Geoengineering Research Given American Meteorological Society Stamp of Approval
photo: *saipal via flickr
Geoengineering raises the collective hackles of the green community like few other issues, with supporters and skeptics alike pointing fingers and raising voices. Both sides can take heart that now the American Meteorological Society has endorsed further research into geoengineering, with the caveat that the social, ethical, and legal implications must also be considered (hat tip to New Scientist). This is what the AMS recommends:
1. Enhanced research on the scientific and technological potential for geoengineering the climate system, including research on intended and unintended environmental responses.
2. Coordinated study of historical, ethical, legal, and social implications of geoengineering that integrates international, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational issues and perspectives and includes lessons from past efforts to modify weather and climate.
3. Development and analysis of policy options to promote transparency and international cooperation in exploring geoengineering options along with restrictions on reckless efforts to manipulate the climate system.
Geoengineering Not a Substitute for Emission Reductions
All of this is recommended in the context of a three-part strategy to reduce the risks from climate change, with geoengineering presented as a last resort. Mitigation efforts (reducing carbon emissions) and adaptation strategies being paramount.
In summary, the AMS says:
Geoengineering will not substitute for either aggressive mitigation or proactive adaptation, but it could contribute to a comprehensive risk management strategy to slow climate change and alleviate some of its negative impacts. The potential to help society cope with climate change and the risks of adverse consequences imply a need for adequate research, appropriate regulation, and transparent deliberation.
Read more: AMS Policy Statement on Geoengineering the Climate System
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