Fri Nov 21st, 2008 at 02:14:19 AM EST
Geoengineering describes a project of rapid, large-scale intervention at some points to alter the earth's surface temperature. It's been discussed in-depth in these two diaries on the European Tribune:
Cooling the Earth: CO2, SO2, and The Sunscreen Fix by technopolitical (Oct. 2006)
Geoengineering: basic principles, some thoughts, some questions by asiegel (Mar. 2008)
There may be large differences in how we think about geoengineering. In my opinion, it should be seen as both an extreme and transitional measure. But at least we seemed to agree that there is a need to research it and to set priorities. What I proposed was the following:
Planting trees and mechanical air capture of carbon are better than injecting SO2 into the stratosphere, which again is better than seeding the oceans with iron dust. In my opinion...
There are more interesting options beyond those, which you can find in asiegel's diary.
Now we have a bit more to go by, as some of the more common ideas about geoengineering have been studied and ranked in a Nature Geoscience paper by New Zealander Philip Boyd.
Promoted by afew
Unfortunately I don't have access, so I'll have to go by the online commentary.
The Great Beyond: Geo-engineering round up
In a new paper in Nature Geoscience, Philip Boyd of the University of Otago in New Zealand calls for geo-engineering schemes to be ranked according to their efficacy, cost, risk and impact on climate.
Via Jamais Cascio
. The Great Beyond blog on Nature excerpts the following table:
The instruction that accompanies this is that a fuller bar indicates better performance (less side effects, better affordability).
Ideally, this will kick off more and broader scientific scrutiny of various proposals for geoengineering, as a new scientist piece seems to indicate.
Ranking methods to save the world - environment - 26 October 2008 - New Scientist
"The ideas for how to change our climate keep getting pumped out. They get lots of column inches," says Boyd. "My concern is that we will reach a tipping point, people will ask what are we doing about it, and none of the schemes will have been tested."
Boyd proposes that an international body such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change prioritise the schemes according to possible risks involved, how quickly they could be got of the ground, their cost, and how efficiently they would change the climate.
Climate scientist Martin Manning of the University of Victoria in Wellington agrees that a systematic ranking is needed, in part because there is little communication between research communities working on different approaches.
More in this Q&A
with the author.