Thursday, March 26, 2009

Geoengineering proposal may be first by major science group

The American Meterological Society is calling for research into geoengineering of the climate and according to Science Insider blog, it's the first such statement by a major science group. [photo credit NASA]

The AMS Policy Statement on Geoengineering the Climate System, says "Geoengineering could conceivably offer targeted and fast-acting options to reduce acute climate impacts and provide strategies of last resort if abrupt, catastrophic, or otherwise unacceptable climate change impacts become unavoidable by other means."

Examples of geoengineering projects are described in 3 broad categories:

1) managing atmospheric greenhouse gases (e.g., ocean fertilization and atmospheric carbon capture and sequestration),

2) cooling the Earth by reflecting sunlight (e.g., putting reflective particles into the atmosphere, putting mirrors in space to reflect the sun’s energy, increasing surface reflectivity, and altering he amount or characteristics of clouds), and

3) moderating specific impacts of global warming (e.g., efforts to limit sea level rise by increasing land storage of water, protecting ice sheets, or artificially enhancing mountain glaciers).

The AMS statement is open for comment and will be voted on by its members by this summer.

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