Fact Check: NASA Did NOT Say It Plans To Inject Millions Of Tons Of Ice Into Atmosphere

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: NASA Did NOT Say It Plans To Inject Millions Of Tons Of Ice Into Atmosphere Study-Not Plan

Did NASA announce it is planning to inject millions of tons of ice into the atmosphere? No, that's not true: NASA has no plans to carry out such a large-scale intervention in the atmosphere. This claim is a misinterpretation of a proposed geoengineering concept, which suggests using ice particles to reflect sunlight and potentially moderate the effects of climate change.

The claim appeared in a post and video (archived here) on Instagram by plantbasedomnivore on March 5, 2024, under the on-screen title "Nasa plans to inject Earth's atmosphere with millions of tons ice to tackle climate change." The post's caption said:

I do not consent to any of this. The sun is life and we are carbon based beings. Full stop.
Because it's 2024, I have to start adding these disclaimers ⬇️

⚠️ Disclaimer for the fact checkers: The content of this post is presented under the umbrella of individual perspective and opinion, or sattire and is not intended to be a factual statement, guidance, or advice.

⚠️ Disclaimer for copyright: Under section 107 of the Copyright acr of 1976: This content is shared under the 'fair use' provision for the purposes of criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education, and research.

This is what the post looked like on Instagram at the time of writing:


(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Fri Mar 8 16:46:55 2024 UTC)

The video

The narrator in the 53-second video begins with NASA's purported plan. She says:

Have you guys heard the latest from NASA? They're now moving forward with plans to inject over two tons of ice into our upper atmosphere every single week to geoengineer our atmosphere, reduce carbon and combat climate change. We don't know what else will be inside of this ice. We don't know the long term effects of doing all this. We don't know how it's going to affect humans.

We don't know how it's going to affect plant life and vegetation, or little animals and insects like the bees. And we're not allowed to ask any questions about it ... Do you consent to a small group of people messing around with our upper atmosphere, whatever they do up there is going to affect us and fall down on us down here. Do you guys consent to this?

The article and study

The headline in the background of the video, "Nasa plans to inject Earth's atmosphere with millions of tons ice to tackle climate change," comes from a story on The News International website (archived here).

In a March 7, 2024, email, Theo Stein, a public affairs officer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), told Lead Stories that the article misrepresents a study (archived here) published by NOAA researchers that didn't include NASA's involvement or endorsement. Stein said:

[The] theoretical study ... considered a novel strategy that might help cool the planet by reducing water vapor in the stratosphere.

Several false characterizations of that study have appeared on the internet.

The paper described a conceptual study that explored how injecting ice nuclei into the stratosphere might affect climate.

There is no plan to implement the idea.

NASA was not involved in any way in conceiving the idea, preparing the manuscript, or endorsing any portion of the work.

Elizabeth Vlock, a public affairs officer for NASA, called the claim "an unfortunate mischaracterization of a study done by another agency. As this was a study, NASA is not planning to inject ice into the stratosphere."

Additional details about the study are available on the NOAA website (archived here).

Chemtrails conspiracy

The alleged plan by NASA ties into a long-running conspiracy theory about the government spraying toxic chemicals into the air as part of a program to depopulate the world. These chemicals are said to be seen in the contrails left in the sky by jet engines or rockets; hence the name "chemtrails."

Read more

Lead Stories has done dozens of fact checks debunking similar claims (archived here), and has reported that there is no evidence that chemtrails exist (archived here).

Other Lead Stories fact checks of claims related to NASA can be found here.

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  Ed Payne

Ed Payne is a staff writer at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.” 

Read more about or contact Ed Payne

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