Geoengineering Pros and Cons List

Geoengineering is a large-scale intervention in the natural systems of a planet. It is often used to describe theoretical processes which could be used to counteract global warming tendencies on our planet.

List of Pros of Geoengineering

1. It could stop the symptoms of global warming.
Geoengineering could reverse a global temperature rise, which would stop the effects of warming on the planet. Glaciers would stop melting, polar ice caps could be restored, and weather patterns could be reduced in their severity.

2. It is affordable and feasible to do.
One form of proposed geoengineering is to add Sulphur dioxide to the Earth’s stratosphere. It could be added to the network of aircraft that are in the skies already, providing a cheap, simple way to address the changes in global temperatures that are being experienced.

3. It is proven to work.
We know that the principles of geoengineering work because it happens naturally. Volcanoes, when they erupt, can create regional and planetary impacts on the climate the same way that geoengineering would work. When Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991, it cooled planetary temperatures by nearly 1 degree Fahrenheit.

List of Cons of Geoengineering

1. It would reduce rainfall.
Geoengineering creates a sun-shading process that is designed to help change global temperatures. Because it would reduce the amount of sun the atmosphere receives, geoengineering would reduce planetary rainfall.

2. Regional climates could suffer negative impacts.
Geoengineering looks at overall climate change. It does not look at regional consequences. There would be some regional climates that could suffer problematic effects from this process, which could include drought and famine.

3. It won’t solve every problem.
Ocean acidification contributes to global warming. Geoengineering does not alter this process. Temperatures may become cooler, but it would be a temporary resolution. Once the processes were stopped, the planet would begin to warm rapidly once again.

4. It would change the sky.
Most geoengineering plans would create a whiter sky, like constant cloud cover, to shield the sun. It may also destroy atmospheric ozone, which could cause dangerous levels of UV light to reach the planet’s surface.

These geoengineering pros and cons suggest that a deliberate attempt to change a planetary climate could be effective. There are also unintended consequences which may occur once the process starts that are unpredictable.