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Atmospheric Sciences & Global Change
Newsmakers

February 2015

Rasch Quoted in Tri-City Herald on Cooling Planet Ideas

Dr. Philip Rasch, atmospheric scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, was quoted in the February 10, 2015 issue of Tri-City Herald on the hot topic - cooling the planet. The article, "Fed Report with PNNL Input: Time to examine purposely cooling planet idea," discuses one idea in particular: to purposely intervene in the planet's climate as a last ditch effort to counter global warming effects.

Using such an artificial shield over the Earth, similar to a cloud, but made of small particles, could be a relatively cheap, effective and quick way to cool the planet by mimicking the natural effects on climate of large volcanic eruptions. But scientists concede there could be dramatic and potentially dangerous side effects that they don't know about.

Rasch, a panelist for the first-of-its-kind National Academy of Sciences discussion on these ideas, was quoted in the article to say that the strategy may be useful to society in the future. "There are many issues associated with climate intervention that are currently poorly understood, and research would help. I'd rather know more than less if we ever need to decide whether to try it," said Rasch.

According to Rasch, the research could also advance knowledge of the way climate processes work, creating a better understanding of the basic physics and chemistry that affect Earth. The government-associated panel said that research in the field would benefit from some kind of governance or other oversight before it is done.


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