Science News

Storm Clouds Gathering on Climate Change Horizon

Sun, 11th Feb 2007

Part of the show Nuclear Power

If you can't take the heat you move into the shade, right? But what about if that means the entire Earth? Well that's the strategy being put forward on a planetary scale by Iowa State University researcher Curtis Struck, who suggests that one way to cool an overheated-Earth would be to mine dust from the moon and use it to build artificial cloud cover in space. Writing in the Journal of British Interplanetary Society, Struck points out that dust particles from the moon are just the right size to scatter sunlight. Positioning the particles at two locations along the Moon's orbit would produce a pair of stable clouds that would pass in front of the sun once a month, cutting sunlight by twenty hours per month and helping to cool the planet. But not everyone thinks it's a good idea; some critics are concerned that the particles could act like mirrors and reflect more light onto the Earth during the times when they are not directly in front of the Sun.

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