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DOE-NOAA Marine Cloud Brightening Workshop Report


MCB refers to the deliberate injection of aerosol particles into marine clouds to increase their reflection of solar radiation to temporarily cool the planet while decarbonization efforts are pursued. A workshop was conducted to assess the state of knowledge in the field, and to provide a possible research path toward reducing unknowns in key components of the underlying physical science. This three-day workshop took place in April 2022 and was jointly sponsored by the Department of Energy (DOE)’s Atmospheric System Research (ASR) program and NOAA’s Earth’s Radiation Budget (ERB) program.

The workshop focused on identifying key physical science knowledge gaps to answer the following questions:

  1. Is MCB feasible over sufficiently large regions and is implementation practicable for long-enough durations to avert the worst impacts of global warming?
  2. If practicable, what will be the regional impacts of such MCB interventions?
  3. Do we have adequate systems in place to detect and quantify the effects of such interventions?
  4. What physical and engineering science challenges must be resolved satisfactorily before we can consider embarking on MCB?

To address these questions, the workshop focused on current knowledge gaps in several aspects of the physical system:

  1. Cloud microphysical knowledge gaps
  2. Meteorological-aerosol co-variability knowledge gaps
  3. Large-scale knowledge gaps
  4. Detection-related knowledge gaps

The workshop report discusses some practical ways to address these gaps, as organized in terms of a progression from those employing methods that are currently available, to those that require substantial development. All proposed approaches can be viewed as essential components of an MCB research program.

Read the full report »

For more information, contact Victoria Breeze.

Image credit: NOAA/DOE

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