Climate Intervention: Reflecting Sunlight to Cool the Earth - Report from the National Research Council

Monday, 15 December 2014
Marcia K McNutt, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DC, United States, Waleed Abdalati, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, United States, Ken Caldeira, Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington, DC, United States, Scott C Doney, Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst, Woods Hole, MA, United States, Paul G Falkowski, Rutgers University New Brunswick, New Brunswick, NJ, United States, Steven Fetter, University of Maryland College Park, College Park, MD, United States, James Rodger Fleming, Colby College, Waterville, ME, United States, Steven Hamburg, Environmental Defense Fund Boston, Boston, MA, United States, Joyce E Penner, Univ Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States, Granger Morgan, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, United States, Raymond Pierrehumbert, Univ of Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States, Philip J Rasch, Pacific Northwest National Lab, Richland, WA, United States, Lynn M Russell, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, United States, John T Snow, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, United States, David Titley, Pennsylvania State University Main Campus, University Park, PA, United States and Jennifer Wilcox, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, United States
A committee of the National Research Council was charged with performing a technical evaluation of several potential technologies for geoengineering Earth's climate system. This presentation will summarize the committee's report concerning potential methods for changing Earth's albedo in order to cool the planet. Scientific information concerning albedo modification could prove useful in making decisions to take action to potentially offset some of the worst consequences of climate change should efforts at greenhouse gas mitigation and climate adaptation prove inadequate. For several albedo modification methods, the committee has discussed what is currently known about the science, including potential risks and consequences, the technical readiness for deployment, and future research directions. Governance and legal frameworks that could pertain to research-level experiments in order to better understand some of the physics of aerosols and other details are also discussed. This report on albedo modification is a companion to a second report on carbon dioxide removal technologies.