1. Joined
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    21 Feb '15 09:5317 edits
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2015/feb/20/geoengineering-schemes-to-combat-climate-change-still-risky-say-reports

    obviously I wouldn't say/think there are no risks with geoengineering but it said: "the use of geoengineering to reduce the amount of solar energy that reaches the atmosphere is too risky. " without qualifying that with how they arrived at such a conclusion nor saying how much reduction do they mean by the word "reduce" there.

    But, what concerns me much more, I fear they may have missed the point because, yes there are bound to be risks, but what if the risks of NOT doing it are even greater!? Have they compared the risks of doing it with the risks of not doing it to make a rational assessment on whether we should take the risk of doing it despite those risks? Did they even consider this question?

    It makes a point where it says:
    "The longer we wait, the more likely it will become that we will need to deploy some forms of carbon-dioxide removal to avoid the worst impacts of climate change,"

    because we are surely a long way off from deploying "carbon-dioxide removal" on that sort of scale and, in the mean time, what if the effects of global warming becomes just too serious? So I think we should seriously consider planning for a last-resort measure of deploying a measure to make whatever necessary reduction in the warming from solar radiation absorption and then only deploy such a plan if or when all other measures we deploy prove to be not good enough; -A kind of last-resort plan B, if you like, ready and waiting just-in-case. I think that, at the very least, we should risk deploying it if and when we eventually come to know for certain that all the ice caps will melt if we did NOT deploy it!!! SURELY, in that event, you couldn't keep saying "the use of geoengineering to reduce the amount of solar energy that reaches the atmosphere is too risky" !!! Well, that is just my way of thinking anyway.
  2. Cape Town
    Joined
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    21 Feb '15 11:05
    Originally posted by humy
    Well, that is just my way of thinking anyway.
    I agree. Lets think up various geoengineering schemes then judge the risks individually rather than dismissing them all as too risky without even looking at them. Certainly doing nothing is too risky for me.
  3. Standard memberDeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    Cosmopolis
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    21 Feb '15 21:02
    If you follow the link to the site you can read the actual reports. There is a 4 page summary for laymen which gives the qualifications you are asking for [1]. If you find it insufficient then read the technical documents.

    They state that they "are no replacement for reducing emissions" not that they should not be experimented with. In the case of albedo modification the document talks, about interfering with stratospheric ozone levels and increased precipitation. They also point out that albedo reduction does not reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and may require keeping in place for millennia.

    They state that the risks are not well understood, so frankly the biggest risk of atmospheric carbon removal is that it is a non-existent technology and one can find oneself investing huge amounts of resources to develop a technology that doesn't work, having relied on this future technology instead of reducing emissions in the mean time. Worse than not working albedo modification could produce the illusion that "business as usual" is sustainable with further increases in ocean acidity contributing further to the problem by removing a natural carbon sink.

    [1] http://nas-sites.org/americasclimatechoices/other-reports-on-climate-change/