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United Kingdom: Geoengineering experiment cancelled due to perceived conflict of interest

Two scientists involved in Spice project to simulate the cooling effect of volcanoes had submitted patents for similar technology

Source:  Copyright 2012, Guardian
Date:  May 16, 2012
Byline:  Erin Hale
Original URL: Status ONLINE

A controversial geoengineering experiment to simulate the cooling effect of volcanoes has been cancelled due to concern over a perceived conflict of interest with some of the researchers.

The experiment would have injected 150 litres of water into the atmosphere from a weather balloon via a 1km pipe tethered to a ship as part of the Spice project (Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering).

Matthew Watson, a scientist at Bristol University and the principal investigator of Spice, told Nature magazine that two scientists involved in the project had not been initially forthcoming that they had submitted patents for technology similar to that used in the project before Spice was proposed.

This revelation caused some concern among the scientists involved, leading to the decision to axe the field-test, though they decided the lab-based element of the project should continue. Watson said other concerns had been raised about the lack ...

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