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Posted Sun Sep 2 2012: from EnvironmentalResearchWeb:
Geoengineering 'comparatively inexpensive'
Researchers in the US have estimated that modification of stratospheric albedo - a widely discussed geoengineering technique to counteract some of the effects of climate change - could cost as little as $5 bn a year. Although this is just a small fraction of the gross domestic product (GDP) of most western countries, the team stresses that there are many potential risks of geoengineering the planet in this way.... Indeed, scientists and policy experts have uncovered many disadvantages of stratospheric albedo modification. One problem is that different regions of the world might need different amounts of modification, since global warming is not expected to occur evenly. Another issue is that altering albedo could affect other aspects of the climate such as rainfall. In fact, some climate models suggest that albedo modification could hasten the droughts that climate change itself is expected to induce. Worst, however, is the knowledge that, once begun, albedo modification must be maintained indefinitely. "Abrupt stopping of the delivery of particles to the stratosphere would cause very rapid climate changes," said Apt.
[Read more stories about: geoengineering, unintended consequences, weather extremes, anthropogenic change]

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