The Project

Marine Cloud Brightening (MCB) is well understood scientifically but is under-invested. Our project seeks partner funding of US$ 5 million to advance critical scientific knowledge, primarily to generate the extremely small uniform particles of salt aerosol required for MCB.

  • Funding will enable proof of concept, modeling and discussion on how MCB technology can cool the planet.
  • This is the first stage of a plan leading to deployment.

Diagram from Diamond et al, PNAS 2022 Vol. 119 No. 4 – To assess marine cloud brightening’s technical feasibility, we need to know what to study—and when to stop

Our project funding request solely addresses the initial MCB generation step in the above diagram, as a precursor to testing of delivery and assessment of the other field impacts depicted.

Once feasibility of sub-micron spray generation is proved, together with support from modelling and agreement on governance, a new funding proposal will be prepared for a delivery strategy beginning with field tests.

Evidence of physical and political feasibility of MCB must be well advanced before we can propose any deployment action.  Our funding request is therefore limited to actions that will help to prove and enable MCB feasibility. 

MCB Path to Market

Successful proof of aerosol production will enable field tests in suitable ocean locations, based on islands or coastal areas. These tests  will be conducted in accordance with broadly accepted principles of governance, monitoring and safety.  Establishing a governance framework for the tests to obtain official permission is a major requirement. The tests will measure, report and verify the cooling effects of MCB to assess its potential cooling return on investment, to validate model predictions, to assess environmental impacts and guide deployment strategy. 

Proof of effectiveness in field trials will enable progress toward regional and potentially global deployment of MCB. We will design, test and construct a fleet of MCB vessels to mitigate the effects of climate change and cool the planet. Dr Salter has already conducted extensive research on optimal deployment methods. Expected valuable social and commercial outcomes include less extreme weather, less extinction, refrozen poles and lower risk of systemic disruptions. 

Our Edinburgh Premises

Dr Salter has designed the methods to build and test submicron spray nozzles.  He has also designed purpose-built oceangoing vessels to deploy MCB.

Dr Salter has provided physical space and equipment through his recent purchase of a 3000m2 climate engineering workshop in Edinburgh, where the project technology research will be conducted.

We will bring strong assets and capabilities through the range of skills and contacts of our project team. We also have access to extensive expert networks required to recruit professional staff for the project, subject to funding support.

Proposed Funding Stages

  1. Initial proposed funded activities, estimated to require $0.5 million, will include recruitment of project staff, design of computer modelling, analysis of droplet production methods, design of a spray testing tunnel, design of spray nozzle technology and reporting of progress to funders and stakeholders. The technology work is already well advanced through the two decades of research conducted by Dr Stephen Salter and colleagues. 
  2. The second stage, with estimated funding need of $2 million, will construct spray nozzles and a spray testing tunnel, conduct computer modelling and consult stakeholders. 
  3. The third stage, costed at $2.5 million, will test a range of nozzle designs in the spray tunnel, conduct further modelling, write one or more peer reviewed journal articles, hold a project conference, hold consultations, and if these activities are successful, design a field test strategy.