Geoengineering the climate: science, governance and uncertainty. London, GB, Royal Society, 98pp.
(RS Policy document, 10/29).
Geoengineering, or the deliberate large-scale manipulation of the planetary environment to counteract anthropogenic climate change, has been suggested as a new potential tool for addressing climate change. Efforts to address climate change have primarily focused on mitigation, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and more recently on addressing the impacts of climate change—adaptation. However, international political consensus on the need to reduce emissions has been very slow in coming, and there is as yet no agreement on the emissions reductions needed beyond 2012. As a result global emissions have continued to increase by about 3% per year (Raupach et al. 2007), a faster rate than that projected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (IPCC 2001)7 even under its most fossil fuel intensive scenario (A1FI8) in which an increase in global mean temperature of about 4°C (2.4 to 6.4°C) by 2100 is projected (Rahmstorf et al. 2007). The scientifi c community is now becoming increasingly concerned that emissions will not be reduced at the rate and magnitude required to keep the increase in global average temperature below 2°C (above pre-industrial levels) by 2100. Concerns with the lack of progress of the political processes have led to increasing interest in geoengineering approaches. This Royal Society report presents an independent scientifi c review of the range of methods proposed with the aim of providing an objective view on whether geoengineering could, and should, play a role in addressing climate change, and under what conditions.
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