Geoengineering: integrated assessment and feasibility study
Geoengineering is in its infancy and research is required to reduce uncertainties about the various methods and their impacts should they be required in the future.
Project 1: IAGP – Integrated Assessment of Geoengineering Proposals
This interdisciplinary project (which involves six UK Universities and the Met Office) will begin to address the gap in our knowledge of geoengineering schemes, paying particular attention to the potential for side-effects and unanticipated consequences. The project will develop a comprehensive evaluation framework that will allow an in-depth comparison of all major geoengineering proposals. The project combines Earth system modelling and deliberative engagement with stakeholders and publics to ensure the evaluation is accountable to a variety of values and criteria and ensures that issues and society's values are centrally incorporated within the evaluation.
Project 2: SPICE – Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate change
A variety of 'geoengineering' options have been proposed to help mitigate future impacts of climate change through the reduction of GHG emissions, including solar radiation management (SRM) which involves offsetting the effects of GHG increases by causing the Earth to absorb less radiation from the Sun. Reducing incoming solar radiation by injecting sulphate aerosol into the stratosphere was considered the most rapidly deployable, affordable and effective option by the recent Royal Society report on Geoengineering the Climate. The SPICE project, which is being undertaken by the Universities of Cambridge, Bristol and Oxford, will investigate the effectiveness of stratospheric particle injection. It will address the three grand challenges in solar radiation management: 1. How much, of what, needs to be injected where into the atmosphere to effectively and safely manage the climate system? 2. How do we deliver it there? 3. What are the likely impacts?
It is highly likely this project will help inform the rapidly developing research agenda and inform policy on Geoengineering. The SPICE project will better position the UK to make decisions about further research on stratospheric aerosols.
It is also possible that this research may also start to facilitate engagement internationally.
It is expected that DECC, Defra, the Environment Agency and the Carbon Trust will be particularly interested in the outputs of these projects.
Programme Facts and Figures
Start and end dates: March 2010 - October 2014
Contact: Nick Cook