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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12983795Whiter clouds reflect more solar energy back into space, cooling the Earth.
But a study presented at the European Geosciences Union meeting found that using water droplets of the wrong size would lead to warming, not cooling.
One of the theory's scientific fathers said it should be possible to make sure droplets were the correct size.
Cloud whitening was originally proposed back in 1990 by John Latham, now of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, US.
It has since been developed by a number of other researchers including University of Edinburgh wave energy pioneer Stephen Salter, joining a number of other "geoengineering" techniques that would attempt either to reduce solar radiation reaching earth or absorb carbon dioxide from the air.
One version envisages specially designed ships, powered by wind, operating in areas of the ocean where reflective stratocumulus clouds are scarce.
The ships would continually spray fine jets of seawater droplets into the sky, where tiny salt crystals would act as nuclei around which water vapour would condense, producing clouds or thickening them where they already exist.
It has not yet been trialled in practice, although proponents say it ought to be.