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Halving warming with idealized solar geoengineering moderates key climate hazards

Irvine, P; Emanuel, K; He, J; Horowitz, LW; Vecchi, G; Keith, D; (2019) Halving warming with idealized solar geoengineering moderates key climate hazards. Nature Climate Change , 9 (4) pp. 295-299. 10.1038/s41558-019-0398-8. Green open access

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Abstract

Solar geoengineering (SG) has the potential to restore average surface temperatures by increasing planetary albedo1,2,3,4, but this could reduce precipitation5,6,7. Thus, although SG might reduce globally aggregated risks, it may increase climate risks for some regions8,9,10. Here, using the high-resolution forecast-oriented low ocean resolution (HiFLOR) model—which resolves tropical cyclones and has an improved representation of present-day precipitation extremes11,12—alongside 12 models from the Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project (GeoMIP), we analyse the fraction of locations that see their local climate change exacerbated or moderated by SG. Rather than restoring temperatures, we assume that SG is applied to halve the warming produced by doubling CO_{2} (half-SG). In HiFLOR, half-SG offsets most of the CO_{2}-induced increase of simulated tropical cyclone intensity. Moreover, neither temperature, water availability, extreme temperature nor extreme precipitation are exacerbated under half-SG when averaged over any Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Extremes (SREX) region. Indeed, for both extreme precipitation and water availability, less than 0.4% of the ice-free land surface sees exacerbation. Thus, while concerns about the inequality of solar geoengineering impacts are appropriate, the quantitative extent of inequality may be overstated13.

Type: Article
Title: Halving warming with idealized solar geoengineering moderates key climate hazards
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41558-019-0398-8
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-019-0398-8
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Climate and Earth system modelling, Climate-change impacts, Climate-change mitigation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10091519
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