It’s time to implement Plan B, to use technology to address excess carbon in the atmosphere. That’s the feeling of a growing number of climate scientists polled by The Independent.
The Kyoto Treaty has not served to limit the release of carbon dioxide. And recent research reports that the world’s naturally occurring carbon "sinks" are becoming less efficient at absorbing human-produced CO2 from the atmosphere.
"Levels of CO2 have continued to increase during the past decade since the treaty was agreed and they are now rising faster than even the worst-case scenarios from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations body. In the meantime the natural absorption of CO2 by the world’s forests and oceans has decreased significantly. Most of the scientists we polled agreed that the failure to curb emissions of CO2, which are increasing at a rate of 1 per cent a year, has created the need for an emergency "plan B" involving research, development and possible implementation of a worldwide geoengineering strategy." [emphasis ours]
Technological methods proposed for intervention include injecting the air with particles to reflect sunlight, fertilizing the ocean with iron filings, and placing giant mirrors in space. All these methods are highly controversial; each could create problems of its own. That more and more scientists are willing to consider using these methods shows how deeply concerned they are.