Responding to Climate Change: Is Climate Engineering an Option?

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Dr. Thomas AckermanThe Climate Change Communication group presents:

Dr. Thomas Ackerman, Director, Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, University of Washington
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
4:15 – 5:00 p.m.
ASAC 319

The Paris accord (December 2015) signals an international effort to hold global temperature change below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Since it is unlikely that we can achieve this goal by cutting emissions of greenhouse gases, we are led to ask what role solar climate engineering (SCE) might play in reducing global warming. This presentation briefly reviews the science and available options for reducing absorbed solar radiation in the Earth climate system. It then provides additional detail on marine cloud brightening (MCB) which seeks to reduce absorption by enhancing the reflectivity of low clouds over the ocean. The presentation concludes with an overview of some of the ethical and policy questions associated with climate engineering.

About Dr. Thomas Ackerman

Dr. Thomas Ackerman is Director of the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO) and Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington. From 1999 through 2005, he served as the Chief Scientist of DOE’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program and was a Battelle Fellow at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA. He was Professor of Meteorology at the Pennsylvania State University from 1988 to 1999, as well as Associate Director of the Earth System Science Center. Earlier, he was a staff research scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA.

Dr. Ackerman is the recipient of the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal and the Leo Szilard Award for Science in the Public Interest, awarded by the American Physical Society. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. In addition, he has received several awards for his research papers, including one from the World Meteorological Organization. Dr. Ackerman has authored or co-authored nearly 200 peer-reviewed journal articles on a wide range of topics.