E.D.F. to fund solar radiation research

E.D.F. to fund solar radiation research

Solar Research

The Environmental Defense Fund (E.D.F.) will finance research into technologies that could artificially cool the planet. This idea was once viewed as radical but is quickly gaining attention as global temperatures rise at alarming rates. Lisa Dilling, associate chief scientist at E.D.F., is running the project.

She said the research would focus on estimating the likely effects in different parts of the world if governments were to deploy artificial cooling technologies. The goal is to help inform policymakers. “We are not in favor, period, of deployment.

That’s not our goal here,” Dr. Dilling said. “Our goal is information, and solid, well-formulated science.”

The Environmental Defense Fund has previously explored techniques like these.

But Dr.

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Solar radiation research funding

Dilling says the discussion about ways to cool the planet isn’t going away, regardless of opposition.

“This is something that I don’t think we can just ignore,” she added. The group will fund research into what is sometimes called solar radiation modification, or solar geoengineering. This involves reflecting more of the sun’s energy back into space.

Possible techniques include injecting aerosols into the stratosphere or brightening clouds to make them more reflective. Researchers believe such actions could temporarily reduce global temperatures until society reduces greenhouse gas emissions significantly by burning far fewer fossil fuels. A recent test of cloud-brightening technology in Alameda, Calif., could potentially reflect sunlight away from Earth.

The Environmental Defense Fund’s initiative aims to provide the necessary data to evaluate these and other emerging technologies impartially. “We need to understand the potential benefits and risks,” Dr. Dilling emphasized, “so that we can make informed decisions about how to best address the climate crisis.”


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