Pushing Geoengineering Out of the Closet

geoengineering-options-diagram-source-east-anglia-universityWhen Time Magazine included geoengineering in its “What’s Next for 2008” report it wrote that, “a few scientists are beginning to quietly raise the possibility of cooling the planet’s fever directly…as an option of last resort.” Today scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) are definitively smashing the hush surrounding geoengineering, publishing the first comprehensive assessment of the climate cooling potential of the various schemes being contemplated to re-engineer Earth.

“The realisation that existing efforts to mitigate the effects of human-induced climate change are proving wholly ineffectual has fuelled a resurgence of interest in geo-engineering,” explains UEA Environmental Sciences professor Tim Lenton, who wrote the report with UEA colleague Naomi Vaughan. Their report in today’s issue of the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions shows that the benefits of some schemes have been exaggerated in the past by “significant” errors in calculations, but the best will likely play a constributing role in blunting climate change:

“We found that some geoengineering options could usefully complement mitigation, and together they could cool the climate, but geoengineering alone cannot solve the climate problem.”

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