Is this a positive development?
Climate research funded by the federal government has recommended geoengineering research to combat climate change and its effects,according to a document from the White House obtained by the New York Times.
The report was released during the final days of President Barack Obama’s government, seen as a last attempt by the Democrat to try to fight against climate change. However, it has raised concerns from some quarters in the climate change fight.
“I do believe it is dangerous to consider engaging in massive planetary interventions with a system we understand imperfectly,” Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Penn State University, told Gizmodo. “The law of unintended consequences reigns supreme.”
The updated report includes research from 13 federal agencies that discusses two approaches to geoengineering, distributing chemicals to reflect more heat-producing light from the sun, and removing carbon dioxide from the air in order for the atmosphere to trap less heat.
The report is only advisory, and it’s still not known if it would be used during the administration of Republican Donald Trump. Trump referred to climate change as a hoax and named several climate deniers to his cabinet and administration.
The document was presented to Congress by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which “provides insight into the science needed to understand potential pathways for climate intervention or geoengineering and the possible consequences of any such measures, both intended and unintended,” according to the report.
Many scientists oppose the idea, saying geoengineering might have negative effects on weather or could be used as a weapon in the hands of wealthy individuals or organizations.