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Planet Care

243: SilverLining

Problem:

Global warming is accelerating towards the point of no return.

Solution:

Injecting sunlight-reflecting aerosols, how to shoot the right size particles into clouds to make them brighter, and the effect on the world’s food supply.


On Wednesday October 28th 2020, a nonprofit organization called SilverLining, founded by technologist and entrepreneur Kelly Wanser, announced $3 million in research grants to Cornell University, the University of Washington, Rutgers University, the National Center for Atmospheric Research and others.

Prior to founding SilverLining, Kelly Wanser co-founded – and currently serves as Senior Advisor to – the University of Washington Marine Cloud Brightening Project, an effort to research and understand one possible form of climate intervention: the cooling effects of particles on clouds.

One challenge is to build spray nozzles between 30 and 100 nanometers that consistently produce the right size particles, and finding ways to prevent them from sticking together. A research that may take from 12 to 18 months.

Wanser previously served as a strategic advisor to national environmental and energy groups, assisting with ocean policy for Ocean Conservancy and developing industry strategy for fusion energy for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. She previously founded companies in the IT infrastructure, analytics, and security fields, and has authored more than 20 patents.

The grant from SilverLining will pay for the center to run and analyze hundreds of simulations of aerosol injection, testing the effects on weather extremes around the world. One goal of the research is to look for a sweet spot — the amount of artificial cooling that can reduce extreme weather events, without causing broader changes in regional precipitation patterns or similar impacts.

Discover Solution 244: Ocean Clean-up machine

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