Panel Urges Research Into Climate Geoengineering Options

A bipartisan panel of scientists, former government officials, and energy experts is urging the U.S. government to explore the potential benefits, costs, and risks of geoengineering schemes to slow global warming.

In a new report, the 18-member panel convened by the Washington, D.C.-based Bipartisan Policy Center concedes that the use of technology to slow or reverse global warming — such as scattering light-reflecting aerosols into the atmosphere or seeding the oceans with iron to trigger CO2-absorbing algae blooms — is “no substitute” for cutting carbon dioxide emissions. But with the failure of the U.S. and the international community to take meaningful measures to reduce CO2 emissions, the panel recommends that the U.S. government should begin researching and testing alternatives in case the Earth’s climate system reaches a “tipping point” and immediate remedial action is required.

“The federal government is the only entity that has the incentive, responsibility, and capacity to run a broad, systematic, and effective program,” the report says. “It can also play an important role in effectively establishing international research norms.”

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

photo: NASA

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