Sun reflection technology needs serious research, says report

A global-warming reduction technique that reflects some of the sun’s rays back into space has caused much debate since its emergence in the last few years. A newly formed body […]

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By Tom Gibson

A global-warming reduction technique that reflects some of the sun’s rays back into space has caused much debate since its emergence in the last few years. A newly formed body is calling on serious, multilateral discussions to open as a result.

Solar Radiation Management (SRM), a type of geo-engineering that would cause a small percentage of inbound sunlight to be reflected back into space, in order to reduce global warming, was initially thought to be a suitable answer to environmental problems for its ability to reduce global temperature. However, many scientists are arguing these technologies could also have significant unanticipated side effects and they would not affect the cause of climate change, rising levels of greenhouse gases.

Steve Hamburg, Chief Scientist for Environmental Defense Fund and co-chair of the Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative (SRMGI) said: “Solar Radiation Management might sound, at first, like something from science fiction – but it’s not. Solar Radiation management could be a Plan B to address climate change, but first we must figure out how to research it safely. Only then should we even consider any other steps.”

The SRMGI, an international group of NGOs is convened by the Royal Society and the Environmental Defense Fund. They are calling for global dialogue to discuss both the potential risks and benefits of solar geoengineering and establish effective governance arrangements for research.