Wrapup of Recent Science Press on Geoengineering

Here’s a quick wrapup of what Science Journals are saying about geoengineering:

from NATURE.com

Panel recommends US geoengineering research program - October 04, 2011 [original article]

The White House should coordinate a multi-agency research program to investigate the feasibility of using “climate remediation” – more commonly referred to as “geoengineering” – to stave off the worst consequences of global warming, a task force organized by the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) recommended Tuesday.

“The primary and single most important recommendation of our committee is that the government start doing research,” said Jane Long, co-chair of the task force and Associate Director-at-Large at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. “We should not move forward in ignorance.”   [ continue reading article HERE ]

SPICE on Ice (from Nature.com’s wrapup: Seven days: 30 September–6 October 2011)

A UK experiment to test climate-engineering technology by spraying water from a balloon 1 kilometre above Earth was put on hold this week — owing partly to protests from environmentalists. The Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering (SPICE) project aims to trial technology for spraying sulphate aerosols at heights of up to 25 kilometres, to cool Earth by reflecting sunlight. Protesters said that the test would violate a decision by the Convention on Biological Diversity not to undertake large-scale geoengineering experiments. SPICE scientists say that the halt followed a consultation which raised concerns that there had not been enough engagement with environmental groups. See go.nature.com/hmuljg for more.

From NewScientist.com

Political backlash to geoengineering begins [original article]

Political opposition to technologies that could artificially cool the planet is in full swing. A field test of geoengineering, planned for October in Sculthorpe, UK, has been postponed for six months. Meanwhile, the European Parliament has passed a resolution that “expresses its opposition to proposals for large scale geoengineering”.

The delayed field test, led by Matthew Watson of the University of Bristol, UK, involves a kilometre-long hose that will pump water into the atmosphere. Larger versions of the device could pump sulphate aerosols into the stratosphere, creating a sunshade that would cool the Earth. [continue reading here]

Would-be geoengineers must listen to the public [original article]

It is no surprise that a proposed test of a climate engineering technology has raised hackles despite being environmentally benign

The world’s first field test of a technology that might, one day, cool global temperatures has been put on hold for at least six months, amid disquiet. [continue reading here]


From Scientific American

U.K. Geoengineering Tests Delayed until Spring [original article]


[...] The decision to delay came after 60 organizations from around the world signed apetition that called on the British secretary for energy and climate to cancel the tests. The petition was promoted by ETC Group, a Canada-based environmental organization that advocates socially responsible technology development. In a press release, ETC called the project “the Trojan Hose” and said that the test will “send the wrong signal to the international community, which adopted a moratorium on geoengineering activities last October at the [United Nations] Convention on Biological Diversity.” [ read full article here ]

From Washington DC’s Wilson Center

The Wilson Centre will host a discussion in Washington next Wednesday on the GAO report RSVP required: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/node/20049

Reports of rising global temperatures have raised questions about responses to climate change, including efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, adapt to climate change, and design and develop climate engineering technologies for deliberate, large-scale interventions in Earth’s climate. In response to a congressional request for a technology assessment on climate engineering, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a new report in August. An interdisciplinary team prepared the report, employing a multi-method approach based on GAO’s quality assurance framework and best practices in technology assessment. The report examined the current state of climate engineering science and technology, experts’ views of the future of U.S. climate engineering research, and potential public responses to climate engineering.  The report also discusses key considerations for the use of climate engineering technologies and their policy implications.

Join us on Wednesday, October 12th, at 12:30 p.m. for a discussion of the new U.S. Government Accountability Office report that assesses climate engineering technologies, focusing on their technical status, future directions for research and potential responses.

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