The Enormous Risk of Atmospheric Hacking

February 18, 2021
Snow-covered mountains in Sweden.

Commentary by HUCE Director Dan Schrag is featured in activist and author Bill McKibben's latest installment of The Climate Crisis newsletter

By Bill McKibben, The New Yorker

Sometime in the next two weeks, an independent advisory committee is expected to issue a recommendation on a request from a team of Harvard scientists to fly a balloon from Kiruna, in Sweden’s Lapland region. The team would test a flight platform that might someday be used to inject a sample of aerosols into the stratosphere. Though this initial request is only for a test of a flight platform, a successful run would likely mean more tests, with aerosols of calcium carbonate and sulfates. These particles could hack the planet’s climate, by reflecting some of the sun’s light back out to space before it can reach the ground. It’s an ominous moment in the planet’s history—and one we should back away from for now.

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Read the entire article via The New Yorker

See also: Climate