Geoengineering could prove to be weapon to combat global warming in futureJanuary 28th, 2009 - 3:58 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Jan 28 (ANI): If scientists have their way, geoengineering could well be the future weapon to combat global warming and cool the climate.
This is the conclusion of a the first comprehensive assessment of the climate cooling potential of different geoengineering schemes carried out by researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA).
The key findings of the assessment are:
Enhancing carbon sinks could bring CO2 back to its pre-industrial level, but not before 2100 and only when combined with strong mitigation of CO2 emissions.
Stratospheric aerosol injections and sunshades in space have by far the greatest potential to cool the climate by 2050 - but also carry the greatest risk.
Surprisingly, existing activities that add phosphorous to the ocean may have greater long-term carbon sequestration potential than deliberately adding iron or nitrogen.
On land, sequestering carbon in new forests and as bio-char (charcoal added back to the soil) have greater short-term cooling potential than ocean fertilization.
Increasing the reflectivity of urban areas could reduce urban heat islands, but will have minimal global effect.
Other globally ineffective schemes include ocean pipes and stimulating biologically-driven increases in cloud reflectivity.
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, said lead author Professor Tim Lenton of UEAs School of Environmental Sciences.
This paper provides the first extensive evaluation of their relative merits in terms of their climate cooling potential and should help inform the prioritisation of future research, he added.
Geo-engineering is the large-scale engineering of the environment to combat the effects of climate change in particular to counteract the effects of increased CO2 in the atmosphere.
A number of schemes have been suggested including nutrient fertilization of the oceans, cloud seeding, sunshades in space, stratospheric aerosol injections, and ocean pipes.
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, said Professor Lenton.
Injections into the stratosphere of sulphate or other manufactured particles have the greatest potential to cool the climate back to pre-industrial temperatures by 2050. (ANI)
- Deflecting solar rays could improve food supply - Jan 23, 2012
- Man-made volcanoes may cool Earth by reflecting sunlight back into space - Aug 30, 2009
- Sea levels to rise upto 70 cm by 2100 - Aug 25, 2010
- Scientist offers better ways to engineer Earth's climate to prevent global warming - Sep 08, 2010
- Can steam emitted by ships offset global warming? - Feb 20, 2010
- Whitening clouds could fight global warming - Jun 29, 2010
- Geoengineering 'can't just slam on the brakes' on rising sea levels - Aug 24, 2010
- 'Aerosols can only temporary fix global warming' - Jul 19, 2010
- Radical methods needed to save oceans, say experts - Aug 21, 2012
- Plans to make artificial clouds to fight global warming may backfire - Jun 07, 2010
- Half of inhaled diesel soot sticks to lungs - Jun 29, 2012
- Venus could hold warning for Earth - Dec 01, 2010
- Urgently required: Climate emergency back-up plan - Nov 08, 2008
- Global sunscreen might cool Earth, but it won't save corals - Jun 17, 2009
- Cutting carbon concentrations can prevent drought - Mar 25, 2011
Tags: carbon sequestration, cloud reflectivity, co2 emissions, east anglia, effects of climate change, environmental sciences, future research, global effect, global warming, jan 28, large scale engineering, lenton, ocean fertilization, professor tim, relative merits, resurgence, stratospheric aerosol, sunshades, university of east anglia, urban heat islands