NZ Herald: Aerosol particles may cool, not warm the Earth

Eloise Gibson of the NZ Herald reports, in the 3rd of a 4-part series, about the remaining gaps in scientists’ knowledge of aerosol particles.

Originating from many sources including cars and smoke-stacks, scientists remain unclear as to which aerosols are in the atmosphere, how much of them there are, and of their true effect.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“If efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions fail, answers about the exact role of aerosols may determine whether some of the seemingly far-out suggestions for staving off global warming could work.

“Scientists have suggested pumping sea water into the atmosphere from ships to reflect sunlight off the sea salt particles, while others suggest sending aircraft to drop sulphuric acid into the stratosphere, where it would form cooling sulphate aerosols.

“Dr Harvey said there were worries that the latter could harm the ozone layer and undo efforts to heal the Antarctic ozone hole.”