Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Study Finds Some Geoengineering Schemes Would Be Effective
It seems likely that the debate over geoengineering schemes to combat global warming will get kicked up a notch with the publication of a study that assessed the effectiveness of many such proposals. An article posted on ScienceDaily says that the study’s conclusion, which will probably rile many environmentalists, was that some of the schemes can be useful for helping us avoid climate change catastrophe. While a professor of environmental science at the British University of East Anglia where the study was conducted, Tim Lenton, is quoted as saying “We found that some geoengineering options could usefully complement mitigation [reduction in greenhouse gas emissions], and together they could cool the climate, but geoengineering alone cannot solve the climate problem,” this might not be enough to assuage those who see flying mirrors or particles of sulfur purposely dispersed in the atmosphere as future nightmares. Although geoengineering schemes only recently were largely thought of as being wacky it seems likely that if attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions continue to lead mostly to frustration the seriousness with which geoengineering is regarded will grow. Unless something like a miracle occurs in Denmark at the end of this year when countries from all over the world sit down to decide how to tackle the global warming problem geoengineering’s stock will probably continue to rise in more quarters and the debate over geoengineering will likely grow more fierce.