Geoengineering Being Consider by U.N. to Tackle Climate Change Impacts

Hollywood has produced a number of science fiction blockbusters that depict humans intentionally tampering with the atmosphere. In the movie The Core, for example, scientists invent a way to weaponized weather which in turn has the effect of destroying the Earth’s core.

While movies like this may be entertaining, they typically fall flat on science and instead rely on elements of pseudo-science to move the story along. This works for Hollywood and it shouldn’t be criticized.

Concerns start to be raised when reputable scientists start using Hollywood as a source of inspiration when looking to combat real problems such as those rose from climate change.

Life Mimicking Art

Bloomberg published an article (on Halloween no less) that outlines a very frightening prospect. The United Nations has commissioned a group of people to evaluate “geoengineering methods” that could hedge against climate change.

Said another way, a team of scientists are looking for ways in which humans could alter the atmosphere of the planet to offset the factors driving climate change.

The COP21 Paris climate agreement signed in October 2015 is largely seen as a driving force in evaluating options. That by no means implies that the COP21 agreement should not be pursued; however it does call into question some concerns about how the goals of that agreement could be achieved.

“Within the Paris agreement there’s an implicit assumption that there will need to be greenhouse gases removed. Climate geoengineering is what countries have agreed to do, although they haven’t really realized that they’ve agreed to do it.” – Phil Williamson, U.K.’s University of East Anglia.

What is Geoengineering

Geoengineering is human manipulation of the environment in order to offset some other factor. For example, it could be releasing chemicals into the air that decrease the impact of solar rays on the planet surface.

Geoengineering can also be the application of chemicals to the oceans to reduce oceanic acidification.

The obvious concern here is the unforeseen impacts down the road. Think of instances where invasive species have been introduced to a habitat in order to deal with a pest problem. Entire river systems have been destroyed through invasive species introduction.

The results of this geoengineering report are slated to be delivered in December 2016.