Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Climate change: Can geoengineering satisfy everyone?

Date:
September 20, 2010
Source:
University of Bristol
Summary:
Reflecting sunlight from the Earth by geoengineering would undoubtedly cool the climate, but would different countries agree on how much to reflect? Research by climate scientists in the UK shows that the impact of geoengineering would be felt in very different ways across the world.

Reflecting sunlight from the Earth by geoengineering would undoubtedly cool the climate, but would different countries agree on how much to reflect? Research by climate scientists at the University of Bristol shows that the impact of geoengineering would be felt in very different ways across the world.

Previous studies of geoengineering approaches, aimed at averting dangerous climate change, have shown that although the average global temperature could be restored to 'normal' levels, some regions would remain too warm, whereas others would 'overshoot' and cool to much. In addition, average rainfall would be reduced.

This new study looked at the impacts of different strengths of geoengineering, from full strength (sufficient to return global average temperatures back to normal), through to no geoengineering.

Reporting in Geophysical Research Letters, the researchers looked at how the impacts caused by these different strengths of geoengineering differed from region to region, using a comprehensive climate model developed by the UK Met Office, which replicates all the important aspects of the climate system, including the atmospheric, ocean and land processes, and their interactions.

Their analysis revealed that with increasing geoengineering strength, most regions become drier while others buck the trend and become increasingly wet. For example, the USA became drier with increasing geoengineering, and returned to normal conditions under half-strength geoengineering, whereas Australia became wetter, returning to normal conditions only for full strength geoengineering

Pete Irvine, lead author on the paper, points out there are likely to be disagreements over any future geoengineering schemes: "If there is a large amount of global warming in the future there would be no strength of geoengineering that would be best for everyone: some may be better off without any geoengineering while others may do better with a large amount."

The team suggest that global average figures are too simple a measure to assess the impacts of geoengineering, and that decision makers of the future need to consider a variety of impacts, such as on regional precipitation, sea-level response, global crop yield before deciding whether embarking on geoengineering would be the right choice.

However, the work does offer some way forward. Co-author Dan Lunt added: "Our simulations indicate that it might be possible to identify a strength of geoengineering capable of meeting multiple targets, such as maintaining a stable mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet and cooling global climate, but without reducing global precipitation below normal amounts or exposing significant fractions of the Earth to unusual climate conditions."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Bristol. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Peter J. Irvine, Andy Ridgwell, Daniel J. Lunt. Assessing the regional disparities in geoengineering impacts. Geophysical Research Letters, 2010; 37 (18): L18702 DOI: 10.1029/2010GL044447

Cite This Page:

University of Bristol. "Climate change: Can geoengineering satisfy everyone?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100920123916.htm>.
University of Bristol. (2010, September 20). Climate change: Can geoengineering satisfy everyone?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100920123916.htm
University of Bristol. "Climate change: Can geoengineering satisfy everyone?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100920123916.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins