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Experts are urging for urgent investigation into the potential consequences of geoengineering.
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Experts are urging for urgent investigation into the potential consequences of geoengineering.

The head of the US atmospheric science agency has emphasized the need for swift research on anticipating the consequences of climate geoengineering, as this technology will likely be necessary to some degree.

Richard Spinrad, the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), stated that the government-supported organization is currently assessing the potential impacts of various geoengineering methods, including those that involve manipulating the oceans.

My personal opinion is that we must gain a deeper understanding of the consequences,” he stated. “I believe that certain forms of geoengineering will play a significant role in addressing both global warming and the effects of climate change, including ocean acidification.”

Possible methods of geoengineering involve adding iron to the oceans to capture more carbon dioxide, or using ocean water to spray onto low-level clouds in order to reflect some sunlight.

Spinrad emphasized the importance of comprehending the potential effects of geoengineering on the oceans. He questioned the potential consequences of actions such as iron fertilization and stressed the need for accurate predictive models and support for decision-makers.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is currently directing its efforts towards the possibility of oceans absorbing and storing carbon dioxide (CO2).2

This is referred to as ocean carbon dioxide removal.

The agency is collaborating with universities and government scientists in the UK to examine the effects of potential system shutdown on the Gulf Stream ocean currents. There is evidence indicating that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (Amoc) is weakening at a faster rate than previously thought, possibly over decades rather than centuries, due to rising ocean temperatures and melting ice. The consequences of a complete shutdown could be devastating for Europe and other parts of the world.

“We need to pay attention to the findings of scientific research regarding Amoc. While it may not abruptly stop tomorrow, Amoc and similar systems are naturally unpredictable. We must not simply focus on short-term changes, but instead closely monitor these systems over an extended period of time.”

“As a professional in the field of oceanography, I believe it is crucial for us to prioritize sustained observations. In my opinion, within the next three to five years, we should have a clearer understanding of whether or not there is a notable trend occurring.”

Spinrad supported the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) against a potential removal of a portion of the $6 billion in funding they received through the Inflation Reduction Act by certain members of the US Congress, in light of Joe Biden’s presidency.

He stated that no matter the result of the upcoming presidential election in November, where the climate is anticipated to be a major divisive topic, substantial climate research will be necessary to safeguard the well-being of American citizens. The previous year has seen destructive wildfires throughout the US, and the effects of rising temperatures and severe weather have been felt nationwide.

“These missions [that NOAA pursues] are not inherently political by any means,” he told a small group of journalists at the US embassy in London. “They are affecting all aspects of security: the traditional interpretations, such as national security, homeland security – but also food security, energy security, water security, economic security. These are not issues that need to be addressed on a political schedule, they are issues that every American citizen, industry and community assumes their taxes will support, regardless of who’s in the administration.”

According to Spinrad, American citizens are becoming more aware of the impact of the climate crisis. He stated that people are feeling it financially, as evident in the $28 billion spent on disasters in the US last year. This is the highest amount ever recorded. The consequences, such as increased insurance costs, are affecting everyone. As a result, Spinrad believes that the general population is starting to comprehend the severity of the issue. However, he noted that the distribution of these billion-dollar disasters is not correlated with the political landscape.

Source: theguardian.com