A seemingly innovative experiment to spray sea salt into clouds to fight global warming has been underway in Alameda, but the city just hit the brakes on it, saying they were not informed of it and don’t appreciate being used as guinea pigs.

At first glance, it sounds like a neat idea. Researchers from the University of Washington Marine Cloud Brightening Research Program are doing some experiments onboard the decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Hornet in Alameda that they call “small-scale atmospheric sea salt process studies.” Or in plain English, they’re spraying sea salt particles into the air, which they think will make the clouds brighter, which could then in turn ricochet sunlight rays back into space, and ultimately lower temperatures. It’s a climate change experiment with nice-sounding intentions of lowering surface temperatures on the planet.

But according to KPIX, the City of Alameda feels the University of Washington researchers were not exactly forthcoming about their intentions. Antioch Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft told that station that she was merely told that personnel on the USS Hornet "will be doing climate change science (misting down the length of our Flight Deck to study "cloud" patterns)."  She and other Alamada officials were rather alarmed that they’re not just misting down flight decks, they’re releasing particles into the atmosphere.

And so the City of Alameda announced they're demanding a temporary halt to the experiment, a request which the researchers honored.

“The City of Alameda was made aware of a University of Washington cloud brightening experiment that was taking place without the City’s knowledge on the deck of the U.S.S. Hornet involving spraying sea salt water with a machine resembling a snow maker,” the City of Alameda posted to Facebook. “Upon learning of the spraying experiment, the City instructed the U.S.S. Hornet and the University of Washington to halt the experiment on the grounds that it was in violation of the City’s lease with the U.S.S. Hornet. The U.S.S. Hornet and the University of Washington have confirmed that they have stopped spraying in compliance with the City’s instruction.”

The city added that “staff are working with a team of biological and hazardous materials consultants to independently evaluate the health and environmental safety of this particular experiment. In particular, the City is evaluating the chemical compounds in the spray to determine if they are a hazard either inhaled in aerosol form by humans and animals."

For their part, University of Washington Marine Cloud Brightening Research Program officials said that the salt particles emitted “operate well below established thresholds for environmental or human health impact for emissions,” but that “we appreciate the care taken by the City of Alameda on this effort and support their approach fully.”

So the City of Alameda is conducting their own findings on what’s been going on, and what may have been released into public breathing air. Those findings will be shared at a June 4 Alameda City Council meeting. But until then, the whole experiment remains on hold.

Related: Study: Climate Change Likely to Mean San Francisco's Population Will Grow as Other Cities Falter [SFNews]

Image: AT SEA - JANUARY 18: Flight deck personnel including firefighters (C) work near an F/A-18E Super Hornet fighter aircraft, aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) aircraft carrier while at sea, on January 18, 2020 off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. The USS Nimitz is currently conducting routine operations and training at sea. The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier holds a flight deck area of 4.5 acres and can hold 65 aircraft along with nearly 5,000 total personnel. It is the oldest U.S. Navy carrier in active service and was commissioned on May 3, 1975. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)