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28 Jan 2009: Climate Geo-engineering Study
Says Some Schemes May Be Effective

Some futuristic geo-engineering projects may help slow global warming if they are developed in conjunction with large reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, according to a new study. The study, led by Tim Lenton at Britain’s University of East Anglia, said one of the more promising technologies is the sequestration of carbon by burning large amounts of agricultural waste in airtight conditions and then burying it underground as charcoal. He said that schemes to reflect more sunlight back into space by launching orbiting mirrors or introducing aerosols into the atmosphere might be effective, but carried a significant risk of rapidly warming the earth if they were discontinued. Fertilizing the ocean with iron to stimulate growth of C02-absorbing algae would take hundreds of years to be effective and might carry risk to marine life, said the study, published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions. Most important, said Lenton, are emissions cuts, adding, “Geo-engineering alone cannot solve the problem.” Some scientists believe that geo-engineering schemes will inevitably be deployed as the earth rapidly warms.

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