“At the present pace, there seems little likelihood that international negotiations will be able to … avoid ‘dangerous anthropogenic interference’ with the climate”
11 Nov 2009
In article in Environmental Research Letters from October 2009, climate scientist Michael MacCracken argues that the world has made so little progress on cutting greenhouse gas emissions that we need to start contemplating geoengineering approaches to counteract climate change:
Global climate change is becoming more apparent and worrisome; at the same time, global emissions of the greenhouse gases that force climate change are continuing to increase. At the present pace, there seems little likelihood that international negotiations will be able to stabilize atmospheric composition at a level that will avoid `dangerous anthropogenic interference’ with the climate system, as called for in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Complicating the situation, as emissions of carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants are reduced, the associated decrease in sulfur dioxide emissions will lead to a reduction in the offsetting cooling influence of the resulting sulfate aerosols. Exposing the full warming influence of the increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases will further complicate the transition to climate stabilization.