Geoengineering Scenarios

Full Title

New scenarios and models for climate engineering


A growing number of scientists and policymakers are pointing to a potential role for so-called climate engineering technologies in humanity’s response to climate change. These potentially transformative technologies include approaches that could reflect some small amount of sunlight back into space, cooling the Earth, and those that could draw greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. Certain applications of climate engineering technologies could be beneficial. Climate engineering technologies also, though, present significant environmental, social, and political risks. Policymakers and others concerned with responding to climate change need credible scenarios and models that integrate climate engineering technologies if they are to make reasoned and informed decisions about the future. There is, however, a critical knowledge gap. Existing climate models consider climate engineering technologies in far too limited a fashion. This project responds to that gap. The project will produce the first set of scenarios and models that integrate both the social and environmental aspects of climate engineering technologies and that, in addition, help policymakers understand potential interactions between climate engineering technologies and existing mitigation efforts. The result will be a new set of powerful tools to guide policy decisions around climate engineering technologies, as well as guidance for the inclusion of socio-environmental dynamics into climate scenarios and models more generally.


Project Type
Team Synthesis Project
Principal Investigators
Simon Nicholson, American University
David Morrow, American University
Lauren Beukes, Independent
Sam Beckbessinger, Independent
Mohale Mashigo, Independent
Holly Buck, UCLA
Saroj Kanta Mishra, Indian Institute of Technology
David Keller, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel
Katharine Mach, University of Miami
Juan Moreno-Cruz, University of Waterloo
Oliver Geden, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik
Brian Beckage, University of Vermont
Laura Pereira, University of Witwatersrand and Stockholm Resilience Centre
Andrew Jones, Climate Interactive
Mofizur Rahman, Technical University of Koln
Colin Carlson, Georgetown
Daniele Visioni, Cornell University
Michael Thompson, Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Governance Initiative
Schuchi Talati, Union of Concerned Scientists
Katie Thomas, National Academy of Sciences
Brian O'Neill, University of Denver
Doug MacMartin, Cornell University
Naomi Vaughan, UEA
Kate Ricke, UCSD
Valentina Aquila, American University

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