Benefits, risks, and costs of stratospheric geoengineering

Handle URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10754/552099
Title:
Benefits, risks, and costs of stratospheric geoengineering
Authors:
Robock, Alan; Marquardt, Allison; Kravitz, Ben; Stenchikov, Georgiy L. ( 0000-0001-9033-4925 )
Abstract:
Injecting sulfate aerosol precursors into the stratosphere has been suggested as a means of geoengineering to cool the planet and reduce global warming. The decision to implement such a scheme would require a comparison of its benefits, dangers, and costs to those of other responses to global warming, including doing nothing. Here we evaluate those factors for stratospheric geoengineering with sulfate aerosols. Using existing U.S. military fighter and tanker planes, the annual costs of injecting aerosol precursors into the lower stratosphere would be several billion dollars. Using artillery or balloons to loft the gas would be much more expensive. We do not have enough information to evaluate more exotic techniques, such as pumping the gas up through a hose attached to a tower or balloon system. Anthropogenic stratospheric aerosol injection would cool the planet, stop the melting of sea ice and land-based glaciers, slow sea level rise, and increase the terrestrial carbon sink, but produce regional drought, ozone depletion, less sunlight for solar power, and make skies less blue. Furthermore it would hamper Earth-based optical astronomy, do nothing to stop ocean acidification, and present many ethical and moral issues. Further work is needed to quantify many of these factors to allow informed decision-making.
KAUST Department:
Environmental Science and Engineering Program
Citation:
Benefits, risks, and costs of stratospheric geoengineering 2009, 36 (19) Geophysical Research Letters
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell
Journal:
Geophysical Research Letters
Issue Date:
2-Oct-2009
DOI:
10.1029/2009GL039209
Type:
Article
ISSN:
0094-8276
Additional Links:
http://doi.wiley.com/10.1029/2009GL039209
Appears in Collections:
Articles; Environmental Science and Engineering Program

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorRobock, Alanen
dc.contributor.authorMarquardt, Allisonen
dc.contributor.authorKravitz, Benen
dc.contributor.authorStenchikov, Georgiy L.en
dc.date.accessioned2015-05-03T13:46:58Zen
dc.date.available2015-05-03T13:46:58Zen
dc.date.issued2009-10-02en
dc.identifier.citationBenefits, risks, and costs of stratospheric geoengineering 2009, 36 (19) Geophysical Research Lettersen
dc.identifier.issn0094-8276en
dc.identifier.doi10.1029/2009GL039209en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/552099en
dc.description.abstractInjecting sulfate aerosol precursors into the stratosphere has been suggested as a means of geoengineering to cool the planet and reduce global warming. The decision to implement such a scheme would require a comparison of its benefits, dangers, and costs to those of other responses to global warming, including doing nothing. Here we evaluate those factors for stratospheric geoengineering with sulfate aerosols. Using existing U.S. military fighter and tanker planes, the annual costs of injecting aerosol precursors into the lower stratosphere would be several billion dollars. Using artillery or balloons to loft the gas would be much more expensive. We do not have enough information to evaluate more exotic techniques, such as pumping the gas up through a hose attached to a tower or balloon system. Anthropogenic stratospheric aerosol injection would cool the planet, stop the melting of sea ice and land-based glaciers, slow sea level rise, and increase the terrestrial carbon sink, but produce regional drought, ozone depletion, less sunlight for solar power, and make skies less blue. Furthermore it would hamper Earth-based optical astronomy, do nothing to stop ocean acidification, and present many ethical and moral issues. Further work is needed to quantify many of these factors to allow informed decision-making.en
dc.publisherWiley-Blackwellen
dc.relation.urlhttp://doi.wiley.com/10.1029/2009GL039209en
dc.rightsArchived with thanks to Geophysical Research Lettersen
dc.titleBenefits, risks, and costs of stratospheric geoengineeringen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentEnvironmental Science and Engineering Programen
dc.identifier.journalGeophysical Research Lettersen
dc.eprint.versionPublisher's Version/PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionDepartment of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USAen
kaust.authorStenchikov, Georgiy L.en
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