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Geoengineering Research to Receive Funding

by | 16 June 2024

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) announced it will finance research into technologies that could artificially cool the Earth by reflecting sunlight into space.

The initiative, led by Lisa Dilling, associate chief scientist at EDF, aims to provide data to inform policymakers about the potential impacts of such technologies.

These techniques, known as solar geoengineering or solar radiation modification, include methods like injecting aerosols into the stratosphere or brightening clouds to make them more reflective. The goal is to explore whether these interventions could temporarily lower global temperatures while society reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Opponents argue that such research might create a false sense of security by suggesting quick fixes for climate change are available. This concern was highlighted when Alameda, California officials halted a test involving a device designed to propel sea-salt aerosols into the atmosphere, citing potential health and environmental risks. Although the city manager later deemed the experiment safe, the City Council voted on June 5, 2024, to permanently stop it.

Environmental groups, including Greenpeace and the Sierra Club, remain skeptical, citing the uncertain and potentially dangerous side effects of geoengineering. Despite these concerns, EDF stresses that its goal is to gather solid scientific data, not to advocate for immediate deployment of these technologies.


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