University of Washington pauses climate change experiment on USS Hornet in Alameda

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Thursday, May 16, 2024 6:59PM
Alameda orders stop to climate change experiment on USS Hornet
The city of Alameda is ordering the University of Washington to stop a controversial experiment on the USS Hornet.

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) -- The University of Washington has paused an atmospheric science experiment on the USS Hornet in Alameda after the city requested to review the study.

Scientists were working on a "Marine Cloud Brightening Program" on the decommissioned aircraft carrier. It is a part of the Coastal Aerosol Research and Engagement Program, also known as CAARE.

The experiments sought to find out if saltwater particles can reflect heat back into space to possibly slow global warming.

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A statement on behalf of the university says in part, "The studies being undertaken at the CAARE facility on the USS Hornet are part of a larger research program led by scientists from the University of Washington to study how clouds respond to particles - also called aerosols - in the atmosphere and how this influences climate, including both the effects of pollution aerosols and the potential for brightening marine clouds to reduce climate warming."

According to the statement, the USS Hornet had welcomed the studies, but the city put a stop to it citing health and environmental safety concerns after hiring a consultant firm for an independent review. The university says they agreed to the pause while the review is conducted.

"We are happy to support their review and it has been a highly constructive process so far," the statement said. "We continue to appreciate our engagement with the community on the nature of this type of research study, which is not designed to impact clouds, the environment or climate."

It's unclear when or if the research will resume.

You can find out more about the study here.

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