May 18, 2017 - Energy & Environment
Expert Voices

We asked five experts about engineering the climate

Rebecca Zisser / Axios

In the face of rising global temperatures, deploying technologies to change Earth's climate has gone from thought experiment to reality. We already capture carbon and store it underground. Now some researchers are suggesting we should spray the clouds with particles to reflect sunlight, fertilize the oceans to promote carbon-absorbing plankton growth, or build a gigantic shade that orbits Earth and opens as needed to shield the planet from the sun. Welcome to the Anthropocene — the era of humans engineering the world in unprecedented ways.

What do we need to know before someone pushes start on a large-scale geoengineering attempt? And what Earth-altering experiment should we try first?

Five leading researchers answered those questions and gave us their take on the risks, as well as the thorny ethical and legal issues that come with unleashing a technology that could span countries, cultures, and generations.

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