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Earth System Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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Earth Syst. Dynam., 8, 1-54, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-8-1-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Review article
13 Jan 2017
Climate engineering by mimicking natural dust climate control: the iron salt aerosol method
Franz Dietrich Oeste1, Renaud de Richter2, Tingzhen Ming3, and Sylvain Caillol2 1gM-Ingenieurbüro, Tannenweg 2, 35274 Kirchhain, Germany
2Institut Charles Gerhardt Montpellier – UMR5253 CNRS-UM2 – ENSCM-UM1 – Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Montpellier, 8 rue de l'Ecole Normale, 34296 Montpellier CEDEX 5, France
3School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Wuhan University of Technology, No. 122, Luoshi Road, Hongshan District, Wuhan, 430070, China
Abstract. Power stations, ships and air traffic are among the most potent greenhouse gas emitters and are primarily responsible for global warming. Iron salt aerosols (ISAs), composed partly of iron and chloride, exert a cooling effect on climate in several ways. This article aims firstly to examine all direct and indirect natural climate cooling mechanisms driven by ISA tropospheric aerosol particles, showing their cooperation and interaction within the different environmental compartments. Secondly, it looks at a proposal to enhance the cooling effects of ISA in order to reach the optimistic target of the Paris climate agreement to limit the global temperature increase between 1.5 and 2 °C.

Mineral dust played an important role during the glacial periods; by using mineral dust as a natural analogue tool and by mimicking the same method used in nature, the proposed ISA method might be able to reduce and stop climate warming. The first estimations made in this article show that by doubling the current natural iron emissions by ISA into the troposphere, i.e., by about 0.3 Tg Fe yr−1, artificial ISA would enable the prevention or even reversal of global warming. The ISA method proposed integrates technical and economically feasible tools.


Citation: Oeste, F. D., de Richter, R., Ming, T., and Caillol, S.: Climate engineering by mimicking natural dust climate control: the iron salt aerosol method, Earth Syst. Dynam., 8, 1-54, https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-8-1-2017, 2017.
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