Prominent Climate Change Activist Researchers Finally Call for Solar Geoengineering Research
Recent research strongly suggests that the worst-case scenarios of man-made global warming resulting largely from rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels are highly implausible. Simply put: Imminent climate armageddon is not in the cards. But what if the more sanguine calculations for increases in future global average temperatures turn out to be wrong and the world starts heating up much faster? Wouldn’t it be wise to have available some kind of emergency cooling system for the planet?
Yes, says a group of prominent activist climate change researchers in an open letter calling for just such research. The letter points out that “the most rapid way to potentially counter some near-term climate warming is through an important class of climate intervention techniques that slightly change the energy entering and leaving the planet.” They particularly cite solar radiation management (SRM) techniques such as releasing reflective sulfate particles high in the atmosphere (stratospheric aerosol injection) or spraying sea salt into low clouds over the ocean (marine cloud brightening) as possible ways to slow unexpectedly fast future warming.
Notable signatories to the open letter include Columbia University climatologist James Hansen, Rutgers University climatologist Alan Robock, and Harvard applied physicist David Keith. Hansen notoriously first testified before a congressional committee that man-made climate change had been detected way back in 1988. Keith is already leading a team of scientists seeking to research solar geoengineering.
The open letter further notes that “since dec
Article from Reason.com