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Fit cloud seeding devices to all commercial aircraft and use them to reduce direct sunlight on a global scale


Description

Summary

Air transport is responsible for about 3% of global greenhouse gases but appears not to pay for the resulting damage.

Various cloud seeding projects have been suggested but they are currently under funded and controversial.

However, there are circa. 100,000 flights each day globally....

....by utilising the existing commercial aircraft platforms retrofitted with aerosol devices capable of dispensing silver iodine (or equivalent) it would be possible to rapidly upscale deployment of a sun blocking mechanism that could be fine tuned to climate and local weather needs, introduced in a controlled way and managed with a suitable feedback mechanism and dispersal point instructions.


Category of the action

Geoengineering


What actions do you propose?

Validate the concept for efficacy and commercial impact

Build a specification for the required monitoring and control software

Build and cost an outline specification for the required hardware 

Generate alternative solutions for governance and operational control

Develop suitable enforcement mechanisms - how would it be policed

Review other (non-warming) environmental impact of dumping cloud seeding chemicals into the atmosphere

Review availability of appropriate cloud seeding chemicals (and the carbon footprint to manufacture and distribute them)

Introduce a white paper at the next climate change session


Who will take these actions?

Joint collaboration between CAA, NGO's with an interest and multiple universities or other research institutes. NASA or UK Met Office for monitoring purposes and real time feedback and one of the tech giants to help with the control software (I.e. when each aircraft should disperse during its flight)


Where will these actions be taken?

Ultimately globally clearly, initially I'm guessing the UK or US because of the climate and weather modelling capabilities


What are other key benefits?

Likely to have a small upward impact on the cost of air travel - not a bad thing if that drives down usage


What are the proposal’s costs?

Ball park figure to fund the initial phase of study and planning activity and to develop a white paper c. £10m (step one - validate the concept should be possible for £50-100k, it might be possible for nothing if the idea has some form of inherent flaw that someone can spot with little to no study required)


Time line

Study activity and spending the initial funds - 3 years

Roll out then ongoing with an aircraft retrofit and dispenser and materials ramp up over 10 years


Related proposals


References

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/es9039693

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/13_vOQSBKbJ3IX3U641nLMFUy9TxrnyHD__lCKc5zDR8/edit#gid=2

https://aviationbenefits.org/environmental-efficiency/our-climate-plan/aviation-and-climate-change

https://garfors.com/100000-flights-day-html