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Issues in Science and Technology · 2010

The need for climate engineering research

Ken Caldeira and David W. Keith

Like it or not, a climate emergency is a possibility, and geoengineering could be the only affordable and fast-acting option to avoid a global catastrophe. Climate change triggered by the accumulation of green- house gases emitted into the atmosphere has the potential of causing serious and lasting damage to human and natural systems. At today’s atmospheric concentrations, the risk of catastrophic damage is slight-though not zero. The risk will probably rise in coming years if atmospheric concentrations continue to increase. Although not everyone agrees with this assessment, it is supported by the bulk of the scientific evidence.

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