact with other compounds in the atmosphere