Geoengineering is the scientific approach to large-scale alternations to the environment to combat climate change. “Once considered the stuff of wild-eyed fantasies, such ideas for countering climate change — known as geoengineering solutions, because they intentionally manipulate nature — are now being discussed seriously by scientists” (Fountain, 2014).
These approaches are significant and can be challenging but since 2014 there have been even more serious considerations to their use to reduce climate change “One geoengineering approach would mimic this kind of volcanic action by spraying sulfuric acid droplets into the stratosphere.” (Fountain, 2014). These approaches would mimic natural processes through man-created phenomenon’s in an attempt to counteract global warming.
While ideas of geoengineering are potentially beneficial, they are the second-best option to reduce climate changes, with the reduction of fossil fuels use being the best option. “Strategies to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere are limited by cost and technological immaturity, but they could contribute to a broader portfolio of climate change responses with further research and development.” (US National Academy of Sciences, 2015). Some of the issues of geoengineering are the ethical and environmental implications. Essentially, it is a very large and risky proposal with many possible consequences that several scholars agree are not yet fully understood or preventable. “If society ultimately decides to intervene in Earth’s climate, any actions should be informed by a far more substantive body of scientific research, including ethical and social dimensions, than is presently available” (US National Academy of Sciences, 2015); this suggest that future use of geoengineering techniques could be used after more research.
Fountain, H. (2014, November 9). Climate tools seeking to take nature in hand (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.). The New York Times.
US National Academy of Sciences. (2015, February 10). Climate intervention is not a replacement for reducing carbon emissions; proposed intervention techniques not ready for wide-scale deployment (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.). Press Release.