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Solar Geoengineering: Difference between revisions

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''This page is about the intersection of solar geoengineering and machine learning. For an overview of solar geoengineering as a whole, please see the [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_radiation_management Wikipedia page] on this topic.''
 
Solar geoengineering (also known as "solar radiation management") refers of proposals aimed at increasing the amount of heat the Earth releases, in order to counteract global warming caused by the greenhouse effect. In particular, solar geoengineering proposals seek to "reflect a small fraction of sunlight back into space or increase the amount of solar radiation that escapes back into space to cool the planet."<ref name=":0">{{Cite web|title=Geoengineering|url=https://geoengineering.environment.harvard.edu/geoengineering|website=geoengineering.environment.harvard.edu|access-date=2020-12-07|language=en}}</ref> Examples of such proposals include attempting to make clouds brighter so they reflect back more sunlight;, installing sun shields in space;, and scattering aerosols into the stratosphere in order to scatter a small amount of sunlight.<ref name=":0" />
 
It is worth noting that solar geoengineering proposals come with many uncertainties and risks (regarding both implementation and effects), as well as governance challenges and ethical considerations.<ref name=":1">{{Cite web|url=https://royalsociety.org/topics-policy/publications/2009/geoengineering-climate/|title=Geoengineering the climate: science, governance and uncertainty {{!}} Royal Society|website=royalsociety.org|language=en-gb|access-date=2020-12-19}}</ref> In addition, since solar geoengineering proposals do not address the amount of CO<sub>2</sub> or other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, they do not necessarily address issues related to rising CO<sub>2</sub> levels, such as ocean acidification.<ref name=":1" /> As a result, solar geoengineering proposals are widely considered to be very much a "last resort" for addressing climate change.<ref>{{Cite journal|last=Victor|first=David G.|last2=Morgan|first2=M. Granger|last3=Apt|first3=Jay|last4=Steinbruner|first4=John|date=2009|title=The Geoengineering Option - A Last Resort against Global Warming|url=https://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/fora88&id=278&div=&collection=|journal=Foreign Affairs|volume=88|pages=64}}</ref>
There are a number of speculative applications of machine learning to solar geoengineering. (For more details on these problem areas, see the chapter on Solar Geoengineering in the paper "Tackling Climate Change with Machine Learning."<ref name=":2">{{Cite journal|last=Rolnick|first=David|last2=Donti|first2=Priya L.|last3=Kaack|first3=Lynn H.|last4=Kochanski|first4=Kelly|last5=Lacoste|first5=Alexandre|last6=Sankaran|first6=Kris|last7=Ross|first7=Andrew Slavin|last8=Milojevic-Dupont|first8=Nikola|last9=Jaques|first9=Natasha|last10=Waldman-Brown|first10=Anna|last11=Luccioni|first11=Alexandra|date=2019-11-05|title=Tackling Climate Change with Machine Learning|url=http://arxiv.org/abs/1906.05433|journal=arXiv:1906.05433 [cs, stat]}}</ref>)
 
* '''Designing aerosols''': Many solar geoengineering proposals rely on injecting aerosol particles into the atmosphere to partially reflect sunlight. ML can (speculatively) accelerate the search for new aerosols that are chemically nonreactive but still reflective, cheap, and easy to keep aloft. (See also the page on [[Accelerated Science|accelerated science]].)
* '''Modeling aerosols''': Many solar geoengineering proposals rely on injecting aerosol particles into the atmosphere to partially reflect sunlight, but their physics is not fully understood. ML can help speed up physical models and quantify the uncertainty of predictions. (See also Fletcher et al. (2018)<ref name=":3">{{Cite journal|last=Fletcher|first=Christopher G.|last2=Kravitz|first2=Ben|last3=Badawy|first3=Bakr|date=2018-12-11|title=Quantifying uncertainty from aerosol and atmospheric parameters and their impact on climate sensitivity|url=https://acp.copernicus.org/articles/18/17529/2018/|journal=Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics|language=English|volume=18|issue=23|pages=17529–17543|doi=10.5194/acp-18-17529-2018|issn=1680-7316}}</ref> for a discussion on how uncertainties in aerosol model affect our models of climate change, as well as the page on [[Climate Science|climate science]].)
* '''Engineering a planetary control system''': Controlling a geoengineering system comes with a multitude of challenges and a host of possible side effects, many of which could be catastrophic. Speculatively, ML can help fine-tune geoengineering interventions by suggesting control actions and emulating the complex dynamical systems involved. See also MacMartin and Kravitz (2019) for a deeper discussion of the "engineering design aspects of climate engineering."
* '''Modeling geoengineering impacts''': It remains unclear what consequences will result from geoengineering proposals such as injecting aerosols into the stratosphere. ML can help model the impact of aerosols on human health, the effect of diminished light on agriculture, and other potential consequences of solar geoengineering. See Irvine et al. (2016)<ref>{{Cite journal|last=Irvine|first=Peter J.|last2=Kravitz|first2=Ben|last3=Lawrence|first3=Mark G.|last4=Gerten|first4=Dieter|last5=Caminade|first5=Cyril|last6=Gosling|first6=Simon N.|last7=Hendy|first7=Erica J.|last8=Kassie|first8=Belay T.|last9=Kissling|first9=W. Daniel|last10=Muri|first10=Helene|last11=Oschlies|first11=Andreas|date=2017|title=Towards a comprehensive climate impacts assessment of solar geoengineering|url=https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/2016EF000389|journal=Earth's Future|language=en|volume=5|issue=1|pages=93–106|doi=10.1002/2016EF000389|issn=2328-4277}}</ref> for a review of the literature on solar geoengineering impacts, and Proctor et al. (2018)<ref>{{Cite journal|last=Proctor|first=Jonathan|last2=Hsiang|first2=Solomon|last3=Burney|first3=Jennifer|last4=Burke|first4=Marshall|last5=Schlenker|first5=Wolfram|date=2018-08|title=Estimating global agricultural effects of geoengineering using volcanic eruptions|url=https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0417-3|journal=Nature|language=en|volume=560|issue=7719|pages=480–483|doi=10.1038/s41586-018-0417-3|issn=1476-4687}}</ref> for an analysis of the effects of stratospheric sulfate aerosols created by historical volcanic eruptions. See also the discussion on integrated assessment models on the [[Public Policy and Decision Science|public policy and decision science]] page.)
 
== Background Readings ==
 
*'''Governance of the Deployment of Solar Geoengineering (2018)'''<ref>Harvard Project on Climate Agreements. “Governance of the Deployment of Solar Geoengineering.” Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, November 2018. Available at https://www.c2g2.net/wp-content/uploads/Harvard-Project-Solar-Geo-Governance-Briefs-181126.pdf</ref>: A comprehensive report is based on a workshop organized and hosted by the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements. Available [https://www.c2g2.net/wp-content/uploads/Harvard-Project-Solar-Geo-Governance-Briefs-181126.pdf Available here].
*'''An Overview of the Earth System Science of Geoengineering (2016)'''<ref>{{Cite journal|last=Irvine|first=Peter J.|last2=Kravitz|first2=Ben|last3=Lawrence|first3=Mark G.|last4=Muri|first4=Helene|date=2016-11-01|title=An overview of the Earth system science of solar geoengineering: Overview of the earth system science of solar geoengineering|url=http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/wcc.423|journal=Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change|language=en|volume=7|issue=6|pages=815–833|doi=10.1002/wcc.423|via=}}</ref>: An introductory article regarding approaches in geoengineering and the considerations to take into account. Available [https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/wcc.423 Available here.]
*'''Towards a comprehensive climate impacts assessment of solar geoengineering (2016)'''<ref>{{Cite journal|last=Irvine|first=Peter J.|last2=Kravitz|first2=Ben|last3=Lawrence|first3=Mark G.|last4=Gerten|first4=Dieter|last5=Caminade|first5=Cyril|last6=Gosling|first6=Simon N.|last7=Hendy|first7=Erica J.|last8=Kassie|first8=Belay T.|last9=Kissling|first9=W. Daniel|last10=Muri|first10=Helene|last11=Oschlies|first11=Andreas|date=2017-01-01|title=Towards a comprehensive climate impacts assessment of solar geoengineering|url=http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2016ef000389|journal=Earth's Future|volume=5|issue=1|pages=93–106|doi=10.1002/2016ef000389|issn=2328-4277|via=}}</ref>: A paper exploring the impacts of solar geoengineering on natural and human systems such as agriculture, health, water resources, and ecosystem. Available [https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2016EF000389 Available here.]
*'''The engineeringEngineering of climateClimate engineeringEngineering (2019)'''<ref>{{Cite journal|last=MacMartin|first=Douglas G.|last2=Kravitz|first2=Ben|date=2019-05-03|title=The Engineering of Climate Engineering|url=https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/10.1146/annurev-control-053018-023725|journal=Annual Review of Control, Robotics, and Autonomous Systems|volume=2|issue=1|pages=445–467|doi=10.1146/annurev-control-053018-023725|issn=2573-5144}}</ref>: A review of "the engineering design aspects of climate engineering," discussing both progress to date and remaining challenges that will need to be addressed. Available [https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-control-053018-023725 Available here.]
*'''Quantifying uncertainty from aerosol and atmospheric parameters and their impact on climate sensitivity''' '''(2018)'''<ref name=":3" />: A quantitative assessment of how uncertainties in aerosol modeling and atmospheric parameters affect climate models' ability to accurately simulate global temperature change. Available [https://acp.copernicus.org/articles/18/17529/2018/ here].
*'''Estimating global agricultural effects of geoengineering using volcanic eruptions (2018)'''<ref>{{Cite journal|last=Proctor|first=Jonathan|last2=Hsiang|first2=Solomon|last3=Burney|first3=Jennifer|last4=Burke|first4=Marshall|last5=Schlenker|first5=Wolfram|date=2018-08|title=Estimating global agricultural effects of geoengineering using volcanic eruptions|url=https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0417-3|journal=Nature|language=en|volume=560|issue=7719|pages=480–483|doi=10.1038/s41586-018-0417-3|issn=1476-4687}}</ref>: An assessment of the effects on stratospheric sulfate aerosols on crop yields based on historical volcanic eruption data, as a step towards understanding the effects of solar radiation management techniques. Available [https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0417-3 here].
 
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