Of increased importance, as policy makers and politicians prepare to negotiate binding carbon emission targets at December's United Nation's Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen (CoP15), many feel we need to come up with a plan B as climate mitigation appears to be too little too late.
Authors Peter Cox, professor of climate system dynamics at the University of Exeter, and Hazel Jeffrey, head of strategic management at the UK's Natural Environment Research Council, who were both involved in the Royal Society's new report but writing independently for Physics World, examine the potentials of different geoengineering initiatives.
Different schemes for both direct carbon-dioxide removal, such as fertilising the ocean with a nutrient such as iron to enhance the oceanic carbon sink, and solar-radiation management through, for example, brightening the clouds have different benefits, costs and risks associated.
What sounds like sci-fi could be a crucial alternative to common mitigation, which, even if carbon emission should be cut by as much as 50% by 2050, is unlikely to keep global warming below two degrees this century.
While more research needs to be done to ascertain the risks and effectiveness associated with these large-scale interventions in the climate system, many geoengineering strategies have a better benefit-to-cost ratio than conventional mitigation methods.
Neither costs nor practicality might be the real reasons behind climate scientists' reluctance to embrace geoengineering, as Cox and Jeffrey highlight, "The primary reason there has been so little debate about geoengineering amongst climate scientists is concern that such a debate would imply an alternative to reducing the human carbon footprint."
Joseph Winters | EurekAlert!
Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top
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New record on squeezing light to one atom: Atomic Lego guides light below one nanometer
20.04.2018 | ICFO-The Institute of Photonic Sciences
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
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12.04.2018 | Event News
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20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy