Feeds

Boffins: Give up on CO2 cuts, only geoengineering can work

Ordinary eco-efforts a foolish distraction

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Top British climate boffins have said that the only practical hope for arresting global warming is the use of "geoengineering" - techniques intended to reduce the effects of CO2 emissions, as opposed to reducing the CO2 emissions themselves.

The scientists add that not only are large emissions cuts politically and diplomatically unfeasible, but that geoengineering would actually be cheaper and easier.

The new arguments come from Professor Peter Cox, Met Office Chair in climate system dynamics at Exeter Uni, and Hazel Jeffery, a major bigwig at the UK Natural Environment Research Council. The pair presented the case for geoengineering in an article for Physics World yesterday.

Following on from a recent review of geoengineering techniques carried out for the Royal Society, Cox and Jeffery outline the various strategies which have been put forward - generally efforts to remove carbon from the atmosphere or to reflect sunlight back into space.

According to the two scientists, so-called "conventional mitigation" - that is, the curbing of CO2 emissions - is highly unlikely to be implemented effectively by the whole human race, and even if it is it won't work.

Even if global CO2 emissions are cut by 50% by 2050, this now seems unlikely to be enough to keep global warming below 2°C this century ... global CO2 emissions have continued to climb despite growing concerns over climate change. Given that conventional mitigation now appears insufficient to avoid dangerous climate change, do we have a plan B? This is the motivation for geoengineering.

Cox and Jeffery say that most climate scientists have until lately refused to discuss geoengineering as it might seem to allow continued or even increased carbon emissions - generally seen as totally unacceptable among specialists in the field.

Discussion of geoengineering proposals remained taboo among mainstream climate scientists until 2006... 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.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.