Published on May 24, 2016
Professor David Keith, of Harvard University, will speak on the topic of “Reducing the Risks of Solar Geoengineering” as part of the 2015-2016 Highlight Seminar Series.
I will discuss new results suggesting it may be possible to implement solar geoengineering using stratospheric aerosols without ozone loss while significantly reducing some other important side effects. Estimates of the risks and efficacy of solar geoengineering are deeply uncertain. Accurate physically-based models along with laboratory and in situ experiments will be needed to improve estimates of the performance of proposal solar geoengineering. As an example, I will discuss our ongoing laboratory experiments and plans for small perturbative outdoor experiments. Governance poses the greatest challenge for solar geoengineering: I will review some recent work on governance of research and deployment of solar geoengineering, and argue in favor of a U.S. government commitment to an interdisciplinary and international research program.
David Keith has worked near the interface between climate science, energy technology, and public policy for twenty five years. He took first prize in Canada’s national physics prize exam, won MIT’s prize for excellence in experimental physics, and was one of TIME magazine’s Heroes of the Environment 2009. David divides his time between Cambridge where he is Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Professor of Public Policy in the Harvard Kennedy School; and Calgary, where he helps lead Carbon Engineering a company developing technology to the capture of CO2 from ambient air.