Climate geoengineering refers to large-scale schemes for intervention in the earth’s oceans, soils and atmosphere with the aim of reducing the effects of climate change, usually temporarily. It includes a wide array of techniques centred around blocking sunlight or reflecting it back into space, removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, or allowing heat to escape into space.
Geoengineering schemes do not attempt to address the root causes of climate change driven by greenhouse gas emissions. Many geoengineering proposals also do not address other major issues such as pollution, ecological destruction from extreme fossil fuel extraction or ocean acidification. Instead, each one is an attempt to address principally one effect of climate change – global increase in temperature – through additional large-scale changes to the atmosphere, oceans, lands, or even outer space.
Because climate geoengineering proposals represent the intentional efforts to change the climate on a global scale, it’s crucial to gather as much information as possible about the risks and potential effects of these techniques.
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