The Azimuth Project
Geoengineering

Contents

Introduction

Geoengineering is a name for various proposals to deliberately manipulate the Earth’s climate to counteract the effects of global warming. The National Academy of Sciences has defined geoengineering as “options that would involve large-scale engineering of our environment in order to combat or counteract the effects of changes in atmospheric chemistry”:

The 2007 IPCC report concluded that geoengineering options, such as ocean fertilization to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, remained largely unproven. It was judged that reliable cost estimates for geoengineering had not yet been published:

However, there is still considerable interest in geoengineering, because many people deem it difficult to reduce carbon emissions in time to prevent dangerous global warming.

Example proposals

There is an analysis by Tim Lenton of the University of East Anglia which concludes that only geoengineering that reflects sunlight are able to have a large enough effect over a sufficiently short time interval. (He also projects that most of these are mechanisms that need continually replenishing, and in the event of discontinuing an even more dramatic rise in temperatures could occur.)

John Baez interviewed Gregory Benford in Week 310 of This Week’s Finds, and Benford discussed a number of geoengineering ideas, including experiments and a proposal for an experiments. These are also discussed here:

This is another experiment that will be carried out:

References

During 22-26 March 2010 there was a conference at Asilomar that recommended a list of principles for geoengineering research. The conference was called the Asilomar International Conference on Climate Intervention, and its recommendations appear in this report:

Here are some of the references from this report:

Some articles that discuss potential drawbacks of geoengineering (see also the Nathan Urban’s blog comment)

category: geoengineering