To Limit Solar Geoengineering's Side Effects, the Right "Dose" Is Needed

Tuesday, Mar 12, 2019

Global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are increasingly lagging behind the action scientists say is needed to prevent catastrophic levels of future warming.  Now, new research may allay some of the fears about the side effects of solar geoengineering—or at least it could encourage more research into the subject.

study, co-authored by former AOS Postdoc Jie He (Georgia Tech), AOS Faculty Members Larry Horowitz (GFDL) and Gabe Vecchi, professor of Geosciences and the Princeton Environmental Institute, and published in Nature Climate Change this week, suggests that keeping geoengineering within certain limits should prevent unwanted consequences on factors like water availability, storms and extreme precipitation. The research relies on a scenario in which the amount of solar geoengineering deployed could offset only half—not all—of the warming that would occur if atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were to double.

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