SG - Solar Radiation Management: Do? Or Don’t?

Can we manipulate the climate with Solar Radiation Management? And should we? Is SRM a promising solution for climate change or a no-go area?

Organised by Studium Generale

Tue 24 January 2023 20:00

Venue Impulse, building number 115
Stippeneng 2
6708 WE Wageningen
+31 (0) 317 - 482828

About lecture series ‘Solar Radiation Management’

On January the 17th, 2022 a group of scientists published a plea for an ‘international non-use agreement’ of Solar Radiation Modification (SRM). What is going on here? Is flattening the earth-heating curve by SRM a no-go area? Does SRM cross political and ethical lines? Or is it a bad investment and should we use our resources and energy in more promising and effective alternatives? And why are scientists themselves asking for a ban? Aren’t we obliged to search for every possible technological solution, because there is reasonable doubt that we do enough to stop the warming of the earth climate?

Can we manipulate the climate?

Which technologies are we talking about when we say Solar Radiation Modification? The most discussed option is injection of sulphur dioxide in the stratosphere. But also making clouds brighter (Marine Cloud Brightening) might be a strategy. Or placing mirrors in space. But does it work? And what will be the actual impact on our climate? Prof dr. M. Krol (WUR) will talk about our ability to control manipulation of the climate?

SRM and Climate Change

In the second part of this evening prof dr. H. de Coninck (TU Eindhoven) tells about how SRM is dealt with in IPCC reports. And what is the balance of the literature on SRM? How does it interact with sustainable development? If a risk perspective is taken, what is the outcome? What do public perception studies tell us? What does the broader technological innovation debate teach us about SRM?

About Maarten Krol

Maarten Krol
Maarten Krol

Maarten Krol is Professor Air Quality and Atmospheric Chemistry at the Meteorology and Air Quality group in Wageningen University. He is also affiliated at the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (IMAU) at Utrecht University. His main expertise is atmospheric modelling and the use of satellite observations in constraining emissions of atmospheric gases, like methane and carbon monoxide. He is member of ESA’s mission advisory group for sentinel 4/5, member of the Earth Space Science Committee, director of the Buys Ballot Research School (BBOS), and Principle Investigator of the Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions.

Currently he is working on an ERC Advanced research grant concerning the global budget of Carbonyl Sulfide. He co-authored more than 150 papers.

About Heleen de Coninck

Heleen de Coninck
Heleen de Coninck

Heleen de Coninck is a Professor of Socio-Technical Innovation and Climate Change at the Technology, Innovation and Society group at Eindhoven University of Technology’s Department of Industrial Engineering and Innovation Science, and an Associate Professor in Innovation Studies and Sustainability at the Department of Environmental Science at Radboud University Nijmegen's Faculty of Science. Before joining academia, she worked for over ten years at the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), the largest energy research institute in the country. Heleen was a Coordinating Lead Author in the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C, and is currently a Lead Author in the IPCC AR6. She was part of the IPCC Working Group III Technical Support Unit during the AR4 cycle, and coordinated the IPCC Special Report on CCS. She has a number of ancillary activities: she is a board member of London-based Climate Strategies, a member of an expert committee providing scientific sustainability advice to ABP, one of the world’s largest pension funds, and an advisor to SHT: Institute for Transition Studies.

Heleen’s current main research focus is on the role of innovation and technology in the international climate negotiations, on policy for a climate-neutral energy-intensive industry, and on the dynamics of accelerating just system transitions to limit warming to 1.5C. Previously, she also worked on international climate policy, rural electrification, the Clean Development Mechanism, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), capacity building in developing countries, and emission trading.