"Engineering a cooler planet: Could we? Should we?" with Prof Richard Darton and Prof Steve Rayner

15 May 2015

Portrait of Professor Steve Rayner

with Professor Steve Rayner
James Martin Professor of Science and Civilization

Steve Rayner is James Martin Professor of Science and Civilization at Oxford University’s School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography and Institute for Science, Innovation and Society, and the Oxford Geoengineering Programme, supported by the Oxfor...

Portrait of Professor Richard Darton

with Professor Richard Darton
Emeritus Professor of Engineering Science

Professor Richard Darton is a Lead Researcher of the Oxford Geoengineering Programme, Oxford Martin School; Emeritus Professor of Engineering Science, University of Oxford; and Emeritus Fellow of Keble College. He was the President of the European Fe...

Mankind’s strategies of mitigation and adaptation may well turn out to be too weak and too late to avoid dangerous climate change later this century. So might we need to try a different route - geoengineering? We could for example reflect more solar radiation back into space by making more reflective clouds; or we could absorb carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and bury it underground, to diminish the “greenhouse” effect.

Would such technologies work, and would there be side effects? And who would decide whether to do this, and when, if ever, to stop. These are just some of the questions raised by the idea of engineering the climate – could we, and should we?