04 Oct 2011:
Panel in U.S. Urges Research
Into Climate Geoengineering Options
A bipartisan panel of scientists, former government officials, and energy experts is urging the U.S. government to explore the potential benefits, costs, and risks of geoengineering schemes
to slow global
warming. In a new report
, the 18-member panel convened by the Washington, D.C.-based Bipartisan Policy Center concedes that the use of technology to slow or reverse global warming — such as scattering light-reflecting aerosols into the atmosphere or seeding the oceans with iron to trigger CO2-absorbing algae blooms — is “no substitute” for cutting carbon dioxide emissions. But with the failure of the U.S. and the international community to take meaningful measures to reduce CO2 emissions, the panel recommends that the U.S. government should begin researching and testing alternatives in case the Earth’s climate system reaches a “tipping point” and immediate remedial action is required. “The federal government is the only entity that has the incentive, responsibility, and capacity to run a broad, systematic, and effective program,” the report says. “It can also play an important role in effectively establishing international research norms.”
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Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s unspoiled coral reefs. View the gallery.
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The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
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A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.