Drying Up the StratospherePhoto: Max Dollner, University of Vienna

NASA proposes a brilliant plan to dry up the stratosphere by injecting millions of tons of ice into the atmosphere and fight global warming.

NASA and NOAA scientists are exploring new ways to tackle climate change. A new idea, “Intentional Stratospheric Dehydration” or ISD, involves removing water vapor from the atmosphere.

In a recent study published in Science Advances, researchers suggest dispersing tiny ice nuclei into high-altitude, super-saturated regions of the atmosphere. This would encourage the formation of ice crystals, leading to the removal of excess water vapor.

Lead author Joshua Schwarz explains that while carbon dioxide is the main driver of climate change, water vapor is the most abundant greenhouse gas. The proposed method targets a specific area known as the Western Pacific Cold Point, roughly the size of Australia, where conditions are suitable for this process.

“The tropopause over the tropical western Pacific, at the WCP in particular, is known to be the decisive gateway for determining the amount of water vapor that is carried into the stratosphere.”

“Pure water vapor doesn’t readily form ice crystals. It helps to have a seed, a dust particle for example, for ice to form around,” explained Schwarz.

source NOAA