What is Geoengineering?

Geoengineering is also known as climate engineering. It is a conceptual method of reducing the negative effects of climate change by removing the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or by limiting the amount of sunlight reaching the planet’s surface. Solar Radiation Management and Ocean Iron Fertilization are forms of geoengineering or climate engineering.

Aspirants would find this topic very helpful in the IAS Exam.

When was Geoengineering Proposed and give some Examples of Earliest Geoengineering?

The first proposals of Geoengineering can be traced back to World War 2, when scientists from both the USA and Soviet Union received funds for research on controlling weather as part of military strategy. Some of the other earliest Geoengineering proposals are given below.

  1. Trying to make Siberia, in Russia more habitable by increasing the atmospheric temperature over cold Siberia.
  2. Damming the strait of Gibraltar and the Bering Strait to warm the Arctic region.
  3. Cloud seeding to bring artificial rains to help the agricultural sector.

What Chemicals are Used in Geoengineering?

The chemicals used in Geoengineering projects are given below.

  1. Hydrogen sulfide
  2. Sulfuric acid
  3. Sulfur dioxide
  4. Carbonyl Sulfide
  5. Dimethyl Sulfide

What are the Benefits of Geoengineering?

Some of the benefits of using Geoengineering methods are given below

  1. Could reduce the increase of carbon dioxide thereby reducing global warming.
  2. Cost incurred would be affordable.
  3. Stop the ice loss at the poles, since the possibility of cooling the poles is more than tropical areas.
  4. Toxic chemicals are not required.

Some of the disadvantages associated with Geoengineering are listed below.

  1. Availability of required technology
  2. Real world tests have not been conducted.
  3. Wont stop ocean acidification

 

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2020.

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