Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Engineering a Cooler Earth

Besides general agreement on the need for both mitigation and adaptation in response to global warming, a more controversial approach has migrated from the science-fiction fringe into the main stream of public, political and scientific discussion. Climate engineering--intentionally manipulating Earth’s climate—-is gaining currency as concerns over the implications of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions mount. Many have come to see some form of engineered intervention as inevitable, if only to avert immediate climate catastrophe. But many others worry that such schemes simply divert attention from the pressing need to mitigate and adapt, by drastically reducing GHG emissions and planning for an uncertain climate future. The desire to manipulate weather and climate is as old as humanity itself. New is the consensus realization that our very success as a technological species means that we do impact global climate, effectively engineering it by accident. Why then shouldn’t we choose to pursue this role with explicit intent—whether by removing GHGs from the atmosphere, limiting the net effect of solar heating, or both? The symposium targets this issue with a critical eye. Do we in fact possess the technological capability and scientific understanding to manipulate Earth’s climate with desirable or even foreseeable results? And what are the global political, social, legal and ethical implications of even trying?

Collection videos

Welcome & Introduction

Welcome & Introduction

Added 8 years ago | 00:10:00 | 4725 views

Dara Entekhabi, ESI Director; Ernie Moniz, MITEI Director, and Ron Prinn, CGCS Director

Developing Scientific and Geopolitical Criteria to Rank Geoengineering Schemes

Developing Scientific and Geopoliti...

Added 8 years ago | 00:18:42 | 4601 views

Philip Boyd, National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research, NZ

Geoengineering Governance: Rendering the Possible Impossible?

Geoengineering Governance: Renderin...

Added 8 years ago | 00:27:10 | 23408 views

Catherine Redgwell, University College London

Geoengineering—The Time Scale Problem

Geoengineering—The Time Scale Problem

Added 8 years ago | 00:24:04 | 4734 views

Carl Wunsch, MIT

All-Speaker Roundtable

All-Speaker Roundtable

Added 8 years ago | 01:17:00 | 4310 views

Moderated by Kerry Emanuel, MIT

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