In 1990, a British cloud physicist named John Latham wrote a letter, [PDF, download] to the journal Nature, in which he suggested that injecting tiny droplets of water into marine clouds to increase their reflectivity might be a way “to inhibit or neutralize global warming.
And then? “Nothing happened for 10 years except for a couple of angry letters saying it was a horrible thing to play God and why didn’t I go knock on the door of the president and tell him to stop burning fossil fuels,” Latham recalls.
But as greenhouse gas emissions kept growing, Latham’s odd idea gained traction. It spawned a succession of peer-reviewed scientific papers, sparked debate in the scientific community and eventually led to the organization of a loosely-knit group of international scientists who now want to see if brightening marine clouds might actually be a feasible way to slow down or stop global warming.
“We’d like to move towards a limited area field experiment,” Latham says. [click to continue…]