One of Britain’s leading astronomers has said that if plans to curb carbon dioxide emissions fail, the only way to buy time and stop climate change would be to ‘hack the planet’ through geoengineering.
Astronomer royal Lord Rees of Ludlow said during the annual British Science Festival in Newcastle that geoengineering, although controversial, might help save the planet. He is pessimistic that measures to tackle climate change will be effective within the next 20 years, as carbon dioxide levels have reached 400 parts per million (ppm) and are set to increase even more, amplifying global warming.
“If the effect is strong, and the world consequently seems on a rapidly warming trajectory into dangerous territory, there may be a pressure for ‘panic measures’. These would have to involve a Plan B – being fatalistic about continuing dependence on fossil fuels, but combating its effects by some form of geoengineering”, said Rees.
The plan B suggested by Rees might include launching mirrors into space, triggering algal blooms in the oceans and seeding clouds.
“Geoengineering would be an utter political nightmare: not all nations would want to adjust the thermostat the same way. There could be unintended side effects. Regional weather patterns may change”, he said.
He added that such measures would only buy time but will not stop the warming trend.
“The warming would return with a vengeance if the countermeasures were ever discontinued; and other consequences of rising CO2 – especially the deleterious effects of ocean acidification – would be unchecked.”
Greenpeace chief scientist Doug Parr said Rees was right about unpredictability and side effects of geoengineering, “Yet [he] advances it as a last resort, despite the obvious, much safer things we can do now.”
Lord Rees is also leading the “doomsday list” initiative, working with other prominent scientists and engineers, such as cosmologist Stephen Hawking, former government chief scientist Lord May of Oxford and Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn.
The team are working to compile a list of catastrophes and events that could threaten humankind and the planet to be presented to politicians and the public. It is thought the list will include acts of bioterrorism, cyber attacks and pandemics caused by global air travel.
Like our Facebook Page
Investing in a Sustainable Environmental Future for Northern Virginia
Prominent Trends in Seafood Sustainability in 2022
Can PEMF Help To Improve Plant Growth for Eco-Friendly Gardeners
How the U.S. Government is Promoting Green Energy in the Country
12 Essential Things for Buying Your First Home
Harnessing Sustainability with User-Centric Technology Innovation
Making Your Dream of Having an Eco-Friendly Garden Come True
Tips for Optimal Waste Management in Your Home
The Agricultural Benefits of Weather Stations for Eco-Friendly Farmers
What Makes Online Furniture Eco-Friendly?
7 Eco-Friendly Plant-Based Alternatives for Everyday Products
Top 5 Benefits of Eco-Friendly Cars
Why Eco-Friendly Homes Should Have Outdoor Bathrooms
Merits of Sustainability Reporting: What Every Manager Must Know
Low Emission and Clean Air Zones: What You Need To Know
4 Ways To Build A Sustainable Home
CEO Brian Ladin Explains How The Shipping Industry Is Going Green
A Guide to Eco-Friendly Landscaping
Why Transitioning Your Company to an EV Fleet Makes Sense?
6 Practices for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Plant Operations
- Features11 months ago
Seven Health and Safety Tips for Eco-Friendly Products in a Green Home
- Energy11 months ago
Eco-Friendly Homeowners Lower Carbon Footprints through Greater Air Conditioner Efficiency
- Features11 months ago
Essential Guidelines for Eco-friendly Moving into new Home
- Features10 months ago
5 Compelling Reasons to Hire an Eco-Friendly Contractor