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Geoengineering: a brave new world?

Event

January
192010

18:30 - 20:00

Location

The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG

Overview

 

Curator: Professor John Shepherd FRS
Speakers: Professor Brian Launder FREng FRS, Dr David Santillo, Professor Corinne Le Quéré, and Professor Steve Rayner


Since the industrial revolution, mankind has made choices that have led to significant emissions of greenhouse gases, causing climate change that is expected to become much more serious during this century. Several proposals have been put forward to reduce future climate change by intervening directly in the Earth's natural climate system and these have collectively become known as geoengineering. This is a very new and rapidly developing area of science and technology and the proposals range from placing giant mirrors in space to reflect sunlight to fertilising the oceans with nutrients in order to produce more phytoplankton to soak up atmospheric carbon dioxide.

This event will introduce the science, technology and governance of geoengineering, discuss the possible benefits, drawbacks and uncertainties of the various options that have been proposed and provide an opportunity to discuss the prospects and problems that may arise with further research into this area.

Professor John Shepherd FRS, Professorial Research Fellow in Earth System Science, School of Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton. Professor Shepherd is also Deputy Director (External Science Coordination) of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.

Professor Brian Launder FREng FRS,  currently Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Manchester, was Regional Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research from its creation in 2000 until 2006. He served as guest editor for a theme  issue on Geoengineering published in November 2008 by the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, a revised and extended issue of which was published by Cambridge University Press under the title 'Geoengineering Climate Change: Environmental Necessity or Pandora's Box?' He also served on the Royal Society's working party on geoengineering.

Dr David Santillo, a senior scientist at Greenpeace Research Laboratories since 1994, and now has more than 10 years experience in organic analytical chemistry and development of policies for environmental protection.

Professor Corinne Le Quéré, Professor and Strategic Alliance Senior Fellow at the British Antarctic Survey, University of East Anglia. Her current research interests involve the interactions between marine biogeochemistry and climate for time scales going from one to several hundred thousand years, the role of the marine carbon cycle and the role of marine ecosystems for CO2 and climate.

Professor Steve Rayner, Professor of Science and Civilisation, Said Business School, University of Oxford and Director of the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society. Professor Rayner's research interests revolve around the relationship between nature and society as mediated by science and technology.

Image courtesy of NASA/Chris Woodford/Explainthatstuff.com

Geoengineering: a brave new world?

Panel discussion with Professor John Shepherd FRS, Professor Brian Launder FREng FRS, Dr David Santillo, Professor Corinne Le Quéré, and Professor Steve Rayner

The Royal Society, London 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK