Pinatubo option
n. A proposed technique for reducing global warming by injecting reflective particles into the stratosphere to mimic the effects of a volcanic eruption.
One of the least crazy possible methods is the Pinatubo Option, in which we would somehow cloak the Earth's atmosphere in a layer of reflective particles, which would block the sun and cool the planet just enough to maintain some kind of climatic equilibrium.
—Bill Gifford, “A high-tech tool kit to fight global warming,” The Washington Post, June 13, 2010
Consider the Pinatubo Option, by which scientists would mimic the cooling effect of volcanoes. Putting particles in the stratosphere could reduce the total amount of energy that strikes the Earth.
—“Mother Earth has a fever,” PBS, April 26, 2010
2009 (earliest)
But Morgan's main topic-and the focus for the rest of the meeting-was the concept of spewing aerosol gunk into the stratosphere, known among the geoengineering intelligentsia as the "Pinatubo option."
—Eli Kintisch, “The Politics of Climate Hacking,” Slate Magazine, April 29, 2009
This phrase comes from the famous Mount Pinatubo volcano which erupted spectacularly in 1991. The resulting layer of particles in the atmosphere caused global temperatures to drop by an estimated 0.5° Celsius. The Pinatubo option is also called stratosphere doping and the layer of particles that the Pinatubo option proposes to pump into the stratosphere is called a stratoshield (or strato-shield).
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