Geoengineering Earth's radiation balance to mitigate CO2-induced climate change
Govindasamy Bala & Ken Caldeira
Large scale intentional modification of the Earth's climate ("geoengineering") has previously been predicted to reverse the global annual mean temperature rise caused by global warming. However, the seasonal and region specific effects of geoengineering have not been modeled. This paper involves the effect that geoengineering would have on the amplitude of the seasonal cycle and changes in temperature that it would induce at specific latitudes.
To counteract anthropogenic climate change, several schemes have been proposed to diminish solar radiation incident on Earth's surface. These geoengineering schemes could reverse global annual mean warming; however, it is unclear to what extent they would mitigate regional and seasonal climate change, because radiative forcing from greenhouse gases such as CO2 differs from that of sunlight. No previous study has directly addressed this issue. In the NCAR CCM3 atmospheric general circulation model, we reduced the solar luminosity to balance the increased radiative forcing from doubling atmospheric CO2. Our results indicate that geoengineering schemes could markedly diminish regional and seasonal climate change from increased atmospheric CO2, despite difference in radiative forcing patterns. Nevertheless, geoengineering schemes could prove environmentally risky.