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Unforeseen Results of Solar Geoengineering.


Source: AGU Advances

AGU journal editors provide brief summaries of recent papers in Editors’ Highlights.

Climate change is a major challenge of the 21st century. While it cannot replace the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, solar geoengineering (SG) has been suggested as a controversial method to address climate change by injecting aerosols into the stratosphere to reflect sunlight. One of the concerns surrounding SG is the potential unknown risks, uncertainties, and unintended impacts. In their study, Moch et al. [2023] identify an overlooked feedback in the atmosphere caused by stratospheric aerosol injection, which results in ozone depletion and changes in tropospheric atmospheric composition. This feedback can impact the spatial distribution of radiative forcing, leading to both warming and cooling in different regions and raising concerns about global fairness. This highlights the importance of further research on SG and warns us of its potential unforeseen consequences.

Reference: Moch, J. M., Mickley, L. J., Eastham, S. D., Lundgren, E. W., Shah, V., Buonocore, J. J., et al. (2023). Long-term Effects of Solar Geoengineering on Atmospheric Chemistry and Tropospheric Oxidative Capacity. AGU Advances, 4, e2023AV000911. https://doi.org/10.1029/2023AV000911

“Hang Su is the editor for AGU Advances.”

Text © 2023. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

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