Geoengineering of the climate system by Roy Harrison; Ron Hester; Royal Society of Chemistry (Great

By Roy Harrison; Ron Hester; Royal Society of Chemistry (Great Britain)

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J. Remedios, C. D. Rodgers, M. Corney and F. W. Taylor, Geophys. Res. , 1993, 20(12), 1287–1290. 16. F. D. Pope, P. Braesicke, R. G. Grainger, M. Kalberer, I. M. Watson, P. J. Davidson and R. A. Cox, Nature Climate Change, 2012, 2, 713–719. 17. S. Pacalaw and R. Socolow, Science, 2004, 305, 5686. 18. P. J. Crutzen, The ‘‘Anthropocene’’, in Earth System Science in the Anthropocene, ed. E. Ehlers and T. Krafft, Springer, Berlin, 2006. ¨m, W. Steffen, K. Noone, Å. Persson, F. S. Chapin, E. F. 19. J.

Most SRM research has been justified by framing it in the context of future proofing society against unbearable climate change. The argument is as follows: mitigation by reducing global greenhouse emissions is the best way to solve climate change because it keeps the planet closer to its natural state. However, in the last decades there has been little progress on reducing emissions and in fact our emissions are increasing. For example our CO2 emissions are rising by the equivalent of approximately 2 ppmv per year at present (see Figures 2 and 3).

The governance of geoengineering is another problem. Who would own the technology? And who would fund the process? It seems likely that if geoengineering is to happen then the UN would have to be the ultimate responsible authority. At present, there are no specific UN based regulations against geoengineering. However, several existing frameworks are thought to have relevance to some types of geoengineering, for example: The Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (1972) might be applied to iron fertilization of the oceans, and The Environmental Modification Convention (1978) could potentially be applied more widely to geoengineering schemes in general.

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