Climate engineering experiment launch set

LONDON, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- British researchers say they will launch a helium-filled balloon lifting a half-mile-long garden hose in an experiment in climate engineering.

They said they will test a proposal that involves pumping particles into the atmosphere to mimic the short-term cooling effects of volcanic eruptions on climate, the BBC reported Wednesday.


The proposal was inspired by large volcanic eruptions such as the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, which put large amounts of ash and gas into the atmosphere and lowered the average global temperature by 0.5 degrees Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) for two years.

Particles released by the volcano reflected the Sun's radiation back into space before it reached the atmosphere, lowering world temperatures.

The balloon and hose SPICE project -- for Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering -- is intended to investigate engineering challenges such a project would present, and test the feasibility of a much larger-scale project with particles being released at a height of 12 miles, researchers said.

The 60-foot balloon will be released from an abandoned airfield in Norfolk in October, and a pressure washer will provide sufficient force to pump water from the ground to the top of the hose and spray it into the atmosphere at a rate of around 25 gallons per hour.


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