Climate change – Unavoidable through passive means, but what about more active measures?

Ship stranded by the retreat of Kazakhstans Aral Sea
Ship stranded by the retreat of Kazakhstan's Aral Sea

NPR reports that a scientist at NOAA, Susan Solomon, says that the damage done by our CO2 emissions has already reached the stage that a considerable amount of future damage is unavoidable, going so far as to use the term “irreversible” to win some new and much needed press coverage. While the soundbite above hardly breaks new ground, one must wonder if Solomon studied active methods to combat this phenomenon. She seems to have a lot to say about the relative inadequacy of cutting emissions now, but I wonder what she’d say if queried about the possible role of devices like those used by the fictional teraformers of Mars in Kim Stanley Robinson’s award winning novels? What possible role should orbital mirrors and the like play in trying to mitigate the impact of these changes?  To tone things down to the realm of something not just possible and plausible but something that she might feel free to approach with more of a straight face, what role can solar radiation management in the broad, general sense play in mitigating the impact of global warming? These questions really need to be asked more often if the necessary but apparently grossly inadequate cuts in greenhouse gas emissions that currently drive international debate ain’t going to cut it.

Anyone know enough to simply dismiss those options out of hand? I’m not familiar enough with the topic to tell the crazy fringe from the unpopular fringe. They do seem to get some coverage in the pop-sci press, ala New Scientist. See Sunshade’ for global warming could cause drought by Catherine Brahic.

Via: Global Warming Irreversible, NOAA Scientist Finds on Slashdot.org

3 thoughts on “Climate change – Unavoidable through passive means, but what about more active measures?”

  1. It’s an interesting topic, and there doesn’t seem to be any quick solution.

  2. We own destroying our house-our planet. We pollute environment and do not think about the future, but our children and grandchildren will live on earth, and what life it will be life, depend on us.

    1. Carrie: Which has precisely what to do with this story’s topic? Perhaps you might consider reading it, as it is entirely spent doing precisely what you insist that we do not do.

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