Spritzing a sunscreen ingredient into the stratosphere could help counteract the effects of global warming, according to scientists behind an ambitious new geoengineering project.
The plan involves using high-altitude balloons to disperse millions of tons of titanium dioxide—a nontoxic chemical found in sunscreen as well as in paints, inks, and even food.
Once in the atmosphere, the particles would spread around the planet and reflect some of the sun’s rays back into space.
About three million tons of titanium dioxide—spread into a layer around a millionth of a millimeter thick—would be enough to offset the warming effects caused by a doubling of today’s atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Learn more here.