PerspectiveGeoengineering

A cirrus cloud climate dial?

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Science  21 Jul 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6348, pp. 248-249
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan3325

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Summary

Climate engineering is a potential means to offset the climate warming caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gases. Suggested methods broadly fall into two categories. Methods in the first category aim to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, whereas those in the second aim to alter Earth's radiation balance. The most prominent and best researched climate engineering approach in the second category is the injection of atmospheric aerosol particles or their precursor gases into the stratosphere (1), where these particles reflect solar radiation back to space. Climate engineering through cirrus cloud thinning, in contrast, mainly targets the long-wave radiation that is emitted from Earth.