Geo-Engineering SRM - Bad Idea?

GEO ENGINEERING: "Solar Radiation Management" - A Bad Idea?

Solar Radiation Management (SRM) means artificially partially blocking out the sun, for example with chemicals put in the atmosphere. The purpose of SRM is to control global warming. I grew up in Los Angeles; the smog was so bad the sky was grey. The idea here is to create worldwide smog. 

Solar Radiation Management would not ameliorate ocean acidification and it could never stop - otherwise unmitigated global warming would resume as if the scheme had never been implemented. Other problems include:

(1)  Distraction from solving the climate problem through mitigation.

(2)  Can’t test a geo-engineering scheme at global scales over long times to see if it works without having major unintended consequences.

(3)  Undesirable regional variations.


VIDEO by Katherine Hayhoe - What is geoengineering anyways?

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Solar radiation management (SRM) techniques would seek to reduce sunlight absorbed. This would be achieved by deflecting sunlight away from the Earth, or by increasing the reflectivity of the atmosphere or the Earth's surface. These methods would not reduce greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, and thus would not seek to address problems such as the ocean acidification caused by CO2. In general, solar radiation management projects presently appear to be able to take effect rapidly and to have very low direct implementation costs relative to greenhouse gas emissions cuts and carbon dioxide removal. Furthermore, many proposed SRM methods would be reversible in their direct climatic effects. While greenhouse gas remediation offers a more comprehensive possible solution to global warming, it does not give instantaneous results; for that, solar radiation management is required. Source: Wikipedia

Solar radiation management methods:

  • Surface-based: for example, using pale-colord roofing materials, attempting to change the oceans' brightness, or growing high-albedo crops.
  • Troposphere-based: for example, marine cloud brightening, which would spray fine sea water to whiten clouds and thus increase cloud reflectivity.
  • Upper atmosphere-based: creating reflective aerosols, such as stratospheric sulfate aerosols, specifically designed self-levitating aerosols, or other substances.
  • Space-based: space sunshade—obstructing solar radiation with space-based mirrors, dust, etc.



Geo Engineering is also called Climate Engineering.

Solar Radiation Management is also called Albedo Modification.

Solar Radiation Management is not the at all the same as another form of Geo Engineering, carbon sequestration. Carbon sequestration is a generally good idea (though currently expensive). See HERE for information.  

The National Academy of Sciences distinguishes between Solar Radiation Management and Carbon  sequestration. See HERE.


Some References 


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Last edit 8Dec2017