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Interview: Creating Clouds in a Lab
To Better Forecast Climate Change

At the renowned CERN research laboratory in Switzerland, scientists are conducting experiments to help solve a key riddle: the role of clouds in future climate change. Leading that study is British physicist
Jasper Kirkby
CERN
Jasper Kirkby
Jasper Kirkby, who oversees complex experiments in a large, sterile, stainless steel chamber that are designed to help resolve one of the biggest uncertainties of climate change — how clouds form and what role they play in regulating Earth’s temperature. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Kirkby talks about the role that cosmic rays — charged particles that hit the Earth from outer space — may play in cloud formation, discusses the pitfalls of geoengineering the planet by trying to mimic the formation of clouds, and explains why his experiments could help clear up uncertainties about climate change. “We’ve got to reduce that uncertainty if we’re to really sharpen our understanding for future climate projections,” says Kirkby.
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