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This is my first article published on MIT’s ClimateX, March 22, 2018:

Accidental Geoengineering with Ship Tracks and Contrails

“The emissions and the climate change that we’re causing with that is already a massive experiment on our world that we don’t really know the outcome of. So I don’t think we should start another set of experiments and go into geoengineering. I think we should get our act together and reduce our emissions.” 
U.N. Assistant Secretary-General Janos Pasztor

Imagine my lack of surprise when I read this:

“Studies have found that ships have a net cooling effect on the planet, despite belching out nearly a billion tons of carbon dioxide each year. That’s almost entirely because they also emit sulfur, which can scatter sunlight in the atmosphere and form or thicken clouds that reflect it away.”
We’re about to kill a massive, accidental experiment in reducing global warming - MIT Technology Review

Ship tracks visible on MODIS Terra Corrected Reflectance 3-6-7 band - January 30, 2013, ClimateViewer 3D at
Ship tracks visible on MODIS Terra Corrected Reflectance 3-6-7 band - January 30, 2013, ClimateViewer 3D at

Let me get this straight: 

  1. 16 Ships produce more CO2 than all the cars on the planet, but global warming is OUR fault?
  2. All that CO2 doesn't matter because ships create sulfuric acid filled clouds that blanket the ocean and cool the planet..

I really take offense to the use of the word "accidental" in all these "geoengineering" articles I read. The author of the MIT Tech Review article claims that the beneficial cooling clouds caused by the use of high sulfur content "bunker fuel" is purely a happy accident and is in no way intentional.  If that were the case then why did the Arctic Methane Emergency Group say this to world leaders in 2012?

Pulling out all the stops, whatever

There is one thing that we do know can produce an appropriate amount of cooling power: the sulphate aerosol in the troposphere, as emitted from coal-fired power stations and from ship bunker fuel.  This aerosol has offset CO2 warming by around 75% in the past century.  There should be a temporary suspension of initiatives and regulations to suppress these emissions, while they are having a significant cooling effect in the Northern Hemisphere, unless human health is at risk.


Interventions in the Earth System

2.) Try to maintain or even enhance the current cooling effect from currently emitted sulphate aerosols in the troposphere at mid to high northern latitudes.  For example the regulation to ban bunker fuel for ships should be relaxed while encouraging continued use of bunker fuel where the resulting aerosol emissions might be beneficial.  Reduction of sulphate aerosol ‘pollution’ will be unpopular with many environment groups, but the priority to cool the Arctic has to be established.

AMEG Strategic Plan 2012

This stategic plan was sent to world leaders as a way to save the planet from "runaway global warming" caused by methane eruptions. According to AMEG's literature, ice core samples show that dinosaur farts caused global warming that led to a massive increase in atmospheric methane, runaway global warming, and thus the end of the dinosaurs. This is called the Clathrate Gun Hypothesis.  AMEG has been demanding geoengineering based on this hypothesis since 2012.

The UK government responded to AMEG by basically saying "hold your horses" and things like "more study needed."  This as you can imagine infuriated AMEG.

Not to be deterred, AMEG's John Nissen has called on the G20 to create a "Manhattan Project" to save the arctic.

We suggest that the G20 should initiate an international project, with the Manhattan project’s focus and intensity, in order to determine and implement the optimum strategy for keeping the planet safe for future generations.  Committing to CO2 reductions is not enough.  An international collaboration, demonstrably in the interests of all humanity, could be a binding force for all nations to come together in peace and common purpose. John Nissen, Chair, AMEG

Now we come back to the MIT Technology Review article by James Temple.

In 2016, the UN’s International Maritime Organization announced that by 2020, international shipping vessels will have to significantly cut sulfur pollution. Specifically, ship owners must switch to fuels with no more than 0.5 percent sulfur content, down from the current 3.5 percent, or install exhaust cleaning systems that achieve the same reduction, Shell noted in a brochure for customers.

There are very good reasons to cut sulfur: it contributes to both ozone depletion and acid rain, and it can cause or exacerbate respiratory problems.

But as a 2009 paper in Environmental Science & Technology noted, limiting sulfur emissions is a double-edged sword. “Given these reductions, shipping will, relative to present-day impacts, impart a ‘double warming’ effect: one from [carbon dioxide], and one from the reduction of [sulfur dioxide],” wrote the authors. “Therefore, after some decades the net climate effect of shipping will shift from cooling to warming.” 

We’re about to kill a massive, accidental experiment in reducing global warming - MIT Technology Review

It seems that Temple's position aligns nicely with the AMEG narrative: continue to use bunker fuel to MAKE CLOUDS to cool the planet. 

Another wrinkle is that ships emit other particles that can sometimes also stimulate cloud droplets to form, including black carbon, a major component of soot. Removing the sulfur from the fuel could alter the size and quantity of these particles, which could affect clouds as well, says Lynn Russell, a professor of atmospheric science at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

These statements should make the truth about global warming abundant: Clouds matter more than greenhouse gases.

“We’re approaching dangerous thresholds of temperature increases, so an additional bump of 0.1 or 0.2 degrees is something that we as a civilization should be watching really, really closely,” says Kelly Wanser, principal director with the Marine Cloud Brightening Project.

Whether the money will be available is less clear. Certain nations have been increasing funding levels for climate research. But it’s become far more difficult to secure such grants in the United States under the Trump administration, which specifically sought to cut NASA programs that monitor clouds and airborne particles.

Here is where the rubber meets the road: everybody wants to geoengineer the planet using current cloud creation technologies while plowing ahead towards artic drilling.

The Marine Cloud Brightening Project, originally known as The Silver Lining Project, is an attempt to whiten and brighten clouds over the ocean and reflect incoming solar radiation back to space. This is called Solar Radiation Management (SRM) and is a form of Geoengineering, Climate Engineering, or Climate Intervention.



The problem is you cannot brighten a cloud if there is no cloud.

Who makes the clouds? Ships. 

How do they make the clouds? Dirty bunker (diesel) fuel. 

Why does burning bunker fuel make clouds?  Massive amounts of soot and black carbon act as Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) or cloud seeds. 

Is creating clouds intentional or accidental?  If any entity is altering fuel to keep making clouds or make "more cooling clouds" then it certainly is no longer accidental.

Ulrich Schumann, German Aerospace Center, Recent research results on the climate impact of contrail cirrus and mitigation options, ICAO Colloquium on Aviation and Climate Change 2010

It was all just pollution when ships and aviation made clouds for the past sixty years, then came climate change and geoengineering proposals.

We are in a bizarre world where you can tinker with fuel to get the kinds of clouds you want and it's "accidental geoengineering," not simply "geoengineering."

Long suggests that a high-altitude “ice haze,” created by water and other emissions from aircraft, is responsible. “I’m talking about a sub-visual contrail-generated haze of ice, which we do not classify as a cloud but gives blue sky more of a whitish tint.” Chuck Long, (ESRL CIRES) said. - Smithsonian: Airplane Contrails May Be Creating Accidental Geoengineering



In both cases of ship track and contrail-induced cirrus (CIC) the plan is to increase fuel sulfur content to facilitate injection of sulfur into the stratosphere. 

  • Albedo Enhancement by Stratospheric Sulfur Injections – A Contribution to Resolve a Policy Dilemma by Nobel prize winner Paul J. Crutzen
  • The only approach that might be feasible is to perform wide-area seeding with soot or carbonaceous aerosols (Carbon Black Dust) which would absorb solar radiation and warm cirrus layers enough to perhaps dissipate cirrus clouds (a semi-direct effect). This strategy would be similar to that proposed by Watts (1997) and Crutzen (2006) for implementation in the stratosphere. As noted by Crutzen (2006) only 1.7% of the mass of sulfur is needed to produce a similar magnitude of surface cooling [ref] [ref] 
  • “Use commuter aircraft fuels doped with aerosol generators” [ref] 
  • dissolved or suspended in their jet fuel and later burned with the fuel to create seeding aerosol, or (2) injected into the hot engine exhaust, which should vaporize the seeding material, allowing it to condense as aerosol in the jet contrail” [ref] 
  • “Options for dispersing gases from planes include the addition of sulfur to the fuel, which would release the aerosol through the exhaust system of the plane, or the attachment of a nozzle to release the sulfur from its own tank within the plane, which would be the better option.” [ref] 
  • “The particles may be seeded by dispersal from seeding aircraft; one exemplary technique may be via the jet fuel as suggested by prior work regarding the metallic particles. Once the tiny particles have been dispersed into the atmosphere, the particles may remain in suspension for up to one year.” [ref] 
  • A potential delivery mechanism for the seeding material is already in place: the airline industry. Since seeding aerosol residence times in the troposphere are relatively short, the climate might return to its normal state within months after stopping the geoengineering experiment. The main known drawback to this approach is that it would not stop ocean acidification. It does not have many of the drawbacks that stratospheric injection of sulfur species has. [ref] [ref] 
  • “Direct detection of total sulfuric acid (SA) has been achieved for the first time in the plume of a jet aircraft in flight. The measurements show the same SA signatures for the case when SA was injected directly into the exhaust jet and the case when sulfur was provided to the engine with the fuel.” [ref]
  • Here we describe an alternate method in which aerosol is formed rapidly in the plume following injection of H2SO4 (sulfuric acid), a condensable vapor, from an aircraft. [ref]
  • “Applying high FSCs [fuel sulfur content] at aviation cruise altitudes combined with ULSJ [ultra-low sulfur jet fuel, aviation biofuel] fuel at lower altitudes result in reduced aviation-induced mortality and increased negative RE compared to the baseline aviation scenario.” [ref] 
  • “Another technique examined was the use of commercial passenger aircraft flying at high altitudes to inject sulphate aerosols, emitted by aviation fuel, into the stratosphere. ” [ref] [ref] 

This SRM scheme calls for mimicing the Mount Pinatubo eruption as hypothesized by Edward Teller, Lowell Wood, Roderick Hyde, and Ken Caldeira and Lawrence Livermore National Lab.

The problem with SRM is that the Convention for Biological Diversity banned its use in 2012, although the USA did not sign the agreement.

It seems that the best way to circumvent international law and avoid public outrage is to continue to blame CO2 for climate change and chaotic weather, while ignoring the 100 year history of weather modification and the current attempts to use ship tracks and contrail cirrus to geoengineer the planet.



Contrails during day cause cooling because of reflecting of sunlight back into space. During night, they trap infrared heat causing heating. So it is a balance between the two time intervals. We would like to have more CICs (contrail-induced cirrus clouds) during day and none during night.  FAA Scientist: We Want Clouds By Day, None By Night


If the time and place of seeding is selected with care, the climate effect of cirrus thinning can be enhanced. For that, only the long-wave warming effect of cirrus clouds should be targeted, and their solar effect should be avoided. This can be achieved if seeding is limited to high-latitude winters or to nighttime seeding. [6]
Climate Change and Geoengineering: Artificially Cooling Planet Earth by Thinning Cirrus Clouds

Much like the AMEG / Bunker fuel / Ship Track geoengineering plan, the airline industry is jumping on their chance to avoid carbon taxes by creating cooling contrails through the alteration of jet fuel:

Contrails might be a punch line in the culture these days, thanks to the imaginative folks who have rechristened them “chemtrails” and embroidered them with elaborate theories involving government and corporate misdeed.

But contrails are pretty serious business for a less conspiratorial reason: scientists believe these ice clouds generated by water exhaust gases from aircraft engines could have a real impact on the climate, perhaps by cooling temperatures during the day and warming them at night.


The FAA's Aviation Climate Change Research Initiative (ACCRI), NASA, and Germany's DLR have teamed up to test a two fuel solution involving low sulfur biofuels on takeoff and high sulfur content fuels at altitude. They are currently testing these jet fuel geoengineering solutions:

  • Alternative Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise Emissions (ACCESS-I and ACCESS-II
  • NASA / DLR-Multidisciplinary Airborne eXperiments / Emission and CLimate Impact of Alternative Fuel (ND-MAX / ECLIF 2) [Photos]


Also see:



Greenwashing (a compound word modelled on "whitewash"), also called "green sheen", is a form of spin in which green PR or green marketing is deceptively used to promote the perception that an organization's products, aims or policies are environmentally friendly.

Fossil fuel controls the climate change debate. Fossil fuel is the cause of climate change and apparently if you like creating ship tracks and contrail cirrus, the solution. 

Fossil fuels says: "use dirty diesel fuel to make clouds and cool the planet"

Ship tracks: "use sulfur rich diesel bunker fuel to make clouds and cool the planet"

Aviation and Contrail-Induced Cirrus: "use sulfur doped diesel fuel to make clouds and cool the planet"

Who loses?

#CirrusCloudsMatter and we must acknowledge that altering fuel to create clouds to cool the climate is not "accidental geoengineering," it is intentional climate control BY the fossil fuel industry.


Climate Change Hypocricy 101

We must acknowledge that the same groups pushing these ship track and contrail cirrus geoengineering conspiracies are the same individuals that want to drill for artic oil and gas.

The real climate change pollution solution or contrail conundrum is this: how do we melt the poles and get to all that oil?

Wait a minute, I thought the whole point was to save the arctic, not frack it!

Even John Nissen's compatriots at AMEG came up with this proposal to frack the arctic to save us from global warming:

Then we find out that clouds are melting arctic:

“Contrails formed by aircraft can evolve into cirrus clouds indistinguishable from those formed naturally. These ‘spreading contrails’ may be causing more climate warming today than all the carbon dioxide emitted by aircraft since the start of aviation.” Boucher, O. Atmospheric science: Seeing through contrails, Nature Climate Change 1, 24–25 (2011) doi:10.1038/nclimate1078.

Oh snap!

“A single aircraft operating in conditions favorable for persistent contrail formation appears to exert a contrail-induced radiative forcing some 5000 times greater than recent estimates of the average persistent contrail radiative forcing from the entire civil aviation fleet.” Haywood, J. M., R. P. Allan, J. Bornemann, P. Forster, P. N. Francis, S. Milton, G. Rädel, A. Rap, K. P. Shine, and R. Thorpe (2009), A case study of the radiative forcing of persistent contrails evolving into contrail-induced cirrus, J. Geophys. Res., 114, D24201, doi:10.1029/2009JD012650

Well there you go. Contrail-induced cirrus clouds are trapping heat at night, melting the poles, and who wins?

The fossil fuel industry.

Of course now that you know this I will require you to place a tinfoil hat upon your newly enlightened head as you realise, nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

Be it international shipping or commercial aviation, there is a conspiracy afoot to use fossil fuel as a climate change pollution solution. Cloud creation is at the center of the arctic drilling, climate change, geoengineering, and military agendas.

Now ask yourself: is it climate change or the Climate Changers?

Find out by supporting The Environmental Modification Accountability Act

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Jim Lee speaking at the US. EPA hearing on flight pollution