- News Home
27 November 2013 12:59 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The new head of the National Center for Science Education promises to "fight the good fight" against attacks on...
Analyses of the H7N9 strains isolated from four new cases show that the virus is evolving rapidly, heightening anxiety...
In 2009, Jack Szostak shared a Nobel Prize for his part in discovering the role of telomeres, the end bits of...
Science has exposed a thriving academic black market in China involving shady agencies, corrupt scientists, and...
Paper-selling agencies flourish in the aura of reputable businesses. For some scientists, it may be difficult to tell...
Featuring the first lunar rover in 40 years, Chang'e-3 is seen as an important milestone on China's quest to send a...
Data collected by satellites and floating probes have chronicled a 2-decade rise in the temperature and thickness of a...
Cholesterol, the artery-clogging molecule that contributes to cardiovascular disease, has another nasty trick up its...
- 27 November 2013 12:59 pm , Vol. 342 , #6162
- About Us
ScienceShot: Climate Combat Could Turn Sky White
1 June 2012 1:30 pm
Talk about a vanilla sky. A scheme that would add light-colored, highly reflective particles to the atmosphere to reflect sunlight and cool the planet would significantly whiten the heavens, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed the effect of adding enough aerosols to block 2% of the sun's light from reaching the ground, the amount needed to offset a carbon dioxide concentration twice that found in the air before the Industrial Revolution. (The approach is one of a series of so-called geoengineering efforts to tinker with the planet to mitigate the effects of climate change.) Depending on the size of the particles injected into the atmosphere, which would likely range between 0.7 and 0.9 micrometers in diameter, the aerosols' light-scattering effect would render the sky between three and five times brighter than it is now, the researchers report online today in Geophysical Research Letters. Most infrared wavelengths outbound from Earth wouldn't be strongly scattered by aerosols this size, so the particles wouldn't effectively trap heat in the atmosphere. But in visible wavelengths, the particles would tend to scatter more red light than blue, rendering the heavens whiter—in essence, giving the deep-blue sky now seen in remote areas such as Utah's Arches National Park (shown) the same hazy appearance often found in urban areas. Other side effects would include redder sunsets and brighter glows in the sky just after sunset—the same sort of phenomena seen after large volcanic eruptions, which spew large amounts of geological aerosols high into the atmosphere until natural processes clear the air.
See more ScienceShots.