Navigation Links
Researchers warn against abrupt stop to geoengineering method
Date:2/17/2014

As a range of climate change mitigation scenarios are discussed, University of Washington researchers have found that the injection of sulfate particles into the atmosphere to reflect sunlight and curb the effects of global warming could pose a severe threat if not maintained indefinitely and supported by strict reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The new study, published today, 18 February, in IOP Publishing's journal Environmental Research Letters, has highlighted the risks of large and spatially expansive temperature increases if solar radiation management (SRM) is abruptly stopped once it has been implemented.

SRM is a proposed method of geoengineering whereby tiny sulfate-based aerosols are released into the upper atmosphere to reflect sunlight and cool the planet. The technique has been shown to be economically and technically feasible; however, its efficacy depends on its continued maintenance, without interruption from technical faults, global cooperation breakdown or funding running dry.

According to the study, global temperature increases could more than double if SRM is implemented for a multi-decadal period of time and then suddenly stopped, in relation to the temperature increases expected if SRM was not implemented at all.

The researchers used a global climate model to show that if an extreme emissions pathwayRCP8.5is followed up until 2035, allowing temperatures to rise 1C above the 19701999 mean, and then SRM is implemented for 25 years and suddenly stopped, global temperatures could increase by 4C in the following decades.

This rate of increase, caused by the build-up of background greenhouse gas emissions, would be well beyond the bounds experienced in the last century and more than double the 2C temperature increase that would occur in the same timeframe if SRM had not been implemented.

On a regional and seasonal scale, the temperature changes would be largest in an absolute sense in winter over high latitude land, but compared to historical fluctuations, temperature changes would be largest in the tropics in summertime, where there is usually very little variation.

Lead author of the research, Kelly McCusker, from the University of Washington, said: "According to our simulations, tropical regions like South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa are hit particularly hard, the very same regions that are home to many of the world's most food insecure populations. The potential temperature changes also pose a severe threat to biodiversity."

Furthermore, the researchers used a simple climate model to study a variety of plausible greenhouse gas scenarios and SRM termination years over the 21st century. They showed that climate sensitivitya measure of how much the climate will warm in response to the greenhouse effecthad a lesser impact on the rate of temperature changes.

Instead, they found that the rates of temperature change were determined by the amount of GHG emissions and the duration of time that SRM is deployed.

"The primary control over the magnitude of the large temperature increases after an SRM shutoff is the background greenhouse gas concentrations. Thus, the greater the future emissions of greenhouse gases, the larger the temperature increases would be, and, similarly, the later the termination occurs while GHG emissions continue, the larger the temperature increases," continued McCusker.

"The only way to avoid creating the risk of substantial temperature increases through SRM, therefore, is concurrent strong reductions of GHG emissions."


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael Bishop
michael.bishop@iop.org
01-179-301-032
Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study by UC Santa Barbara researchers suggests that bacteria communicate by touch
2. UC Santa Barbara researchers discover genetic link between visual pathways of hydras and humans
3. Researchers attempt to solve problems of antibiotic resistance and bee deaths in one
4. UNH researchers find African farmers need better climate change data to improve farming practices
5. Ottawa researchers to lead world-first clinical trial of stem cell therapy for septic shock
6. Researchers uncover molecular pathway through which common yeast becomes fungal pathogen
7. Researchers print live cells with a standard inkjet printer
8. Columbia Engineering and Penn researchers increase speed of single-molecule measurements
9. Researchers reveal how a single gene mutation leads to uncontrolled obesity
10. Researchers discover novel therapy for Crohns disease
11. New paper by Notre Dame researchers describes method for cleaning up nuclear waste
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/24/2017)... The Controller General of Immigration from Maldives Mr. Mohamed ... received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the most innovative high security ... ... Maldives Immigration Controller General, ... picture on the right) have received the IAIR award for the "Most ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , Mar. 23, 2017 Research and ... System Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" ... ... grow at a CAGR of around 8.8% over the next decade ... industry report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all the ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... LIVERMORE, Calif. , March 21, 2017 ... recognition analytics company serving law enforcement agencies, announced today ... Sheridan as director of public safety business development. ... of diversified law enforcement experience, including a focus on ... Vigilant. In his most recent position, Mr. Sheridan served ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/16/2017)... ... July 16, 2017 , ... OHAUS Corporation, a leading worldwide ... its new line of Extreme Environment Shakers today. , Extreme Environment Shakers , ... for optimal cell growth such as cell cultures, solubility studies and extraction procedures. ...
(Date:7/14/2017)... ... ... Dr. Joshua Mondlick has introduced the LANAP® protocol to treat gum disease and ... Phoenix area. Dr. Mondlick is at the forefront of the future of dentistry, ... bone and with significantly less pain than traditional surgery options. , “With traditional surgeries, ...
(Date:7/13/2017)... ... July 13, 2017 , ... Thousands of pilots from across ... the National Aeromodeling Championships (Nats). Pilots come to Muncie to compete in various categories ... on US teams that participate in world championships. , RC Pylon (July 14-21): One ...
(Date:7/13/2017)... Island, NY (PRWEB) , ... July 13, 2017 ... ... starting with only two spectrophotometer calibration standards. Blast forward seven years and ... covers photometric accuracy, holmium oxide for wavelength accuracy, and resolution testing. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: