Geoengineering would be ‘irrational and irresponsible’

Posted by Mike Confino, February 12, 2015

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Curbing global warming by shading Earth from the sun could be quick and cheap but also “irrational and irresponsible” without also cutting emissions and capturing carbon, says a report on geoengineering by the US National Academies.

In theory, making Earth more reflective to the sun’s rays – called albedo modification – could be done relatively easily with existing technology, says the report. In 1991, emissions of just 20 million tonnes of sulphur dioxide from the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines reduced global temperatures by 0.3 °C for three years. A similar human exercise to curb the warming from a doubling of carbon dioxide concentrations in the air would be “at least an order of magnitude less than the cost of decarbonising the world’s economy”, the report says.

via Geoengineering would be ‘irrational and irresponsible’ – environment – 11 February 2015 – New Scientist.