Monday, 1 September 2008

Scientists Warn Radical Solutions Needed to Tackle Climate Change

Writing in a special edition of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, published today, scientists from around the world warn that radical solutions are needed to tackle climate change if the planet is to avert catastrophic global warming.

The scientists call for more research on geo-engineering options, including seeding the oceans with iron to stimulate the growth of marine algae and phytoplankton; thus capturing carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, and seeding artificial clouds over the oceans to reflect sunlight back into space. A study proposes building ships which could spray micrometre-sized drops of seawater into the air under stratocumulus clouds to make the whiter, whilst a second proposes the use of jumbo jets to deposit clouds of sulphur dioxide, these particles then reflecting away sunlight.

Critics argue that a focus on geo-engineering as a solution to climate change is a dangerous distraction from attempts to limit carbon dioxide pollution. It will also do nothing to ameliorate the ecological consequences of ocean acidification. Professor Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society argues: "it is worth devoting effort to clarifying the feasibility and any potential downsides of the various options. None of these technologies will provide a 'get out of jail free card' and they must not divert attention away from efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases."

See full article in the Guardian, 1 September 2008: Extreme and risky action the only way to tackle global warming, say scientists

Link to the Royal Society

1 comment:

Andrew Apel said...

Much of this will eventually prove to be a very embarrassing mistake for many scientists around the world.

In the plant sciences community, specifically among those involved in biotechnology, many projects have gone forward with the notion that the resulting discoveries, translated into technology, will help prevent global warming.

The US$billions spent on global warming research, and the 'cachet' of tying research projects to global warming, has had the beneficial effect of funding research which otherwise would have languished.

At the same time, these research projects have indirectly contributed to hysteria regarding a global trend in temperatures which has yet to emerge.

Thus, good research done in the name of global warming is threatened with the taint of a branch of climatology consistently plagued by misinformation, and often, fraud.

While scientists today may be eager to gain grants by claiming their work involves global warming, they may wish to consider what is now nearly a certainty: that 'global warming' will in future be regarded as a very expensive hoax, and that the value of their research might be measured by the shabby data and inexcusable hype generated around it by eager politicians and activist groups.