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The US government should launch a federal research programme to explore whether it’s feasible — or even wise — to artificially cool Earth by altering clouds or injecting particles into the atmosphere to reflect sunlight, according to a report released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) last week. Two years in the making, the academies’ report is the most explicit call yet by an elite scientific body for a coordinated government research programme into solar geoengineering, aimed at exploring an emergency measure to blunt the climate crisis. Scientists say it comes at a politically opportune moment, with a climate-friendly US president, Joe Biden, now in office and bipartisan support for this type of research growing in Congress.