Big Balloon to Cool Earth

British scientists hope to use a huge balloon and hosepipe to shoot particles into the atmosphere–like an erupting volcano–and cool down Earth. A prototype is ready to try.

What's the Latest Development?


Mt. Pinatubo's eruption in the Philippines in 1991 led to the Earth cooling slightly for two years. Now British scientists are preparing to trial a potential solution to global warming that mimics the effect. This geo-engineering involves using an ordinary hosepipe and a football stadium-sized helium balloon, tethered to a ship, to shoot particles into the atmosphere—like an erupting volcano—and cool down Earth.

What's the Big Idea?

A prototype balloon has been built and will be hoisted into the air next month from a disused airfield in Norfolk. The idea is that millions of tiny chemical particles will act as a mirror and reflect the Sun’s rays to stop the planet heating up. Scientists at Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol and Edinburgh Universities say that just ten balloons could achieve a drop in global temperature in two years.

Scientists claim the Bible is written in code that predicts future events

The controversy around the Torah codes gets a new life.

Michael Drosnin
Surprising Science
  • Mathematicians claim to see a predictive pattern in the ancient Torah texts.
  • The code is revealed by a method found with special computer software.
  • Some events described by reading the code took place after the code was written.
Keep reading Show less

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
Sponsored
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less

Orangutans exhibit awareness of the past

Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club

(Eugene Sim/Shutterstock)
Surprising Science
  • Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
  • It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
  • This ability may come from a common ancestor
Keep reading Show less