[Vision2020] 9-3-2019 BULLETIN OF THE ATOMIC SCIENTISTS "There is no Plan B for dealing with the climate crisis"
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Wed Oct 23 09:27:50 PDT 2019
Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett
There is no Plan B for dealing with the climate crisis
Raymond)[ 1,2,3 ]
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BULLETIN OF THE ATOMIC SCIENTISTS
Published: SEP 3 2019
Early Access: AUG 2019
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To halt global warming, the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere
by human activities such as fossil fuel burning, cement production, and
deforestation needs to be brought all the way to zero. The longer it takes
to do so, the hotter the world will get. Lack of progress towards
decarbonization has created justifiable panic about the climate crisis.
This has led to an intensified interest in technological climate
interventions that involve increasing the reflection of sunlight to space
by injecting substances into the stratosphere which lead to the formation
of highly reflective particles. When first suggested, such albedo
modification schemes were introduced as a "Plan B," in case the world
economy fails to decarbonize, and this scenario has dominated much of the
public perception of albedo modification as a savior waiting in the wings
to protect the world against massive climate change arising from a failure
to decarbonize. But because of the mismatch between the millennial
persistence time of carbon dioxide and the sub-decadal persistence of
stratospheric particles, albedo modification can never safely play more
than a very minor role in the portfolio of solutions. There is simply no
substitute for decarbonization.
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