The deliberate, large-scale intervention in the Earth’s climate system is not a “quick fix” for global warming, according to the findings of the UK’s first publicly funded studies on geoengineering.
The results of three projects – IAGP, led by the University of Leeds; SPICE, led by the University of Bristol; and CGG, led by the University of Oxford – are announced at an event held at The Royal Society, London, on 26 November 2014.
Professor Piers Forster, Professor of Physical Climate Change at the University of Leeds, and the principal investigator of the Integrated Assessment of Geoengineering Proposals (IAGP) project, said: “Our research shows that the devil is in the detail. Geoengineering will be much more expensive and challenging than previous estimates suggest and any benefits would be limited.
“For example, when simulating the spraying of sea salt particles into clouds to try to brighten them, we found that only a few clouds were susceptible and that the particles would tend to coagulate and fall out before reaching the cloud base.”
In September 2009, The Royal Society published a report, Geoengineering the climate: science, governance and uncertainty. It influenced research worldwide, identified important gaps and called for a major UK funding programme into geoengineering. The IAGP and SPICE projects were funded the next year, and the CGG project followed in 2012.
IAGP is the UK’s first interdisciplinary research study into the controversial issue of geoengineering. It has brought together a range of expertise – climate modelling, philosophy and engineering – in addition to understanding public perceptions, to assess geoengineering within wider societal values.
“Cleverly designed simulations create less necessity for real-world testing.. My favourite part of the research involved creating a virtual reality in which we tried to rescue Arctic sea ice by dumping sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere from Stratotanker aircraft flying out of Svalbard in Norway,” said Professor Forster.
“Issues around monitoring and predicting the effects of our actions led to huge indecision and highlighted how challenging it would be to ever try and deploy these techniques in the real world.”
Researchers working on the Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering (SPICE) project took a different tack, but came to a similar cautionary conclusion.
Rather than running simulations, SPICE researchers used volcanoes as models to mimic the effect of a solar geoengineering proposal, in which sulphate aerosols are pumped into the atmosphere to reflect more sunlight back into space. This is a process that also naturally occurs due to particles emitted from volcanic eruptions.
Dr Matthew Watson, a reader in natural hazards from the University of Bristol, and principal investigator for the SPICE project, said: “Whilst it is clear that temperatures could be reduced during deployment, the potential for misstep is considerable. By identifying risks, we hope to contribute to the evidence base around geoengineering that will determine whether deployment, in the face of the threat of climate change, has the capacity to do more good than harm.”
The Latest on: Geoengineering
via Google News
The Latest on: Geoengineering
- A Cloud Seeding Experiment Dropped Snow On Nearly 1,000 Square Miles of Idahoon February 27, 2020 at 1:14 pm
Geoengineering is a frightening thing. In short, it’s human intervention into the weather. It has enormous consequences, though, and those consequences could be exponentially bad. If things go right, ...
- Even if geoengineering can help mitigate climate change, is it ethical?on February 27, 2020 at 11:11 am
But radical reductions aren't in place right now, which is why some scientists and policymakers are considering a controversial option: geoengineering, or the deliberate manipulation of the ...
- Like capitalism’s previous calamities, climate change hits the poorest worston February 26, 2020 at 11:39 am
new ways of taking over land and eco-systems and developing geoengineering capabilities.” Either capitalists don’t recognize reality or, more likely, have turned a blind eye—covetous one. Climate ...
- Europe mulls stripping carbon from the skieson February 24, 2020 at 1:03 pm
Some of those ideas are grouped under the label geoengineering, something that's long been anathema because of fears that overt tinkering with the planet could lead to catastrophe. The topic is on the ...
- The Governance of Solar Geoengineeringon February 24, 2020 at 4:45 am
One set of proposals receiving increasing attention among scientists and policymakers is 'solar geoengineering', (also known as solar radiation modification) which would reflect a small portion of ...
- Will rogue nations alter the atmosphere? Experts are lookingon February 21, 2020 at 3:32 am
A global debate over manipulating the atmosphere to reflect sunlight away from Earth is poised to accelerate when researchers release a report warning world leaders to become more familiar with the ...
- 'Tangled ball of issues': Why geoengineering our climate raises serious ethical, scientific challengeson February 13, 2020 at 1:04 am
As global carbon emissions continue to rise despite warnings from the scientific community, there's been increased interest in a controversial method to potentially mitigate the rise in Earth's ...
- Ask the Weather Guys: What is geoengineering?on February 10, 2020 at 11:44 am
Current discussions of geoengineering focus on two broad categories to reduce global warming. The first general idea is to cool the planet by reducing the amount of solar energy it absorbs.
- Ask the Weather Guys: What is geoengineering?on February 10, 2020 at 3:30 am
Current discussions of geoengineering focus on two broad categories to reduce global warming. The first general idea is to cool the planet by reducing the amount of solar energy it absorbs. This could ...
- Could geoengineering strategies help tackle climate change?on January 30, 2020 at 6:21 am
A range of technologies — loosely defined as 'geoengineering' — are being explored as responses to climate change. Yet their effectiveness, and whether they should be implemented at all ...
via Bing News