Geoengineering is the deliberate and large-scale intervention in the Earth’s climatic system with the aim of reducing global warming. Who should do it and when? Anything done has the possibility of affecting everybody so who should be consulted? Who decides such world spanning concepts? A new study investigated these concerns. The findings are the
A new modeling study by several geoengineering experts suggests that injecting aerosols into the atmosphere to block more of the sun’s energy and reduce temperatures could be most effective when done on a region-by-region basis.
The study, published in the journal Nature Climate
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 an upcoming book, high-profile global warming skeptic Bjorn Lomborg acknowledges that rising temperatures are “undoubtedly one of the chief concerns facing the world today” and calls for investing $100 billion annually to deal with climate change. Lomborg, who has attacked environmentalists and the media for exaggerating the threat of global
The Asilomar conference on geoengineering had been touted as a potentially historic event. What emerged, however, were some unexpected lessons about the possibilities and pitfalls of manipulating the Earth’s climate to offset global warming.
In the beginning, I had my doubts. The Asilomar International Conference on Climate Intervention Technologies, held last week at the Asilomar conference grounds near Monterey, Calif., was touted as an “unprecedented” gathering of 175 scientists, environmental groups, philosophers, and public policy wonks to discuss the governance of geoengineering — that is, large-scale, intentional manipulation of the Earth’s climate to offset rising temperatures.
The meeting was obviously set up to channel the spirit of the first Asilomar conference in 1975, during which biologists drew up voluntary guidelines to help reassure the public that genetically modified organisms would not be released into the world. Asilomar 1.0 is remembered as a landmark event in the evolution of scientific ethics and a turning point in the public acceptance of biotechnology.
Asilomar 2.0 seemed to pale in comparison. For one thing, geoengineering may be a scary idea, but the dangers were nowhere near as immediate as the unintentional release of genetically modified organisms.
When the founder of the Whole Earth Catalog embraces nuclear power, genetically engineered crops, and geoengineering schemes to cool the planet, you know things have changed in the environmental movement. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Stewart Brand explains how the passage of four decades — and the advent of global warming — have shifted his thinking about what it means to be green.
Stewart Brand helped shape the environmental consciousness of the 1960s and ‘70s with his Whole Earth Catalog, which became a bible of the counterculture and the back-to-the-land movement. An eclectic compendium of information and “tools” for innovative, environmentally friendly living, the Whole Earth Catalog reflected Brand’s ecological and technological interests, foreshadowing the rise of the San Francisco Bay Area’s computer and green cultures.
As the world weighs how to deal with warming, the idea of human manipulation of climate systems is gaining attention. Yet beyond the environmental and technical questions looms a more practical issue: How could governments really commit to supervising geoengineering schemes for centuries?
In the summer of 2006, geoengineering — the radical proposal to offset one human intervention into planetary systems with another — came roaring out of the scientific closet. Deliberate climate modification, as climate scientist Wally Broecker once noted, had long been “one of the few subjects considered taboo in the realm of scientific inquiry.”
Dr. Ken Caldeira, of the Carnegie Institution of Washington provided a balanced look at the potential benefits and also the costs and possible harm that geoengineering techniques could offer in our quest to find a “Magic Bullet” to counter global warming.
Can global warming be mitigated by a technological fix such as injecting light-blocking particles into the atmosphere or chemically “scrubbing” excess greenhouse gases from the atmosphere? Department of Global Ecology scientist Ken Caldeira addressed this question in his testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology in a hearing titled “Geoengineering: Assessing the Implications of Large-Scale Climate Intervention” on November 5, 2009.
Interfering with the Earth’s climate system to counteract global warming is a controversial concept. But in an interview with Yale Environment 360, climate scientist Ken Caldeira talks about why he believes the world needs to better understand which geoengineering schemes might work and which are fantasy — or worse.
Atmospheric scientist Ken Caldeira first became known for his groundbreaking work on ocean acidification, a phrase originally coined as a headline for one of his papers. Of late, however, Caldeira’s research has led him into the controversial area of geoengineering — the large-scale, deliberate manipulation of the Earth’s climate system.
Many scientists have shied away from the subject because they feel it is a wrongheaded and dangerous path to pursue. But Caldeira — who heads a research lab at the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University — has not been so dismissive, in part because his climate modeling has demonstrated that some geoengineering schemes may indeed help reduce the risk of climate change. In fact, few scientists have thought harder about the moral, political, and environmental implications of geoengineering.