Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption in the Philippines in 1991 led to the Earth cooling slightly for two years. Now British scientists are preparing to trial a potential solution to global warming that mimics the effect. This geo-engineering involves using an ordinary hosepipe and a football stadium-sized helium balloon, tethered to a ship, to shoot particles into the atmosphere—like an erupting volcano—and cool down Earth.
What’s the Big Idea?
A prototype balloon has been built and will be hoisted into the air next month from a disused airfield in Norfolk. The idea is that millions of tiny chemical particles will act as a mirror and reflect the Sun’s rays to stop the planet heating up. Scientists at Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol and Edinburgh Universities say that just ten balloons could achieve a drop in global temperature in two years.