Saturday, August 8, 2009
The Use of Geo-Engineering to Slow Global Warming May Increase the Risk of Drought, According to a Paper in Science Journal
As I have repeatedly pointed out, geoengineering the Earth's climate could cause a lot more problems than it solves.
Now, the prestigious Science journal has published a report showing that geoengineering could cause droughts.
As the BBC writes:
Gabriele Hegerl of the Grant Institute at University of Edinburgh and Susan Solomon of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at Boulder, Colorado, write that "if geo-engineering studies focus too heavily on warming, critical risks associated with such possible "cures" will not be evaluated appropriately".
They argue that climate change is about much more than changes in temperature. So using temperature alone to monitor the effects of geo-engineering could be dangerous..
They cite the powerful effects on rainfall of volcanic eruptions which also prevent solar radiation reaching the Earth's surface, albeit by throwing up dust rather than reflecting the radiation back into space.
For example in 1991, the eruption of Mount Pinatubo not only reduced global temperatures but also led to increases in drought...
The article warns that geo-engineering of this type, combined with the effects of global warming could produce reductions in regional rainfall that could rival those of past major droughts, leading to winners and losers among the human population and possible conflicts over water.
They conclude: "optimism about a geo-engineered 'easy way out' should be tempered by examination of currently observed climate changes."
Let's not destroy the planet by ignoring the law of unintended consequences.