Fake clouds among drastic climate change solutions
2 September 2008, source edie newsroom
Extra cloud cover could deflect more of the sun's rays
Alongside the radical solutions, scientists from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research issued a stark warning that that current climate change mitigation policies may not limit temperature change to two degrees Celsius.
The study by Kevin Anderson and Alice Bows - which includes global emissions since 2000 - concluded that adaptation policies should assume a temperature rise of four degrees Celsius.
They said: "By focussing on long-term emission targets, such as 50% by 2050, climate policy has essentially ignored the crucial importance of current emission trends their impact on cumulative emissions."
Friends of the Earth said the research was a "giant wake-up call" for world leaders.
Climate change campaigner Robin Webster said: "We can't wait for a magic bullet to dig us out of this hole - many of the solutions to climate change exist already but need political backing to make them happen."
The Royal Society publication discusses a number of drastic geoengineering solutions to climate change that may need to be adopted if political agreements on emissions reductions are unsuccessful.
These range from the more familiar, such as sequestering carbon in the oceans, to more controversial solutions such as spraying ozone-depleting aerosols into the atmosphere.
Society president Martin Rees said: "It's not clear which of these geoengineering technologies might work, still less what environmental and social impacts they might have, or whether it could ever be prudent or politically acceptable to adopt any of them.
"But it is worth devoting effort to clarifying both the feasibility and any potential downsides of the various options."
He added: "None of these technologies will provide a 'get out of jail free card' and they must not divert attention away from international efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases."
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By Kieran, Phlorum Limited
I think that Martin Rees is right to warn that these technologies are not a solution to climate change. We still need to focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The technologies behind these processes seems unproven, let alone the impacts they may have on the climate, perhaps the most complex system on the planet. Trying to prove the legitimacy of using these methods would be hugely complex to ensure they had no negative impacts or upset the finely balanced climate system. Politically it seems unlikely these schemes would be adopted, due to the large uncertainty around them, and the huge potential negative or upsetting impacts they may have over many vaired spatial and temporal scales.
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