A last-ditch global warming fix? A man-made 'volcanic' eruption

NBC News | 6/19/1991 | Staff
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The international panel charged with reining in climate change said this week that the world needs to take "unprecedented" steps to remake its energy, transportation and agriculture systems to avoid the worst effects of global warming.

What the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change did not discuss was an even more radical potential response — one that would re-engineer Earth’s stratosphere to create a massive heat shield by effectively duplicating the fallout that follows a volcanic eruption.

Kind - Geoengineering - Pinatubo - Strategy - Volcano

This kind of revolutionary “solar geoengineering” — known by some as the “Pinatubo Strategy,” after a volcano whose 1991 eruption shrouded the planet in a sulfurous cloud — was once relegated to a far corner of academia. But a number of scientists and environmental advocates said this week that the IPCC report — punctuated by Hurricane Michael, which hit the Florida panhandle and may have been intensified by global warming — argues for speeding up the study of the once unthinkable.

“The politics of this were impossible a few years ago. But not so much now,” said Rafe Pomerance, chairman of the environmental alliance Arctic 21 and a four-decade advocate of increased action on global warming. “If we think the problem of climate change is catastrophic, how can we say that we can’t at least consider this as an option?”

View - Week - Grandfather - Climate - Science

That view was seconded this week by the “grandfather” of modern climate science, by the founder of the Harvard laboratory that is a center of geoengineering research and even by scientists who have raised serious reservations about human tampering with the Earth's singular climate system.

“I think it makes sense to have a substantially larger research effort on solar geoengineering,” said David Keith, the professor of applied physics who leads Harvard’s Solar Geoengineering Research Program. Like others who have looked at the unusual alternative, Keith believes that humankind’s primary...
(Excerpt) Read more at: NBC News
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