Geoengineering has been suggested as a viable technological fix for the environment to stem the rapid rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide and growing impacts from climate change. There are examples of local and regional geoengineering gone wrong, such as the Army Core of Engineers’ approach to dredging on the Mississippi and the unintended consequences of the loss of estuaries and barrier islands that protected New Orleans from hurricanes. Global-scale geoengineering inherently has much greater risks. We see two major categories of geoengineering. The first includes tenable solutions, including carbon capture and storage (CCS) from the atmosphere, CCA from CO2 sources, and large-scale biogeologic carbon capture utilizing eutrophic lakes. The second category consists of untenable solutions and includes often expensive and poorly understood methods such as space-based reflectors, atmospheric aerosol stimulation, and iron stimulation of the southern ocean. Overall, geoengineering is not the solution to climate change, but select, low-impact approaches that call upon natural systems to do the heavy lifting can be used in select areas.
KeywordsGeoengineering Climate change Global warming Carbon capture Parasol CCS CO2 Reflectivity
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