Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. 24/7 Space News .




CLIMATE SCIENCE
Targeting solar geoengineering to minimize risk and inequality
by Staff Writers
Cambridge MA (SPX) Oct 23, 2012


Sunset in the Arctic. A new study at Harvard explores the feasibility of using cautious and targeted solar geoengineering to counter the loss of Arctic sea ice. (File photo courtesy of NASA/Kathryn Hansen.)

By tailoring geoengineering efforts by region and by need, a new model promises to maximize the effectiveness of solar radiation management while mitigating its potential side effects and risks. Developed by a team of leading researchers, the study was published in the November issue of Nature Climate Change.

Solar geoengineering, the goal of which is to offset the global warming caused by greenhouse gases, involves reflecting sunlight back into space.

By increasing the concentrations of aerosols in the stratosphere or by creating low-altitude marine clouds, the as-yet hypothetical solar geoengineering projects would scatter incoming solar heat away from the Earth's surface.

Critics of geoengineering have long warned that such a global intervention would have unequal effects around the world and could result in unforeseen consequences. They argue that the potential gains may not be worth the risk.

"Our research goes a step beyond the one-size-fits-all approach to explore how careful tailoring of solar geoengineering can reduce possible inequalities and risks," says co-author David Keith (pictured at right), Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School.

"Instead, we can be thoughtful about various tradeoffs to achieve more selective results, such as the trade-off between minimizing global climate changes and minimizing residual changes at the worst-off location."

The study-developed in collaboration with Douglas G. MacMartin of the California Institute of Technology, Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution for Science, and Ben Kravitz, formerly of Carnegie and now at the Department of Energy-explores the feasibility of using solar geoengineering to counter the loss of Arctic sea ice.

"There has been a lot of loose talk about region-specific climate modification. By contrast, our research uses a more systematic approach to understand how geoengineering might be used to limit a specific impact. We found that tailored solar geoengineering might limit Arctic sea ice loss with several times less total solar shading than would be needed in a uniform case."

Generally speaking, greenhouse gases tend to suppress precipitation, and an offsetting reduction in the amount of sunlight absorbed by Earth would not restore this precipitation.

Both greenhouse gases and aerosols affect the distribution of heat and rain on this planet, but they change the temperature and precipitation in different ways in different places.

The researchers suggest that varying the amount of sunlight deflected away from the Earth both regionally and seasonally could combat some of this problem.

"These results indicate that varying geoengineering efforts by region and over different periods of time could potentially improve the effectiveness of solar geoengineering and reduce climate impacts in at-risk areas," says co-author Ken Caldeira, Senior Scientist in the Department of Global Ecology at the Carnegie Institution for Science.

The researchers note that while their study used a state-of-the-art model, any real-world estimates of the possible impact of solar radiation management would need to take into account various uncertainties. Further, any interference in Earth's climate system, whether intentional or unintentional, is likely to produce unanticipated outcomes.

"While more work needs to be done, we have a strong model that indicates that solar geoengineering might be used in a far more nuanced manner than the uniform one-size-fits-all implementation that is often assumed. One might say that one need not think of it as a single global thermostat.

"This gives us hope that if we ever do need to implement engineered solutions to combat global warming, that we would do so with a bit more confidence and a great ability to test it and control it."

.


Related Links
Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Climate Science News - Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





CLIMATE SCIENCE
S. Korea to host secretariat of UN climate fund
Seoul (AFP) Oct 20, 2012
South Korea on Saturday won a bid to host the secretariat of a United Nations fund aimed at helping fight global warming, President Lee Myung-Bak announced. The 24-member board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) selected Songdo International Business District in the western port city of Incheon to house its secretariat. "We're very pleased to host the GCF secretariat," Lee told journalists, ... read more


CLIMATE SCIENCE
European mission to search for moon water

Model reconciles Lunar Earth composition with giant impact theory

Massive planetary collision may have zapped key elements from moon

Proof at last: Moon was created in giant smashup

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Valles Marineris - the largest canyon in the Solar System

Curiosity Rover Collects Fourth Scoop of Martian Soil

How Space Station Can Help Humans Follow Curiosity to Mars and Beyond

Mars Soil Sample Delivered for Analysis Inside Rover

CLIMATE SCIENCE
NASA must reinvest in nanotechnology research, according to new Rice University paper

Austrian space diver no stranger to danger

Baumgartner feat boosts hopes for imperilled astronauts

Austrian breaks sound barrier in record space jump

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Patience for Tiangong

China launches civilian technology satellites

ChangE-2 Mission To Lagrange L2 Point

Meeting of heads of ESA and China Manned Space Agency

CLIMATE SCIENCE
New ISS Crew Confirmed

Russia launches three astronauts to ISS

ISS Orbit to be Adjusted for Next Spacecraft

Crew Unloads Dragon, Finds Treats

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Brazil eyes closer space cooperation with Ukraine

S. Korea plans third rocket launch bid Friday

AFSPC commander convenes AIB

Proton Lofts Intelsat 23 For Americas, Europe and Africa Markets

CLIMATE SCIENCE
New small satellite will study super-Earths for ESA

Most Planetary Systems are 'Flatter than Pancakes'

Glitch could end NASA planet search

Ultra-Compact Planetary System Is A Touchstone For Understanding New Planet Population

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Angkor Wat builders may have had shortcut

Taking aim at rivals, Apple unveils iPad mini

Japan firm launches real-time telephone translation

Microsoft gives peek at new Windows, tablet




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement