Is this the endgame for any geoengineering scenario?
A disaster fantasy raises questions about tinkering with Earth's climate. With real-life scientists exploring geoengineering, what conversations should we be having now around these technologies?
The prospect of attempting to engineer the world's climate has become a lot more real since the Paris Agreement.
Solar radiation management involves spraying tiny reflective particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect away some of the energy from the sun
Solar radiation management might be able to reduce some of the risks of global warming while countries get their emissions under control.
The Paris Agreement could provide a forum for international cooperation on risky, planet-scale engineering to cool the Earth.
It's increasingly likely that at some point, the world's nations will need to broach the fraught discussion of geoengineering. The UN climate accord was a natural forum to do it.
Will the world resort to ‘solar radiation management’ to slow the Earth’s heating?
Yes, we blunt the effects of climate change by getting off fossil fuels. But countries' most ambitious targets imply use of climate engineering schemes – and that discussion should be done in public.
Volcanoes produce large amounts of a gas that interacts with air to produce sulfate aerosols, which act as tiny mirrors in the atmosphere to reflect sunlight – and heat.
Blocking the sun by injecting tiny particles in the atmosphere – called solar geoengineering – can lower the Earth's temperature but has some real costs. Economists run the numbers.
Volcanic eruptions lead to global cooling – could we mimic them?
Beawiharta Beawiharta / Reuters
Though climate engineering has lots of problems we need to do more than simply cut emissions.
The magnificent solar flare that emerged from the sun in August 2012. Luckily, it didn’t head towards earth.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
A rare but dramatic solar storm could have a damaging effect on aircraft systems crucial for safe flight. New technology can help us avoid serious consequences.
Just mimic this a few dozen times and we’ll be right. Right?
Taro Taylor/Wikimedia Commons
Some people might argue that the greatest moral challenge of our time is serious enough to justify deliberately tampering with our climate to stave off the damaging effects of global warming. Geoengineering…