Team Plots 'Fake Volcano' to Cool Planet

Giant hose will pump particles into stratosphere
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2011 4:55 AM CDT
Updated Sep 1, 2011 6:11 AM CDT
The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa reduced temperatures worldwide and caused chaotic weather patterns for years.   (Wikipedia)

(Newser) – Volcanic eruptions cool the planet by injecting particles into the stratosphere that reflect the sun's rays, so could an artificial volcano counter global warming? A British scientific team is aiming to find out in what may be the biggest geo-engineering experiment ever conducted, the Guardian reports. The team plans to send up a stadium-sized balloon tethered to the ground by a hose. Only water particles will be sent up this time, but if the engineering proves sound, the team plans to try sending up sulfates and other particles.

Scientists say the world needs to have a Plan B ready in case emissions can't be reduced enough to slow climate change, but environmentalists warn that this experiment sets a dangerous precedent. "We are going to have to look at new technologies which could suck carbon dioxide out of the air. But what we don't need to do is invest in harebrained schemes to reflect sunlight into space when we have no idea at all what impact this may have on weather systems around the globe," warns a spokesman for Friends of the Earth.

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