As a range of climate change mitigation scenarios are discussed, Univ. of Washington researchers have found that the injection of sulfate particles into the atmosphere to reflect sunlight and curb the effects of global warming could pose a severe threat if not maintained indefinitely and supported by strict reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The new study, published Feb. 18, 2014, in IOP Publishing’s journal Environmental Research Letters, has highlighted the risks of large and spatially expansive temperature increases if solar radiation management (SRM) is abruptly stopped once it has been implemented.
SRM is a proposed method of geoengineering whereby tiny sulfate-based aerosols are released into the upper atmosphere to reflect sunlight and cool the planet. The technique has been shown to be economically and technically feasible; however, its efficacy depends on its continued maintenance, without interruption from technical faults, global cooperation breakdown or funding running dry.
According to the study, global temperature increases could more than double if SRM is implemented for a multi-decadal period of time and then suddenly stopped, in relation to the temperature increases expected if SRM was not implemented at all.
The researchers used a global climate model to show that if an extreme emissions pathway—RCP8.5—is followed up until 2035, allowing temperatures to rise 1 C above the 1970–1999 mean, and then SRM is implemented for 25 years and suddenly stopped, global temperatures could increase by 4 C in the following decades.
This rate of increase, caused by the build-up of background greenhouse gas emissions, would be well beyond the bounds experienced in the last century and more than double the 2 C temperature increase that would occur in the same timeframe if SRM had not been implemented.
On a regional and seasonal scale, the temperature changes would be largest in an absolute sense in winter over high latitude land, but compared to historical fluctuations, temperature changes would be largest in the tropics in summertime, where there is usually very little variation.
Lead author of the research, Kelly McCusker, from the Univ. of Washington, said: “According to our simulations, tropical regions like South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa are hit particularly hard, the very same regions that are home to many of the world’s most food insecure populations. The potential temperature changes also pose a severe threat to biodiversity.”
The Latest on: Geoengineering
via Google News
The Latest on: Geoengineering
- We are testing geoengineering, and that is a good thingon May 24, 2020 at 6:10 am
We are starting to test some forms of it and I think that is a good thing. But many others do not, and for good reasons. I had a fascinating discussion about this topic with Thomas Ackerman, Professor ...
- Volcanic-induced global monsoon drying modulated by diverse El Niño responseson May 22, 2020 at 11:01 am
There remains large intersimulation spread in the hydrologic responses to tropical volcanic eruptions, and identifying the sources of diverse responses has important implications for assessing the ...
- Mitigation of Arctic permafrost carbon loss through stratospheric aerosol geoengineeringon May 15, 2020 at 2:30 am
Rising temperatures in the Arctic can lead to the release of vast amounts of carbon stored in permafrost soils. Here the authors show that stratospheric sulfate aerosol injection geoengineering can ...
- How Nuclear Tests During the Cold War Changed Rainfall Patterns Far Away From Test Siteson May 15, 2020 at 1:09 am
This knowledge could prove useful for geoengineering research, which is exploring how electric charge could influence rain, or even relieve droughts or prevent floods, without the use of chemicals.
- Scientists Discover How Nuclear Bomb Tests Changed Rainfall Patternson May 14, 2020 at 10:00 pm
Scientists discovered that nuclear bomb tests had changed the amount of rainfall that fell thousands of miles away from the detonation sites.
- Cold War Nuclear Bomb Tests Altered Rainfall Patterns Thousands of Miles Awayon May 13, 2020 at 9:08 am
Nuclear tests carried out during the Cold War appear to have altered patterns of rainfall thousands of miles from the detonation sites, scientists have discovered. By looking at historical records ...
- California And Trump Push Geoengineering—A Fraught Climate Crisis Fixon May 6, 2020 at 7:25 am
Geoengineering is a climate solution favored by Big Oil. That’s the case because it does not ask them to reduce emissions or their carbon footprint, but simply invest in more technology.
via Bing News