Plan to ‘stop global warming’ by sprinkling table salt into the sky

Rob Waugh

Climate change (Rex)

It sounds like a wacky idea out of science fiction – but a climate scientist has suggested that planes could sprinkle salt into the sky to slow down global warming.

The idea, mooted at a conference this week by Robert Nelson, a senior researcher at the US Planetary Science Institute, is based on the idea that the salt would reflect more of the sun’s rays back into space.

The idea of ‘solar geoengineering’ or solar radiation management (SRM) is controversial, mimicking the world-chilling effects of huge volcanic eruptions.

Some scientists have suggested that such technology could be used a ‘stop gap’ to reduce temperatures while measures to limit CO2 emissions are put in place.

But others have suggested that when the SRM was withdrawn, it could lead to rapid global warming in a phenomenon known as ‘termination shock’.


Nelson says that sodium chloride – or table salt – is safe, readily available, and would not have negative effects on the weather.

Nelson said, ‘’We note the serious concerns regarding potential unintended consequences associated with geo-engineering concepts.

‘While the results of our research are very promising, we are at the beginning of the research and additional work needed to understand the extent to which its hypothesized effect in the atmosphere can actually be realised.’

‘Even if successful, this would be a palliative, not a final solution.’