Archive by category | Opinion

Testing geoengineering: a catch 22

Guest contribution by Mason Inman Governments are starting to take a look at geoengineering — planetary-scale projects to cool the planet. No longer in the realm of science fiction, this is something that many are calling to regulate — and soon. The technique that has geoengineering proponents most excited, and geoengineering critics most worried, are proposals to shoot sulphate aerosols into the stratosphere. These tiny particles, like those that large volcanoes spew into the air, can cool the planet. ‘Natural experiments’, such as the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, show that this works. At a hearing this month of  … Read more

The real holes in climate science

When I started working last month on a news feature about gaps in climate science I was expecting a tough reporting job. Too fresh, so I thought, were the scars the field and many leading scientists had received from the hacking affair at the Climate Research Unit (CRU) in Norwich to readily discuss with a reporter the ‘dirty laundry’ (my phrase) of climate science.  Read more

Can technology save the world?

“57109091Whatever happens at the Copenhagen climate summit this December the world still desperately needs an action plan for reducing carbon emissions. Two opinion articles in Nature this week look beyond the diplomatic bargaining over emissions targets to the new energy technologies needed to actually achieve emissions reductions.  Read more