Credit: Hugh Hunt
A new international organisation will be needed to
help nations manage geoengineering efforts,
new research predicts, because trying to deliberately
alter the planet's climate raises a raft of tricky issues.
Climate engineering (or geoengineering) technologies aim to
manipulate the earth's climate, generally either by taking carbon
dioxide out of the atmosphere or reflecting sunlight away from the
Most of the technologies work
in theory and some have been
tested on a small scale. But at the moment, issues of
cost, unforeseen consequences and politics mean geoengineering
remains a largely untried area.
Nonetheless, the new study's authors from the Berlin Social
Science Research Centre are convinced such climate engineering will
play an important role in future efforts to address climate change.
With that in mind, they're thinking about not just which
technologies could work, but what systems of governance will be
needed to make geoengineering happen.
Climate engineering paradox
The researchers concentrate on two technologies which they say
could have a big impact on global temperatures, and which could be
cheap enough for a single or small group of countries to implement:
'stratospheric particle injection' and 'marine cloud