Frontiers of Engineering Management

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 102–116 | Cite as

Security of solar radiation management geoengineering

  • Andrew LockleyEmail author
Open Access
Research Article


Solar Radiation Management (SRM) geoengineering is a proposed response to anthropogenic global warming (AGW) (National Academy of Sciences, 2015). There may be profound – even violent – disagreement on preferred temperature. SRM disruption risks dangerous temperature rise (termination shock). Concentrating on aircraft-delivered Stratospheric Aerosol Injection (SAI), we appraise threats to SRM and defense methodologies. Civil protest and minor cyberattacks are almost inevitable but are manageable (unless state-sponsored). Overt military attacks are more disruptive, but unlikely – although superpowers’ symbolic overt attacks may deter SRM. Unattributable attacks are likely, and mandate use of widely-available weapons. Risks from unsophisticated weapons are therefore higher. An extended supply chain is more vulnerable than a secure airbase – necessitating supply-chain hardening. Recommendations to improve SRM resilience include heterogeneous operations from diverse, secure, well-stocked bases (possibly ocean islands or aircraft carriers); and avoidance of single-point-of-failure risks (e.g. balloons). A distributed, civilian-operated system offers an alternative strategy. A multilateral, consensual SRM approach reduces likely attack triggers.


security geoengineering solar radiation management SRM 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Construction and Project ManagementUniversity College London BartlettLondonUK

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