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.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
A look at how acidifying oceans could threaten the Dungeness crab, one of the most valuable fisheries on the U.S. West Coast. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
An indigenous tribe’s deadly fight to save its ancestral land in the Amazon rainforest from logging. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
Residents of the Chocó Rainforest in Ecuador are choosing to plant cacao over logging in an effort to slow deforestation.
Watch the video.
Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.