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Ambio. 2012 Jun;41(4):350-69. doi: 10.1007/s13280-012-0258-5. Epub 2012 Mar 20.

Ecosystem impacts of geoengineering: a review for developing a science plan.

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1
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0221, USA. lmrussell@ucsd.edu

Abstract

Geoengineering methods are intended to reduce climate change, which is already having demonstrable effects on ecosystem structure and functioning in some regions. Two types of geoengineering activities that have been proposed are: carbon dioxide (CO(2)) removal (CDR), which removes CO(2) from the atmosphere, and solar radiation management (SRM, or sunlight reflection methods), which reflects a small percentage of sunlight back into space to offset warming from greenhouse gases (GHGs). Current research suggests that SRM or CDR might diminish the impacts of climate change on ecosystems by reducing changes in temperature and precipitation. However, sudden cessation of SRM would exacerbate the climate effects on ecosystems, and some CDR might interfere with oceanic and terrestrial ecosystem processes. The many risks and uncertainties associated with these new kinds of purposeful perturbations to the Earth system are not well understood and require cautious and comprehensive research.

PMID:
22430307
PMCID:
PMC3393062
DOI:
10.1007/s13280-012-0258-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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