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WSJ report: Scientists are using increasingly shocking and risky methods to try to combat climate change
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WSJ report: Scientists are using increasingly shocking and risky methods to try to combat climate change

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, scientists have begun a series of drastic and potentially risky experiments in a bid to mitigate the effects of climate change. Among other things being either suggested or actually tried by these scientists, they want to disperse reflective particles into the atmosphere to block some of the sun's radiation, spray saltwater into the clouds, and change the chemical composition of the ocean.

According to the report, one thing that scientists have already begun doing in Australia is a process they call cloud brightening. In this method, researchers actually use giant nozzles to spray saltwater into low-level clouds that form over the ocean in an attempt to make them brighter, under the theory that brighter clouds will reflect sunlight away from the earth.


What's more, the project is funded by a $64.55 million grant from the Australian government and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

Another apparently serious project involves an Israeli startup company called Stardust Solutions that has also raised big bucks to test a program that would disperse a cloud of reflective particles high in the earth's upper atmosphere in an attempt to reflect some of the sun's radiation. This project is still in the testing phase, but the company indicated that it intends to actually do a real world test in the "next few months," according to the WSJ.

A third involves a plan hatched by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to dump 6,000 gallons of sodium hydroxide into the ocean south of Martha's Vineyard this summer. Researchers hope that this insane-sounding plan will lower the acidity of the ocean and enable it to capture more carbon dioxide.

Lead researcher Adam Subhas told the WSJ, "When you have heartburn, you eat a Tums that dissolves and makes the liquid in your stomach less acidic. By analogy, we’re adding this alkaline material to seawater, and it is letting the ocean take up more CO2 without provoking more ocean acidification. Everything that we’re seeing so far is that it is environmentally safe." This project is being funded by your tax dollars, courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Note, however, that the EPA has not yet signed off on this plan to dump thousands of gallons of chemicals into United States coastal waters.

As might be expected, these plans are causing controversy even among climate change scientists, who very reasonably point out that it's impossible to predict the long term effects of intentionally and drastically changing the chemical composition of the oceans, clouds, and upper atmosphere. Denmark's climate change czar Dan Jorgenson told the WSJ, "When we start interfering with nature, we risk it also having many very negative consequences that we cannot control and that we cannot foresee."

Some scientists, however, insist that these interventions are needed, as kooky and potentially dangerous as they sound. Jessica Seddon, a senior fellow at the Yale Jackson School of Global Affairs, told the WSJ that, "There’s a huge political hesitancy to do outdoor perturbative experiments. It’s going to take some extraordinary bravery to acknowledge that in certain circumstances those experiments will be needed, have informational value and should be constrained but not banned."

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Leon Wolf

Leon Wolf

Managing Editor, News

Leon Wolf is the managing news editor for Blaze News. Previously, he worked as managing editor for RedState, as an in-house compliance attorney for several Super PACs, as a white-collar criminal defense attorney, and in communications for several Republican campaigns. You can reach him at lwolf@blazemedia.com.
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