Climate engineering: In from the cold

Keith says new reports will likely boost deeper look at geoengineering concepts

In a question-and-answer session, Keith spoke about what impact the new reports may have on the policy and science of geoengineering. Eliza Grinnell/SEAS Communications
February 20, 2015 | Editor’s Pick Popular

By Paul Karoff, SEAS Communications

When the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released a pair of reports this month on geoengineering, which involves deliberately intervening in the climate system to counter global warming, discussion of the controversial topic moved into the mainstream science community. The reports concluded that geoengineering is no silver bullet, and that further research is needed.

David Keith, Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School, has been a leading voice for assessing the risks and implications of large-scale deployment of geoengineering to help cool the planet. Keith’s 2013 book, “A Case for Climate Engineering,” lays out how geoengineering might fit into a larger program for managing climate change (complementing steps to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and devise adaptation strategies).

He recently detailed a potential small-scale solar radiation management experiment in which chemicals would be dispersed in the high atmosphere to reflect sunlight away from the Earth’s surface. He also has suggested a scenario for analyzing the risks and benefits of geoengineering, and proposed frameworks for the governance of geoengineering testing by nation-states.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

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