Geoengineering plan is criticized

August 24, 2007

U.S. scientists criticized a geoengineering proposal that would emulate volcanic eruptions as a means of combating global warming.

Global warning occurs when greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, build up in the atmosphere and alter outgoing longwave radiation. Some scientists have proposed mitigating global warming by emulating a volcanic eruption, since volcanic aerosols scatter incoming sunlight, reducing outgoing radiation.

But Kevin Trenberth and Aiguo Dai of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research cautioned against the mitigation proposal.

The scientists examined precipitation and streamflow records from 1950 to 2004 to document the effects of volcanic eruptions from Mexico's El Chichon in 1982 and the Philippines' Mount Pinatubo in 1991.

They found that following the Pinatubo eruption there was a substantial global decrease in precipitation over land, a record decrease in runoff and river discharge into the oceans and widespread drying over land during the following year.

Thus, the authors conclude, major adverse effects, including drought, could arise from geoengineering solutions to global warming.

Their study is reported in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Researchers pinpoint promising approach for analyzing atmospheric particles from space

Related Stories

Expert: Lift taboo on Earth engineering

September 23, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- The effects of climate change are so uncertain and potentially long-lasting that policymakers should begin examining options that include geoengineering, an area that has so far been off-limits, according ...

Recommended for you

Meteorite source in asteroid belt not a single debris field

February 17, 2019

A new study published online in Meteoritics and Planetary Science finds that our most common meteorites, those known as L chondrites, come from at least two different debris fields in the asteroid belt. The belt contains ...

Diagnosing 'art acne' in Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings

February 17, 2019

Even Georgia O'Keeffe noticed the pin-sized blisters bubbling on the surface of her paintings. For decades, conservationists and scholars assumed these tiny protrusions were grains of sand, kicked up from the New Mexico desert ...

Archaeologists discover Incan tomb in Peru

February 16, 2019

Peruvian archaeologists discovered an Incan tomb in the north of the country where an elite member of the pre-Columbian empire was buried, one of the investigators announced Friday.

Where is the universe hiding its missing mass?

February 15, 2019

Astronomers have spent decades looking for something that sounds like it would be hard to miss: about a third of the "normal" matter in the Universe. New results from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory may have helped them ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.