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Cirrus cloud thinning (CCT) is a proposed form of climate engineering. Cirrus clouds are high cold ice that, like other clouds, both reflect sunlight and absorb warming infrared radiation. However, they differ from other types of clouds in that, on average, infrared absorption outweighs sunlight reflection, resulting in a net warming effect on the climate. Therefore, thinning or removing these clouds would reduce their heat trapping capacity, resulting in a cooling effect on Earth's climate. This could be a potential tool to reduce anthropogenic global warming. Cirrus cloud thinning is an alternative category of climate engineering, in addition to solar radiation management and greenhouse gas removal.

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  • Cirrus cloud thinning (CCT) is a proposed form of climate engineering. Cirrus clouds are high cold ice that, like other clouds, both reflect sunlight and absorb warming infrared radiation. However, they differ from other types of clouds in that, on average, infrared absorption outweighs sunlight reflection, resulting in a net warming effect on the climate. Therefore, thinning or removing these clouds would reduce their heat trapping capacity, resulting in a cooling effect on Earth's climate. This could be a potential tool to reduce anthropogenic global warming. Cirrus cloud thinning is an alternative category of climate engineering, in addition to solar radiation management and greenhouse gas removal. In 2021 the IPCC described CCT as a proposal "to reduce the amount of cirrus clouds by injecting ice nucleating substances in the upper troposphere." However it reported low confidence in the cooling effect of CCT, due to limited understanding of cirrus microphysics, its interaction with aerosols, and the complexity of seeding strategy. CCT may also increase global precipitation. (en)
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  • Cirrus cloud thinning (CCT) is a proposed form of climate engineering. Cirrus clouds are high cold ice that, like other clouds, both reflect sunlight and absorb warming infrared radiation. However, they differ from other types of clouds in that, on average, infrared absorption outweighs sunlight reflection, resulting in a net warming effect on the climate. Therefore, thinning or removing these clouds would reduce their heat trapping capacity, resulting in a cooling effect on Earth's climate. This could be a potential tool to reduce anthropogenic global warming. Cirrus cloud thinning is an alternative category of climate engineering, in addition to solar radiation management and greenhouse gas removal. (en)
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  • Cirrus cloud thinning (en)
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