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Scientists propose unique scheme to cool earth

world Updated: Oct 23, 2009 18:22 IST

Amid growing concern over global warming, scientists have come up with a unique scheme to cool the earth with the help of a geo-engineering method that would increase cloud reflectivity over the ocean.

Under the scheme, the scientists would increase cloud reflectivity over the ocean by spraying them with an ultra-fine saltwater mist from ships, a report published in journal Scientific American said.

"The clouds, containing more particles, would cast enough sunlight back into space to at least partially offset the warming effects of all that CO2 from burning fossil fuels," the researchers said.

They added, "After all, clouds already reflect more of the sun's radiation back into space than the amount trapped by human emissions of carbon dioxide. So why not make them even more effective".

Stephen Salter, an emeritus professor of engineering design at the University of Edinburgh, who is leading the research said "marine cloud brightening could be done by populating the world's oceans with up to 1,500 ships of a somewhat exotic design-sometimes known as albedo yachts".

"Each vessel would be remote-controlled, wind-powered, and capable of generating (via turbines dragged through the water) the electricity required to create a mist of seawater and loft it 1,000 meters into the atmosphere," he added.