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Deciding to Geoengineer the Planet - A Decision Analysis Case Study

Presented by Eric Bickel, University of Texas
June 25, 2013 (SDP Webinar - Invited Talk)

Many scientists fear that anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases have set the Earth on a path of significant, possibly catastrophic, changes. This includes the possibility of exceeding particular thresholds/tipping points in the climate system. In response, governments have proposed emissions reduction targets, but no agreement has been reached. These facts have led some scientists and economists to suggest research into climate engineering. This presentation analyzes the potential value of one climate engineering technology family, known as solar radiation management (SRM) to manage the risk of differing tipping-point scenarios. Adding SRM to a policy of emissions controls may be able to help manage the risk of climate tipping points and its potential benefits are large. However, the technology does not exist and important indirect costs (e.g., change in precipitation) are not well understood. This webinar concludes the SRM merits a serious research effort to better understand its efficiency and safety.

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Keywords: evaluation anamod, modeling modtree, uncertainty analysis uncanal, risk analysis riskanal, climate change, scenario analysis scenanal

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