Jul 29, 2012

Another Bill Gates cure for the warming planet: Spritz chemicals in sky | via @SmartPlanet

...Bill Gates is financially backing two Harvard scientists who will spray sun reflecting chemicals 80,000 feet above Fort Sumner, N.M. with the help of a balloon,the Guardian reports.

Harvard professor of applied physics David Keith, who is leading the project, wants to replicate the effect of volcanoes - known to spew earth cooling sulfates - by using sulfate aerosols to reflect sunlight away from earth and thus reduce the heat.

Keith says that the technique could represent an inexpensive method for slowing down global warming. Other scientists warn that “it could have unrpedictable, disastrous consequences for the Earth’s weather systems and food supplies,”  the Guardian notes. And environmental groups worry it could de-emphasize attempts to reduce carbon emissions.

The project is part of a larger “geoengineering” initiative bankrolled by Gates’ Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research, and managed by Keith. A Guardian article in February reported that Gates had provided $4.6 million to the fund.

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