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Geoengineering the climate
Geoengineering the climate:
the way forward?: EGU 2014
Getting Real About Energy
Getting Real About Energy: EGU 2010

Geoengineering the climate: the way forward?
3:30pm, Thursday 1st May 2014
European Geosciences Union General Assembly
Vienna, Austria

Convener: Caspar Hewett
Co-Conveners: Jonathan Dick, Oksana Tarasova, Bárbara Ferreira, Mark Wilkinson and Paul Quinn

For years geoengineering, defined by the United Kingdom’s Royal Society as “the deliberate large-scale manipulation of the planetary environment to counteract anthropogenic climate change,” was seen by many as a peripheral and slightly bizarre area of research. However, given ongoing difficulties with negotiating emission reduction targets and with 2015 fast approaching – the year when countries have to conclude a global climate agreement through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – many have started taking geoengineering seriously as a potential way to offset the negative consequences of climate change. When the recent IPCC report suggested that geoengineering the climate could be necessary to meet climate goals, it brought the controversy over the topic into the spotlight. So, how feasible is it to manipulate the Earth system for our own ends? Is it something we should be doing? Or will it do more harm than good?

Proponents of geoengineering argue that it is an essential component to counteract climate change and that it provides a cost-effective alternative to reducing carbon emissions. Those against it argue the risks are too great and the unknowns too numerous. So what stand should geoscientists take on this? Should there be a major push for research funding for this area? Should we be going ahead with large-scale experiments?

This Great Debate addressed these questions and critically examined the controversy surrounding geoengineering.

Ken Caldeira, Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution
Krishna Kumar Kanikicharla, Coordinating Lead Author, IPCC Working Group I
Mark Lawrence, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam
Andreas Oschlies, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
Paul Quinn, School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University

Moderator: Caspar Hewett


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Ken Caldeira
Since 2005, Ken Caldeira has been a scientist at Carnegie Institution for Science’s Department of Global Ecology and a Professor, by courtesy, in Stanford University’s Department of Environmental Earth System Sciences. Prior to that, he was in the Energy & Environment Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. His bachelor’s degree is in Philosophy from Rutgers College, and he has a masters and PhD in Atmospheric Sciences from New York University. Ken takes a wide-angle view on the world, investigating issues related to climate, carbon, and energy systems. His primary tools are climate and the carbon cycle models, and he also does field work related to ocean acidification. His basic research strategy is to ride on the coat-tails of the excellent postdoctoral researchers in his group.

Krishna Kumar Kanikicharla
Dr Kumar is a Coordinating Lead Author in Working Group 1 of the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and has over 30 years of research experience in the areas of Monsoon, climate change and impact assessment. He has a doctoral degree in Atmospheric Physics from India and has been working with Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, India since 1982 and now on an assignment with Qatar Meteorology Department as a Meteorological Consultant. He has published more than 50 research papers in peer reviewed journals and won several awards including the prestigious Norbert Gerbier Mumm International Award of the World Meteorological Organization?. He is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences.

Mark Lawrence
Mark Lawrence is a scientific director at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam. He leads the Sustainable Interactions with the Atmosphere research cluster which focuses on the impacts & mitigation of short-lived, climate-forcing pollutants, particularly in the face of global urbanization, and on the potential impacts, uncertainties & risks of climate engineering. He is author or co-author of over 100 peer-reviewed publications, has been editor for the journals Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics and Atmospheric Environment, and has served on various international committees, most notably the Science Team of the UNEP Atmospheric Brown Clouds project, the Scientific Steering Committee of the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry project and the Commission on Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution. In 2013 he became contributing author of the IPCC

Andreas Oschlies
Andreas Oschlies is Professor of Marine Biogeochemical Modelling at GEOMAR and the University of Kiel, Germany. Having studied Theoretical Physics at Heidelberg & Cambridge, he moved into Oceanography for a PhD in Kiel (awarded 1994) and worked as PostDoc in Toulouse, Assistant Professor in Kiel and Professor in Southampton, before moving back to Kiel in 2006. His research interests include the global carbon, nitrogen and oxygen cycles, their sensitivities to environmental change, and the development and quality assessment of numerical models appropriate to investigate these. He is PI of the Excellence Cluster "The Future Ocean", speaker of the Collaborative Research Centre "Climate-Biogeochemistry Interactions in the Tropical Ocean" and coordinator of the Priority Program “Climate Engineering: Risks, Challenges, Opportunities?”, all funded by the German Research Foundation.

Paul Quinn, School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University
Dr Paul Quinn is a Senior Lecturer in Catchment Hydrology at Newcastle University in the UK. He has worked for 16 years in the School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences and also with the Newcastle Institute for Research in Sustainability. He declares himself to be an Earth Systems Engineer specialising in Catchment Systems Engineering. This includes pollution, flooding and drought management. Basically Paul likes to cover catchments in ponds, wetlands and woody debris and believes in working with natural systems. He is optimistic that good healthy systems just need good management.

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