Geoengineering WON’T Stop Global Warming, Warns Study

Written by on June 8, 2014 in Climate Change, Environmental Hazards with 0 Comments
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By Ellie Zolfagharifard | Mail Online

  • This is according to a Canadian-led report that looked at 100 climate studies
  • The authors found that some approaches are more promising than others
  • These included forest management and geological storage of CO2
  • Others are less appealing, such as filling oceans with iron to absorb CO2
  • It follows a similar report in February that found schemes to deliberately manipulate the Earth’s climate could prove useless, and at worst harmful
  • This report found that geoengineering techniques would be unable to prevent surface temperatures from rising more than 2°C (3.6°F) by 2100

From aerosols that spray salt into the air, to machines that suck carbon from the atmosphere, scientists are conjuring up an increasing array of geoengineering techniques to battle climate change.

But this type of ‘climate engineering’ – which involves manipulating the natural processes after emissions have been released – will ultimately fail to help the world reach its emissions targets.


This is according to a new report authored by U.S. and Canadian researchers at six universities that argue tinkering with climate change isn't a viable long-term solution to global warming.

From aerosols iron fertilization of the sea (left) to cloud seeding and greening deserts (right),  scientists are conjuring up an increasing array of geoengineering techniques to battle climate change. But this type of ‘climate engineering’  will ultimately fail to prevent global warming, according to a new report

From aerosols iron fertilization of the sea (left) to cloud seeding and greening deserts (right), scientists are conjuring up an increasing array of geoengineering techniques to battle climate change. But this type of ‘climate engineering’ will ultimately fail to prevent global warming, according to a new report

The report looked at a range of possible climate-altering approaches and concluded there is no way around it; governments have to reduce the amount of carbon being released into the atmosphere.

‘Some climate engineering strategies look very cheap on paper,’ said Dr Jonn Axsen, lead author of the study at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada.

‘But when you consider other criteria, like ecological risk, public perceptions and the abilities of governments to control the technology, some options look very bad.’

The authors argue some approaches to climate engineering are more promising than others.

Strategies such as forest management and geological storage of carbon dioxide, for instance, may be useful if used alongside emission reduction.


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