Ecosystem impacts of geoengineering: A review for developing a science plan

Lynn M. Russell, Philip J. Rasch, Georgina M. Mace, Robert B. Jackson, John Shepherd, Peter Liss, Margaret Leinen, David Schimel, Naomi E. Vaughan, Anthony C. Janetos, Philip W. Boyd, Richard J. Norby, Ken Caldeira, Joonas Merikanto, Paulo Artaxo, Jerry Melillo, M. Granger Morgan

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76 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Geoengineering methods are intended to reduce climate change, which is already having demonstrable effects on ecosystem structure and functioning in some regions. Two types of geoengineering activities that have been proposed are: carbon dioxide (CO2) removal (CDR), which removes CO2 from the atmosphere, and solar radiation management (SRM, or sunlight reflection methods), which reflects a small percentage of sunlight back into space to offset warming from greenhouse gases (GHGs). Current research suggests that SRM or CDR might diminish the impacts of climate change on ecosystems by reducing changes in temperature and precipitation. However, sudden cessation of SRM would exacerbate the climate effects on ecosystems, and some CDR might interfere with oceanic and terrestrial ecosystem processes. The many risks and uncertainties associated with these new kinds of purposeful perturbations to the Earth system are not well understood and require cautious and comprehensive research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-369
Number of pages20
JournalAMBIO
Volume41
Issue number4
Early online date20 Mar 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

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