NEW STUDY: Developing a Research Agenda and Research Governance Approaches for Climate Intervention Strategies that Reflect Sunlight to Cool Earth

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is forming a new committee to develop a research agenda and research governance approaches for climate intervention strategies that reflect sunlight to cool Earth.

The idea of curbing climate change by altering the atmosphere or clouds to reflect sunlight back into space, before it reaches Earth and warms the planet further, has gained increased attention as the challenge of limiting rising global temperatures becomes more daunting. However, the federal government has no detailed research agenda for this field of study — sometimes referred to as solar geoengineering — and, even though some teams from the U.S. and other countries are moving forward with their own experiments, there is no agreed-upon protocol to govern such research.

The new committee, which will build upon a 2015 National Academies report on the issue, will study research needs and research governance in tandem. Its focus will primarily be on strategies that involve atmospheric interventions, including marine cloud brightening, stratospheric aerosol injection, and cirrus cloud modification. The committee will examine potential impacts and risks of these interventions as well as their technological feasibility, and will explore research governance mechanisms at international, national, and subnational scales. .

More information may be found on the study website.

Nominations for this study committee are currently being solicited. Please visit the study website for more information and to nominate potential committee members.

Read the press release