Originally published in Science Express on 6 August 2009. Science (21 August 2009) Vol. 325, No. 5943, pp. 955-956; DOI: 10.1126/science.1178530
Climate Change: Risks of Climate Engineering
As the risks of climate change and the difficulty of effectively reducing greenhouse gas emissions become increasingly obvious, potential geoengineering solutions are widely discussed. For example, in a recent report, Blackstock et al. explore the feasibility, potential impact, and dangers of shortwave climate engineering, which aims to reduce the incoming solar radiation and thereby reduce climate warming (1). Proposed geoengineering solutions tend to be controversial among climate scientists and attract considerable media attention (2, 3). However, by focusing on limiting warming, the debate creates a false sense of certainty and downplays the impacts of geoengineering solutions.
1 Grant Institute, Kings Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JW, U.K.
2 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Earth System Research Laboratory, 325 Broadway R/CSD, Boulder, CO 80305–3337, U.S.A.