February 21, 2024
Journal Article

Transboundary effects from idealized regional geoengineering


Regional geoengineering, by reflecting sunlight over a very limited spatial domain, might be considered as a means to target specific regional impacts of climate change. One of the obvious concerns raised by such approaches is the extent to which the resulting effects would be detectable well beyond the targeted region (e.g. in neighbouring countries). A few studies have explored this question for targeted regions that are still comparatively large. Wec onsider idealized simulations with increased ocean albedo over relatively small domains; the Gulf of Mexico (0.23% of Earth's surface) and over the Australian Great Barrier Reef (0.07%), both with negligible global radiative forcing. Applied over these very small domains, the only statistically significant non-local changes we find are some limited reduction on summer precipitation in Florida in the Gulf of Mexico case (adjacent to the targeted region). The lack of transboundary effects suggests that governance needs for such targeted interventions are quite distinct from those for more global sunlight reflection.

Published: February 21, 2024


MacMartin D., B.S. Kravitz, and P.B. Goddard. 2023. Transboundary effects from idealized regional geoengineering. Environmental Research Communications 5, no. 9:Art. No. 091004. PNNL-SA-195036. doi:10.1088/2515-7620/acf441

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