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Diagram of ocean and atmosphere depicting the key aerosol, cloud, dynamics, and radiation processes in the marine boundary layer

This diagram depicts the key aerosol, cloud, dynamics, and radiation processes in the marine boundary layer (left) and the MCB approach using ship-based generators to produce fine sea-salt aerosol droplets (right). The droplets are lofted into clouds by updrafts, where they increase droplet concentrations, extending the reflectivity coverage and lifetime of the clouds. Credit: After Sorooshian et al. 2019.


Earth image, photos of lab facilities, field experiments and modeling diagrams

An integrated approach to a MCB research program comprising laboratory facilities, field experiments, and modeling is depicted. Earth view image is courtesy of the European 336 Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), with modifications to highlight ship tracks and model mesh. Credit: Chelsea Thompson/NOAA

March 25, 2024

As the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continue to increase and climate change impacts become more costly, the scientific community is redoubling efforts to investigate the potential risks and benefits of artificially shading Earth’s surface to slow global warming.

Marine cloud brightening (MCB) proposals involve the injection of salt spray into shallow marine clouds to brighten them, increasing their reflection of sunlight and reducing the amount of heat absorbed by the water below.

A group of 31 leading atmospheric scientists, among them PMEL atmospheric chemist Patricia Quinn, have offered a consensus physical science research roadmap to build the knowledge base needed to evaluate the viability of MCB approaches. Their roadmap is described in a new paper published in the journal Science Advances.

"Interest in MCB is growing, but policymakers currently don’t have the information they need to reach decisions about if and when MCB should be deployed,” said lead... more

PMEL in the News

April 03, 2024

Listen to episode 3 of NOAA's podcast about NOAA's conservation, preservation, and sustainability work during Earth Month and beyond. Bob Dziak of PMEL's passive acoustics research team is a podcast guest.

March 18, 2024

The world’s oceans have now experienced an entire year of unprecedented heat, with a new temperature record broken every day, new data shows.

March 14, 2024

After a twelve-month set of climate records driven by global warming it is time to take stock of how we’re impacting the planet as a species. One of the driving forces behind a record year of global warming is the now waning El Niño system. With its counterpart, La Niña, due to pick up in 2024,...