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Solar Geoengineering Using Solid Aerosol in the Stratosphere : Volume 15, Issue 8 (21/04/2015)

By Weisenstein, D. K.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003979356
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 53
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Solar Geoengineering Using Solid Aerosol in the Stratosphere : Volume 15, Issue 8 (21/04/2015)  
Author: Weisenstein, D. K.
Volume: Vol. 15, Issue 8
Language: English
Subject: Science, Atmospheric, Chemistry
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Keith, D. W., & Weisenstein, D. K. (2015). Solar Geoengineering Using Solid Aerosol in the Stratosphere : Volume 15, Issue 8 (21/04/2015). Retrieved from

Description: School of Engineering and Applied Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA. Solid aerosol particles have long been proposed as an alternative to sulfate aerosols for solar geoengineering. Any solid aerosol introduced into the stratosphere would be subject to coagulation with itself, producing fractal aggregates, and with the natural sulfate aerosol, producing liquid-coated solids. Solid aerosols that are coated with sulfate and/or have formed aggregates may have very different scattering properties and chemical behavior than do uncoated non-aggregated monomers. We use a two-dimensional chemical transport model to capture the dynamics of interacting solid and liquid aerosols in the stratosphere. As an example, we apply the model to the possible use of alumina and diamond particles for solar geoengineering. For 240 nm radius alumina particles, for example, an injection rate of 4 Mt yr−1 produces a global-average radiative forcing of 1.3 W m−2 and minimal self-coagulation of alumina yet almost all alumina outside the tropics is coated with sulfate. For the same radiative forcing, these solid aerosols can produce less ozone loss, less stratospheric heating, and less forward scattering than do sulfate aerosols. Our results suggest that appropriately sized alumina, diamond or similar high-index particles may have less severe technology-specific risks than do sulfate aerosols. These results, particularly the ozone response, are subject to large uncertainties due the limited data on the rate constants of reactions on the dry surfaces.

Solar geoengineering using solid aerosol in the stratosphere

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