The Implications of Geoengineering

by Jackson Cooney

A government-sponsored panel, assembled by NASA and other federal agencies, was assembled on February 10, 2015 to discuss the implications of using geoengin,,eering as a way to fight climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. Henry Fountain, writing in The New York Times summarizes as follows: geoengineering falls into two categories. One method captures and stores CO2 that has already been emitted. The other involves reflecting the sun’s rays back into the atmosphere so that less heat would enter the Earth. The first option has minimal risks, however it would be expensive and take time to see any noticeable effects. There would also be a need for more research in order to find a way to successfully store the CO2. The second option, solar radiation management, is more controversial. This involves dispersing sulfates into the atmosphere to reflect the sun’s rays away from Earth. This method is inexpensive and the effects are seen quickly, however it would have to be repeated many times. It would also do nothing to solve global problems related to CO2 like Ocean Acidification. Continue reading