Ecosystem impacts of geoengineering

Topic leader
Lynn Russell
Geoengineering is an umbrella term for a range of techniques that might be used to counteract global warming: the techniques may achieve this aim via either removing atmospheric carbon dioxide or reflecting incoming solar radiation.  Many proposed geoengineering schemes may involve important and unexplored consequences to the planet's ecosystems, both from intentional and unintentional changes to regional climates. This synthesis sought to evaluate the potential impacts of geoengineering schemes on ecosystems.

A workshop held in 2011 in La Jolla, California, brought together ecosystem researchers and geoengineering researchers. The workshop sought to (1) to build connections between the ecosystem-research and geoengineering-research communities; (2) to evaluate scientific uncertainties that affect the potential impacts of geoengineering on ecosystems; (3) to expose ecosystem researchers to current geoengineering research, and; (4) to generate feedback for geoengineering researchers on potential ecosystem hazards of geoengineering.

A paper arising from the workshop was published in AMBIO in 2012.

Russell L M et al. (2012) Ecosystem Impacts of Geoengineering: A Review for Developing a Science Plan. AMBIO 41: 350-369. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13280-012-0258-5

Generous funding from the US NSF and UK NERC is gratefully acknowledged.