University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Engineering Department Dynamics and Vibration Tea Time Talks > Controlling the Climate: can we refreeze the Arctic?

Controlling the Climate: can we refreeze the Arctic?

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We may want to cool the planet if (when) we fail to meet our CO2 emissions targets. There are “geoengineering” technologies out there almost ready to go and some sound quite scary. Many pundits question whether it is safe to meddle with the climate when we only have one Earth, but others argue that we haven’t much time left before climate change runs away from us.

This talk will present two technologies, one SRM (Solar Radiation Management) and the other GGR (Greenhouse Gas Removal). The SPICE project ( www.spicepipe.co.uk ) is an SRM technique that attracted a great deal of attention as it considered a means for injecting aerosols into the stratosphere using a tethered balloon. The SPRNGG project ( www.sprngg.com ) is a non-CO2 GGR approach that looks at air capture of the other important greenhouse gases methane CH4, Nitrous Oxide N2O and CFC12 .

The relevance to the Arctic is that SRM may be urgently required to slow down the progress of melting. But if we’re too late and the arctic permafrost warms up then GGR will be needed to capture billions of tonnes of atmospheric methane. The scale of the problem is huge, and we’re not well prepared.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Dynamics and Vibration Tea Time Talks series.

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