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Geoengineering

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Zachary Goldstein

on 15 August 2015

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Transcript of Geoengineering

Geoengineering Solutions to Global Warming
Geoengineering Solutions to Global Warming
Zach Goldstein
CO2 Air Capture and
Artificial Trees
The United Nations & Geoengineering
SDG # 13
Target 13.2 calls on the international community to "integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning."
What is Geoengineering?
Geoengineering is the deliberate large-scale manipulation of an environmental process that affects the earth's climate, in an attempt to counteract the effects of global warming.
Plastic Resin
Physicist Klaus Lackner - Columbia University
A pale beige polypropylene plastic embedded with 25-micrometer particles of the resin
The resin binds CO2 to form bicarbonate, a kind of salt.
The resin absorbs CO2 roughly 1000 times more efficiently than plants
Mt. Pinatubo and Solar Reflection
In 1991, Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted in one of the largest volcanic blasts of the 20th century.
Released up to 20 million tons of sulfur into the upper atmosphere, shielding the earth from the sun’s rays and causing global temperatures to drop by nearly half a degree Celsius in a single year. (more than half of the amount the planet has warmed due to climate change in 130 years.)
David Keith at Harvard University
Artificial injection of Stratospheric Aerosols
Studies have shown that such a strategy would be powerful, feasible, fast-acting, and cheap, although there may be environmental side effects.
Solar Geoengineering
Geoengineering Ideas
Geoengineering techniques can be divided into two broad categories: Carbon and Solar

Carbon Dioxide Removal
Solar Radiation Management
Stratospheric aerosols
Solar reflectors in Space
Enhance surface brightness
Roads, Roof, Pavements
Enhance cloud brightness
Planting light-leaf species
CO2 air capture
Afforestation/Reforestation
Ocean Fertilization
Avoiding Deforestation
Algae-coated buildings
Biochar
Pros

&

Cons
Global Warming vs.
Climate Change
Global Warming: Increase in average global temperature.

Climate Change: The results of Global Warming, including droughts, heat waves, extreme weather events, etc.
Climate Change is:
A human rights issue:
Right to land
Right to self-determination
Right to life
Right to a safe and healthy environment
A potential humanitarian crisis:
Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
Bangladesh
Sea Level Rise in Bangladesh
Bangladesh: Population 166 Million (8th most populous country in the world, About 1/2 of USA Population)
Population Density:
1218 people per Sq. Km
5th Largest Country by Population Density
Reduce Global Warming
Affordability
Fast-acting
Less cooperation needed
Less altruism needed
Less need to reduce emissions
Possibility of failure
Expense
Control of "thermostat"?
Distract from other efforts
Environmental side effects
Monsoons
Droughts
Ozone layer
Unknown
Geoengineering is the kind of issue the UN is meant to debate:
Affects the entire world
Complex and Controversial
Requires negotiation and cooperation between:
Governments
Scientists/Academia
Civil Society
Private Sector
Lackner calculates that his "tree" can remove one ton of carbon dioxide a day. Ten million could remove 3.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year – equivalent to about 10% of our global annual carbon dioxide emissions. "Our total emissions could be removed with 100 million [artificial] trees," he says, "whereas we would need 1,000 times that in real trees to have the same effect."
If the trees were mass produced they would each initially cost around $20,000.
Biochar:
converting agricultural waste into a form of charcoal that holds carbon and retains nutrients and water in soils
Full transcript