Giving Compass' Take:

• Mark Kaufman at Mashable writes on geoengineering and it's potential benefits and success if carried out correctly. 

• Solar geoengineering is full of controversy and widely viewed as risky business. How can more research be done to unlock it's potential? 

• Learn about the possible risks and rewards when it comes to geoengineering. 


The somewhat sci-fi concept — to use blimps, planes, or other means to load Earth's atmosphere with particles or droplets that reflect sunlight and cool the planet — has crept into the mainstream conversation as a means of reversing relentless climate change, should our efforts to slash carbon emissions fail or sputter. But geoengineering schemes come with a slew of hazards. A number of studies have cited the ill consequences of messing with Earth's sun intake, including big falls in crop production, the likelihood of unforeseen adverse side effects, and critically, a weakened water cycle that could trigger drops in precipitation and widespread drought.

Yet new research, published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, acknowledges these problems but finds a potential fix: only deploying enough reflective specks in the atmosphere to reduce about half of Earth's warming, rather than relying on geoengineering to completely return Earth to the cooler, milder climate of the 19th century. In other words, giving Earth a geoengineering dose that would reverse a significant portion of the warming, but not enough to stoke the problematic side effects.

Read the full article on the potential of geoengineering by Mark Kaufman at Mashable