December 2015

18.12.2015

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Smithsonian: Airplane Contrails May Be Creating Accidental Geoengineering

"Dissipating haze from plane exhaust alters how sunlight reaches the Earth and may be unintentionally affecting our climate"

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18.12.2015

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FCEA Blog: Why We Should Treat SRM and CDR Separately

By Josh Horton. "In his post “Why We Shouldn’t Be In a Hurry to Redefine ‘Climate Engineering,’” Duncan McLaren presents a thoughtful argument against the view that the two main families of potential climate engineering technologies—solar radiation management (SRM) and carbon dioxide removal (CDR)—should be treated as separate and distinct groups of climate response strategies.  In this brief comment, I will argue that McLaren’s presentation of the case for disaggregation is lacking in significant respects, and that a more thorough consideration of the arguments leads to the conclusion that, as a general rule, SRM and CDR should indeed be treated as fundamentally different forms of potential climate intervention."

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17.12.2015

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BBC News: Jet traffic linked to ice haze

No intentional climate engineering, but unintended whitening effects from air traffic. "Planes may be making a high-altitude icy haze that is brightening US skies, according to a group of scientists."

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17.12.2015

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FCEA Blog: Why we shouldn’t be in a hurry to redefine ‘climate engineering’

"Further, it is pointed out that the enhancement of carbon sinks is already included in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change agreements, and, moreover, that IPCC projections rely on unspecified negative emissions (often inappropriately assumed to be implausibly large deployments of Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS)) to prevent high probabilities of temperature rises exceeding 2oC. In this context, it is suggested, we should get on with the important business of developing CDR, and avoid the distractions that arise from it being labelled as geoengineering."

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17.12.2015

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Technology Review: P aris Climate Agreement Rests on Shaky Technological Foundations

"The effort to limit global climate change relies on technologies that are unproven or even illusory."

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16.12.2015

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FCEA Blog: Cost-Benefit Analysis of Solar Geoengineering

By Juan Moreno-Cruz, and Soheil Shayegh. "Solar geoengineering (SGE) offers the possibility of offsetting greenhouse-gas-induced temperature increases by reducing incoming solar radiation. Its key advantages are 1) it is fast. Unlike emissions reductions, which can take decades to bear results, SGE can reduce global temperatures nearly instantaneously. 2) it is cheap. SGE can potentially reduce temperatures at costs that are several orders of magnitude lower compared to abatement – this has been called “the incredible economics of geoengineering”."

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15.12.2015

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the guardian: EU says 1.5C global warming target depends on ‘negative emissions’ technology

"EU climate chief says that aspirational 1.5C target was put into Paris climate deal at insistence of ‘most exposed countries’ and will require new strategies"

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15.12.2015

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Slate: Can We Achieve the Paris Climate Goals Without Unproven Technology?

"Significantly, the Paris accords already contain a nod to such interventions, encoding it in the awkwardly worded recognition of “removals by sinks of greenhouse gases.” Here, a “sink” is a system that pulls gasses out of the air and sequesters them. There are many ways of producing carbon sinks, including the time-honored tradition of growing forests. But this approach is a slow one, especially in relation to the timeline that the Paris accords establish. In effect, then, this phrase could be read as an acknowledgment of the need to try out other techniques—and to do so posthaste."

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15.12.2015

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Berkeley Blog: Does the Paris agreement open the door to geoengineering?

"The question, however, is whether it is feasible to reach that goal through emission cuts. On that score, as Ann explained in an earlier post, there is considerable doubt. On an optimistic view, the goal is achievable — but only with immediate, rigorous emissions reductions combined with new technologies to remove CO2 from the atmosphere."

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14.12.2015

# Calls & events

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News Review of Week 51

The news review of calendar week 51 in 2015 is now available here.


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