How effective would increased cloud reflectivity be at reducing global warming?



  1. 0 Votes

    It doesn’t seem like the technology is close to being ready, nor would it be effective enough on a large-scale to truly combat global warming.  Increasing cloud reflectivity would require a lot of seawater being sprayed into clouds…it sounds fishy to me.  The numbers proposed seem to be high enough to combat global warming but the process would be done over oceans, so we don’t know whether it would help inland areas enough, not to mention, as Wikipedia points out, there are always unintended negative consequences to huge projects like this (  Higher reflectivity in the Earth’s atmosphere would theoretically help, as it would increase the albedo, or the amount of light reflected back out of the atmosphere.  Ice caps used to be one of the major contributors to the albedo with their high reflectivity, sending the sun’s rays back out while other rays were absorbed into the Earth.  Now, though, glaciers and ice caps are melting as a result of global warming, and so their contribution to the albedo is decreasing, which means fewer rays are sent back out of the atmosphere, creating a vicious cycle.

    The numbers may look good for reducing the global warming, but there are a few problems: the technology has not actually been created yet, it would require a lot of legal action to even try the idea, and the earth’s albedo is a delicate thing.  It has already been compromised, which is why the natural reflectors (ice caps, unpolluted clouds) are not working as they used to.  Also, allowing rays to enter and stay in the atmosphere is necessary for life to exist on earth.  Do we really know how far we could go without completely disrupting natural processes (that have already been disrupted)?

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