Geoengineering By: Luke Fischer


Geoengineering- A specific type of engineering that focuses on ideas/ways to change the environment in order to benefit the climate.

Iron Fertilization- The process of dumping iron into the ocean in order to create a special form of plankton that will absorb co2 out of the air.

SRM- Solar radiation management is the process of reflecting some of the sun's energy back into space in order to keep stable temperatures.

CDR-Carbon dioxide removing is the process of removing c02 from the atmosphere to counteract the greenhouse effect.

Carbon emission- This is the process of releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere

what are some of the effects geoengineering will have on the environment?

With the topic of Geoengineering, there are many side effects of directly altering the environment that could be detrimental to the earth. Claudia Geib, science writer and editor states ”experts predict directly cutting off sunlight could reduce agricultural productivity, alter weather patterns, shift polar ice coverage, and change the patterns of ocean circulation”. Even though blocking some of the sun's sunlight sounds like a good idea in theory to reduce the earth's temperature, In reality the risk does not outweigh the reward. In fact, the National Academies of Science stated that tinkering with the global climate now would be irrational and irresponsible and climate change can only be avoided by cutting emissions. Something needs to be done to lower the earth's temperature but blocking the earth's sunlight is not the answer, so we need to find another geo-engineering option. All these unsuccessful geo-engineering attempts have left many people wondering if Geo-engineering even has the potential to reverse global warming.

Does Geo-engineering have the potential to reverse global warming?

Geoengineering does has the potential to reverse the effects of global warming through many plans such as Albedo Modification, Iron fertilization, and space based reflection. In fact, a 2006 NASA-funded research effort found by reducing global sunlight levels by just 2 percent, the Earth would cool enough to balance the effects of global warming. If Geoengineers are able to put one of their many ideas for blocking a small amount of sunlight into action then they will be able to put an end to the increasing temperatures. Which is one of the geoneineers top ideas that Karl Mathiesen an environmental journalist talks about with the albedo modification.”the albedo modification could inject aerosols into the earth's upper atmosphere and could scatter the amount of sunlight that comes down which could cool the earth”. If the albedo modification works, it would scatter enough sunlight in order to stop global warming through cooling the earth. However, each one of the Geoengineers ideas, including the albedo modification comes with unforeseen challenges.

what are some of the challenges geo-engineers have to overcome?

Geoengineers face hundreds of challenges everyday. Each one of their ideas comes with several challenges they need to overcome. Science writer Claudia Geib states “the technical challenges for implementing each would be immense. And accomplishing these proposals would also require a precise and sustained collaboration between nearly every nation on Earth, a feat that has never been accomplished”. This shows that not only do we lack the technology to create the geoengineers ideas, but also the collaboration of all the other countries to perform there part in stopping global warming. In fact, Jamais Cascio made the point that most of the ideas for geoengineering are way ahead of our time, so we don't have to the technology to make them. As well as the money to create them. Right now all the geo-engineering designs are way too advanced to create right now, until new technology is created in the field. Which leads people to wonder if geo-engineers will come up with a plan before global warming makes the earth uninhabitable.

Will geo-engineers come up with a plan before global warming makes the earth uninhabitable

Due to a lack of technology and funds geoengineers haven't been successful yet, and are running out of time to make one of their plans work. In fact, Many experts say that at the rate the earth is going, certain areas will be uninhabitable by the end of the century. So they have a little over 80 years to come up with a plan that works and is cost efficient. According to Claudia Geib “the technical challenges for implementing each would be immense”. So even though the geoengineers have plenty of ideas they don't have the technology to create their inventions. In order to create any of their ideas they will first have to have major advances in the field. Which makes many people question what is the future of geo-engineering.

what is the future of geo-engineering

The future of geoengineering holds high possibilities with all the potential designs that are available. In fact oceanographer, John Martin feels that his idea can save the earth. He stated “Give me half a tanker of iron, and I will give you an ice age.” His idea is called iron fertilization, which essentially is the process of dumping iron into the ocean in order to create a special form of plankton that will absorb co2 out of the air. This could cool the earth's temp down to a safe temperature and keep it there for many years. This isn't the only idea, in fact, U.S scientist have came up with the albedo modification which blocks the amount of sunlight that comes down. This will also reverse the effects of global warming and keep the earth at a safe temperature.


Geib, Claudia. “Our Climate Is Changing Rapidly. It’s Time to Talk About Geoengineering.” Futurism, 12 Jan. 2018, https://futurism.com/climate-change-geoengineering/. Accessed 26 Jan. 2018

Oxford Geoengineering Programme. “What Is Geoengineering?” Oxford Geoengineering Programme, 16 Jan. 2018, http://www.geoengineering.ox.ac.uk/what-is-geoengineering/what-is-geoengineering/. Accessed 29 Jan. 2018

Karl, Mathiesen. “Is Geoengineering a Bad Idea?.” The Guardian, 11 Feb. 2015, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/11/is-geoengineering-a-bad-idea-climate-change. Accessed 1 Feb. 2018

Cascio, Jamais. “Environment: It's time to cool the planet --- A futurist proposes more direct -- and risky -- action to cut greenhouse gases to deal with global warming.” The Wall Street Journal Asia, 12 June. 2009, https://search.proquest.com/globalnews/docview/315576667/109159E1E85F4777PQ/4?accountid=42214. Accessed 6 Feb. 2018

Wigington, Dave. “Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News.” GeoengineeringWatch.org, 3 Feb. 2018,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pCFjMyboTI. Accessed 8 Feb. 2018

politics of geoengineering.” Geographical Journal, 4 Mar. 2016, http://web.b.ebscohost.com.proxy.elm4you.org/ehost/detail/detail?vid=3&sid=7e8cff1d-e269-4082-adaf-1771a42b1575%40sessionmgr101&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=112998814&db=keh. Accessed 8 Feb. 2018

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