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Efficient Formation of Stratospheric Aerosol for Climate Engineering by Emission of Condensible Vapor from AircraftRecent analysis suggests that the effectiveness of stratospheric aerosol climate engineering through emission of non-condensable vapors such as SO2 is limited because the slow conversion to H2SO4 tends to produce aerosol particles that are too large; SO2 injection may be so inefficient that it is difficult to counteract the radiative forcing due to a CO2 doubling. Here we describe an alternate method in which aerosol is formed rapidly in the plume following injection of H2SO4, a condensable vapor, from an aircraft. This method gives better control of particle size and can produce larger radiative forcing with lower sulfur loadings than SO2 injection. Relative to SO2 injection, it may reduce some of the adverse effects of geoengineering such as radiative heating of the lower stratosphere. This method does not, however, alter the fact that such a geoengineered radiative forcing can, at best, only partially compensate for the climate changes produced by CO2.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Pierce, Jeffrey R.
(Dalhousie Univ. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada)
Weisenstein, Debra K.
(Atmospheric and Environmental Reserach, Inc. Lexington, MA, United States)
Heckendorn, Patricia
(Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule Zurich, Switzerland)
Peter. Thomas
(Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule Zurich, Switzerland)
Keith, David W.
(Calgary Univ. Alberta, Canada)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
September 22, 2010
Publication Information
Publication: Geophysical Research Letters
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Volume: 37
Issue: L18808
ISSN: 0094-8276
Subject Category
Meteorology And Climatology
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits

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