‘Cloud Ships’ that roam the seas creating clouds to reflect the sun’s rays are considered to be a possible solution to the problem of global warming. These ships contain tall funnels on board that suck sea water and spray tiny droplets of water upwards to create big white clouds. The clouds will reflect around one or two percent of the sun’s rays that would normally warm the oceans and seas. This technique is called Marine Cloud Whitening.
Droplets of salt water when sprayed into the air form nuclei around which a cloud begins to condense. The tiny salt particles within each droplet facilitate this condensation thus increasing the concentration of water droplets within each cloud, thus creating larger clouds.
The unmanned wind powered ships would be directed by satellite systems to places having the best possible conditions that will suit the technique. Such areas are mainly in the Pacific due to its vast expanse, and the areas are away from land to avoid any disruption to normal weather and rainfall patterns.
Plans are underway to deploy an estimated 2000 ships each weighing close to 300 tonnes and not using conventional sails, in some of the favorable areas in the Pacific Ocean.
The idea of using Cloud Ships is considered to be the most cost-effective solution among various other ideas being formulated and debated by scientists the world over.
An estimated 5.3 billion pounds are required for testing and deployment of the ships in the next decade.� This is said to be a fraction of the cost that developed countries are considering for cutting down on CO2 emissions, each year.
Teams of scientists have started working on the projects on Cloud ships. The idea is being tested currently, with plans for sea trials of prototype cloud ships.
The technique though should not be considered as a replacement for any long term solutions to tackle global warming like reducing carbon emissions.
Another idea is to possibly mimic the effect of major volcanic eruptions which have a global cooling effect that may last a year. A volcanic eruption releases a huge amount of gases and particles that form a hazy layer blocking the sunrays and reducing the average global temperature.