Geoengineering: Science & Governance
An MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change and Harvard University Center for the Environment initiative.
ABOUT THE SEMINAR SERIES
Solar geoengineering is the concept of deliberately cooling the Earth by reflecting a small amount of inbound sunlight back into space. It is the only currently known method for reducing temperatures in the short term (years to decades), and therefore has the potential to reduce many of the worst impacts of global warming. But what would be the side effects, both physical and socio-political? How would it work and who gets to decide if it is deployed? Does humanity have the wisdom and the institutions to govern the development of such a powerful technology in this messy, multi-polar world?
This seminar series, held jointly by the Harvard University Center for the Environment (HUCE) and MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, will explore the science, technology, governance and ethics of solar geoengineering. In bringing together international experts, participants will learn some of the greatest challenges and hear opinions on how this technology could and should be managed.
Thursday, October 25
"The Risks and Efficacy of Solar Geoengineering"
David Keith, Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics (SEAS); Professor of Public Policy (Harvard Kennedy School)
5pm, The Green Room, Bldg. 54 Room 915 (Access via 21 Ames St.), Earth, Atmosphere & Planetary Sciences, MIT
Solar geoengineering may enable a significant reduction in climate risks by partially offsetting climate change due to increasing greenhouse gases. However, this emerging technology entails novel risks and uncertainties along with serious challenges to global governance. Most scientific work on the topic has been published in the last half decade. Professor Keith will attempt a rough summary of recent findings regarding (a) the climate's response to radiative forcing by stratospheric aerosols, (b) methods of producing appropriate aerosol distributions, and (c) risks. In closing he will discuss the trade-offs between solar geoengineering, emissions reductions and adaptation in climate policy.
To find out more, please visit: http://environment.harvard.edu/geoengineering. Or follow us on Twitter at #HarvMITGeoeng.