Clouds could be made more reflective and oceans fertilised to increase carbon dioxide absorption under ideas to be discussed at Australia's first high-level climate engineering conference later this month. International interest in climate engineering – also known as geoengineering – is increasing as efforts to curb the world’s emissions of greenhouse gases continue to falter.
Scientists said the event was an important step for Australia into the controversial geoengineering debate but expressed grave concerns some proposed technologies could have dangerous and far-reaching side effects.
The two-day science symposium, starting in Canberra on September 26, is being hosted by the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. Among the more controversial ideas being discussed is the injection of sulphur particles into the stratosphere to reflect sunlight and slow global warming.
Other technologies include fertilising oceans to increase uptake of carbon dioxide and spraying aerosols into the atmosphere to increase the reflectiveness of clouds. But the meeting will also cover relatively benign ways to pull greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, including planting more trees and using climate-friendly agricultural techniques.
Cross-posted from Peak Energy.