Geoengineering experiment cancelled amid patent row
“A field trial for a novel UK geoengineering experiment has been cancelled amid questions about a pre-existing patent application for some of the technology involved.
The Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering (SPICE) project is a collaboration among several UK universities and Cambridge-based Marshall Aerospace to investigate the possibility of spraying particles into the stratosphere to mitigate global warming. Such particles could mimic the cooling produced by large volcanic eruptions, by reflecting sunlight before it reaches Earth’s surface.
But the field-trial arm of SPICE — which would have seen around 150 litres of water pumped into the atmosphere through a 1-kilometre hosepipe attached to a balloon — has now been abandoned.
“It is with some regret that today the SPICE team has announced we’ve decided to call off the outdoor ‘1km testbed’ experiment that was scheduled for later this year,” said Matthew Watson, the principal investigator of SPICE and an Earth scientist at the University of Bristol, UK, in an e-mail statement to Nature.”