Daily Archives: April 12, 2018

European Forum Alpbach | Harvard’s Solar Geoengineering Research Program

Geoengineering: governance implications, technical options and risks   (Political Symposium)

August 28, 2018

Alpbach, Austria

Hosted by the Forum Alpbach Network in cooperation with Harvard’s Solar Geoengineering Research Program


Achieving the temperature goals set in the Paris agreement means cutting carbon dioxide emissions. One possible complement – not a substitute – is solar geoengineering. What are the benefits, opportunities, and risks of this technology? How can researchers help policy-makers make informed decisions about how and when they should seek to deploy solar geoengineering?


  • Jennifer Morgan – Executive Director, Greenpeace International, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Janos Pasztor – Senior Fellow and Executive Director, C2G2 (Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Governance Initiative), Rolle, Switzerland
  • Stefan Schafer – Research Group Leader, IASS (Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies), Potsdam, Germany
  • Gernot Wagner – Executive Director, Harvard’s Solar Geoengineering Research Program, Cambridge, MA

European Forum Alpbach

From August 16 to September 1, 2017, hundreds of people from the worlds of science, politics, business, culture and civil society will gather at the European Forum Alpbach to debate “Conflict & Cooperation” and the zone of tension between these two poles. The Forum is hosted by the Forum Alpbach Network. Click here to learn more about the Forum.

See: Harvard – Solar Geoengineering Research Program




Planetary Designs: Historical Perspectives on the Intersection of Geoengineering and Terraforming | Harvard’s Solar Geoengineering Research Program

March 22, 2018 and March 23, 2018

Harvard University Center for the Environment, 26 Oxford St. Cambridge, MA

The objective of this workshop was to connect scholars and think deeply about planetary engineering and increasingly relevant questions that surround it in both geoengineering and terraforming projects. Thus, this workshop brought together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to consider the shared fictions, histories, and overlapping research questions of terraforming and solar geoengineering. It was our hope to foster a productive discussion that was humanistically-minded and that addressed the science behind planetary engineering. It was our contention that only then could we properly address the ethics and socio-political implications of these techno-scientific projects. By considering the shared history of terraforming and geoengineering we granted ourselves a broad arsenal of scholarly thought, historical lessons, and inspired fiction to think through how to confront the future.

This workshop was led by Daniel Zizzamia, Ziff Environmental Fellow at the Harvard University Center for the Environment, and was funded by Harvard’s Solar Geoengineering Research Program.


May 22, 2018

6:00 – 7:30pm

Keynote Address

  • David Keith (introduction)
  • Oliver Morton (keynote)

May 23, 2018

Introductory Remarks


Panel 1: The Science of Engineering Earth and Other Planets

8:45 – 10:15am

  • Chair: Dan Schrag
  • David Keith
  • Chris McKay [via Skype]
  • Simone Tilmes
  • Robin Wordsworth

Panel 2: HIstory of Terraforming and its Future

10:20 – 11:50am

  • Chair: Carl Abbott
  • Frederick Turner
  • Neil Maher
  • David Nye

11:50am – 1pm: Lunch

Panel 3: History of Geoengineering and its Future

1:00 – 2:30pm

  • Chair: Naomi Oreskes
  • Eli Kintisch
  • Stefan Schäfer
  • Daniel Zizzamia

Panel 4: Ethics of Engineering Earth and Other Planet

2:35 – 4:05pm

  • Chair: Holly Jean Buck [sub: Daniel
  • Christopher Preston
  • Lawrence Buell
  • Catherine A. Conley
  • Frank White

See: Harvard – Solar Geoengineering Research Program




Harvard’s Solar Geoengineering Research Program

Overarching goals

Produce research that advances solar geoengineering’s science and technology frontier, publishing high-impact papers, and disseminating ideas that are taken up by other researchers and government research programs.

Take an active stance on research with a unique mandate to develop new path-breaking technologies that might improve solar geoengineering’s effectiveness and reduce its risks.

Employ Harvard’s convening power to bring together scientists, environmental leaders, and government officials to discuss the technology and its governance.

Advance science and technology, assess efficacy and risks, and lay out governance options and social implications.

Track 1: Advancing Science and Technology

Harvard’s Solar Geoengineering Research Program will develop methods that might reduce the risks and improve the efficacy of solar geoengineering when compared to the injection of sulfates into the stratosphere, which has been the standard proposal since the 1970s. Specific examples include:

  1. Develop novel solid aerosols that might:
    • reduce or even reverse ozone loss by neutralizing stratospheric chlorine,
    • have optical properties that greatly reduce stratospheric heating compared to sulfate aerosol.
  2. Develop methods to accurately estimate the radiative forcing from solar geoengineering using existing observing systems and, where appropriate, perform conceptual development of new observing systems.
  3. Develop field experiments that could enable in situ tests of chemistry and aerosol dynamics.

Track 2: Assessing Efficacy and Risks

Harvard’s Solar Geoengineering Research Program will devote most of its effort to scientific research to improve the understanding of the risks of solar geoengineering (e.g., health impacts) and of its efficacy in reducing climate risks (e.g., reducing sea level rise or extreme events). Specific examples include:

  1. Understand the interaction of solar geoengineering with the carbon cycle.
  2. Understand historical analogs such as the impact of volcanic eruptions on extreme precipitation or on the mass-balance of the Greenland icecap.
  3. Understand the environmental risks that arise once materials are introduced into the stratosphere descend into the lower atmosphere.
  4. Understand the extent to which solar geoengineering reduces extreme temperatures and to quantify the resulting health and welfare benefits.

See: Harvard – Solar Geoengineering Research Program


See the coverage published in the Harvard Gazette.




Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, March 25, 2017, #85 ( Dane Wigington )

Dane Wigington
Published on Mar 25, 2017

PLEASE GO DIRECTLY TO THE ARTICLE http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/ge…

Mainstream media has just officially admitted solar geoengineering experimentation is about to commence. Of course, the official cover-up of the blatant ongoing global climate engineering assault continues. NASA and other agencies are pushing egregious disinformation by naming geoengineering aerosol cloud formations as if they are somehow natural. The biosphere implosion continues unabated with a now official declaration of a total collapse of Pacific salmon that is being described as “cataclysmic”. Environmental disintegration can only lead to economic unraveling. This process is not on the horizon, it is here. As many as 3500 major retail stores are closing their doors across the country. In other nations, the situation is already much worse. The true federal budget deficit is likely 100 trillion or more, but so long as the fictitiously valued stock market facade is maintained, few Americans yet care.

Will stock portfolios matter if the planet no longer supports life? Near term extinction will be the outcome if the current course of the human race is not completely and immediately altered. I significant percentage of the human race must be awakened to the rapidly converging catastrophes, each and every one of us who are already awake has a profound part to play in this effort. We must rethink our perspectives, our priorities, and our sense of purpose. No matter how dark the horizon, great solace exists in fully focusing on the fight for the greater good. Can we still make a difference? Yes. https://www.facebook.com/dane.wigingt…

Criticism of Harvard’s Geoengineering Program

Published on Mar 26, 2017


Forum on U.S. Solar Geoengineering Research: The Path Forward Panel

Harvard’s Solar Geoengineering Research Program
Published on Apr 17, 2017

Sequence of panels.

Hans Zimmer urges eco consciousness: ‘We are all in this together’

The murky world of international shipping is facing pressure to clean up its act on climate

Seawise Giant – later Happy Giant, Jahre Viking, Knock Nevis, Oppama, and finally Mont – was a ULCCsupertanker that was the longest ship ever built.

Claire James

6th April 2018

A new report by Transparency International reinforces long-standing concerns that the shipping industry has undue influence over the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), which is meeting in London over the next two weeks to discuss climate change. CLAIRE JAMES reports

The shipping industry is about to make decisions that could have a profound impact on the global environment. The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is meeting in London over the next two weeks and is set to draw up a strategy for cutting carbon pollution over the coming decades.

But battle lines are drawn between those keen to see an agreement in line with the Paris climate deal and those who would prefer to carry on with business as usual.

The scale of the shipping industry is vast. Around 90 percent of global trade – from clothes and food to building materials and fossil fuels – is carried by sea in a merchant fleet of around 50,000 vessels. The largest of these ships are some 400 metres long – to put this in context, the Eiffel tower is 300 metres tall.

Air pollution

Unsurprisingly, therefore, it has a significant carbon footprint. If the shipping industry were a country, it would be sixth in the list of carbon polluters, between Germany and Japan.

But because the Paris climate agreement is based on nationally determined contributions from member countries, as yet it has no specific obligations to cut shipping carbon. If these emissions continued to grow, it could be 17 percent – almost a fifth – of the world’s total emissions by 2050.

But shipping draws very little attention, with awareness low among both environmentalists and the general public. The exception is, of course, those who live in or near port cities.

The cheap staple fuel of ocean-going ships is the sludgy dregs of the refining process. When burned, it emits not just climate-damaging CO2, but sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.

In the UK’s major port cities such as Southampton, Grimsby and Liverpool, air pollution from shipping is a significant cause of concern for the health of local populations.

Zero tax

As climate protesters gathered outside the IMO building at the beginning of the negotiations in London, they were joined by East London residents concerned that plans to build a cruise ship terminal in Greenwich would further add to the burden on London’s already toxic air.

In Europe alone, air pollution from shipping is estimated to lead to around 50,000 premature deaths every year, with the congested ports of China and elsewhere in Asia taking an even heavier toll.

If the world of shipping is hidden to most of us, what goes on in IMO negotiations is even more opaque. A report by Transparency International, published this week, reinforces long-standing concerns that the shipping industry has undue influence over this UN body.

…(read more).

Rules to govern sun-dimming technology ‘urgently’ needed: expert

Reuters Staff

(This version of the March 7 story adds missing word in paragraph 2)

By Laurie Goering

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – With a miniature experiment to try to cool the planet by blocking sunlight planned in Arizona within a year, international rules to govern “geoengineering” efforts must be put in place quickly, a governance advocate said.

An open, inclusive discussion on how the world will research and govern solar geoengineering is “urgently” needed in the face of such plans, said Janos Pasztor, head of the Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Governance Initiative.

“We could be in danger of events overtaking society’s capacity to respond prudently and effectively,” he said on Friday before a speech at Arizona State University.

World leaders agreed in the 2015 Paris deal on climate change to hold any rise in average global temperature to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius.

But with a shift away from fossil fuels happening slower than is needed, and the world on track to more than 3 degrees Celsius of warming, some scientists now say engineering efforts to cut the risks of excess warming may be needed.

Those might range from efforts to dump iron into the ocean to help carbon-absorbing plankton grow more quickly to spraying saltwater into sea clouds to make them reflect more sunlight.

Researchers at Harvard University hope this year to use a high-altitude balloon to release about a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of sun-dimming mineral dust into the stratosphere above the U.S. state of Arizona.

…(read more).