[House Hearing, 111 Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

GEOENGINEERING: PARTS I, II, AND III

=======================================================================

HEARING

BEFORE THE

COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED ELEVENTH CONGRESS

FIRST SESSION
AND
SECOND SESSION

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NOVEMBER 5, 2009
FEBRUARY 4, 2010
and
MARCH 18, 2010

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Serial No. 111-62
Serial No. 111-75
and
Serial No. 111-88

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Printed for the use of the Committee on Science and Technology




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COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

HON. BART GORDON, Tennessee, Chair
JERRY F. COSTELLO, Illinois RALPH M. HALL, Texas
EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON, Texas F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER JR.,
LYNN C. WOOLSEY, California Wisconsin
DAVID WU, Oregon LAMAR S. SMITH, Texas
BRIAN BAIRD, Washington DANA ROHRABACHER, California
BRAD MILLER, North Carolina ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
DANIEL LIPINSKI, Illinois VERNON J. EHLERS, Michigan
GABRIELLE GIFFORDS, Arizona FRANK D. LUCAS, Oklahoma
DONNA F. EDWARDS, Maryland JUDY BIGGERT, Illinois
MARCIA L. FUDGE, Ohio W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
BEN R. LUJAN, New Mexico RANDY NEUGEBAUER, Texas
PAUL D. TONKO, New York BOB INGLIS, South Carolina
STEVEN R. ROTHMAN, New Jersey MICHAEL T. McCAUL, Texas
JIM MATHESON, Utah MARIO DIAZ-BALART, Florida
LINCOLN DAVIS, Tennessee BRIAN P. BILBRAY, California
BEN CHANDLER, Kentucky ADRIAN SMITH, Nebraska
RUSS CARNAHAN, Missouri PAUL C. BROUN, Georgia
BARON P. HILL, Indiana PETE OLSON, Texas
HARRY E. MITCHELL, Arizona
CHARLES A. WILSON, Ohio
KATHLEEN DAHLKEMPER, Pennsylvania
ALAN GRAYSON, Florida
SUZANNE M. KOSMAS, Florida
GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
JOHN GARAMENDI, California
VACANCY
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Subcommittee on Energy and Environment

HON. BRIAN BAIRD, Washington, Chair
JERRY F. COSTELLO, Illinois BOB INGLIS, South Carolina
EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON, Texas ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
LYNN C. WOOLSEY, California VERNON J. EHLERS, Michigan
DANIEL LIPINSKI, Illinois JUDY BIGGERT, Illinois
GABRIELLE GIFFORDS, Arizona W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
BEN R. LUJAN, New Mexico RANDY NEUGEBAUER, Texas
PAUL D. TONKO, New York MARIO DIAZ-BALART, Florida
JIM MATHESON, Utah
LINCOLN DAVIS, Tennessee
BEN CHANDLER, Kentucky
JOHN GARAMENDI, California
BART GORDON, Tennessee RALPH M. HALL, Texas
CHRIS KING Democratic Staff Director
SHIMERE WILLIAMS Democratic Professional Staff Member
ADAM ROSENBERG Democratic Professional Staff Member
JETTA WONG Democratic Professional Staff Member
ANNE COOPER Democratic Professional Staff Member
ROBERT WALTHER Democratic Professional Staff Member
DAN BYERS Republican Professional Staff Member
TARA ROTHSCHILD Republican Professional Staff Member
JANE WISE Research Assistant



C O N T E N T S

Geoengineering: Assessing the Implications of Large-Scale Climate
Intervention

November 5, 2009

Page
Witness List..................................................... 2

Hearing Charter.................................................. 3

Opening Statements

Statement by Representative Bart Gordon, Chairman, Committee on
Science and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives.......... 11
Written Statement............................................ 12

Statement by Representative Ralph M. Hall, Ranking Minority
Member, Committee on Science and Technology, U.S. House of
Representatives................................................ 13
Written Statement............................................ 13

Prepared Statement by Representative Jerry F. Costello, Member,
Committee on Science and Technology, U.S. House of
Representatives................................................ 14
Prepared Statement by Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson,
Member, Committee on Science and Technology, U.S. House of
Representatives................................................ 14

Witnesses:

Dr. Ken Caldeira, Professor of Environmental Science, Department
of Global Ecology, The Carnegie Institution of Washington, and
Co-Author, Royal Society Report
Oral Statement............................................... 16
Written Statement............................................ 17

Professor John Shepherd, FRS, Professional Research Fellow in
Earth System Science, National Oceanography Centre, University
of Southampton, and Chair, Royal Society Geoengineering Report
Working Group
Oral Statement............................................... 27
Written Statement............................................ 28
Biography.................................................... 32

Mr. Lee Lane, Co-Director, American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
Geoengineering Project
Oral Statement............................................... 33
Written Statement............................................ 34
Biography.................................................... 43

Dr. Alan Robock, Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences,
School of Environmental And Biological Sciences, Rutgers
University
Oral Statement............................................... 43
Written Statement............................................ 45
Biography.................................................... 51

Dr. James Fleming, Professor and Director, Science, Technology
and Society Program, Colby College
Oral Statement............................................... 68
Written Statement............................................ 72
Biography.................................................... 79

Discussion
The Eruption of Mt. Pinatubo: Natural Solar Radiation
Management................................................... 80
Structuring a Research Initiative.............................. 80
The Potential Efficacy of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation............ 82
Research and Development Before Application.................... 83
The Dire Need for Mitigation and Behavior Change............... 84
The Need for a Multidisciplinary and Realistic Approach to
Climate Change............................................... 85
The Challenge of International Collaboration................... 87
Agriculture and Livestock...................................... 87
The Power of Scientific Innovation............................. 89
Geoengineering and Climate Simulations......................... 90
A Potential Role for NASA...................................... 90
Skepticism of Global Climate Change............................ 95
Prioritizing Geoengineering Strategies......................... 97
Needed International Agreements................................ 98
More on Livestock Methane Output............................... 99
The Need for Mitigation........................................ 99
Global Dimming and Risks of Stratospheric Injections........... 100
The Impact of Ingenuity and Behavior Change.................... 100
Climate Modeling Resources..................................... 101

Appendix 1: Answers to Post-Hearing Questions

Dr. Ken Caldeira, Professor of Environmental Science, Department
of Global Ecology, The Carnegie Institution of Washington, and
Co-Author, Royal Society Report................................ 109

Professor John Shepherd, FRS, Professional Research Fellow in
Earth System Science, National Oceanography Centre, University
of Southampton, and Chair, Royal Society Geoengineering Report
Working Group.................................................. 110

Mr. Lee Lane, Co-Director, American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
Geoengineering Project......................................... 114

Dr. Alan Robock, Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences,
School of Environmental And Biological Sciences, Rutgers
University..................................................... 118

Dr. James Fleming, Professor and Director, Science, Technology
and Society Program, Colby College............................. 126

Appendix 2: Additional Material for the Record

Letter to U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and
Technology from ETC group, dated November 4, 2009.............. 134

C O N T E N T S

Geoengineering II: The Scientific Basis and Engineering Challenges

February 4, 2010

Witness List..................................................... 137

Hearing Charter.................................................. 138

Opening Statements

Statement by Representative Brian Baird, Chairman, Subcommittee
on Energy and Environment, Committee on Science and Technology,
U.S. House of Representatives.................................. 144
Written Statement............................................ 144

Statement by Representative Bob Inglis, Ranking Minority Member,
Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, Committee on Science
and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives.................. 145
Written Statement............................................ 145

Witnesses:

Dr. David Keith, Canada Research Chair in Energy and the
Environment, Director, ISEEE Energy and Environmental Systems
Group, University of Calgary
Oral Statement............................................... 145
Written Statement............................................ 147
Biography.................................................... 151

Dr. Philip Rasch, Chief Scientist for Climate Science, Laboratory
Fellow, Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division,
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Oral Statement............................................... 151
Written Statement............................................ 153
Biography.................................................... 166

Dr. Klaus Lackner, Department Chair, Earth and Environmental
Engineering, Ewing Worzel Professor of Geophysics, Columbia
University
Oral Statement............................................... 167
Written Statement............................................ 168
Biography.................................................... 175

Dr. Robert Jackson, Nicholas Chair of Global Environmental
Change, Professor, Biology Department, Duke University
Oral Statement............................................... 176
Written Statement............................................ 177
Biography.................................................... 182

Discussion
Economic Costs of Geoengineering............................... 182
Atmospheric Sulfate Injections................................. 183
Land-Based Geoengineering...................................... 184
Carbon Air Capture and Mineral Sequestration................... 184
Public Opinion and Education................................... 185
Political, Scientific, and Economic Challenges................. 185
Skepticism of Climate Change................................... 187
The Scientific Basis of Climate Change......................... 195
Chemical & Geological Carbon Uptake............................ 196
Alternatives to Fossil Fuels................................... 197
The Successes of Protera LLC and the Need for Innovation....... 197
Increasing Structural Albedo................................... 200
Alternative Fuels and Conservation Priorities.................. 200
Coal and Carbon Capture and Sequestration...................... 202
Economically Viable Energy Sources............................. 203
Closing........................................................ 204

Appendix 1: Answers to Post-Hearing Questions

Dr. David Keith, Canada Research Chair in Energy and the
Environment, Director, ISEEE Energy and Environmental Systems
Group, University of Calgary................................... 206

Dr. Philip Rasch, Chief Scientist for Climate Science, Laboratory
Fellow, Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division,
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.......................... 209

Dr. Klaus Lackner, Department Chair, Earth and Environmental
Engineering, Ewing Worzel Professor of Geophysics, Columbia
University..................................................... 214

Dr. Robert Jackson, Nicholas Chair of Global Environmental
Change, Professor, Biology Department, Duke University......... 215

Appendix 2: Additional Material for the Record

Transcript of Discussion prior to the Formal Hearing Opening..... 218

C O N T E N T S

Geoengineering III: Domestic and International Research Governance

March 18, 2010

Witness List..................................................... 220

Hearing Charter.................................................. 221

Opening Statements

Statement by Representative Bart Gordon, Chairman, Committee on
Science and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives.......... 226
Written Statement............................................ 226

Statement by Representative Ralph M. Hall, Ranking Minority
Member, Committee on Science and Technology, U.S. House of
Representatives................................................ 227
Written Statement............................................ 227

Prepared Statement by Representative Jerry F. Costello, Member,
Committee on Science and Technology, U.S. House of
Representatives................................................ 228

Panel I:

Hon. Phil Willis, MP, Chairman, Science and Technology Committee,
United Kingdom House of Commons
Oral Statement............................................... 229
Written Statement............................................ 232
Biography.................................................... 234

Discussion
International Research Database................................ 246
The Future of Geoengineering Research in the U.K............... 247
Additional Opportunities for International Collaboration....... 248
Public Opinion of Geoengineering............................... 249
The U.K. Inquiry Process....................................... 250

Panel II:

Dr. Frank Rusco, Director of Natural Resources and Environment,
Government Accountability Office (GAO)
Oral Statement............................................... 251
Written Statement............................................ 254
Biography.................................................... 271

Dr. Granger Morgan, Professor and Department Head, Department of
Engineering and Public Policy, and Lord Chair Professor in
Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
Oral Statement............................................... 272
Written Statement............................................ 274
Biography.................................................... 295

Dr. Jane Long, Deputy Principal Associate Director at Large and
Fellow, Center for Global Strategic Research, Lawrence
Livermore National Lab
Oral Statement............................................... 296
Written Statement............................................ 297
Biography.................................................... 309

Dr. Scott Barrett, Lenfest Professor of Natural Resource
Economics, School of International and Public Affairs and the
Earth Institute at Columbia University
Oral Statement............................................... 310
Written Statement............................................ 312
Biography.................................................... 320

Discussion
Initial Regulations............................................ 320
A Potential Role for DOE and National Labs..................... 321
The Prospect of Unilateral Geoengineering...................... 330
The National Security and Geopolitical Impacts of Climate
Change....................................................... 332
The Role for Federal Agencies.................................. 332

Appendix 1: Answers to Post-Hearing Questions

Dr. Frank Rusco, Director of Natural Resources and Environment,
Government Accountability Office (GAO)......................... 336

Dr. Scott Barrett, Lenfest Professor of Natural Resource
Economics, School of International and Public Affairs and the
Earth Institute at Columbia University......................... 341

Dr. Jane Long, Deputy Principal Associate Director at Large and
Fellow, Center for Global Strategic Research, Lawrence
Livermore National Lab......................................... 345

Dr. Granger Morgan, Professor and Department Head, Department of
Engineering and Public Policy, and Lord Chair Professor in
Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University........................ 351

Appendix 2: Additional Material for the Record

CRS Report on the International Governance of Geoengineering..... 358


GEOENGINEERING: ASSESSING THE IMPLICATIONS OF LARGE-SCALE CLIMATE
INTERVENTION

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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2009

House of Representatives,
Committee on Science and Technology,
Washington, DC.

The Committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:10 a.m., in Room
2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Bart Gordon
[Chairman of the Committee] presiding.


hearing charter

COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

``Geoengineering: Assessing the Implications of

Large-Scale Climate Intervention''

thursday, november 5, 2009
10:00 a.m.
2318 rayburn house office building

Purpose

On Thursday, November 5, 2009, the House Committee on Science &
Technology will hold a hearing entitled ``Geoengineering: Assessing the
Implications of Large-Scale Climate Intervention.'' Geoengineering can
be described as the deliberate large-scale modification of the earth's
climate systems for the purposes of counteracting climate change.
Geoengineering is a controversial issue because of the high degree of
uncertainty over potential environmental, economic and societal
impacts, and the assertion that research and deployment of
geoengineering diverts attention and resources from efforts to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions. The purpose of this hearing is to provide an
introduction to the concept of geoengineering, including the science
and engineering underlying various proposals, potential environmental
risks and benefits, associated domestic and international governance
issues, research and development needs, and economic rationales both
supporting and opposing the research and deployment of geoengineering
activities. This hearing is the first in a series on the subject to be
conducted by the Committee, with subsequent hearings intended to
provide more detailed examination of these issues.

Witnesses

Professor John Shepherd, FRS is a Professorial
Research Fellow in Earth System Science at the University of
Southampton, and Chair of the UK Royal Society working group
that produced the report Geoengineering the Climate. Science,
Governance and Uncertainty.

Dr. Ken Caldeira is a professor of Environmental
Science in the Department of Global Ecology and Director of the
Caldeira Lab at the Carnegie Institution of Science at Stanford
University, and a co-author of the Royal Society report.

Mr. Lee Lane is a Resident Fellow and the Co-director
of the Geoengineering Project at the American Enterprise
Institute (AEI) and former Executive Director of the Climate
Policy Center.

Dr. Alan Robock is a Distinguished Professor of
Climatology in the Department of Environmental Sciences at
Rutgers University and Associate Director of Rutgers Center for
Environmental Prediction.

Dr. James Fleming is a Professor and Director of
Science, Technology and Society at Colby College and the author
of Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate
Control.

Background

Climate
Global warming is caused by a change in the ratio between the
amount of incoming shortwave radiation from the sun and the outgoing
longwave radiation. Greenhouse gases (GHG's), such as carbon dioxide
and methane, decrease the ability of longwave radiation to escape
earth's atmosphere. This makes it more difficult for radiation to
``escape'' and therefore, causes higher radiation absorption. The
trapped energy causes higher global temperatures. Proposals for
geoengineering typically include activities that alter the earth's
climate system by either directly reflecting solar radiation back into
space or removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere to stabilize the
intake-output ratio.
In pre-industrial times, the atmospheric concentration of carbon
dioxide (CO2) remained stable at approximately 280 parts per
million (ppm). Today the concentration stands at approximately 385 ppm
and is steadily increasing. While some industrialized countries'
emissions have remained flat in recent years--due in part to slowing
economic growth and reduction of economic energy-intensity--overall
global emissions are still growing more rapidly than most 1990s climate
projections had anticipated,\1\ currently increasing CO2
concentrations by approximately 2 ppm per year.
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\1\ The Global Carbon Project's CO2 emissions trends
notes that CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industrial
processes have increased from 1.1% a year from 1990-1999 to 3.0% a year
from 2000-2004. This growth represents a faster rate of increase than
projected by even the most fossil-intensive scenarios projected in by
the IPCC in the late 1990s. Archived at http://
www.globalcarbonproject.org/global/pdf/TrendsInCO2Emissions.V15.pdf as
of October 20, 2009.
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Estimates on safe and plausible CO2 concentration
targets vary greatly. Climate scientists at the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and a consensus of other scientific
authorities identify 350 ppm as the long-term upper limit of
atmospheric carbon concentrations that avoid significant environmental
consequences. A climate panel led by NASA's Dr. Jim Hansen identified
the ecological ``tipping point,'' the level at which atmospheric
carbon, without additional increases, would produce rapid climate
changes outside of our control, to be 450 ppm.\2\ \3\ The U.S. Global
Change Research Program has also identified a stabilization target of
450 ppm in order to ``keep the global temperature rise at or below . .
. 2 F above the current average temperature, a level beyond which many
concerns have been raised about dangerous human interference with the
climate system.''
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\2\ Michael McCracken notes that the lowest concentration at which
economic analyses [suggest] that stabilization seem even remotely
possible is 450 ppm. See McCracken p. 2.
\3\ Hansen, James et al. Target Atmospheric C02: Where Should
Humanity Aim? Open Atmospheric Science Journal., 2, 217-231,
doi:10.2174/1874282300802010217.
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Pending U.S. climate legislation and international initiatives
under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC) would establish goals for reducing domestic and global
greenhouse gas emissions and accelerating development of low-carbon or
zero-carbon energy technologies. However, many in the international
climate community hold that even the most aggressive achievable
emissions reductions targets will not result in the avoidance of
adverse impacts of climate change and ocean acidification. Given global
economic growth trends, many consider reaching 450 ppm and temperature
increases of more than 2 C to be imminent. The Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated in its 2007 assessment report that,
under various emissions scenarios, the global temperature average will
rise between 1.1 and 6.4 C by the year 2100, resulting in sea level
rise of 18 to 59 cm in the same time frame.
Further complicating these projections is the possibility of non-
linear, ``runaway'' environmental reactions to climate change. Two such
reactions that would amount to climate emergencies are rapidly melting
sea ice and sudden thawing of Arctic permafrost. Sea ice reflects
sunlight, and as it melts it exposes more (darker) open ocean to
sunlight, thus absorbing more heat and accelerating melting and sea
level rise. Likewise, as Arctic permafrost thaws it releases methane, a
more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2, which then further
decreases the Earth's albedo and accelerates warming.

Geoengineering
It is for these reasons that geoengineering activities are
considered by some climate experts and policymakers to be potential
``emergency tool'' in a much broader long-term and slower acting global
program of climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. Dr.
John Holdren, director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
and President Obama's lead science advisor, asserted that while
geoengineering proposals are currently problematic due to potential
environmental side effects and financial costs, the possibility ``has
got to be looked at'' as an emergency approach.\4\ While the deployment
of geoengineering will likely remain a very controversial subject, an
increasing number of experts are calling for a robust and transparent
international research and development program to help determine which,
if any, geoengineering proposals have potential for slowing climate
change, and which carry unacceptable environmental or financial risk.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\4\ Associated Press Interview with Seth Borenstein, April 8, 2009.
See also his clarifying follow up email, published by Andrew C. Revkin,
New York Times, April 9, 2009.
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Scientific hypotheses resembling geoengineering were published as
early as the mid 20th century, but serious consideration of the topic
has only begun in the last few years. In 1992 the National Academies of
Sciences published a brief review of climate engineering concepts \5\
and provided rough cost estimates for injecting aerosols into the
stratosphere to reflect sunlight.\6\ The Academies will also finalize a
report in early 2010 which, in part, formally addresses geoengineering.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) plans to do the
same in its 5th report, to be finalized in 2014. The U.S. Department of
Energy penned a White Paper in 2001 recommending a $64 million, five-
year program for research as part of the National Climate Change
Technology Initiative, but it was not published. NASA held a workshop
in April 2007 to discuss solar radiation management options. In May
2008, the Council on Foreign Relations held the forum Geoengineering:
Workshop on Unilateral Planetary Scale Geoengineering. Earlier in 2009,
the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) began
consideration of funding certain geoengineering research initiatives,
and NSF has funded independent research projects on potential
implications.\7\ Last Friday, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
hosted a public symposium, ``Engineering a Cooler Earth: Can We Do It?
Should We Try?''
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\5\ National Academy of Sciences. ``Chapter 28: Geoengineering.''
In Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming: Mitigation, Adaptation
and the Science Base, 422-464. National Academies Press, 1992.
\6\ Council on Foreign Relations, workshop notes, May 2008.
\7\ For example, Rutgers University received a research grant in
May 2008 to be led by Alan Robock and Richard P. Turco to perform
collaborative research on the implications of stratospheric aerosols
and sun shading.
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In September of this year, the United Kingdom's Royal Society--an
equivalent to the U.S. National Academies--published what many consider
to be the most significant report on geoengineering entitled
Geoengineering the Climate: Science, Governance and Uncertainty, which
outlines various geoengineering methods and the associated challenges
in research, ethics and governance. Otherwise, in general, the body of
work on geoengineering consists of a limited number of individual
scientific papers exploring variations of a few potential strategies,
and the body of evaluative information on specific topics remains
modest and mostly theoretical. The specific ecological safety issues
and ethical considerations, similarly, have been assessed by only a
handful of scientists and ethicists. Cost estimations for the various
strategies are generally rough. Some are inexpensive enough to be
undertaken unilaterally by independent nations or even wealthy
individuals, while others entail immensely expensive technologies that
would likely only be carried out through international partnerships.
The Royal Society report and other studies divide geoengineering
methods into two main categories: Solar Radiation Management (SRM)
methods that reflect a portion of the sun's radiation back into space,
reducing the amount of solar radiation trapped in the earth's
atmosphere; and Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) methods that involve
removing CO2 from the atmosphere. SRM and CDR present
fundamentally different challenges of governance, ethics, economics,
and ecological impacts and experts most often assess them as wholly
separate topics.

Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) or Air Capture (AC)

CDR purports to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, either
by displacement or by stimulating the pace of naturally occurring
carbon-consuming chemical processes. CDR strategies have the advantage
of lowering the carbon content of the atmosphere. However, several of
the options would be slow to implement and may be impossible to
reverse. Those strategies involving a release of chemicals could also
have a significant effect on vulnerable oceanic and terrestrial
ecosystems. In addition, the chemical strategies would require
increased mining efforts and the transportation of needed materials,
which would carry its own environmental implications. Some of the
potential strategies include:

Afforestation/avoided deforestation--planting new trees on earlier
deforested lands or otherwise promoting forest growth results in
greater carbon absorption. In addition, old growth forests are
efficient carbon consumers. Many believe a more comprehensive plan for
avoiding old-forest destruction could be a useful contribution to
greenhouse gas management.\8\
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\8\ The Canadian Forest Service's Forest Carbon Accounting Program
educates land managers and the public on forestry's contribution to GHG
management and establishes a National Forest Carbon Monitoring
Accounting and Reporting System (NFCMARS). Archived online at http://
carbon.cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/CBM-CFS3-e.html as of October 20,
2009. Scientific sources on the impact of trees on atmospheric carbon
generally attribute between 15 and 20% of global GHG emissions to
deforestation.

Biological sequestration--Because terrestrial vegetation removes
atmospheric carbon, carbon sinks can sequester carbon as biomass or in
soil. This biomass could be used for fuels or sequestered permanently
as biochar or other organic materials. The Committee held a hearing
entitled Biomass for Thermal Energy and Electricity: A Research and
Development Portfolio for the Future on October 21, 2009 that addressed
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
this among other topics.

Enhanced weathering techniques--Silicate materials react with
CO2 to form carbonates, thereby reducing ambient
CO2. Silicate rocks could be mined and dispersed over
agricultural soils, or released and dissolved into ocean waters
(discussed below).

Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS)--Already the subject of
several U.S. and international research and development initiatives for
electric power plant applications,\9\ in this case CCS describes the
capture of ambient GHGs and storage in geologic reservoirs, such as
natural cave systems and depleted oil wells. Some geoengineering papers
refer to this strategy as Carbon Removal and Storage (CRS).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\9\ For example, FutureGen and the Clean Coal Power Initiatives
(CCPI) at DOE support RD&D for carbon capture and sequestration.

Oceanic upwelling and downwelling--the natural ocean circulation
processes are increased and accelerated in order to transfer
atmospheric GHGs to the deep sea, a kind of carbon sequestration, using
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
vertical pipes.

Chemical ocean fertilization--The addition of iron, silicates,
phosphorus, nitrogen, calcium hydroxide and/or limestone could enhance
specific natural chemical processes which consume carbon, such as
carbon uptake by phytoplankton.

Solar Radiation Management (SRM) or Sunlight Management

Solar Radiation strategies do not modify CO2 levels in
the atmosphere. Instead, they reflect incoming radiation to reduce the
atmosphere's solar energy content and restore its natural energy
balance. Proposed reductions of solar radiation absorption are usually
1-2% \10\; around 30% is already reflected naturally by the earth's
surface and atmosphere.\11\ The methods are space, land, or ocean-based
and involve either introducing new reflective objects within or outside
of the atmosphere, or an increase in the reflectivity or albedo \12\ of
existing structures and landforms. SRM could reduce increases in
temperature, but it may not address the non-temperature aspects of
greenhouse-induced climate changes. SRM strategies would generally take
effect more quickly than CDR strategies. However, once started, some
would likely require constant maintenance and/or replenishment to avoid
sudden and drastic increases in temperature. Some SRM proposals
include:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\10\ The Royal Society report suggests a reduction of 1.8% (RS 23).
\11\ Novim 8. This inherent reflectivity of the earth is often
referred to as ``planetary albedo.''
\12\ Albedo is usually presented as a number between 0 and 1, 0
representing a material in which all radiation is absorbed and 1 a
material which reflects all radiation.

Stratospheric Sulfate Injections--A spray of sulfates into the
second layer of earth's atmosphere \13\ could reflect incoming solar
radiation to reduce absorption. This process occurs naturally after a
volcanic eruption, in which large quantities of sulfur dioxide are
released into the stratosphere.\14\
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\13\ Roughly 6 to 30 miles above the earth's surface.
\14\ The naturally-occurring sulfur emissions from the 1991
eruption of a volcano in the Philippines, Mt. Pinatubo, are thought to
have decreased the average global temperature by 0.5 C for a 1-2 year
period by increasing global albedo. Another example of such short term
atmospheric cooling is often attributed to the eruption of El Chicon in
March 1982.

White roofs and surfaces--Painting the roofs of urban structures
and pavements of urban environments white would increase their albedo
by 0.15-0.25 (15-25%). This strategy was suggested by DOE Secretary
Steven Chu in May of 2009 at the St. James Palace Nobel Laureate
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Symposium.

Cloud brightening/Tropospheric Cloud Seeding--A fine spray of salt
water or sulfuric acid is injected into the lowest level of our
atmosphere to encourage greater cloud formation over the oceans, which
would increase the local albedo.

Land use changes--Portions of the earth's natural land cover could
be modified for more reflective growth patterns, such as light colored
grasses. Also, existing agricultural crops could be genetically
modified to reflect more sunlight.

Desert reflectors--Metallic or other reflective materials could be
used to cover largely underused desert areas, which account for 2% of
the earth's surface.

Space-based reflective surfaces--One large satellite or an array of
several small satellites with mirrors or sunshades could be placed in
orbit to reflect a portion of sun radiation before it reaches the
earth's atmosphere. Reflectors could also be placed at the sun-earth
Lagrange (L 1) point, where the gravitational pulls from each body act
with equal force and therefore allow objects to ``hover'' in place.

Key Strategies for Levying Assessments of Geoengineering Methods

Very little applied research to demonstrate the efficacy and
outside consequences of geoengineering proposals has been conducted so
far; study has largely been limited to computer simulations. According
to the Royal Society, outside of the existing RD&D programs for carbon
sequestration and forest management, the only proposals that have
undergone sustained research by the scientific community are certain
types of ocean fertilization.\15\ Such research will likely need to be
conducted over many years. Thus, experts argue that broad,
collaborative discussions of proposed geoengineering methods should
happen in the near term so policymakers can be sufficiently informed of
their options well in advance of potential emergency climate events.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\15\ Royal Society 19
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The primary costs for program deployment can be determined with
some measure of accuracy, but a program's secondary costs (ecological,
political, etc) and economic benefits will be more difficult to
measure. Strenuous modeling is required to identify potential
ecological impacts on, among other considerations: precipitation
patterns and the hydrological cycle, ozone concentrations, agricultural
resources, acid rain, air quality, ambient temperatures, and species
extinction. Other factors to be examined include human health impacts,
the costs incurred on consumers and taxpayers, impacts on minerals
markets and increased mining needs,\16\ job creation or dissolution,
international opinion/consensus, data collection and monitoring needs,
sources of technology and infrastructure, and the energy demands
incurred by large scale deployment. Many of these criteria can be
quantified in relatively absolute scientific and economic terms, but
others will be difficult to measure and even more difficult to weigh
against one another.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\16\ For example, stratospheric injections and ocean fertilization
would require large chemical inputs of mined materials.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Geoengineering methods with more encapsulated impacts (e.g.
reforestation and white roofs) are expected to be easier to research
and implement from a governance standpoint, but the evaluation of
concentrated impacts on community natural resources and microeconomies
remains a challenge.
The reversibility of any geoengineering proposal is also a factor.
Reversibility includes both the time it takes to end the program itself
(e.g. the time it takes for stratospheric sulfate injections to
dissipate) and the time in which the externalities will be ended and/or
remediated (e.g. the time it takes for additional sulfates in the
ecosystem to recede). Identifying the party responsible for reversing a
geoengineering application, should it become necessary, is also a key
front end consideration.
Lastly, both the cost of carbon credits and public opinion are
expected to heavily impact which strategies would be most viable. Just
as a significant price on carbon would encourage the development of
carbon-neutral energy sources, a higher price per ton of
CO2, paired with offsets allowances, would likely increase
the economic viability of many CDR options such as reforestation and
CCS. Similarly, public preference for particular strategies will affect
the viability of application for different methods.
Experts in the field believe that the risks and costs associated
with the various geoengineering strategies must not only be assessed in
comparison to one another, but also relative to the potential costs of
inaction on climate change or insufficient mitigation efforts.

Risks and Detriments

Unilateral deployment--It is possible for a non-governmental group
or individual to undertake one of the higher-impact, lower-cost
geoengineering initiatives unilaterally, perhaps without scientific
support or any risk management strategy. As recognized in the Royal
Society report, the materials for stratospheric injections, for
example, would be readily available and affordable to a small group or
even a wealthy individual. For this reason and others, national and
global security are also key concerns with geoengineering and
international governance may be needed at the front end.

Moral hazard--Another concern is that the public knowledge of
widespread implementation of geoengineering represents a moral hazard,
in which a person or group perceiving itself insulated from risk is
more likely to engage in risky or detrimental behavior. The Royal
Society suggests that there is significant risk in large-scale efforts
being treated as a ``get out of jail free card,'' in which carbon
sensitive consumer decision-making for mitigation will wane. Federal
funding and political momentum for mitigation could also be compromised
if geoengineering is seen as a superior substitute for traditional
mitigation and adaptation.

Ocean Acidification--A clear and significant disadvantage of
geoengineering is that, unlike carbon mitigation strategies, most
strategies do not reduce the progress of ocean acidification or
destruction of coral reefs and marine life due to higher ocean
temperatures. CDR methods address ambient carbon levels and could
indirectly affect ocean carbon levels by slowing the rate of carbon
uptake, but it is not clear that decreases in atmospheric carbon would
help reverse ocean acidification. SRM methods do not address carbon
levels at all.

Accidental Cessation of SRM--One critical drawback of SRM methods
specifically is that, because they do not modify atmospheric carbon
concentrations, a disruption of service could result in large and rapid
changes in climate, i.e. a return to the unmitigated impact of
increased carbon levels. If SRM methods are undertaken without
congruent controls on GHG emissions, then we would be constantly at
risk of dramatic climate changes if the SRM program ends. These
potential rapid, potentially catastrophic impacts must be carefully
considered before implementation at any scale. A concurrent charge
against geoengineering is that we may not have the political power,
funds, foresight or organization, either domestically or
internationally, for long-term governance of projects of this scale
without incurring unacceptable negative impacts.

Food and Water Security--A large-scale initiative impacting weather
patterns could greatly modify the precipitation patterns in particular
geographic areas, jeopardizing local food and fresh water supplies for
local populations. For example, a drought incurred by unforeseen
impacts of artificial cloud formation could suppress crop growth. Poor
and developing nations may be particularly susceptible to such impacts.

Butterfly Effect--Ultimately, there is near certainty that some
consequences of geoengineering methods cannot be anticipated and will
remain unseen until full-scale deployment. Skeptics have alleged the
possibility of an ecological ``butterfly effect,'' in which the
secondary effects of geoengineering are so wildly unforeseen that a
large scale ecological crisis could occur. Some scientists argue that
the possibility that such harmful side effects may be larger than the
expected benefits should deter consideration of some or all
geoengineering proposals.

Governance and International Issues

Any effective, large-scale modification of the climate will
necessarily have global consequences. While the technical aspects of
essentially every geoengineering method will require a great deal of
additional research and examination, the legal, governmental, socio-
political and ethical issues may ultimately be greater challenges to
deployment. There are several fundamental questions on geoengineering
governance that would need to be addressed: Who decides what methods
are used? What regulatory mechanisms are there, and who establishes
them? Who pays for the research, implementation, and surveillance? Who
decides our ultimate goals and the pace in which we take toward
achieving them? While some international treaties or agreements may be
applicable to certain geoengineering applications, there are currently
no regulatory frameworks in place aimed at geoengineering
specifically.\17\ Furthermore, several proposed geoengineering
strategies may directly violate existing treaties. These frameworks may
pose an additional challenge for geoengineering implementation, but
they may also provide guidance on ways to address the complex issues of
jurisdiction and responsibility at the international scale.
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\17\ Royal Society 5
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One challenge to address is the likelihood of inequitable effects
on particular localities. Large-scale efforts conducted in a particular
place may produce greater net impact on that region. For example,
stratospheric aerosols injections in the Midwest United States might
result in decreased crop outputs in the region. In addition, a weather
pattern, ecosystem balance or wildlife population modified as an effect
of geoengineering could yield a disproportionate effect somewhere
outside the source area. This could, for example, cause erratic
precipitation patterns in a non-participatory nation.
It is not clear whether one or more existing international
frameworks such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
or the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
could be the appropriate managing entity of global geoengineering
governance issues, or if the unique features of geoengineering would
require the creation of a new international mechanism. In addition, as
geoengineering is multidisciplinary, several domestic agencies at the
Federal level have clear jurisdiction over topics imbedded in all or
some of the suggested geoengineering methods as well as their immediate
research and development needs. A number of cabinet-level departments
and Federal agencies may be directly pertinent to the concurrent
agricultural, economic, international security, and governance issues.

Analogous Government Initiatives

The early years of nuclear weapons testing display a number of
similarities to geoengineering, including the difficulties of levying
cost-benefit analyses of their impacts, uncertain ecological impacts,
an unknown geographic scope of impact, and potential intra- and
intergovernmental liability issues. This relationship is noted by the
ETC Group for the U.S. National Academies workshop on geoengineering
held earlier this year.\18\ Before the Limited Test Ban Treaty was
signed in 1963, several nations regularly performed nuclear tests
underwater and in the atmosphere without international agreement,
regulation, or transparency. Of course, the consequences of nuclear
radiation and the potential for creating weapons are inherently
international, but domestic experimentation preceded diplomatic
considerations. The global impacts on both human health and
international diplomacy, incurred without international consent, were
considerable.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\18\ Geoengineering's Governance Vacuum: Unilateralism and the
Future of the Planet. For the National Academies workshop
Geoengineering Options to Respond to Climate Change: Steps to Establish
a Research Agenda. Washington, DC. June 15-16, 2009.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Human-engineered weather modification shares these characteristics
as well. The most commonly used strategy is cloud-seeding, in which
particles \19\ are sprayed into the air to stimulate condensation and
cloud formation. This practice is thought to modify precipitation
patterns \20\ in order to enhance crop growth, manage water resources
and promote human safety from natural hazards like floods and droughts.
In 2003, the National Academies' National Research Council published
its fourth report on weather modification, Critical Issues in Weather
Modification Research. As of report publication there were 23 countries
engaging in weather modification on a large scale, and China is the
Nation most aggressively pursuing it, with an annual budget of over $40
million for hail suppression and precipitation enhancement. However,
NAS concluded that ``there is still no convincing scientific proof of
the efficacy of intentional weather modification efforts. In some
instances there are strong indications of induced changes, but this
evidence has not been subjected to tests of significance and
reproducibility.'' \21\ No consensus on the cause-and-effect
relationship between cloud seeding and weather patterns has been
determined, but it still continues to be practiced worldwide.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\19\ Usually silver iodide or frozen CO2
\20\ A highly visible example of an application of weather
modification occurred during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in China,
when the Beijing Weather Engineering Office used cloud seeding to delay
rainfall for several hours in order to accommodate the Games' opening
ceremonies.
\21\ NAS 3

Public Perception and Ethical Implications

Due to the large uncertainties associated with most geoengineering
methods, the opinions of the general public and the scientific
community at this time generally vary from cautiously optimistic to
unequivocally opposed. While a portion of the scientific community is
committed to investigating the possibilities of geoengineering, another
portion is resistant because geoengineering and carbon mitigation could
be seen by some as direct substitutes\22\ and therefore in competition
with one another, as discussed above.
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\22\ Barrett 1
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The general public may have qualms with geoengineering for several
reasons. A given method's efficacy and safety may not coincide with the
general public's perception, which then may unduly influence momentum
toward an unjustified strategy. However, negative public perceptions of
geoengineering may also prove to be a powerful catalyst for emissions
reductions.\23\ A study by the British Market Research Bureau found
that while participants were cautious or hostile toward geoengineering,
``several agreed that they would actually be more motivated to
undertake mitigation actions themselves'' after a large-scale
geoengineering application was suggested.\24\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\23\ Barrett 2
\24\ Royal Society 43
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One major ethical issue is that even in a best case scenario, some
nations are expected to benefit more than others. Moreover, the effects
won't necessarily reflect which nations have contributed the most to
the carbon problem (the debtors), nor those agent nations who devise,
fund and execute the geoengineering activities. Another is the ``Dr.
Frankenstein'' ethical concern, in which some believe deliberate human
modification of the global climate is both a dangerous and
inappropriate activity in the first place.
Because geoengineering threatens to alter biological processes at a
large scale, many are concerned that inequitable negative impacts may
occur. Undue burdens may be placed on a particular locality, even if
the locality or nation neither engaged in geoengineering nor produced a
disproportionate share of anthropogenic carbon emissions. Because
deployment and even applied research can hold global implications, open
information access and an open equitable forum for international
dialogue are expected to be requisite for a responsible approach to
geoengineering.

Bibliography

Shepherd, John et al. Geoengineering the Climate: Science, Governance
and Uncertainty. September, 2009. New York: The Royal Society,
September, 2009.

Garstang, Michael et al. Critical Issues in Weather Modification
Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2003.

Barrett, Scott. ``The Incredible Economics of Geoengineering.'' Johns
Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. 18
March, 2007.

Blackstock, J.J. et al. Climate Engineering Responses to Climate
Emergencies. (Novim, 2009). Archived online at: http://arvix/
org/pdf/0907.5140

Cicerone, Ralph J. ``Geoengineering: Encouraging Research and
Overseeing Implementation,'' Climatic Change, 77, 221-226.
2006.

McCracken, Dr. Michael C. ``Geoengineering: Getting a Start on a
Possible Insurance Policy.'' The Climate Institute. Washington,
DC.

T.M.L. Wigley. ``A Combined Mitigation/Geoengineering Approach to
Climate Change.'' Science Magazine, 314, 452. October 2006.
Chairman Gordon. Good morning. I would like to welcome
everyone to today's hearing of the House Committee on Science
and Technology entitled Geoengineering: Assessing the
Implications of Large-Scale Climate Intervention.
I believe this hearing marks the first time that a
Congressional committee has undertaken a serious review of
proposals for climate engineering. That is not surprising
because this is a very complex, controversial subject that has
had little formal debate in the United States.
Geoengineering carries with it a tremendous range of
uncertainties, ethical and political concerns, and the
potential for catastrophic environmental side-effects. But we
are faced with the stark reality that the climate is changing,
and the onset of impacts may outpace the world's political and
economic ability to avoid them.
Therefore, we should accept the possibility that certain
climate engineering proposals may merit consideration and, as a
starting point, review research and development as appropriate.
At its best geoengineering might only buy us some time. But if
we want to know the answers we have to begin to ask the tough
questions. Today we begin what I believe will be a long
conversation.
In fact, my intention is for this hearing to serve as the
introduction to the concept of climate engineering. Over the
next eight months the Committee will hold two to three more
hearings to explore underlying science, engineering, ethical,
economic and governance concerns in fuller detail.
I am pleased to announce that this will be part of an
inter-parliamentary project with our counterpart in the United
Kingdom House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. When
members of the Commons Committee visited us last spring, the
Chairman, Phil Willis, proposed that we work together on issues
of common interest. Geoengineering has decidedly global
implications, and research should be considered in the context
of a transparent international process.
Yesterday the Commons Committee voted to undertake a
parallel effort to examine the domestic and international
regulatory framework that may be applicable to geoengineering.
We will be in close contact with them, sharing the findings
from our own efforts. When they complete their work in the
spring, the Chairman of the Committee will testify before us in
a hearing on domestic and international governance issues.
But before we begin this discussion today I want to make
something very clear upfront. My decision to hold this hearing
should not in any way be misconstrued as an endorsement of any
geoengineering activity, and the timing has nothing to do with
the pending negotiations in Copenhagen. I know we will run the
risk of misleading headlines.
However, this subject requires very careful examination,
and will likely only be considered as a potential stopgap tool
in a much wider package of climate change mitigation and
adaptation strategies. It will require years of internationally
coordinated research for us to better understand our options,
to examine the impacts, and to know if any activity warrants
deployment. In the meantime nothing should stop us from
pursuing aggressive long-term domestic and global strategies
for achieving deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
This issue is too important for us to keep our heads in the
sand. We must get ahead of geoengineering before it gets ahead
of us, or worse, before we find ourselves in a climate
emergency with inadequate information as to the full range of
options. As Chairman of the committee of jurisdiction, I feel a
responsibility to begin a public dialogue and develop a record
on geoengineering.
With that, I look forward to a good, healthy discussion,
and I turn it over to my distinguished Ranking Member, Mr.
Hall, for his opening statement.
[The prepared statement of Chairman Gordon follows:]
Prepared Statement of Chairman Bart Gordon
Good morning. I would like to welcome everyone to today's hearing
of the House Committee on Science and Technology entitled,
``Geoengineering: Assessing the Implications of Large-Scale Climate
Intervention.''
I believe this hearing marks the first time that a Congressional
Committee has undertaken a serious review of proposals for climate
engineering. That is not surprising; it is a very complex and
controversial subject that has seen little formal debate in the U.S.
Geoengineering carries with it a tremendous range of uncertainties,
ethical and political concerns, and the potential for catastrophic
environmental side-effects. But we are faced with the stark reality
that the climate is changing, and the onset of impacts may outpace the
world's political and economic ability to avoid them.
Therefore, we should accept the possibility that certain climate
engineering proposals may merit consideration and, as a starting point,
review research and development as appropriate. At its best
geoengineering might only buy us some time. But if we want to know the
answers we have to first ask the tough questions. Today we begin what I
believe will be a long conversation.
In fact, my intention is for this hearing to serve as the
introduction to the concept of climate engineering. Over the next 8
months the Committee will hold two to three more hearings to explore
underlying science, engineering, ethical, economic and governance
concerns in further detail.
I am pleased to announce that this will be part of inter-
parliamentary project with our counterparts in the United Kingdom House
of Commons Science and Technology Committee. When members of the
Commons Committee visited us last spring the Chairman, Phil Willis,
proposed that we work together on issues of common interest.
Geoengineering has decidedly global implications, and research should
be considered in the context of a transparent international process.
Yesterday the Commons committee voted to undertake a parallel
effort to examine the domestic and international regulatory frameworks
that may be applicable to geoengineering. We will be in close contact
with them, sharing the findings from our own efforts. When they
complete their work in the spring the Chairman of the Committee will
testify before us in a hearing on domestic and international governance
issues.
Before we begin this discussion today I want to make something very
clear upfront--my decision to hold this hearing should not in any way
be misconstrued as an endorsement of any geoengineering activity, and
the timing has nothing to do with the pending negotiations in
Copenhagen. I know we run the risk of misleading headlines.
However, this subject requires very careful examination, and will
likely only be considered as a potential stopgap tool in a much wider
package of climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. It will
require years of internationally-coordinated research for us to better
understand our options, examine the impacts, and know if any activity
warrants deployment. In the meantime nothing should stop us from
pursuing aggressive long-term domestic and global strategies for
achieving deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
This issue is too important for us to keep our heads in the sand.
We must get ahead of geoengineering before it gets ahead of us, or
worse, before we find ourselves in a climate emergency with inadequate
information as to the full range of options. As Chairman of the
committee of jurisdiction, I feel a responsibility to begin a public
dialogue and develop a record on geoengineering.
With that, I look forward to a healthy discussion, and I yield to
the distinguished Ranking Member, Mr. Hall for his opening statement.

Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, I could make the shortest opening
speech in the history of this committee.
Chairman Gordon. Okay.
Mr. Hall. I could say geoengineering, hello, but I won't do
that. I will just say to you that I thank you for holding this
hearing today, and once again, the Commerce and this Committee
in our duties are taking on issues that are really the
forefront of cutting-edge science, and I appreciate your
leadership.
As many of my colleagues will agree, the debate about
climate change is far from over, and I am sure that you have
conducted and participated in that and came to the conclusion
that the fact that there are still many, many opinions as to
the causes, the effects and the potential solutions
demonstrates how much uncertainty there is out there and how
crucial it is for our Nation to continue to search for answers.
Geoengineering, or climate engineering, is the intentional
modification of the earth's environment to promote--and just go
to the definition and see that it is so broad that you could
apply the term to almost any human changes that are made by
humans and their surrounding environment, from building dams to
deforestation. The actions are more local or regional in scope.
The types of modifications we will be discussing are global in
nature, and therefore, no matter what our preconceptions are,
the implications of such technologies are far-reaching.
I understand that the hearing is to be the first of a
series of hearings on this topic, further exploring the
scientific basis underpinning the concept of geoengineering,
and the ethical concerns and issues surrounding any future
development and deployment scenarios could be extremely helpful
in advancing the discussion about geoengineering.
I will reserve my full judgment on this issue until all the
facts are in, but I have to admit I am a bit skeptical about
this non-traditional approach. I know that our witnesses here
today represent a variety of different viewpoints on
geoengineering, and I am eager to listen to their thoughts
about the issue. I am sure we will have plenty of questions to
ask them. I really look forward to a very lively discussion,
and I expect we are going to have one.
So I think I have to thank you again, Mr. Chairman. This
kind of opens up, you know--Alfred Hitchcock did The Birds. You
remember that movie? And I have been working all since that
time on a movie that have the elephants, flying elephants, you
know, like Hitchcock had those birds that just were going to
disturb the whole world. I don't know if I can get that
underway or not, but we will maybe work that in in some of this
here.
I would yield back to my Chairman, James Bond, and I thank
you very much for letting me talk.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hall follows:]
Prepared Statement of Representative Ralph M. Hall
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to thank you for holding this
hearing today on geoengineering. Once again, this Committee is tackling
issues that are the forefront of cutting edge science, and I appreciate
your leadership.
As many of my colleagues will agree, the debate about climate
change is far from over. I am sure that you concluded that the fact
that there are still so many opinions as to the causes, the effects and
the potential solutions, demonstrates how much uncertainty is out there
and how crucial it is for our nation to continue to search for answers.
Geoengineering, or climate engineering, is the intentional
modification of the Earth's environment to promote habitability. The
definition is so broad that you could apply the term to any changes
humans make in their surrounding environment, from building dams to
deforestation. These actions are more local or regional in scope. The
types of modifications we will be discussing this morning are global in
nature, and therefore no matter what our preconceptions are, the
implications of such technologies are far reaching.
I understand that this hearing is to be the first of a series of
hearings on the topic. Further exploring the scientific basis
underpinning the concept of geoengineering, and the ethical concerns
and issues surrounding any future development and deployment scenarios
could be extremely helpful in advancing the discussion about
geoengineering. I will reserve my full judgment on this issue until all
the facts are in, but I have to admit I am a bit skeptical about this
nontraditional approach.
I know that our witnesses here today represent a variety of
different viewpoints on geoengineering, and I am eager to listen to
their thoughts about the issue. I'm sure that we will have plenty of
questions to ask them, and I look forward to a lively discussion.
So I have to thank you once again for holding this hearing, and I
look forward to hearing from our distinguished witnesses.

[The prepared statement of Mr. Costello follows:]
Prepared Statement of Representative Jerry F. Costello
Good Morning. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding today's hearing
to examine the future of geoengineering strategies for reducing
greenhouse gas emissions and counteracting climate change.
This committee has met several times to discuss the implications of
climate change and the best mechanisms to counter its effects.
Throughout these discussions, we have emphasized the importance of
working with our international partners to ensure that the global
problem of climate change is addressed through a global solution.
I am pleased to welcome our colleagues from the United Kingdom with
whom this committee has worked to explore the potential of
geoengineering as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
I have been a strong supporter of many geoengineering techniques
currently in use today, in particular the use of carbon capture and
storage technology for coal, to reduce the amount of carbon released
into the atmosphere. These demonstrated technologies allow us to combat
climate change and continue using abundant natural resources. However,
I am concerned about the unintended consequences of some geoengineering
proposals. These untested techniques could have irreversible effects
that may permanently change the chemical, physical and biological make-
up of our oceans and land. While I recognize that these proposals are
still in their earliest stages, I believe it is important to address
these concerns early in the research effort.
I would like to hear from our witnesses how they will address these
risks during the in-depth discussions on the potential of
geoengineering. Further, as research and development projects move
forward, how will these concerns be addressed and what protections will
be put in place.
I welcome our panel of witnesses, and I look forward to their
testimony. Thank you again, Mr. Chairman.

[The prepared statement of Ms. Johnson follows:]
Prepared Statement of Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson
Good morning, Mr. Chairman.
I would like to welcome today's panel to our hearing, focused on
research and work done in the field of geoengineering.
Perhaps the greatest challenge the science community will face in
the years ahead is being able to moderate climate change and global
warming.
While I believe that cutting emissions of greenhouse gases is a
priority in climate mitigation, we must also prepare for the
possibility that our environment will continue
to degrade.
There is no simple, solution, and while geoengineering may be
possible, we still face many hurdles to its implementation and success.
There are a range of methods that are currently being considered in
the field of geoengineering and I look forward to hearing more about
their potential today.
We need global solutions to this global problem. We cannot proceed
with any approach until we thoroughly examine the potential downside
and all of the legal and ethical ramifications.
There is a great deal of uncertainty in this field and as we
proceed with future hearing look forward to examining all the
consequences of implementing this type of science.
Today's hearing represents a commitment on behalf of this Committee
and Congress to work in a global capacity to foster this type of
research.
The witnesses who will join us are true subject experts. It is my
hope that they can provide committee members with good information that
is based on science.
It is my hope that we can move forward proactively to devise
policies for a broad approach to the problem of global warming.
Thank you for hosting today's full committee hearing to learn more
about geoengineering.

Chairman Gordon. Well, Professor Shepherd, welcome to
America. If there are other Members who wish----
Mr. Hall. I knew that would get me in trouble.
Chairman Gordon. If there are other Members who wish to
submit additional opening statements, your statements will be
added to the record at this point.
And now it is my pleasure to introduce our witnesses.
Professor John Shepherd is a Professional Research Fellow in
Earth System Science at the University of Southampton and Chair
of the Royal Society Geoengineering Working Group that produced
the report Geoengineering The Climate: Science, Governance &
Uncertainty. And it is the University of Southampton not
located in New York. Dr. Ken Caldeira is a Professor of
Environmental Science in the Department of Global Ecology at
the Carnegie Institute of Washington and co-author of the Royal
Society Report. Mr. Lee Lane is the Co-Director of the American
Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research's
Geoengineering Project. Dr. Alan Robock is a Professor at the
Department of Environmental Science at the School of
Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University.
Dr. Robock, Mr. Rothman wanted us to give you his best. He is
ill today but wanted to be with you. And Dr. James Fleming is a
Professor and Director of the Science, Technology and Society
Program at Colby College and the author of Fixing the Sky: The
Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control.
As our witnesses should know, we will have five minutes for
your spoken testimony. Your written testimony will be included
in the record for the hearing, and when you have completed your
spoken testimony we will begin the questions. Each Member then
will have five minutes to question the witnesses.
So we begin in the order, Dr. Caldeira.
Dr. Caldeira. Isn't Dr. Shepherd first?
Chairman Gordon. Well, I am reading from my report here,
and so you are first in that regard but if you would like to
yield to Dr. Shepherd, then we will do that. So if you will
turn on your mic, we will all be better off.

STATEMENT OF DR. KEN CALDEIRA, PROFESSOR OF ENVIRONMENTAL
SCIENCE, DEPARTMENT OF GLOBAL ECOLOGY, THE CARNEGIE INSTITUTION
OF WASHINGTON, AND CO-AUTHOR, ROYAL SOCIETY REPORT

Dr. Caldeira. Chairman Gordon, Ranking Member Hall, Members
of the Committee, I thank you for giving me the opportunity
today to speak with you about why it makes sense for us as
American taxpayers to invest some of our hard-earned dollars in
exploring ways to cost-effectively reduce the environmental
threats that are facing us.
I am a climate scientist working at the Carnegie
Institution Department of Global Ecology. I have been studying
climate and ocean acidification for over 20 years and
investigating geoengineering options for more than 10 years.
Climate change poses a real risk to Americans. The surest
way to reduce this risk is to reduce emissions of greenhouse
gases, such as carbon dioxide. We can build a 21st-century
energy system based on solar and nuclear power along with
carbon capture and storage from coal-, oil- and gas-fired power
plants. I believe we can and will make this transformation to
the clean energy system of the future. However, even if we
decide to start building our 21st-century energy system today,
because of the long time lags involved, we will still face
threats from climate change.
The options we are discussing today can be divided into two
categories with very different characteristics, solar radiation
management [SRM] approaches and carbon dioxide removal [CDR]
approaches.
Solar radiation management methods, which you could also
call sunlight reflection methods, seek to reduce the amount of
climate change by reflecting some of the sun's warming rays
back to space. We know this basically works because volcanoes
have cooled the earth in this way. Preliminary research
suggests that we could rapidly and relatively cheaply put tiny
particles high in the stratosphere and that this would cause
the earth to cool quickly.
Nobody thinks these approaches will perfectly offset the
effects of carbon dioxide. For example, these methods do not
address the problem of ocean acidification. However,
preliminary climate model simulations indicate that these
approaches could offset most climate change in most places most
of the time.
While these approaches may be able to reduce overall risk,
they could and likely will introduce new environmental and
political risks.
In contrast, carbon dioxide removal approaches seek to
reduce the amount of climate change and ocean acidification by
removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Essentially, these
options reverse carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere by
pulling carbon dioxide back out of the atmosphere.
There are two basic types of carbon dioxide removal
methods. One is to use growing forests or other plants to store
carbon in organic forms. The other is to use chemical
techniques. We could build centralized carbon dioxide removal
factories or perhaps spread out finely ground-up minerals that
would remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
With the exception of proposals to fertilize the oceans,
carbon dioxide removal methods are unlikely to introduce new,
unprecedented risks, so cost is likely to be the primary
consideration governing deployment.
Let me mention in closing that I do not think the term
``geoengineering'' is very useful in informed discussions. The
term has been used by so many people to refer to so many
different and poorly defined grab bags of distantly related
things that I do not believe the term can help us to think
clearly about the decisions we need to make.
So to conclude, we need multi-agency research programs in
both sunlight reflection methods and carbon dioxide removal
approaches to find cost-effective ways to protect American
taxpayers from unnecessary environmental risk. Because these
two basic approaches, the solar radiation management approaches
and the carbon dioxide removal approaches, differ in so many
dimensions, it seems unwise to link these research programs
closely together.
Solving our climate change problem is largely about cost-
effective risk management. There are many different ways that
risk might be diminished, and the most important of these is to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, we also need to
improve our resilience so that we can better adapt to the
climate change that does occur. We also need to understand
whether there are ways that we can cost-effectively remove
carbon dioxide and perhaps other greenhouse gases from the
atmosphere. Lastly, we should try to understand whether
thoughtful, intentional interventions into the climate system
might be able to undo some of the damage that we are doing with
our current, inadvertent intervention.
The problem is too serious to allow prejudice to take
options off of the table. I thank you for your attention, and I
would be happy to answer your questions.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Caldeira follows:]
Prepared Statement of Ken Caldeira
1. Summary

Climate change poses a real risk to Americans. The surest way to
reduce this risk is to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
However, other options may also be available which could in some
circumstances cost-effectively contribute to risk reduction. These
options can be divided into two categories with very different
characteristics:

Solar Radiation Management (SRM) approaches seek to
reduce the amount of climate change by reflecting some of the
sun's warming rays back to space.

The most promising Solar Radiation Management
proposals appear to be inexpensive (at least with
respect to direct costs), can be deployed rapidly, and
can cause the Earth to cool quickly. They attempt
symptomatic relief without addressing the root causes
of our climate problem. Thus, these methods do not
address the problem of ocean acidification. While these
approaches may be able to reduce overall risk, there is
the potential that they could introduce additional
environmental and political risk. Solar Radiation
Management approaches have not yet been given careful
consideration in international negotiations to diminish
risks of climate change. The primary consideration
governing whether such systems would be deployed is our
level of confidence that they would really contribute
to overall risk reduction.

Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) approaches seek to
reduce the amount of climate change and ocean acidification by
removing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The most promising of the Carbon Dioxide Removal
approaches appear to be expensive (relative to SRM
methods, but perhaps competitive with methods to reduce
emissions), slow acting, and take a long time before
they could cool the Earth. However, they address the
root cause of the problem--excess CO2 in the
atmosphere. There is no expectation that these methods
will introduce any new unprecedented risks. Some Carbon
Dioxide Removal approaches associated with forests and
agricultural practices have received attention in
international negotiations and in carbon offsetting
schemes. The primary consideration governing whether
Carbon Dioxide Removal approaches would be deployed is
cost relative to options to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions.
We need multi-agency research programs in both Solar Radiation
Management and Carbon Dioxide Removal. (Every agency that has something
to contribute should be given a seat at the table.) Because Solar
Radiation Management and Carbon Dioxide Removal approaches differ in so
many dimensions, it seems unwise to link them closely together. In
particular, Carbon Dioxide Removal approaches have more in common with
efforts to reduce CO2 emissions than they have with Solar
Radiation Management approaches.

Solar Radiation Management research might best be led
by agencies that have a strong track record in the highest
quality science, with no vested interest in the outcome of such
research, such as the National Science Foundation or perhaps
NASA.

Carbon Dioxide Removal research that focuses on
storing carbon in reduced (organic) forms might best be led by
agencies that are already involved in conventional Carbon
Dioxide Removal methods involving agricultural or forestry
practices. Carbon Dioxide Removal approaches which employ
centralized chemical engineering methods to remove CO2
from the atmosphere might best be led by agencies, such as DOE,
already involved in carbon dioxide capture from power plants.
It is less clear where research into distributed chemical
approaches might fit best, although leadership by the National
Science Foundation is a possibility.

2. Background

Climate change represents a real risk to Americans

It is increasingly obvious that modern industrial society is
affecting climate. It is less clear how much this climate change will
affect the average American. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to think
that there is a significant risk that climate change will be more
disruptive to our economy than a few million mortgage defaults.
Economists estimate that it might take 2% of our GDP to squeeze
carbon dioxide emissions out of our energy and transportation systems.
I believe that the risk is high that, if we continue to produce devices
that dump carbon dioxide waste into the atmosphere, climate change will
lead to problems that dwarf the subprime mortgage debacle. The recent
subprime mortgage crisis, driven by defaults on several million
mortgages, led to an approximately 4% reduction in worldwide GDP
growth. Therefore, I believe a rational investor would invest 2% of our
GDP to avoid this risk.
When I am speaking, I often ask:

If we already had energy and transportation systems that met
our needs without using the atmosphere as a waste dump for our
carbon dioxide pollution, and I told you that you could be 2%
richer, but all you had to do was acidify the oceans and risk
killing off coral reefs and other marine ecosystems, all you
had to do was heat the planet, and risk melting the ice caps
with rapid sea-level rise, risk shifting weather patterns so
that food growing regions might not be able to produce adequate
amounts of food, and so on, would you take all of that
environmental risk, just to be 2% richer?

Nobody I have ever spoken with has said that all of this
environmental risk is worth being 2 % richer. (Some years, I have
gotten a 2% raise and barely noticed it.) So, I think we have to agree
that the main issue with solving the climate-carbon problem is not the
cost per se--it is that the cost is high enough to make it difficult to
generate the necessary level of cooperation needed to solve the
problem.
I do not know how much climate change will affect the average
American. While I cannot with confidence predict great damage, I can
predict great risk.
The carbon-climate problem is about risk management--and the best,
surest, and clearest way to reduce environmental risk associated with
greenhouse gas emissions is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
If you take the risk of climate damage seriously, you want to take
action to diminish risk by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but you
would not want to limit yourself to only one risk-reduction approach.
There may be novel approaches that could also help us manage risk
associated with greenhouse gas emissions. However, these novel
approaches are poorly understood and have been inadequately evaluated.
There has been a paucity of the kind of research and development that
would let us understand the positive and negative properties of these
approaches. These novel approaches are not alternatives to reducing
greenhouse gas emissions; they are supplementary measures that might
help us reduce the risk of climate-related damage. Some of them are
approaches that America might need in a time of crisis.

3. Introduction to the concept of ``geoengineering''

``Geoengineering'' is a catch-all term, used to refer to a broad
collection of strategies to diminish the amount of climate change
resulting from greenhouse gas emissions. The term ``geoengineering'' is
used in different ways by different authors and there is no generally
agreed-upon definition, although features common to strategies referred
to by the word ``geoengineering'' generally include:

(1) Intent to affect climate

(2) Affecting climate at a regional to global scale

(3) Novelty or lack of familiarity

Emitting CO2 by driving a car is not generally
considered geoengineering because, while it affects global climate,
there is no intent to alter climate. Planting a shade tree to provide a
cooler local environment is not generally considered geoengineering
because, while there is intent to alter climate, it is not at a
sufficiently large scale. Promoting the growth of forests as a climate
mitigation strategy involves an intent to affect climate at global
scales; however, we are familiar with forest management, so this
approach does not have the novelty that would cause most people to use
the word ``geoengineering'' to refer to it.
The term ``geoengineering'' also has another meaning related to the
engineering of tunnels and other structures involving the solid Earth.
Furthermore, the term ``geoengineering'' has been applied to large
scale efforts to alter geophysical systems, such as the old Soviet plan
to reroute northward flowing rivers so that they would instead flow
south towards central Asia.
Because ``geoengineering'' has been used by different people to
refer to many different types of activities, and there is no single
universally agreed definition, it is my opinion that the term
``geoengineering'' no longer has much use in informed discussions. More
than that, use of the term ``geoengineering'' can have a negative
influence on the ability to conduct an informed discussion, since there
is little that can be said generally about such an ill-defined and
heterogeneous set of proposals.

4. An introduction to the major ``geoengineering''
strategies

``Geoengineering'' strategies can be divided into two broad categories:

(1) Solar Radiation Management (SRM) and related strategies
that seek to directly intervene in the climate system, without
directly affecting atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations.

(2) Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) and related strategies that
seek to diminish atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations,
after the gases have already been released to the atmosphere.

These two broad classes of strategy are so different, that they
should be treated as being independent of each other. Solar Radiation
Management approaches (SRM--can also be thought of as Sunlight
Reflection Methods) attempt to limit damage from elevated greenhouse
gas concentrations--these methods are designed to provide symptomatic
relief. In contrast, Carbon Dioxide Removal strategies try to remove
the atmospheric drivers of climate change--these methods are designed
to address the root causes of our climate problem.
Solar Radiation Management proposals will inherently involve
actions by governments, because the primary issues driving deployment
of such approaches will involve questions of environmental risk
reduction, equity, governance, and so on. (Of course, a clear
scientific and technical basis needs to be developed to act as a
foundation for these policy discussions.)
In contrast, Carbon Dioxide Removal proposals would likely be
driven by actions of private corporations, because the primary factor
driving deployment is likely to be a price on carbon emissions. If it
is more cost-effective to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
than to prevent an emission to the atmosphere, and local environmental
issues have been adequately addressed, then there will be an economic
driver to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Because the issues around Solar Radiation Management (and related
approaches) differ so greatly from issues around Carbon Dioxide Removal
(and related approaches), it is best to address these two classes of
possible activities separately.

4.1 Solar Radiation Management (SRM) and related strategies

4.1.1. Overview of Solar Radiation Management

While proposals to intentionally alter climate go back a half
century or more, relatively little research has been done on these
strategies. Therefore, everything said about these approaches must be
regarded as provisional and preliminary. The recent report on
Geoengineering by the U.K. Royal Society provides a good summary of
this preliminary research.
The sun warms the Earth. Greenhouse gases make it harder for heat
to leave the Earth. With additional greenhouse gases warming the Earth,
one way to cool things back down is to prevent the Earth from absorbing
so much sunlight.
There are two classes of proposal that appear to be able to address
a significant part, if not all, of globally averaged mean warming: (1)
placing small particles high in the atmosphere to reflect sunlight to
space or (2) seeding clouds over the ocean to whiten them so that they
reflect more sunlight to space.
The leading proposal for reflecting large amounts of sunlight back
to space is the emplacement of many small particles in the
stratosphere. We have good reason to believe that such an approach will
fundamentally work because volcanoes have performed natural experiments
for us. It is thought that the rate of particle injection needed to
offset a doubling of atmospheric CO2 content is small enough
that it could be carried in a single fire hose. The determination of
whether we would ever want to deploy such a system would not depend on
cost of the deployment, but rather on an assessment of whether it was
really able to contribute to overall risk reduction, taking both
environmental and political factors into consideration.
In 1991, the Mt. Pinatubo volcano erupted in the Philippines,
introducing a large amount of tiny particles into the stratosphere.
This caused the Earth to cool by around 1 degree Fahrenheit. Within a
year or two, most of this material left the stratosphere. Had we
replenished this material, the total amount of cooling would have been
more than enough to offset the average amount of warming from a
doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration.
There are questions about how good a short term eruption is as an
analogue for a continuous injection of material into the stratosphere.
Nevertheless, the natural experiment of volcanic eruptions give us
confidence that the approach will basically work, and while there might
be negative consequences, the world will not come instantly to an end,
and that after stopping a short-term deployment, the world is likely to
return to its previous trajectory within years.
Nobody should think that any Solar Radiation Management strategy
will work perfectly. Sunlight and greenhouse gases act differently on
the atmosphere. Sunlight strikes the surface of the Earth where it can
both warm the surface and help to evaporate water. Greenhouse gases for
the most part absorb radiation in the middle of the atmosphere. So,
changes in sunlight can never exactly compensate for changes in
greenhouse gases.
However, preliminary simulations indicate that it should be
possible to offset most of the climate change in most of the world most
of the time. Climate model simulations show that deflecting some
sunlight away from the Earth can make a high CO2 world more
similar to a low CO2 world at most times and at most places.
However, the climate might deteriorate in some places. This raises
important governance issues in that Solar Radiation Management
approaches (or Solar Reflection Methods) have the potential to cause
harm at some times in some places, even if they are able to reduce
overall environmental damage and environmental risk.

4.1.2. Concerns relating to Solar Radiation Management

While there is some expectation that Solar Radiation Management
approaches can diminish most of the climate change in most of the world
most of the time, it is possible that there could be bad effects that
would render this offsetting undesirable. These bad effects could be
environmental, or they could be socio-political.
With regard to environmental negatives, it is possible there could
be adverse shifts in rainfall, or damage to the ozone layer, or
unintended impacts on natural ecosystems. These unintended consequences
should be a major focus of a Solar Radiation Management research
program. Furthermore, we must bear in mind that Solar Radiation
Management proposals do not solve problems associated with ocean
acidification (but they do not significantly affect ocean
acidification).
With regard to socio-political negatives, some countries might
actually prefer their warmer high CO2 climate or perhaps
they might be (or believe they are) negatively impacted by a Solar
Radiation Management scheme--or perhaps countries might differ in the
amount or type of Solar Radiation Management to be deployed. These
sorts of issues could cause political tension.
It is also possible that the perceptions that there is a technical
fix could lull people into complacency, and diminish pressure for
emissions reductions. However, when the U.K. Royal Society conducted a
preliminary focus group, they found that people were even more willing
to put effort into emissions reduction after hearing the extreme
measures scientists are considering to reduce climate risk. Just
because we wear seatbelts, that does not mean we will drive more
recklessly. Seat belts can remind us that driving is a dangerous
activity.

4.1.3. Governance, regulation, and when to deploy

4.1.3.1. Gradual deployments

Often, in discussions of Solar Radiation Management, there is an
assumption that we are speaking about large scale deployments and some
system of global governance is necessary. While discussions of
governance and regulation of both experiments and deployments are
necessary, it is not clear at this time what form that governance or
those regulations should take.
For example, it is thought that sulfur emissions from power plants
might today be reflecting about 1 W/m2 back to space that would have
otherwise been absorbed by Earth. This could be causing the Earth to be
about 1 degree Fahrenheit cooler than it would otherwise be. In other
words, if we cleaned up all of the sulfur emitted by power plants
worldwide, the Earth might heat up another degree.
Because sulfur lasts a year or more in the stratosphere but
generally less than a week in the lower atmosphere, if we were to emit
just a few per cent of the sulfur now emitted in the lower atmosphere
into the upper atmosphere instead, we would get the same average
cooling effect with a more than 95% reduction in overall pollution.
What if China were to say, ``For each power plant that we fit with
sulfur scrubbers, we will inject a few percent of that sulfur in the
stratosphere--and we will get the same average cooling effect with a
greater than 95% reduction in our sulfur emissions.''?
Today, ships at sea burn high sulfur oil. These ships can leave
white contrails in their wake, reflecting sunlight to space. The
International Maritime Organization has requested that these sulfur
emissions be curtailed for reasons related to pollution and health--and
the expected outcome is additional global warming. What if these ships
were retrofitted with cloud seeding devices that would produce these
same contrails, but without releasing any pollution? (It has suggested
that a seawater spray would do the job.)
It is not clear whether these things would be good things to do or
bad things to do. It is not clear what kind of governance or regulatory
structures should be built around such activities. One reason why we
need a research program and discussions about governance and regulation
is so that we can make informed decisions about such issues.

4.1.3.2. Emergency deployments

While such gradual deployments might be one path to implement Solar
Radiation Management schemes, there is another possibility.
In every emissions scenario considered by the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change, temperatures continue to increase throughout
this century. Because of lags in the climate system and the long time
scales involved in transforming our energy and transportation systems,
the Earth is likely to continue warming throughout this century,
despite our best efforts to reduce emissions. Our actions to diminish
emissions can reduce the rate of warming and reduce the damage from
warming, but it is probably already too late for us to see the Earth
start to cool this century, unless we engage in solar radiation
management (or related climate system interventions).
What if we were to find out that parts of Greenland were sliding
into the sea, and that sea-level might rise 10 feet by mid-century?
(Such rapid sea level rises apparently happened in the geologic past,
even without the kind of rapid shock we are now applying to our climate
system.) What if rainfall patterns shifted in a way that caused massive
famines? What if our agricultural heartland turned into a perpetual
dustbowl? And what if research told us that an appropriate placement of
tiny particles in the stratosphere could reverse all or some of these
effects?
That was a lot of ``what if's'', but nevertheless there is
potential that direct intervention in the climate system could someday
save lives and reduce human suffering. Moreover, direct intervention in
the climate system might someday save lives and reduce suffering of
American citizens. I do not know what the probabilities of such
outcomes are, but I believe that if we take the risks associated with
climate change seriously, we must investigate our options carefully and
without prejudice.
We do not want our seat belts to be tested for the first time when
we are in an automobile accident. If the seat belts are not going to
work, it would be good to know that now. If there is something really
wrong with thoughtfully intervening in the climate system, we should
try to find that out now, so that if a crisis occurs, policy makers are
not put in the decision of having to decide whether to let people die
or try to save their lives by deploying, at full scale, an untested
system.
We need the research now to establish whether such approaches can
do more good than harm. This research will take time. We cannot wait to
ready such systems until an emergency is upon us.

4.1.3.3. Building governance and regulatory structures

We should proceed cautiously in developing governance and
regulatory structures that could address Solar Radiation Management
approaches both in the deployment phase and in the research phase.
At this point we know very lithe. It is very easy to sound as if
you are taking the moral high ground by saying, ``It is wrong to
intentionally intervene in the climate system, so it should be
disallowed.'' However, every simulation of a Solar Radiation Management
method that used a ``reasonable'' amount of solar offsetting has found
that there is potential to offset most of the climate change in most
places most of the time. If we really believe that climate change has
the potential to cause loss of life and suffering, and we believe that
Solar Radiation Management approaches may have the potential to cost-
effectively reduce that loss of life and suffering, it could be immoral
not to research and develop these options.
Information on Solar Radiation Management approaches is at this
point highly preliminary and has not been widely disseminated. Pushing
too early for formal agreements may lock political entities into hard
positions that will be difficult to modify later. Therefore, what is
needed now for governance is a period of discussion, careful
consideration, and learning.
With respect to experiments, no additional regulation is needed for
small scale field experiments designed to improve process understanding
where there is no expectation of any detectable lasting effects and no
detectable trans-boundary effects.
Discussions need to begin about how to develop norms that might
govern larger experiments where there is potential for detectable
climate effects or where significant trans-boundary issues must be
addressed.
Since these larger experiments and deployments could affect people
in many countries, it is important that these discussions occur both
internationally and domestically. Initially, it is probably best if
these discussions proceed informally, perhaps with the facilitation of
scientific unions or professional organizations.
In short, we need to do the informal groundwork now, so that we can
develop the shared understanding that is necessary for the development
of good governance and regulatory structures.

4.1.4. Additional Solar Radiation Management strategies

While this discussion has focused on introducing small particles
high in the atmosphere, a number of other approaches have been proposed
that attempt to reduce the amount of climate change caused by increased
greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. These include
proposals to whiten clouds over the ocean, to mix heat deeper into the
ocean, to whiten roofs and roads, to put giant satellites in space, and
so on.
For a number of reasons, I believe that placing small particles
high in the atmosphere is the most promising category of Solar
Radiation Management approaches. However, approaches to whiten clouds
over the ocean or mix heat downward into the deep ocean, both appear
feasible and may be able to be scaled up to offset a large fraction of
century-scale warming. Of these two options, whitening marine clouds
seems more benign, but neither of these approaches has been subject to
sufficient scrutiny.
Most other proposed Solar Radiation Management (and related)
approaches, either cannot be scaled up sufficiently (e.g., proposals to
whiten roofs and roads) to be a ``game changer'', or cannot be cost-
effectively scaled up quickly enough (e.g., massive satellites placed
between the Earth and Sun) to make a difference this century.

4.1.4. Institutional arrangements for research

Within the United States, agencies such as National Science
Foundation or NASA might be in the best position to lead research into
Solar Radiation Management, although DOE, NOAA, and other agencies also
may have important roles to play.
It is important that this research be internationalized and
conducted in as open and transparent a way as possible.
While laboratory and small scale process studies in the field need
no additional regulation at this time, larger scale field studies will
require some form of norms, governance, or regulation. Discussions need
to take place, both domestically and internationally, to better
understand how to strike the best balance between allowing the
advancement of science and technology while safeguarding our
environment.

4.2 Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) and related strategies

We emit greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, causing the Earth to
warm. Is there potential to actively remove these gases from the
atmosphere?
The answer is, `yes, we are confident that there are ways to remove
substantial amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.' By
addressing the root cause of the climate change problem (high
greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere), Carbon Dioxide
Removal strategies diminish climate risk. They also reduce ocean
acidification. Carbon dioxide removal methods do not introduce
significant new governance or regulatory issues.
I would suggest that within the domain of Carbon Dioxide Removal
there are at least two, and possibly three or more, relatively
independent research programs.
Because Carbon Dioxide Removal approaches represent a miscellaneous
collection of approaches, there is no one taxonomy that would uniquely
classify all of these proposals. Nevertheless, Carbon Dioxide Removal
approaches can be divided into two categories:

Strategies that use biological approaches (i.e.,
photosynthesis) to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
and store carbon in a reduced (organic) form.

Strategies that use chemical approaches to remove
CO2 from the atmosphere.

Biological approaches may be subdivided in several different ways,
but one way is to divide them into land-based and ocean-based
approaches. Proposed land-based biological approaches include planting
forests, changing agricultural practices to result in more carbon
storage, and burying farm waste. All of these methods are limited by
the low efficiency of photosynthesis, and thus require significant land
area, although in some cases this land can be multi-use. Many of these
approaches are already the subject of considerable study and are
already being considered in discussions about how to limit climate
change. Current research indicates that biologically-mediated carbon
storage in the ocean is problematic in several dimensions, and is not
likely to represent a significant contributor to solving our climate
change problems.
Chemical approaches may be divided into two categories: centralized
approaches and distributed approaches. Centralized approaches seek to
build industrial chemical processing facilities to remove carbon
dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in a form that cannot interact
with the atmosphere. The most promising avenue appears to be to store
the carbon dioxide underground in compressed form, as with conventional
carbon capture and storage. Distributed approaches seek to spread
chemicals over large areas of the land or ocean, where they can react
with carbon dioxide and cause the carbon dioxide to be removed from the
atmosphere.
There are additional hybrid approaches that do not fit easily into
this taxonomy. For example, it has been suggested that plants could be
grown and then burned in power stations to generate electricity, and
then the CO2 could be captured from the power stations and
stored underground.
More thought needs to be put into finding institutional homes for
these research elements. While all of these research efforts are likely
to require multi-agency input, it is likely that research into
biologically based methods might best be led by agencies that have
strong track records in the biological sciences or experience with
agriculture and forestry issues. Research into the centralized chemical
approaches might best be led by DOE, but this is uncertain.

5. Closing comments

Solving our climate change problem is largely about cost-effective
risk management. There are many different ways that risk might be
diminished. The most important of these is to diminish greenhouse gas
emissions. However, we also need to improve our resilience so that we
can better adapt to the climate change that does occur. We also need to
understand whether there are ways that we can cost-effectively remove
carbon dioxide and perhaps other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
Lastly, we should try to understand whether a thoughtful intentional
intervention in the climate system might be able to undo some of the
damage of a thoughtless unintentional intervention in the climate
system. This problem is too serious to allow prejudice to take options
off the table.






Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Dr. Caldeira. And Professor
Shepherd, you are recognized.

STATEMENT OF PROFESSOR JOHN SHEPHERD, FRS, PROFESSIONAL
RESEARCH FELLOW IN EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCE, NATIONAL OCEANOGRAPHY
CENTRE, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON, AND CHAIR, ROYAL SOCIETY
GEOENGINEERING REPORT WORKING GROUP

Professor Shepherd. Good morning, Mr. Chairman, Ranking
Member, members of the Committee, ladies and gentlemen, thank
you very much for the invitation to come and testify to you
this morning. It is a privilege to have that opportunity, and
my testimony will be largely based on the Royal Society study
that you mentioned, Mr. Chairman, which was undertaken over the
past year and which I chaired. The report of this study was
published in September, and it is available on the Royal
Society's website, and printed copies have been made available
to the Committee.
The aim of this study was really to try and produce an
authoritative and wide-ranging review to reduce the confusion
and misinformation which exists in some quarters about this
rather controversial and novel issue in order to enable a well-
informed debate on the subject, and so it is a great pleasure
for me to be here at the beginning of such a debate, and I hope
that our work will be useful.
The Working Group was composed of 12 members, mainly
scientists and engineers from the U.K., but also included a
sociologist, a lawyer and an economist and one member from the
U.S.A., Dr. Caldeira on my left, and one from Canada. And the
members of the group were not proponents of geoengineering;
they reflected a very wide range of opinions on the subject,
and all recognize that the primary goal is to make the
transition to the low-carbon economy that Dr. Caldeira has
already mentioned which we shall need to do eventually
irrespective of climate change simply because fossil fuels are
a finite resource.
So our terms of reference were to consider and as far as
possible to evaluate proposed schemes for geoengineering, which
we took to mean the deliberate, large-scale intervention in the
earth's climate system primarily in order to moderate the
global warming. Our study was based primarily on a review of
the literature but also by a call for submissions of evidence,
of which we received some 75.
Since time is short, I would like to move directly to
summarize the key messages of our study and first among these
is that geoengineering is not a magic bullet. None of the
methods that have been proposed provide an easy or immediate
solution to the problems of climate change. There is a great
deal of uncertainty about various aspects of virtually all the
schemes that are being discussed. So at present, this
technology, in whatever form it takes, is not an alternative to
emissions reductions which remain the safest and most
predictable method of moderating climate change, and in our
view cutting global emissions of greenhouse gases must remain
our highest priority.
However, we all recognize that this is proving to be
difficult, and in the future, given adequate research,
geoengineering may be useful to support the efforts to mitigate
climate change by conventional means.
We concluded that geoengineering is very likely to be
technically possible, but there are major uncertainties and
risks with all methods concerning not only their effectiveness
but also their costs, their unintended environmental impacts,
and the social consequences and mechanisms needed to manage
them.
So in our view, this is not a technology which is ready for
deployment in the immediate future. It is, however, a
technology that may be useful at some point in the future if we
find that we have need of it. But it will not be available
unless we undertake the necessary research, not only on the
technology but particularly also on the environmental and
social impacts of such proposals. And to do that we need to
have a widespread public debate and widespread public
engagement and especially to develop an acceptable system of
governance. Geoengineering by intention will affect everybody
on the planet because it is an intentional moderation of the
environment, and consequently everybody has an interest in the
outcome. And we need to find a way to engage the opinions of a
very diverse group of people on the planet in order that this
can be done in an orderly and acceptable manner.
Dr. Caldeira has reviewed the major differences between
some of the methods, which I support entirely. And I would say
finally, too little is known about the technologies at this
stage to pick a winner. What we need is research on a small
portfolio of promising techniques of both major types in order
that our Plan B will be well prepared, should we ever need it.
Mr. Chairman, thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Professor Shepherd follows:]
Prepared Statement of John Shepherd

Preamble

This testimony is based extensively on the results of the U.K.
Royal Society study undertaken during 2008 and 2009, which I chaired,
entitled ``Geoengineering the Climate: Science, Governance &
Uncertainty''. The report of this study was published in September
2009. It is available at on-line at http://royalsociety.org/
document.asp?tip=0&id=8770, and printed copies of it have also been
made available to the Committee. For the study we considered
Geoengineering to be the deliberate largescale intervention in the
Earth's climate system, in order to moderate global warming. The study
was based primarily on a review of the available literature
(concentrating so far as possible on published papers which have been
peer reviewed) but also supplemented by a call for submissions of
evidence (of which 75 were received).

Key Messages

Geoengineering is not a magic bullet: none of the methods
proposed provides an easy or immediate solution to the problems of
climate change, and it is not an alternative to emissions reductions.

Cutting global emissions of greenhouse gases must remain our
highest priority. However, this is proving to be difficult, and
geoengineering may in the future prove to be useful to support
mitigation efforts.

Geoengineering is very likely to be technically possible.
However, there are major uncertainties and thus potential risks with
all methods, concerning their effectiveness, costs, and social &
environmental impacts.

Much more research is needed before geoengineering methods
could realistically be considered for deployment, especially on their
possible environmental impacts (as well as on technological and
economic aspects).

Widespread public engagement and debate is also needed,
especially to develop an acceptable system of governance & regulation
(for both eventual deployment and for some research activities)

Other major issues

Geoengineering comprises a very wide range of methods which vary in
many ways. This includes:

Methods that remove greenhouse gases from atmosphere
(e.g. engineered air capture).
These address the root cause of problem and would be
generally preferred, but they only act slowly and are
likely to be costly.

Methods that reflect a little sunlight (e.g. small
particles in the upper atmosphere)

These act quickly, and are relatively cheap, but
have to be maintained so they may not be sustainable in
the long term (there is a major problem if you stop)
and they do nothing for ocean acidification (the
``other CO2 problem'').

We do not yet have enough information, so it is too soon to pick
winners, and if geoengineering is ever deployed we may need a
combination of both types of method. We therefore need to commence
serious research and development on several of the promising methods,
as soon as possible.

1) Introduction

It is not yet clear whether, and if so when, it may become
necessary to consider deployment of geoengineering to augment
conventional efforts to moderate climate change by mitigation, and to
adapt to its effects. However, global efforts to reduce emissions have
not yet been sufficiently successful to provide confidence that the
reductions needed to avoid dangerous climate change will be achieved.
There is a serious risk that sufficient mitigation actions will not be
introduced in time, despite the fact that the technologies required are
both available and affordable. It is likely that global warming will
exceed 2 C this century unless global CO2 emissions are cut
by at least 50% by 2050, and by more thereafter. There is no credible
emissions scenario under which global mean temperature would peak and
then start to decline by 2100. Unless future efforts to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions are much more successful then they have been
so far, additional action such as geoengineering may be required should
it become necessary to cool the Earth this century.
Proposals for geoengineering for climate intervention are numerous
and diverse, and for our study we deliberately adopted a broad scope in
order to provide a wide-ranging review. There has been much discussion
in the media and elsewhere about possible methods of geoengineering,
and there is much misunderstanding about their feasibility and
potential effectiveness and other impacts. The overall aim of study was
therefore to reduce confusion & misinformation, and so to enable a
well-informed debate among scientists & engineers, policy-makers and
the wider public on this subject.
The working group which undertook the study was composed of 12
members (listed below). These were mainly scientists & engineers, but
also included a sociologist, a lawyer and an economist. The members
were mainly from U.K. but included one member from the U.S.A. and one
from Canada, and the study itself had an international remit. The WG
members were not advocates of geoengineering, and held a wide range of
opinions on the subject, ranging from cautious approval to serious
scepticism.
The terms of reference for the study were to consider, and so far
as possible evaluate, proposed schemes for moderating climate change by
means of geoengineering techniques, and specifically:

1) to consider what is known, and what is not known, about the
expected effects, advantages and disadvantages of such schemes

2) to assess their feasibility, efficacy, likely environmental
impacts, and any possible unintended consequences

3) to identify further research requirements, and any specific
policy and legal implications.

The scope adopted included any methods intended to moderate climate
change by deliberate large-scale intervention in the working of the
Earth's natural climate system, but excluded:

a) Low-carbon energy sources & methods for reducing
emissions of greenhouse gases (because these are
methods for conventional mitigation, not
geoengineering)

b) carbon capture & storage (CCS) at the point of
emission, and

c) conventional afforestation and avoided
deforestation schemes (because these are also not
geoengineering per se and have been extensively
considered elsewhere)

2) General issues

The methods considered fall into two main classes, which differ
greatly in many respects, including their modes of action, the
timescales over which they are effective, their effects on temperature
and on other aspects of climate, so that they are generally best
considered separately. These classes are:

1) Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) techniques which address the
root cause of climate change by removing greenhouse gases from
the atmosphere;

2) Solar Radiation Management (SRM) techniques that attempt to
offset the effects of increased greenhouse gas concentrations
by reflecting a small percentage of the sun's light and heat
back into space.

Carbon Dioxide Removal methods reviewed in the study include:

Land use management to protect or enhance land carbon
sinks;

The use of biomass for carbon sequestration as well
as a carbon neutral energy source ;

Acceleration of natural weathering processes to
remove CO2 from the atmosphere;

Direct engineered capture of CO2 from
ambient air;

The enhancement of oceanic uptake of CO2,
for example by fertilisation of the oceans with naturally
scarce nutrients, or by increasing upwelling processes.

Solar Radiation Management techniques would take only a few years
to have an effect on climate once they had been deployed, and could be
useful if a rapid response is needed, for example to avoid reaching a
climate threshold. Methods considered in the study include:

Increasing the surface reflectivity of the planet, by
brightening human structures (e.g. by painting them white),
planting of crops with a high reflectivity, or covering deserts
with reflective material;

Enhancement of marine cloud reflectivity;

Mimicking the effects of volcanic eruptions by
injecting sulphate aerosols into the lower stratosphere;

Placing shields or deflectors hi space to reduce the
amount of solar energy reaching the Earth.

The scale of the impact required is global, and its magnitude is
large. To have a significant effect on man-made global warming by an
SRM method one would need to achieve a negative radiative forcing of a
few WIm2, and for an effective CDR method one would need to remove
several billion tons of carbon per year from the atmosphere for many
decades. We did not consider in any detail any methods which were not
capable of achieving effects approaching this magnitude.
There are many criteria by which geoengineering proposals need to
be evaluated, and some of these are not easily quantified. We undertook
a preliminary and semi-quantitative evaluation of the more promising
methods according to our judgement of several technical criteria only,
namely their effectiveness, affordability, safety and timeliness. The
cost estimates available are extremely uncertain, and it would be
premature to attempt detailed cost-benefit analysis at this time.

3) Technical Aspects: feasibility, cost, environmental impacts and
side-effects

Our study concluded that geoengineering of the Earth's climate is
very likely to be technically possible. However, the technology to do
so is barely formed, and there are major uncertainties regarding its
effectiveness, costs, and environmental impacts. If these uncertainties
can be reduced, geoengineering methods could in the future potentially
be useful in future to augment continuing efforts to mitigate climate
change by reducing emissions. Given these uncertainties, it would be
appropriate to adopt a precautionary approach: to enable potential
risks to be assessed and avoided requires more and better information.
Potentially useful methods should therefore be the subject of more
detailed research and analysis, especially on their possible
environmental impacts (as well as on technological and economic
aspects).
In most respects Carbon Dioxide Removal methods would be preferable
to Solar Radiation Management methods, because they effectively return
the climate system to a state closer to its natural state, and so
involve fewer uncertainties and risks. Of the Carbon Dioxide Removal
methods assessed, none has yet been demonstrated to be effective at an
affordable cost, with acceptable side effects. In addition, removal of
CO2 from the atmosphere only works very slowly to reduce
global temperatures (over many decades). If safe and low cost methods
can be deployed at an appropriate scale they could make an important
contribution to reducing CO2 concentrations and could
provide a useful complement to conventional emissions reductions. It is
possible that they could even allow future reductions of atmospheric
CO2 concentrations (negative emissions) and so address the
ocean acidification problem.
Carbon Dioxide Removal methods that remove CO2 from the
atmosphere without perturbing natural systems, and without large-scale
land-use change requirements, such as CO2 capture from air
and possibly also enhanced weathering are likely to have fewer side
effects. Techniques that sequester carbon but have land-use
implications (such as biochar and soil based enhanced weathering) may
be useful contributors on a small-scale although the circumstances
under which they are economically viable and socially and ecologically
sustainable remain to be determined. The extent to which methods
involving large-scale manipulation of Earth systems (such as ocean
fertilisation), can sequester carbon affordably and reliably without
unacceptable environmental side-effects, is not yet clear.
Solar Radiation Management techniques are expected to be relatively
cheap and would take only a few years to have an effect on the climate
once deployed. However there are considerable uncertainties about their
consequences and additional risks. It is possible that in time,
assuming that these uncertainties and risks can be reduced, that Solar
Radiation Management methods could be used to augment conventional
mitigation. However, the large-scale adoption of Solar Radiation
Management methods would create an artificial, approximate, and
potentially delicate balance between increased gas concentrations and
reduced solar radiation, which would have to be maintained, potentially
for many centuries. It is doubtful that such a balance would really be
sustainable for such long periods of time, particularly if emissions of
greenhouse gases were allowed to continue or even increase. The
implementation of any large-scale Solar Radiation Management method
would introduce additional risks and so should only be undertaken for a
limited period and in parallel with conventional mitigation and/or
Carbon Dioxide Removal methods.
Of the Solar Radiation Management techniques considered,
stratospheric aerosol methods have the most potential because they
should be capable of producing large and rapid global temperature
reductions, because their effects would be more uniformly distributed
than for most other methods, and they could be readily implemented.
However, potentially there are significant side-effects and risks
associated with these methods that would require detailed investigation
before large-scale experiments are undertaken. Cloud brightening
methods are likely to be less effective and would produce primarily
localised temperature reductions, but they may prove to be readily
implementable, and should be testable at small scale with fewer
governance issues than other SRM methods. Space based SRM methods would
provide a more uniform cooling effect than surface or cloud based
methods, and if long-term geoengineering is required, may be a more
cost-effective option than the other SRM methods although development
of the necessary technology is likely to take decades.

4) The Human Dimension (Public Attitudes, Legal, Social & Ethical
issues)

The acceptability of geoengineering will be determined as much by
social, legal and political issues as by scientific and technical
factors. There are serious and complex governance issues which need to
be resolved if geoengineering is ever to become an acceptable method
for moderating climate change. Some geoengineering methods could
probably be implemented by just one nation acting independently, and
some maybe even by corporations or individuals, but the consequences
would affect all nations and all people, so their deployment should be
subject to robust governance mechanisms. There are no existing
international treaties or bodies whose remit covers all the potential
methods, but most can probably be handled by the extension of existing
treaties, rather than creating wholly new ones. The most appropriate
way to create effective governance mechanisms needs to be determined,
and a review of existing bodies, treaties and mechanisms should be
initiated as a high priority. It would be highly undesirable for
geoengineering methods which involve activities or effects that extend
beyond national boundaries (other than simply the removal of greenhouse
gases from the atmosphere), to be deployed before appropriate
governance mechanisms are in place.

Overall Conclusion

The safest and most predictable method of moderating climate change
is to take early and effective action to reduce emissions of greenhouse
gases. No geoengineering method can provide an easy or readily
acceptable alternative solution to the problem of climate change.

Key recommendations:

Parties to the UNFCCC should make increased efforts towards
mitigating and adapting to climate change, and in particular to
agreeing to global emissions reductions of at least 50% by 2050 and
more thereafter. Nothing now known about geoengineering options gives
any reason to diminish these efforts.

Further research and development of geoengineering options
should be undertaken to investigate whether low risk methods can be
made available if it becomes necessary to reduce the rate of warming
this century. This should include appropriate observations, the
development and use of climate models, and carefully planned and
executed experiments. We suggested an expenditure of around
10M per year for ten years as an appropriate initial level
for a U.K. contribution to an international programme, to which we
would hope that the U.S.A. would also contribute a substantially larger
amount.


Members of the working group

Chair

Professor John Shepherd, University of Southampton, U.K.

Members

Professor Ken Caldeira, Carnegie Institution, U.S.A.
Professor Peter Cox, University of Exeter, U.K.,
Professor Joanna Haigh, Imperial College, London, U.K.
Professor David Keith, University of Calgary, Canada.
Professor Brian Launder, University of Manchester, U.K.
Professor Georgina Mace, Imperial College, London, U.K.
Professor Gordon MacKerron, University of Sussex, U.K.
Professor John Pyle, University of Cambridge, U.K.
Professor Steve Rayner, University of Oxford, U.K.

Biography for John Shepherd
Professor John Shepherd MA Ph.D. CMath FLMA FRS is a Professorial
Research Fellow in Earth System Science in the School of Ocean and
Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton,
U.K. He is a physicist by training, and has worked on the transport of
pollutants in the atmospheric boundary layer, the dispersion of tracers
in the deep ocean, the assessment & control of radioactive waste
disposal in the sea, on the assessment and management of marine fish
stocks, and most recently on Earth System Modelling and climate change.
His current research interests include the natural variability of the
climate system on long time-scales, and the development of intermediate
complexity models of the Earth climate system for the interpretation of
the palaeo-climate record. He graduated (first degree in 1967 and Ph.D.
in 1971) from the University of Cambridge. From 1989-94 he was Deputy
Director of the MAFF Fisheries Laboratory at Lowestoft, and the
principal scientific adviser to the U.K. government on fisheries
management. From 1994-99 he was the first Director of the Southampton
Oceanography Centre. He has extensive experience of international
scientific assessments and advice in the controversial areas of
fisheries management, radioactive waste disposal, and climate change,
and has recently taken a particular interest in the interaction between
science and public policy. He is Deputy Director of the Tyndall Centre
for Climate Change Research, and a Fellow of the Institute of
Mathematics and its Applications. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal
Society in 1999, participated in the Royal Society study on Ocean
Acidification published in 2005, and chaired that on Geoengineering the
Climate published in 2009.

Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Professor Shepherd. And now,
Mr. Lane, you are recognized.

STATEMENT OF MR. LEE LANE, CO-DIRECTOR, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE
INSTITUTE (AEI) GEOENGINEERING PROJECT

Mr. Lane. Chairman Gordon, Ranking Member Hall, other
Members of the Committee, thank you very much for the
opportunity to appear here this morning.
I am Lee Lane. I am a Resident Fellow and head of the AEI
Geoengineering Project. The American Enterprise Institute is a
non-profit, non-partisan organization that engages in research
and education on issues of public policy. AEI does not take
organizational stances on the issues that it studies, and the
views that I am going to express here this morning are entirely
my own.
I want to begin by warmly commending the Committee for
convening this hearing, and my statement fundamentally urges
that you treat this session as a first step toward embarking
upon a serious, sustained and systematic exploration by the
U.S. Government of research and development into solar
radiation management in particular, one of the two approaches
to climate engineering discussed by Dr. Caldeira and Dr.
Shepherd.
Solar radiation management, or SRM, as the Committee has
heard, envisions offsetting manmade global warming by slightly
raising the amount of sunlight that the earth reflects back
into space. In a recent study, a panel of five highly acclaimed
economists, including three Nobel laureates, rated R&D for two
solar radiation management concepts as the first- and third-
most productive kinds of investment that can be made in dealing
with climate change. Now, the panel that did those rankings was
well aware of the large uncertainties that continue to surround
solar radiation management, and they were also aware of the
fact that, in the long run, at least solar radiation management
cannot replace the need for greenhouse gas emissions
reductions. But at the same time, the panel was clearly very
much aware of the vast potential that solar radiation
management has.
One preliminary assessment is that SRM, if deployed, might
well produce savings in terms of reduce damages from climate
change, in terms of $200 to $700 billion a year. So we have
potentially a good deal of upside with this technology.
The cost of an R&D effort into solar radiation management
is likely to be miniscule in comparison with these potential
benefits. SRM research is needed in part because for many
nations, steep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions cost more
than the perceived value of the benefits of making those
reductions. The record of the last 20 years of climate talks
amply demonstrates that the prospects for steep emissions
reductions on a global scale are poor, and they are likely to
remain so for an extended period of time. Yet, without such
emissions reductions, and perhaps even with them, some risk
exists that quite harmful climate change might occur. An SRM
system might greatly reduce the potential for harm. SRM, it is
true, carries some hazards of its own. An R&D program, though,
provides the best chance of gaining the information that might
be needed, both to assess the prospects of SRM in a more
knowledgeable way and also perhaps to find ways of minimizing
those risks in the future.
At this point, the top priority should be to gain added
knowledge about SRM. Eventually, the United States may wish to
address questions of international governance, but at this
point, our first goal should be to learn more about solar
radiation management as a tool.
I guess the single most important caution that I would like
to leave with the Committee is that the governance arrangements
for any research program, including one on solar radiation
management, can either serve to nurture R&D success or they can
serve to stifle it. And I think it is awfully important as we
go forward in considering how we want to manage research and
development into SRM that we keep in mind the need to balance
the risks and the benefits of how we structure our R&D efforts.
Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Lane follows:]
Prepared Statement of Lee Lane

1 Introduction

1.1 Summary

Chairman Gordon, ranking member Hall, other members of the
Committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. I
am Lee Lane, a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute,
where I am also co-director of AEI's geoengineering project. AEI is a
nonpartisan, non-profit organization conducting research and education
on public policy issues. AEI does not adopt organizational positions on
the issues that it studies, and the views that I express here are
solely my own.
The Committee is to be commended for its decision to address the
issue of geoengineering as a possible response to climate change.
Climate change is an extremely difficult issue. It poses multiple
threats that are likely to evolve over time. Too often, climate policy
discussions have been locked into an excessively narrow range of
possible responses.
My statement this morning urges that the committee treat this
hearing as a first step in what should grow into a serious, sustained,
and systematic effort by the U.S. government to conduct research and
development (R&D) on solar radiation management (SRM). SRM, as the
committee has heard, envisions offsetting man-made global warming by
slightly raising the amount of sunlight that the Earth reflects back
into space.
In a recent study, a panel of five highly acclaimed economists,
including three Nobel laureates, rated fifteen possible concepts for
coping with climate change. The rankings were based on the panel's
assessments of the ratio of benefits to costs of each approach.
Research on the two SRM technologies discussed below ranked first and
third among these concepts. The expert panel was aware that many doubts
continue to surround SRM, but its members were also clearly impressed
with SRM's vast potential as one tool among several for holding down
the cost of climate change.
Research into SRM is needed in part because, for many nations, a
steep decline in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions may well cost more than
the perceived value of its benefits (Nordhaus, 2008; Tol, 2009; Posner
and Sunstein, 2008). The record of the last twenty years of climate
negotiations amply demonstrates that steep emission reductions are
unlikely, and will probably remain so for a long time to come. Yet,
without such controls, and even with them, some risk exists that quite
harmful climate change might occur.
A successful SRM system could greatly reduce the risk of these
harmful effects. SRM, it is true, carries some risks of its own. An R&D
program may, however, provide additional information with which to
assess these risks and, perhaps, to devise means to limit them. The
potential net benefits of SRM are very large indeed. One recent study
found that the difference between the costs of deploying SRM and the
savings it could reap amount to $200 billion to $700 billion (Bickel
and Lane, 2009). The costs of an R&D effort appear to be minuscule
compared with these possible gains.

1.2 Main SRM concepts

SRM aims to offset the warming caused by the build-up of man-made
greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by reducing the amount of solar
energy absorbed by the Earth. GHGs in the atmosphere absorb long-wave
radiation (thermal infrared or heat) and then radiate it in all
directions-including a fraction back to Earth's surface, raising global
temperature. SRM does not attack the higher GHG concentrations. Rather,
it seeks to reflect into space a small part of the sun's incoming
short-wave radiation. In this way, temperatures are lowered even though
GHG levels are elevated. At least some of the risks of global warming
can thereby be counteracted (Lenton and Vaughan, 2009).
Reflecting into space only one to two percent of the sunlight that
strikes the Earth would cool the planet by an amount roughly equal to
the warming that is likely from doubling the pre-industrial levels of
greenhouse gases (Lepton and Vaughan, 2009). Scattering this amount of
sunlight appears to be possible.
Several SRM concepts have been proposed. They differ importantly in
the extent of their promise and in the range of their possible use. At
least two such concepts appear to be promising at a global scale:
marine cloud whitening and stratospheric aerosols.

1.2.1 Marine Cloud Whitening

One current proposal envisions producing an extremely fine mist of
seawater droplets. These droplets would be lofted upwards and would
form a moist sea salt aerosol. The particles within the aerosol would
be less than one micron in diameter. These particles would provide
sites for cloud droplets to form within the marine cloud layer. The up-
lofted droplets would add to the effects of natural sea salt and other
small particles, which are called, collectively, cloud condensation
nuclei (Latham et al., 2008). The basic concept was succinctly
described by one of its developers:

Wind-driven spray vessels will sail back and forth
perpendicular to the local prevailing wind and release
micronsized drops of seawater into the turbulent boundary layer
beneath marine stratocumulus clouds. The combination of wind
and vessel movements will treat a large area of sky. When
residues left after drop evaporation reach cloud level they
will provide many new cloud condensation nuclei giving more but
smaller drops and so will increase the cloud albedo to reflect
solar energy back out to space.'' (Salter et al., 2008)

The long, white clouds that form in the trails of exhaust from ship
engines illustrate this concept. Sulfates in the ships' fuel provide
extra condensation nuclei for clouds. Satellite images provide clear
evidence that these emissions brighten the clouds along the ships'
wakes.
Currently, the widely discussed option for implementing this
approach envisions an innovative integration of several advanced
technologies. The system calls for wind-powered, remotely controlled
ships (Salter et al., 2008). However, other more conventional
deployment systems may also be possible (Royal Society, 2009).
Analyses using the general circulation model of the Hadley Center
of the U.K. Meteorological Office suggest that the marine clouds of the
type considered by this approach contribute to cooling. They show that
augmenting this effect could, in theory, cool the planet enough to
offset the warming caused by doubling atmospheric GHG levels. A
relatively low percentage of the total marine cloud cover would have to
be enhanced in order to achieve the desired result. A British effort is
developing hardware with which to test the feasibility of this concept
(Bower et al., 2006).

1.2.2 Stratospheric Aerosols

Tnserting aerosols into the stratosphere is another approach. The
record of several volcanic eruptions offers a close and suggestive
analogy. The global cooling from the large Pinatubo eruption (about .5
degrees Celsius) that occurred in 1991 was especially well-documented
(Robock and Mao, 1995). Such eruptions loft particles into the
atmosphere. There, the particles scatter back into space some of the
sunlight that would otherwise have warmed the surface. As more sunlight
is scattered, the planet cools.
Injecting sub-micron-sized particles into the stratosphere might
mimic the cooling effects of these natural experiments. Compared to
volcanic ash, the particles would be much smaller in size. Particle
size is important because small particles appear to be the most
effective form for climate engineering (Lepton and Vaughan, 2009).
Eventually, the particles would descend into the lower atmosphere. Once
there, they would precipitate out. ``The total mass of such particles
would amount to the equivalent of a few percent of today's sulfur
emissions from power plants'' (Lane et al., 2007). If adverse effects
appeared, most of these effects would be expected to dissipate once the
particles were removed from the stratosphere.
Sulfur dioxide (SO2), as a precursor of sulfate
aerosols, is a widely discussed candidate for the material to be
injected. Other candidates include hydrogen sulfide (H2S)
and soot (Crutzen, 2006). A fairly broad range of materials might be
used as stratospheric scatterers (Caldeira and Wood, 2008). It might
also be possible to develop engineered particles. Such particles might
improve on the reflective properties and residence times now envisioned
(Teller et al., 2003).
The volumes of material needed annually do not appear to be
prohibitively large. One estimate is that, with appropriately sized
particles, material with a combined volume of about 800,000 m3 would be
sufficient. This volume roughly corresponds to that of a cube of
material of only about 90 meters on a side (Lane et al., 2007). The use
of engineered particles could, in comparison with the use of sulfate
aerosols, potentially reduce the mass of the particles by orders of
magnitude (Teller et al., 2003).
Several proposed delivery techniques may be feasible (NAS, 1992).
The choice of the delivery system may depend on the intended purpose of
the SRM program. In one concept, SRM could be deployed primarily to
cool the Arctic. With an Arctic deployment, large cargo planes or
aerial tankers would be an adequate delivery system (Caldeira and Wood,
pers. comm., 2009). A global system would require particles to be
injected at higher altitudes. Fighter aircraft, or planes resembling
them, seem like plausible candidates. Another option entails combining
fighter aircraft and aerial tankers, and some thought has been given to
balloons (Robock et al., 2009).

1.3 Air capture of CO2 (AC)

Air capture (AC) of carbon dioxide (CO2) is the second
family of climate engineering concepts. AC focuses on removing CO2
from the atmosphere and securing it in land- or sea-based sinks.

``Air capture may be viewed as a hybrid of two related
mitigation technologies. Like carbon sequestration in
ecosystems, air capture removes CO2 from the
atmosphere, but it is based on large-scale industrial processes
rather than on changes in land use, and it offers the
possibility of near-permanent sequestration of carbon.'' (Keith
et al., 2005).

Like carbon capture and storage (CCS), air capture involves long-
term storage of CO2, but air capture removes the CO2
directly from the atmosphere rather than from the exhaust streams of
power plants and other stationary sources (Bickel and Lane, 2009).
Were technological progress to greatly lower the costs of AC, this
approach might offer a number of advantages. However, even with costs
far below those that are now possible, large-scale AC appears to face
huge cost penalties vis-a-vis SRM. For instance, compare the cost of
using AC to achieve the cooling possible with one W
m-22 of SRM. The present value cost of achieving
this goal (over a 200-year period) with AC is (very optimistically)
$5.6 trillion. The direct cost of SRM might well be less than $0.5
trillion (Bickel and Lane, 2009).
Proponents of AC may argue that even this low level of SRM might
entail some costs from unwanted side effects. AC, they may also note,
conveys some added benefits with regard to ocean acidification. These
points are well-taken; yet it is far from clear that, when taken
together, these benefits would be worth anything even remotely near $5
trillion. It seems safe to conclude that, compared with SRM, when
economics is accounted for, AC should be a distinctly lower priority
target for R&D. Thus, the rest of my remarks this morning will focus on
SRM.

2 Deploying SRM might yield large net benefits

2.1 Initial estimates of benefits and direct costs

Expert opinion suggests that SRM is very likely to be a feasible
and effective means of cooling the planet (Royal Society, 2009).
Indeed, this concept may have more upside potential than does any other
climate policy option. At the same time, SRM, like all other options,
entails risks, and these will be discussed below.
As noted earlier, recent study found that the benefits of SRM
exceeded the costs of operating the system by an amount that would
translate into $200 billion to $700 billion per year (Bickel and Lane,
2009). Some of these benefits stem from lowering the economic harm
expected from climate change. SRM, by lowering the risk of rapid
climate change, would also allow a more gradual path toward GHG
control--lowering the total costs of controls.
It is quite true that these benefit estimates are preliminary and
subject to many limitations. They do not, for instance, account for the
indirect costs implied by possible unwanted side effects of SRM. These
indirect costs could be substantial, and the next section of my
statement will discuss them. At the same time, the estimate excludes
several factors that would be likely to increase the estimated
benefits.

2.2 Abrupt climate change might increase the value of SRM

For example, some grounds exist for fearing that many of the
current models understate the risks of extremely harmful climate change
(Weitzman, 2008). Emission controls, even if they could be implemented
effectively, i.e. globally, require more than a century before actually
cooling the planet (IPCC, 2007). SRM, however, might stand a much
better chance of preventing the worst should such a nightmare scenario
begin to unfold. Once developed, either of the two techniques discussed
above could be deployed very rapidly. The low costs of SRM mean that a
few nations working together, or even a single advanced state, could
act to halt warming, and it could do so quickly (Barrett, 2009).
Merely developing the capacity to deploy SRM, therefore, is like
providing society with a climate change parachute. And like a real
parachute, having it may be valuable even if it is not actually
deployed. In general, the more one credits the risk of rapid, highly
destructive climate change, the greater is the potential value of SRM.

2.3 Suboptimal controls will raise the value of SRM

Less-than-optimal GHG emission controls, or no controls, would
decrease global economic welfare, but these flawed policies would
actually increase the positive contribution of SRM. This fact is
important because actual GHG controls are certain to be far from the
broad, uniform, price-based incentives that economic analysis calls
for. In fact, few, if any, countries are likely to implement controls
of this kind (Lane and Montgomery, 2009).
Excess GHG emissions are an example of a fairly common kind of
market failure, which can arise when property rights allow open access
to a valuable resource. Instances include open access to grazing land,
fishing grounds, or to oil and gas reservoirs. Open access can cause
under-investment in maintaining the resource and too much consumption
of it (Eggertsson, 2003). In the case of climate, the open access
resource is the atmosphere's capacity to absorb GHG discharges.
In principle, collective action could solve the problem by limiting
access. In practice, efforts to limit open access property rights often
founder. For example, wild ocean fish stocks are being seriously
depleted. Curbs on the over-pumping of oil and gas resources have
sometimes worked, but often they have only done so after a great deal
of economic waste had already occurred (Libecap, 2008). So far, GHG
control has been another instance of this pattern of frequent failure.
Further, GHG control has many of the features that make an
effective global solution more difficult to attain. In such
transactions, the more diverse are the interests of the parties, the
poorer are the prospects for success (Libecap, 2008). Contrasting value
judgments often cause conflict (Alston and Mueller, 2008). With GHG
controls, the differing interests of richer and poorer nations have
emerged as especially problematic (Bial et al., 2001).
Thus, for China and India, economic development offers better
protection from harmful climate change than do GHG limits. This choice
makes sense. Industrialization can boost the ability to adapt to
climate change-- Of course, it can also relieve many other more acute
problems. For these countries, slowing growth in the name of GHG
control may simply be a bad investment (Schelling, 2002). To put the
matter bluntly, for China and India, there seem to be good reasons for
thinking that taking any but the lowest cost steps to control GHG
emissions is just not worth the cost.
As a result, China and India have largely limited their GHG control
steps to those that in the U.S. context have been called ``no regrets''
measures. These are steps that would make sense absent concern about
climate change. Such measures will have at best marginal impacts on the
growth of emissions. Yet unless far steeper GHG cuts are implemented,
widely cited goals for 2050 and 2100 are simply unattainable (Jacoby et
al., 2008).
The most logical inference from this situation is that those goals
will not, in fact, be met. If they are not, climate change damages will
exceed those projected to occur with an optimal control regime, as will
the risks of abrupt, high-impact climate change. This prospect suggests
that SRM is likely to be more valuable than the recent Bickel/Lane
analysis indicates.

3 Important uncertainties remain

SRM could, then, offer important help in reducing some of the risks
of climate change, but it poses some risks as well.

3.1 Concerns about possible indirect costs

Some of the risks that have been ascribed to SRM are somewhat
poorly defined (Smith, 2009). Others, however, are clear enough, at
least in concept. One such risk is the possible lessening of rainfall.
The strength of the Indian or African monsoons is a particular worry.
Other concerns also exist. For example, until chlorine concentrations
return to levels present in the 1980s, sulfate aerosols added to the
stratosphere may retard the ozone layer's recovery (Tilmes et al.,
2008).
Concerns have also arisen over acid precipitation if SO2
were injected into the stratosphere. In addition, stratospheric aerosol
injections would whiten skies, interfere with terrestrial astronomy,
and reduce the efficiency of some kinds of solar power (Robock, 2008).
Finally, some analysis suggests the possibility of ``rebound warming''
should SRM be deployed for a long time period and then halted abruptly
(Goes et al., 2009).

3.2 Viewing indirect costs in a larger perspective

Several points about the above concerns warrant attention.
None of the possible ill-effects of SRM has been monetized.
Therefore, how they compare with SRM's apparently large potential
benefits is unclear. In fact, the scale of the effects of these
unintended consequences is highly speculative. With regard to the
Indian monsoon, for example, the underlying climate science is too
uncertain to assess the scale of the changes with confidence (Zickfeld
et al., 2005). Thus, Rasch et al. (2008), on which Robock is an author,
observe:

``Robock et al. (2008) have emphasised that the perturbations
that remain in the monsoon regions after geoengineering are
considerable and expressed concern that these perturbations
would influence the lives of billions of people. This would
certainly be true. However, it is important to keep in mind
that: (i) the perturbations after geoengineering are smaller
than those without geoengineering; (ii) the remaining
perturbations are less than or equal to 0.5 mm
d-1 in an area where seasonal
precipitation rates reach 6-15 mm d-1;
(iii) the signals differ between the NCAR and Rutgers
simulations in these regions; and (iv) monsoons are a
notoriously difficult phenomenon to model [Annamalai et al.,
2007] [emphasis in original].

Ozone depletion may be a problem, but it is likely to grow less
severe with the passage of time. Acid deposition seems to be a
considerably less serious problem, as a recent study concluded that ``.
. . the additional sulfate deposition that would result from
geoengineering will not be sufficient to negatively impact most
ecosystems, even under the assumption that all deposited sulfate will
be in the form of sulfuric acid'' (Kravitz et al., 2009).
On rebound warming, the significance of the problem is, again,
unclear. For the effect to be large, the SRM regime would have to
remain in place for at least several decades. Also, during this period,
adaptation and GHG control efforts would have to be held to low levels
(Bickel and Lane, 2009). Ex ante, such a course of events may be
possible, but it hardly seems inevitable or, perhaps, even likely.
All of these concerns may warrant study. Nonetheless, to take a
step back from the details, a few broader factors should also be kept
in mind. Most importantly, it is worth noting that the relevant choice
before us is not between a climate-engineered world and a world without
climate change; rather, it is between the former and the world that
would prevail without climate engineering. SRM may, indeed, do some
harm. Society may, however, have to choose between accepting this harm
on the one hand and running the risk of a planetary emergency on the
other (Bickel and Lane 2009).
Finally, in assessing SRM, it is important to keep in mind that all
climate policy options entail side-effects. GHG controls, for instance,
may imply greater reliance on biofuels or nuclear power. Border tax
adjustments may unleash a global trade war (Barrett, 2007). In weighing
the relative priority of SRM and GHG control, these factors are no less
relevant than SRM's impacts on rainfall or ozone. The key to climate
policy is fording the mix of responses that minimizes total costs more
than it is about either/or choices.

4 Approaches to limiting the risks of SRM

Since the risks of unintended consequences are the major barriers
preventing the exploitation of this option, it is important to ford
means of lowering those risks. A number of options might serve this
purpose.

4.1 R&D as a risk reduction strategy

Currently, we lack much of the information that would be needed to
weigh all of the potential risks of SRM against its possible benefits.
Only an R&D program can buy this information, and the potential
benefits of SRM appear to be very large compared to the costs of such
an R&D effort. A vigorous, but careful, R&D program may offer the means
of reducing the risks of SRM. It may identify faulty concepts and ford
new means of avoiding risks. Progress in climate science can also
increase the expected benefits of SRM (Goes et al., 2009).
Such an R&D program would begin with modeling and paper studies,
move to laboratory testing, and eventually, embark on field trials. The
latter would start small and increase in scale by increments. As R&D
progresses, spending would increase from tens of millions of dollars in
early years to the low billions of dollars later. Total spending may
fall in the range of $10-15 billion (Bickel and Lane, 2009). The work
would stress defensive research i.e. research designed to identify and
limit possible risks. A recent report has defined this type of research
agenda for stratospheric aerosols (Blackstock et al., 2009).
Research cannot entirely eliminate risk (Smith, 2009). Yet the risk
of deploying a system under emergency conditions and without full
testing are likely greatly to exceed those entailed by deploying a more
fully tried and better understood system. Again, none of the options
for dealing with climate change is free of risk.

4.2 Delayed deployment as a risk management strategy

The passing of time seems likely to diminish the risks of deploying
SRM. One option, therefore, might be to delay deployment. This approach
offers two advantages.
First, delay is likely to make it easier for the nations wishing to
deploy SRM to gain international acquiescence for their plans. Today,
some nations may still benefit from additional warming. Such states
might strenuously object to near-term efforts to halt warming. Russia,
one of the nations that might adopt this view, is a great power. It
could probably apply enough pressure to prevent any other nation from
deploying SRM. However, as decades pass, climate change is increasingly
likely to threaten even Russia with net costs. As this happens, Russian
and other objections to SRM are also likely to fade.
Second, the ozone depletion problem will also diminish with time.
The stock of ozone-depleting chemicals in the atmosphere is shrinking.
Before mid-century, levels will return to those that prevailed pre-
1980. At that point, the impact of stratospheric aerosols on UV
radiation also loses significance (Wigley, 2006).
Delayed deployment, of course, would also lower the difference
between SRM's total benefits and its direct costs. Even so, large net
benefits remain. This result obtains for both SRM concepts. Thus, if
marine cloud whitening were deployed in 2055, the estimated present
discounted value of the benefits exceeds that of the direct costs by at
least $3.9 trillion, and perhaps by as much as $9.5 trillion (in 2005
dollars). If stratospheric aerosols were deployed in 2055, the gap
between total benefits and total costs would range between $3.8
trillion and $9.3 trillion (Bickel and Lane, 2009).

5 Proposals for international governance require caution

For some people, creating an international governance regime is the
preferred choice for controlling the risks of SRM. A number of
proposals for establishing systems of international governance of SRM
seem suddenly to have sprouted up. Many of them seem to be couched in
somewhat alarming tones about future conflicts, and most seem to be
accompanied by expressions of great urgency (Victor et al., 2009). In
responding to them, caution is in order.

5.1 Proposals for regulation require balancing of risks

To start with, it is important to recognize that a regime of
controls can and often does produce counter-productive results. An
overly restrictive system can raise the costs of undertaking R&D.
Higher costs may narrow the field of active researchers. Since
competition spurs technological progress, a regulatory regime that adds
to research costs may slow the pace of progress (Arrow, 1962; Cohen and
Noll, 1991; NRC 1999; Sarewitz and Cohen, 2009). If so, lowering the
risks of unintended harm from SRM might be purchased at the costs of
higher risks from abrupt, high-impact climate change. This trade-off
may be worthwhile, or it may not be, depending on how one rates the
relative risks.

5.2 U.S. interests may differ from those of other states

A second caution pertains to nations' different weights in world
politics. A few nations command much more heft than do others. The
U.S., China, and Russia are clearly in this category; others may be in
the process of joining it. These states have a disproportionate ability
either to carry an SRM regime into effect or to impede another state
from doing so. If any of these states were to conclude that SRM was
necessary to protect its vital interests, a system of international
restraints would be most unlikely to constrain them.
For the U.S., the question of whether to foster the development of
an international body with the authority to regulate SRM entails
accepting possible future constraints on its own freedom of action, as
well as constraints on other states that might be acting in accord with
U.S. preferences. In exchange, the U.S. would gain possible added
support were it is seeking to halt or change SRM activity by another
power.
In considering this trade-off, it may be worth pondering that at
least two other great powers, China and Russia, are autocracies. It is
at least possible that these states are far less constrained by global
public opinion than is the United States. In this case, in consenting
to the creation of a global regime for governing SRM, the U.S. might be
accepting a more binding limit on its own actions than that which it
gains on the actions of the other great powers.

5.3 Who should consider SRM regulation?

SRM regulation is a matter of U.S. foreign policy. In this matter,
U.S. interests may be congruent with those of some countries and clash
with those of others. In addition to distinctions in wealth, power, and
climate, states may differ in risk averseness. The strength of the
contrasting U.S. and E.U. reactions to genetically modified organisms
suggest that in at least some specific instances, such differences may
be large.
Technical and scientific expertise is certainly important to the
issue of how (or whether) SRM should be subject to international
control. Yet the more basic question lies in the definition of national
interests. This question is not technical; it is political. And how it
is answered may well affect any nation's choices among international
control regimes. For this reason, recommendations made by panels of
scientists or lawyers may miss central aspects of the issues and yield
misleading results. Such advice may still provide useful insights, but
it should be handled with care.

6 SRM as part of a broader context

6.1 Multiple responses are needed to cope with climate change

Multiple tools are available for coping with climate change.
Adaptation to change is likely to be the primary response for many
decades. Weak and patchy greenhouse gas (GHG) controls are in place,
but these measures fall far, far short of those that would be needed to
actually halt climate change. And they are likely to continue to do so.
Solar radiation management (SRM) offers great upside potential.
Still, it remains in the concept stage and is surrounded by
uncertainties. Eventually, even air capture of CO2 may
become appealing, although its economic feasibility remains
speculative.
In any case, a mix of climate policies is better than placing too
much stress on any one response. GHG emissions pose multiple threats,
and multiple responses are likely needed to respond to them. Further,
at some point all responses are likely to encounter diminishing
marginal returns. Excessive reliance on any one policy option is likely
to raise net costs.

6.2 New knowledge as a key to climate policy success

With the current state of science and technology, the costs of
coping with climate change are likely to be high. New knowledge may,
however, drastically lower those costs. As just discussed, R&D on SRM
may allow a better assessment of this option as well as offer ways of
limiting its risks and controlling its costs. Better climate science is
likely to enable more cost-effective adaption to climate change. R&D on
new energy sources or on capturing and storing CO2 might
lower the cost and raise the political acceptability of GHG controls.
Each of the six climate policy options selected by the above-mentioned
economists' panel as being the most promising centered on the search
for one or another form of new knowledge. Clearly, in the economists'
opinions, research is a powerful strategy for dealing with climate
change.
The quest for new knowledge may not, though, be easy. First, its
results are inherently uncertain. Diversified risks and hedging are
important. Second, research can take time. Electrification of the
global economy, for example, has been going on for over a century and
is still far from complete. Third, the right kind of rules and
structures can make the difference between success and failure. This
Committee is very well positioned to raise questions about the kinds of
arrangements likely to maximize the chances of R&D success. I hope that
this hearing may prove to be an important step forward in that inquiry.

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Biography for Lee Lane
Lee Lane is a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute
for Public Policy Research. He is Co-Director of AEI's Geoengineering
Project. Lane recently co-authored ``An Analysis of Climate Engineering
as a Response to Climate Change,'' a benefit/cost analysis published by
the Copenhagen Consensus Center. He has also recently written
``Institutions for Developing New Climate Solutions''. This paper is
soon to be published in a book by the Geneva, Switzerland-based World
Federation of Scientists. In 2008, Lane co-authored ``Political
Institutions and Greenhouse Gas Controls.'' Mr. Lane was the lead
author of NASA's April 2007 report on geoengineering. He is also the
author of Strategic Options for Bush Administration Climate Policy (AEI
Press, November 2006). Lane has testified before Congress, and has been
a consultant to the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of
Transportation, the State Department, NASA, and Japan's Ministry of
Economics, Trade, and Industry, as well as with CRA International, an
international economics and management consulting firm. Before joining
AEI, Lane served for seven years as the Executive Director of the
Climate Policy Center, a policy research organization in Washington DC.

Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Mr. Lane. I also thank you for
being an early supporter of ARPA-E. We hope that some of the
research that will come out of ARPA-E will mean that this
potential review will be moot.
Mr. Lane. I hope so, too.
Chairman Gordon. Dr. Robock, we welcome your discussion.

STATEMENT OF DR. ALAN ROBOCK, PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, SCHOOL OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND BIOLOGICAL
SCIENCES, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY

Dr. Robock. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Hall, Members of the
Committee, thank you for inviting me. First I would like to
agree with Ken Caldeira, that global warming is a serious
problem and that mitigation, reduction of emissions, should be
our primary response. We also need to do adaptation and learn
to live with some of the climate change which is going to
happen no matter what.
Using geoengineering should only be in the event of a
planetary emergency and only for a temporary period of time,
and it is not a solution to global warming.
Could I have the first slide?
[The information follows:]



I am a climatologist. I have done climate research and
effects of volcanic eruptions for 35 years. We did a climate
model simulation of what would happen if we put in the
equivalent of one Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption every four
years. The green line is the global warming temperatures that
we have seen up until now. The black line is one Pinatubo every
four years. The brown line is one Pinatubo every two years,
assuming that you could do it.
This brings up several questions. What temperature do we
want the planet to be? Do we want it to stay constant? Do we
want it to be at 1980 levels, do we want it at 1880 levels? And
who decides? What if Russia and Canada want it a little bit
warmer and India wants it a little bit cooler?
If we stopped after 20 years, we would have rapid warming,
as you can see. We did it for 20 years. And this rapid climate
change would be much more dangerous than the gradual change we
would get without doing anything. So this is a couple of the
reasons why I am concerned about it, but we certainly need more
research.
Now, how do we get the aerosols--I am talking about the
solar radiation management. How do we get the aerosols into the
stratosphere? There is no way to do it today. Ideas of
artillery or balloons or airplanes need a lot of research. Ken
said it would be easy and cheap, but there is no demonstration
of that. It might not be that expensive, but such equipment
just doesn't exist today.
So I have made a list of seven reasons why it--benefits for
stratospheric geoengineering and 17 reasons why it might be a
bad idea.
Now, volcanic eruptions produce drought in Africa and Asia.
They produce ozone depletion, no more blue skies, less solar
power, and each of these needs to be quantified so you
policymakers can make a decision about whether or not to
implement it. We don't have quantification of any of these yet.
I disagree with the economic analysis because they just
ignored many of the risks and didn't even count what the
possible dangers might be. But I agree with everybody that we
need a research program so that we can quantify each of these
so policymakers can tell if--is there a Plan B in your pocket,
or is it empty? We really need to know that, and we don't know
the answer to that yet.
If we were going to test putting particles in the
stratosphere, we don't have a system to observe them. The
United States used to have a series of satellites called SAGE
which looked at particles in the stratosphere. It was very
useful for monitoring volcanic eruptions. And they stopped
working, and there is no plan to put them up there. So we need
the system anyway to monitor the stratosphere for the next
volcanic eruption and to monitor it if we ever do
experimentation.
If we wanted to do experimentation, it is not possible to
do just a small-scale test, to put a little bit of particles in
and see what would happen. We could do that, but we couldn't
measure their effects because there are a lot of weather
variability, a lot of weather noise. And so we would really
have to put a lot of material in for a substantial period of
time to see whether we are having an effect. And that would
essentially be doing geoengineering itself. You can't do it on
a small scale.
You could fly a plane up there and dump some gas out and
see what would happen at the nozzle. But to do a full-scale
experiment, we couldn't do it. For example, if there is already
a cloud there and we want to put gases in and see if we get
more particles, you can't do that if there are not particles
there already. We may just make the particles bigger. And so it
is problematic whether we could actually ever do an experiment
in the stratosphere without actually doing geoengineering.
So I would like to urge you to support a research program
into the climatic response with climate models, into the
technology to see if it is possible to develop different
systems so that you can make an informed decision in the
future.
Thanks.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Robock follows:]
Prepared Statement of Alan Robock

Introduction

In the October 28, 2009, letter from Chairman Gordon inviting me to
testify at the House Committee on Science and Technology Hearing,
``Geoengineering: Assessing the Implications of Large-Scale Climate
Intervention,'' I was asked to address a number of specific issues,
which I do below. But first I would like to give a brief statement of
the framework within which we consider the issue of geoengineering.
I agree with the October 21, 2009, statement from the leaders of 17
U.S. scientific societies to the U.S. Senate (Supplementary Material
1), partially based on my own research, that, ``Observations throughout
the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous
scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by
human activities are the primary driver.'' I also agree with their
statement that ``Moreover, there is strong evidence that ongoing
climate change will have broad impacts on society, including the global
economy and on the environment.'' Therefore, it is incumbent on us to
address the threat of climate change.
I also agree with the recent policy statement of the American
Meteorological Society on geoengineering (Supplementary Material 2). I
was a member of the committee that wrote this statement. As the
statement explains, ``Three proactive strategies could reduce the risks
of climate change: 1) mitigation: reducing emissions; 2) adaptation:
moderating climate impacts by increasing our capacity to cope with
them; and 3) geoengineering: deliberately manipulating physical,
chemical, or biological aspects of the Earth system.''
Before discussing geoengineering it is necessary to define it. As
the American Meteorological Society statement says, ``Geoengineering
proposals fall into at least three broad categories: 1) reducing the
levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases through large-scale
manipulations (e.g., ocean fertilization or afforestation using non-
native species); 2) exerting a cooling influence on Earth by reflecting
sunlight (e.g., putting reflective particles into the atmosphere,
putting mirrors in space, increasing surface reflectivity, or altering
the amount or characteristics of clouds); and 3) other large-scale
manipulations designed to diminish climate change or its impacts (e.g.,
constructing vertical pipes in the ocean that would increase downward
heat transport).''
My expertise is in category 2, sometimes called ``solar radiation
management.'' In particular, my work has focused on the idea of
emulating explosive volcanic eruptions, by attempting to produce a
stratospheric cloud that would reflect some incoming sunlight, to shade
and cool the planet to counteract global warming. In this testimony,
except where indicated, I will confine my remarks to this specific
idea, and use the term ``geoengineering'' to refer to only it. I do
this because it is the suggestion that has gotten the most attention
recently, and because it is the one that I have addressed in my work.
My personal view is that we need aggressive mitigation to lessen
the impacts of global warming. We will also have to devote significant
resources to adaptation to deal with the adverse climate changes that
are already beginning. If geoengineering is ever used, it should be as
a short-term emergency measure, as a supplement to, and not as a
substitute for, mitigation and adaptation. And we are not ready to
implement geoengineering now.
The question of whether geoengineering could ever help to address
global warming cannot be answered at this time. In our most recent
paper (Supplementary Material 9) we have identified six potential
benefits and 17 potential risks of stratospheric geoengineering, but a
vigorous research program is needed to quantify each of these items, so
that policy makers will be able to make an informed decision, by
weighing the benefits and risks of different policy options.
Furthermore, there has been no demonstration that geoengineering is
even possible. No technology to do geoengineering currently exists. The
research program needs to also evaluate various suggested schemes for
producing stratospheric particles, to see whether it is practical to
maintain a stratospheric cloud that would be effective at blocking
sunlight.

Introduce the key scientific, regulatory, ethical, legal and economic
challenges of geoengineering.

In Robock (2008a; Supplementary Material 4) I identified 20 reasons
why geoengineering may be a bad idea. Subsequent work, summarized in
Robock et al. (2009; Supplementary Material 9), eliminated three of
these reasons, determined that one is still not well understood, but
added one more reason, so I still have identified 17 potential risks of
geoengineering. Furthermore, there is no current technology to
implement or monitor geoengineering, should it be tested or
implemented. Robock (2008b; Supplementary Material 5) described some of
these effects, particularly on ozone.
Key challenges of geoengineering related to the side effects on the
climate system are that it could produce drought in Asia and Africa,
threatening the food and water supply for billions of people, that it
would not halt continued ocean acidification from CO2, and
that it would deplete ozone and increase dangerous ultraviolet
radiation. Furthermore, the reduction of direct solar radiation and the
increase in diffuse radiation would make the sky less blue and produce
much less solar power from systems using focused sunlight. Any system
to inject particles or their precursors into the stratosphere at the
needed rate would have large local environmental impacts. If society
lost the will or means to continue geoengineering, there would be rapid
warming, much more rapid than would occur without geoengineering. If a
series of volcanic eruptions produced unwanted cooling, geoengineering
could not be stopped rapidly to compensate. In addition, astronomers
spend billions of dollars to build mountain-top observatories to get
above pollution in the lower troposphere. Geoengineering would put
permanent pollution above these telescopes.
Another category of challenges is unexpected consequences. No
matter how much analysis is done ahead of time, there will be
surprises. Some will make the effects less damaging, but some will be
more damaging. Furthermore, human error is likely to produce problems
with any sophisticated technical system.
Ethical challenges include what is called a moral hazard--if
geoengineering is perceived to be a solution for global warming, it
will lessen the current gathering consensus to address climate change
with mitigation. There is also the question of moral authority--do
humans have the right to control the climate of the entire planet to
benefit them, without consideration of all other species? Another
ethical issue is the potential military use of any geoengineering
technology. One of the cheapest approaches may even be to use existing
military airplanes for geoengineering (Robock et al., 2009;
Supplementary Material 9). Could techniques developed to control global
climate forever be limited to peaceful uses? Other ethical
considerations might arise if geoengineering would improve the climate
for most, but harm some.
Legal and regulatory challenges are closely linked to ethical ones.
Who would end up controlling geoengineering systems? Governments?
Private companies holding patents on proprietary technology? And whose
benefit would they have at heart? Stockholders or the general public
welfare? Eighty-five countries, including the United States, have
signed the U.N. Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other
Hostile Use of Environmental
Modification Techniques. It will have to be modified to allow
geoengineering that would harm any of the signatories. And whose hand
would be on the thermostat? How would the world decide on what level of
geoengineering to apply? What if Canada or Russia wanted the climate to
be a little warmer, while tropical countries and small island states
wanted it cooler? Certainly new governance mechanisms would be needed.
As far as economic challenges go, even if our estimate (Robock et
al., 2009; Supplementary Material 9) is off by a factor of 10, the
costs of actually implementing geoengineering would not be a limiting
factor. Rather, the economic issues associated with the potential
damages of geoengineering would be more important.

Major strategies for evaluating different geoengineering methods.

Evaluation of geoengineering strategies requires determination of
their costs, benefits, and risks. Furthermore, geoengineering requires
ongoing monitoring. As discussed below, a robust research program
including computer modeling and engineering studies, as well as study
of historical, ethical, legal, and social implications of
geoengineering and governance issues is needed. Monitoring will require
the reestablishment of the capability of measuring the location,
properties and vertical distribution of particles and ozone in the
stratosphere using satellites.

Broadly evaluate the geoengineering strategies you believe could be
most viable based on these criteria.

I know of no viable geoengineering strategies. None have been shown
to work to control the climate. None have been shown to be safe.
However, the ones that have the most potential, and which need further
research, would include stratospheric aerosols and brightening of
marine tropospheric clouds, as well as carbon capture and
sequestration. Carbon capture has been demonstrated on a very small
scale. Whether it can be conducted on a large enough scale to have a
measurable impact on atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and
whether the CO2 can be sequestered efficiently and safely
for a long period of time, are areas that need to be researched.

Identify the climate circumstances under which the U.S. or
international community should undertake
geoengineering.

For a decision to actually implement geoengineering, it needs to be
demonstrated that the benefits of geoengineering outweigh the risks. We
need a better understanding of the evolution of future climate both
with and without geoengineering. We need to know the costs of
implementation of geoengineering and compare them to the costs of not
doing geoengineering. Geoengineering should only be implemented in
response to a planetary emergency. However, there are no governance
mechanisms today that would allow such a determination. Governance
would also have to establish criteria to determine the end of the
emergency and the ramping down of geoengineering.
Examples of climate circumstances that would be candidates for the
declaration of a planetary emergency would include rapid melting of the
Greenland or Antarctic ice sheets, with attendant rapid sea level rise,
or a catastrophic increase in severe hurricanes and typhoons. Even so,
stratospheric geoengineering should only be implemented if it could be
determined that it would address these specific emergencies without
causing worse problems. And there may be local means to deal with these
specific issues that would not produce the risks of global
geoengineering. For example, sea level rise could be addressed by
pumping sea water into a new lake in the Sahara or onto the cold
Antarctic ice sheet where it would freeze. There may be techniques to
cool the water ahead of approaching hurricanes by mixing cold water
from below up to the surface. Of course, each of these techniques may
have its own unwelcome side effects.
Right now there are no circumstances that would warrant
geoengineering. This is because we lack the knowledge to evaluate the
benefits, risks, and costs of geoengineering. We also lack the
requisite governance mechanisms. Our policy right now needs to be to
focus on mitigation, while funding research that will produce the
knowledge to make such decisions about geoengineering in five or ten
years.

Recommendations for first steps, if any, to begin a geoengineering
research and/or governance effort.

In 2001, the U.S. Department of Energy issued a white paper
(Supplementary Material 3) that called for a $64,000,000 research
program over five years to look into a variety of suggested methods to
control the climate. Such a coordinated program was never implemented,
but there are now a few research efforts using climate models of which
I am aware. In addition to my grant from the National Science
Foundation, discussed below, I know of one grant from NASA to Brian
Toon for geoengineering research and some work by scientists at the
National Center for Atmospheric Research, funded by the Federal
Government. In addition, there have been some climate modeling studies
conducted at the United Kingdom Hadley Centre, and there is a new
three-year project, started in July 2009, funded by the European Union
for =1,000,000 ($1,500,000) for three years called ``IMPLICC--
Implications and risks of engineering solar radiation to limit climate
change,'' involving the cooperation of 5 higher educational and
research institutions in France, Germany and Norway.
In light of the importance of this issue, as outlined in Robock
(2008b; Supplementary Material 5), I recommend that the U.S., in
collaboration with other countries, embark on a well-funded research
program to ``consider geoengineering's potential benefits, to
understand its limitations, and to avoid ill-considered deployment''
(as the American Meteorological Society says in Supplementary Material
2). In particular the American Meteorological Society recommends:

1) Enhanced research on the scientific and technological
potential for geoengineering the climate system, including
research on intended and unintended environmental responses.

2) Coordinated study of historical, ethical, legal, and social
implications of geoengineering that integrates international,
interdisciplinary, and intergenerational issues and
perspectives and includes lessons from past efforts to modify
weather and climate.

3) Development and analysis of policy options to promote
transparency and international cooperation in exploring
geoengineering options along with restrictions on reckless
efforts to manipulate the climate system.

I support all these recommendations. Research under item 1) would
involve state-of-the-art climate models, which have been validated by
previous success at simulating past climate change, including the
effects of volcanic eruptions. They would consider different suggested
scenarios for injection of gases or particles designed to produce a
stratospheric cloud, and evaluate the positive and negative aspects of
the climate response-- So far, the small number of studies that have
been conducted have all used different scenarios, and it is difficult
to compare the results to see which are robust. One such example is
given in the paper by Rasch et al. (2008; Supplementary Material 7).
Therefore, I am in the process of organizing a coordinated experiment
among the different climate modeling groups that are performing runs
for the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, Phase 5, which will
inform the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. Once
we agree on a set of standard scenarios, participation will depend on
these different groups from around the world volunteering their
computer and analysis time to conduct the experiments. Financial
support from a national research program, in cooperation with other
nations, will produce more rapid and more comprehensive results.
Another area of research that needs to be supported under topic 1)
is the technology of producing a stratospheric aerosol cloud. Robock et
al. (2009; Supplementary Material 9) calculated that it would cost
several billion dollars per year to just inject enough sulfur gas into
the stratosphere to produce a cloud that would cool the planet using
existing military airplanes. Others have suggested that it would be
quite a bit more expensive. However, even if SO2 (sulfur
dioxide) or H2S (hydrogen sulfide) could be injected into
the stratosphere, there is no assurance that nozzles and injection
strategies could be designed to produce a cloud with the right size
droplets that would be effective at scattering sunlight. Our
preliminary theoretical work on this problem is discussed by Rasch et
al. (2008; Supplementary Material 7). However, the research program
will also need to fund engineers to actually build prototypes based on
modification of existing aircraft or new designs, and to once again
examine other potential mechanisms including balloons, artillery, and
towers. They will also have to look into engineered particles, and not
just assume that we would produce sulfate clouds that mimic volcanic
eruptions.
At some point, given the results of climate models and engineering,
there may be a desire to test such a system in the real world. But this
is not possible without full-scale deployment, and that decision would
have to be made without a full evaluation of the possible risks.
Certainly individual aircraft or balloons could be launched into the
stratosphere to release sulfur gases. Nozzles can be tested. But
whether such a system would produce the desired cloud could not be
tested unless it was deployed into an existing cloud that is being
maintained in the stratosphere. While small sub-micron particles would
be most effective at scattering sunlight and producing cooling, current
theory tells us that continued emission of sulfur gases would cause
existing particles to grow to larger sizes, larger than volcanic
eruptions typically produce, and they would be less effective at
cooling Earth, requiring even more emissions. Such effects could not be
tested, except at full-scale.
Furthermore, the climatic response to an engineered stratospheric
cloud could not be tested, except at full-scale. The weather is too
variable, so that it is not possible to attribute responses of the
climate system to the effects of a stratospheric cloud without a very
large effect of the cloud. Volcanic eruptions serve as an excellent
natural example of this. In 1991, the Mt. Pinatubo volcano in the
Philippines injected 20 Mt (megatons) of SO2 (sulfur
dioxide) into the stratosphere. The planet cooled by about 0.5 C (1
F) in 1992, and then warmed back up as the volcanic cloud fell out of
the atmosphere over the next year or so. There was a large reduction of
the Asian monsoon in the summer of 1992 and a measurable ozone
depletion in the stratosphere. Climate model simulations suggest that
the equivalent of one Pinatubo every four years or so would be required
to counteract global warming for the next few decades, because if the
cloud were maintained in the stratosphere, it would give the climate
system time to cool in response, unlike for the Pinatubo case, when the
cloud fell out of the atmosphere before the climate system could react
fully. To see, for example, what the effects of such a geoengineered
cloud would be on precipitation patterns and ozone, we would have to
actually do the experiment. The effects of smaller amounts of volcanic
clouds on climate can simply not be detected, and a diffuse cloud
produced by an experiment would not provide the correct environment for
continued emissions of sulfur gases. The recent fairly large eruptions
of the Kasatochi volcano in 2008 (1.5 Mt SO2) and Sarychev
in 2009 (2 Mt SO2) did not produce a climate response that
could be measured against the noise of chaotic weather variability.
Some have suggested that we test stratospheric geoengineering in
the Arctic, where the cloud would be confined and even if there were
negative effects, they would be limited in scope. But our experiments
(Robock et al., 2008; Supplementary Material 6) found that clouds
injected into the Arctic stratosphere would be blown by winds into the
midlatitudes and would affect the Asian summer monsoon. Observations
from all the large high latitude volcanic eruptions of the past 1500
years, Eldgja in 939, Laid in 1783, and Katmai in 1912, support those
results.
Topics 2) and 3) should also be part of any research program, with
topic 3) dealing with governance issues. This is not my area of
expertise, but as I understand it, the U.N. Convention on the
Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental
Modification Techniques prohibits geoengineering if it will have
negative effects on any of the 85 signatories to the convention (which
include the U.S.). International governance mechanisms, probably
through the United Nations, would have to be established to set the
rules for testing, deployment, and halting of any geoengineering. Given
the different interests in the world, and the current difficulty of
negotiating mitigation, it is not clear to me how easy this would be.
And any abrogation of such agreements would produce the potential for
conflict.
How much would a geoengineering research program cost? Given the
continued threat to the planet from climate change, it is important
that in the next decade policy makers be provided with enough
information to be able to decide whether geoengineering can be
considered as an emergency response to dangerous climate change, given
its potential benefits, costs, and risks. If the program is not well-
funded, such answers will be long in coming. The climate modeling
community is ready to conduct such experiments, given an increase in
funding for people and computers. Funding should include support for
students studying climate change as well as to existing scientists, and
would not be that expensive. It should certainly be in, the range of
millions of dollars per year for a 5-10 year period. I am less
knowledgeable of what the costs would be for engineering studies or for
topics 2) and 3).
A geoengineering research program should not be at the expense of
existing research into climate change, and into mitigation and
adaptation. Our first goal should be rapid mitigation, and we need to
continue the current increase in support for green alternatives to
fossil fuels. We also need to continue to better understand regional
climate change, to help us to implement mitigation and adapt to the
climate change that will surely come in the next decades no matter what
our actions today. But a small increment to current funding to support
geoengineering will allow us to determine whether geoengineering
deserves serious consideration as a policy option.

Describe your NSF-funded research activities at Rutgers University.

I am supported to conduct geoengineering research by the following
grant:
National Science Foundation, ATM-0730452, ``Collaborative Research
in Evaluation of Suggestions to Geoengineer the Climate System Using
Stratospheric Aerosols and Sun Shading,'' February 1, 2008--January 31,
2011, $554,429. (Includes $5000 Research Experience for Undergraduates
supplement.)
I conduct research with Professors Georgiy Stenchikov and Martin
Bunzl and students Ben Kravitz and Allison Marquardt at Rutgers, in
collaboration with Prof. Richard Turco at UCLA, who is funded on a
collaborative grant by NSF with separate funding. We conduct climate
model simulations of the response to various scenarios of production of
a cloud of particles in the stratosphere. We use a NASA climate model
on NASA computers to conduct our simulations. We also have investigated
the potential cost of injecting gases into the stratosphere that would
react with water vapor to produce a cloud of sulfuric acid droplets. We
calculated how much additional acid rain and snow would result when the
sulfuric acid eventually falls out of the atmosphere. Prof. Turco
focuses on the detailed mechanisms in the stratosphere whereby gases
convert to particles. Prof. Bunzl is a philosopher. Together we are
also examining the ethical dimensions of geoengineering proposals.
We have published five peer-reviewed journal articles on our
research so far, attached as Supplementary Material items 5-9, and
Prof. Bunzl has published one additional peer-reviewed paper supported
by this grant.

Delineate the precautionary steps that might be needed in the event of
large scale testing or deployment.

First of all, there is little difference between large-scale
testing and deployment. To be able to measure the climate response to a
stratospheric cloud above the noise of chaotic weather variations, the
injection of stratospheric particles would have to so large as that it
would be indistinguishable from deployment of geoengineering. And it
would have to last long enough to produce a measurable climate
response, at least for five years. One of the potential risks of this
strategy is that if it is perceived to be working, the enterprise will
develop a constituency that will push for it to continue, just like
other government programs, with the argument that jobs and business
need to be protected.
The world will have to develop a governance structure that can
decide on whether or not to do such an experiment, with detailed rules
as to how it will be evaluated and how the program will be ended. The
current U.N. Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other
Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques will have to be
modified.
Any large-scale testing or deployment would need to be first be
evaluated thoroughly with climate model simulations. Climate models
have been validated by simulating past climate change, including the
effects of large volcanic eruptions. They will allow scientists to test
different patterns of aerosol injection and different types of
aerosols, and to thoroughly study the resulting spatial patterns of
temperature, precipitation, soil moisture, and other climate responses.
This information will allow the governance structure to make informed
decisions about whether to proceed--
Any field testing of geoengineering would need to be monitored so
that it can be evaluated. While the current climate observing system
can do a fairly good job of measuring temperature, precipitation, and
other weather elements, we currently have no system to measure clouds
of particles in the stratosphere. After the 1991 Pinatubo eruption,
observations with the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment II (SAGE
II) instrument on the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite showed how the
aerosols spread, but it is no longer operating. To be able to measure
the vertical distribution of the aerosols, a limb-scanning design, such
as that of SAGE II, is optimal. Right now, the only limb-scanner in
orbit is the Optical Spectrograph and InfraRed Imaging System (OSIRIS),
a Canadian instrument on Odin, a Swedish satellite. SAGE III flew from
2002 to 2006, and there are no plans for a follow on mission. A spare
SAGE III sits on a shelf at a NASA lab, and could be used now. There is
one Canadian satellite in orbit now with a laser, but it is not
expected to last long enough to monitor future geoengineering, and
there is no system to use it to produce the required observations of
stratospheric particles. Certainly, a dedicated observational program
would be needed as an integral part of any geoengineering
implementation.
These current and past successes can be used as a model to develop
a robust stratospheric observing system, which we need anyway to be
able to measure the effects of episodic volcanic eruptions. The recent
fairly large eruptions of the Kasatochi volcano in 2008 and Sarychev in
2009 produced stratospheric aerosol clouds, but the detailed structure
and location of the resulting clouds is poorly known, because of a lack
of an observing system.



Biography for Alan Robock
Dr. Alan Robock is a Professor II (Distinguished Professor) of
climatology in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers
University and the associate director of its Center for Environmental
Prediction. He also directs the Rutgers Undergraduate Meteorology
Program. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in
1970 with a B.A. in Meteorology, and from the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology with an S.M. in 1974 and Ph.D. in 1977, both in
Meteorology. Before graduate school, he served as a Peace Corps
Volunteer in the Philippines. He was a professor at the University of
Maryland, 1977-1997, and the State Climatologist of Maryland, 1991-
1997, before moving to Rutgers in 1998.
Prof. Robock has published more than 250 articles on his research
in the area of climate change, including more than 150 peer-reviewed
papers. His areas of expertise include geoengineering, the effects of
volcanic eruptions on climate, the impacts of climate change on human
activities, detection and attribution of human effects on the climate
system, regional atmosphere-hydrology modeling, soil moisture, and the
climatic effects of nuclear weapons.
Professor Robock is currently supported by the National Science
Foundation to do research on geoengineering. He has published five
peer-reviewed journal articles on geoengineering, in 2008 and 2009. He
was a member of the committee that drafted the July 2009 American
Meteorological Society Policy Statement on Geoengineering the Climate
System. He has convened sessions on geoengineering at two past
American. Geophysical Union Fall Meetings, and is the convener of
sessions on geoengineering to be held at meetings of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science and European Geosciences
Union in 2010.
His honors include being a Fellow of the American Meteorological
Society, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of
Science (AAAS), and a participant in the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He was
the American Meteorological Society/Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer for
the academic year 2008-2009.
Prof. Robock was Editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research--
Atmospheres from April 2000 through March 2005 and of the Journal of
Climate and Applied Meteorology from January 1985 through December
1987. He was Associate Editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research -
Atmospheres from November 1998 to April 2000 and of Reviews of
Geophysics from September 1994 to December 2000, and is once again
serving as Associate Editor of Reviews of Geophysics, since February,
2006.
Prof. Robock serves as President of the Atmospheric Sciences
Section of the American Geophysical Union and Chair-Elect of the
Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Sciences Section of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science. He has been a Member
Representative for Rutgers to the University Corporation for
Atmospheric Research since 2001, and serves on its President's Advisory
Committee on University Relations. Prof Robock was a AAAS Congressional
Science Fellow in 1986-1987, serving as a Legislative Assistant to
Congressman Bill Green (R-NY) and as a Research Fellow at the
Environmental and Energy Study Conference.






























Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Dr. Robock. Dr. Fleming, you
are recognized.

STATEMENT OF DR. JAMES FLEMING, PROFESSOR AND DIRECTOR,
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY PROGRAM, COLBY COLLEGE

Dr. Fleming. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Hall,
and Members of the Committee on Science and Technology. I want
to talk about history, and one of my epigraphs is that in
facing unprecedented challenges, which I think we are, it is
good to seek historical precedents. History matters, and
informed policy decisions are going to require
interdisciplinary, international, and intergenerational
perspectives. So I applaud your international move, and I would
like to make a case for intergenerational perspectives as well
that are informed by history.
I was once asked when humans first became concerned about
climate change, and I immediately responded, in the
Pleistocene. That is, our whole history comes out of ice age
variations of climate, and all of human history lies within the
last interglacial era, which was 12,000 years ago. We have
experienced huge variations in climate, up to 27 degrees
Fahrenheit, and I am sure the early humans had important tribal
councils, too, to talk about these things, although they didn't
have mitigation yet as an option.
European explorers and early American settlers were
surprised that the New World was so much colder than the areas
of the same latitude in Europe. For example, Washington D.C. is
on the same parallel as Lisbon, Portugal. Colonists worked to
improve the climate by cutting the forest, tilling the soil,
and draining the marshes. Benjamin Franklin thought this was
possible. Thomas Jefferson thought it was actually happening.
He called for an index of the American climate, which is one
reason we have great weather records in this country, to
document the changes being caused by human intervention.
I will show a few pictures.
[The information follows:]



The quest to control nature, including the sky, is deeply
rooted in the history of western science. Some climate
engineers claim they are the first generation to propose the
deliberate manipulation of the planetary environment, but
history says otherwise. In the 1830s, America's first national
meteorologist, James Espy, who worked for the U.S. Army Surgeon
General, advocated large-scale engineering proposals to emulate
``artificial volcanoes.'' He proposed lighting huge fires each
week--he preferred Sunday evenings--all along the Appalachian
Mountains. Each week he was going to make it rain and control
and enhance the Nation's rainfall. Espy argued that the heated
updrafts would trigger rain that would not only eliminate
droughts but also temperature extremes and would render the air
healthy by clearing it of miasmas. A popular writer at the
time, Eliza Leslie, pointed out that manufactured weather
control would generate more problems than it solved and would
satisfy no one. This is 1842.
The image of the technocrat pulling the levers of weather
control appeared on the cover of Collier's Magazine in 1954. We
were in a weather control race with the Soviet Union at the
time, and an Air Force general had just announced to the press
that the nation that controls the weather will control the
world. The magazine article inside, by President Eisenhower's
Weather Advisor, Harold Orville, provided detailed ways of
conducting weather warfare. A year later, the noted Princeton
mathematician, Johnny Von Neumann, in an article called, Can We
Survive Technology?, wrote that climate control through
managing solar radiation was not necessarily a rational
undertaking. In his opinion, climate control could alter the
entire globe, shatter the existing political order, merge each
nation's affairs with every other, and lend itself to forms of
warfare as yet unimagined. He compared climate control to the
threat of nuclear proliferation.
[The information follows:]



Here, Archimedes is acting as a geoengineer and technology
is his lever, but where is he standing and where will the earth
roll if tipped? Geoengineering is not cheap since we don't know
the side-effects. Quoting Ron Prinn of MIT, ``How do you
engineer a system you don't understand?'' While some argue that
we can control the temperature of the globe, ironically, at a
recent NASA meeting on the topic of managing solar, a meeting
coordinator apologized for not being able to control the
temperature of the room. Think about it.
[The information follows:]



This is Hurricane King, 1947, when Project Cirrus
intervened and seeded it. They wanted to announce to the press
that they can control hurricanes, but basically they cancelled
the press conference when it came ashore and devastated
Savannah, Georgia.
Other diplomatic disasters include Project Stormfury in the
1960s where Fidel Castro accused America of cloud seeding over
Cuba and in Vietnam, Operation Popeye, when the UN subsequently
outlawed hostile use of weather modification.
People have said that climate control is not a good idea.
Harry Wexler, head of research at the Weather Bureau, said this
in 1962, and just two years ago, Bert Bolin, the first chair of
the IPCC, wrote that the political implications of
geoengineering are largely impossible to assess and it is not a
viable solution because in most cases, it is an illusion to
assume that all possible changes can be foreseen. Climate
change is simple. We should do the right thing. Climate is
complex. It involves oceans and atmospheres, ice sheets and now
monsoons, so studying the human dimension is essential. We need
the interdisciplinary, international and intergenerational
emphasis.
Thank you for your time.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Fleming follows:]
Prepared Statement of James Fleming
Thank you Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Hall, and Members of the
Committee on Science and Technology for the opportunity to appear
before you to provide testimony on Geoengineering: Assessing the
Implications of Large-Scale Climate Intervention.
I am a historian of science and technology with graduate training
in and life-long connections to the atmospheric sciences, and the
founding president of the International Commission on History of
Meteorology. I have just written a book on the history of weather and
climate control, and I am currently working to connect the history of
science and technology with public policy. I have been asked to provide
a general historical context for geoengineering as a political
challenge and to recommend first steps toward effective international
collaboration on geoengineering research and governance.

Introduction

I would like to state my conclusions in advance, which are all
based on the premise that history matters:

First, a coordinated interdisciplinary--effort is needed to
study the historical, ethical, legal, political, and societal
aspects of geoengineering and to make policy and governance
recommendations. This is one conclusion of the American
Meteorological Society's 2009 Policy Statement on
Geoengineering.

Second, an international--``Working Group 4'' on historical,
social, and cultural dimensions of climate change in general
and geoengineering in particular should be added to the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Third, a robust intergenerational--component of training and
participation, especially by young people, should be included
in these efforts.

That is to say climate change is not quintessentially a technical
issue. It is a socio-cultural and technical hybrid, and our effective
response to it must be historically and technically informed,
interdisciplinary in nature, international in scope, and
intergenerational in its inclusion of graduate, undergraduate, and
younger students.



A year later, in a prominent article titled, ``Can We Survive
Technology?'' the noted Princeton mathematician and pioneer in
computerized weather forecasts and climate models John von Neumann
referred to climate control through managing solar radiation as a
thoroughly ``abnormal'' industry that could have ``rather fantastic
effects'' on a scale difficult to imagine. He pointed out that altering
the climate of specific regions or purposefully triggering a new ice
age were not necessarily rational undertakings. Tinkering with the
Earth's heat budget or the atmosphere's general circulation ``will
merge each nation's affairs with those of every other more thoroughly
than the threat of a nuclear or any other war may already have done.''
In his opinion, climate control could lend itself to unprecedented
destruction and to forms of warfare as yet unimagined. It could alter
the entire globe and shatter the existing political order. He made the
Janus-faced nature of weather and climate control clear. The central
question was not ``What can we do?'' but ``What should we do?'' This
was the ``maturing crisis of technology'' for von Neumann, a crisis
made more urgent by the rapid pace of progress.



First of all, a male hand is on the thermometer, the hand is god-
like in scale, and the thermostat is ``nowhere,'' but perhaps in outer
space. The temperature of 73 F is being turned back to 54, or 5 degrees
cooler than the long-term planetary average of 59 F. Looking closely at
the center of dial, the thermometer is centered on Roswell, New Mexico,
which I take to be symbolic.
An emergent property of the MIT meeting was that the social science
component the voices calling for the study of history, politics, and
governance of geoengineering convinced more people than those engaged
in geo-scientific speculation of a more technical nature. It is an
emerging view in climate studies that humanities and governance
perspectives are sorely needed. This was also clear this past summer at
``America's Climate Choices'' meeting on geoengineering, sponsored by
Congressman Mollohan of West Virginia and convened by the National
Academies of Science.



The image of Archimedes is sometimes invoked by geoengineers with
the assertion that our technological levers are now getting long enough
and powerful enough to move the Earth. But if Archimedes is a supposed
geoengineer, where is he standing? And where will the Earth roll if
tipped? With what consequences? Widespread discussions of ``tipping
points,'' have involved the physical climate system or public opinion,
but it is important to remember that the geoengineering community has
also passed a tipping point, and many of them actually wish to try it!
But while some argue we can control the temperature of the globe,
ironically, at a recent NASA meeting in 2006 on the topic of ``Managing
Solar Radiation,'' a meeting coordinator apologized for not being able
to control the temperature of the room.

A Geopolitical Perspective on Aerosol Haze




The aerosol haze from dust storms, industrial sulfate emissions,
and biomass burning is widely believed have a local cooling effect by
reflecting sunlight and by making clouds brighter in the troposphere,
below about 30,000 feet. As we clean up industrial pollution and reduce
biomass burning, the warming effects of greenhouse gases may become
more pronounced. Since the early I960s some geoengineers have
repeatedly proposed injecting a sulfate aerosol haze into the high,
dry, and stable stratosphere, where it would spread worldwide and have
global cooling effects that might not fully offset greenhouse warming,
might have unwanted side effects that might not be welcomed by all
nations.



Although the heating effect of the major greenhouse gases is well
known, the level of scientific understanding of the cooling effect of
aerosols ranges from ``low'' to ``very low.'' Geoengineers propose to
transfer this cooling effect, and the lack of understanding about it,
to the stratosphere, where it will become a global rather than a local
process, again with likely unwanted side effects that others will
address.

What's Wrong with Climate Engineering? (the short list)

1. We don't have the understanding (Ron Prinn, MIT).

2. We don't have the technology (Brian Toon, Univ. of
Colorado).

3. We don't have the political capital, wisdom, or will to
govern it.

4. It is not ``cheap'' since the side effects are unknown.

5. It poses a moral hazard, reducing incentives to mitigate.

6. It could be attempted unilaterally, or worse, proliferate.

7. It could be militarized, and learning from history it
likely would be militarized.

8. It could violate a number existing treaties such as ENMOD
(1978).

9. It does nothing to solve ocean acidification.

10. It will alter fundamental human relationships to nature.

What Role for History?

We have known this for a long time. Some climate engineers claim
they are the ``first generation'' to propose the deliberate
manipulation of the planetary environment. History says otherwise. In
the 1790s Thomas Jefferson called for an ``index'' of the American
climate to document its changes being effected by the clearing of the
forests and the draining of the marshes. In the 1830s the first serious
large scale engineering proposal to emulate ``artificial volcanoes''
was advanced by James Espy, the distinguished theorist of convection as
the cause of rain who was employed by the U.S. Army as the first
national meteorologist. Espy proposed lighting huge fires all along the
Appalachian Mountains to control and enhance the nation's rainfall,
arguing that the heat, updrafts would trigger rain and would not only
eliminate droughts, but also heat waves and cold snaps, rendering the
air healthy by clearing it of miasmas. A popular writer, Eliza Leslie,
immediately pointed out that manufactured weather control would
generate more problems than it solved.
In 1946, Nobel Laureate Irving Langmuir believed he and his team at
the General Electric Corporation had discovered means of controlling
the weather with cloud seeding agents such as dry ice and silver
iodide. A year later, in conjunction with the U.S. military, they
sought to deflect a hurricane from its path. After seeding, but not
because of seeding, the hurricane veered due to what were later
determined to be natural steering currents and smashed ashore on
Savannah, Georgia. The planned press conference was cancelled, but
Langmuir continued to claim he could control hurricanes, influence the
nation's weather, and even planned to seed the entire Pacific basin in
a mega-scale experiment intended to generate climate-scale effects.



Commercial and military interests inevitably influence what
scientists might consider purely technical issues. Agricultural
interests drove the nineteenth-century charlatan rainmakers in the
American west as well as commercial cloud seeding since the 1940s. In
the early Cold War era, as mentioned earlier, the military sought to
control clouds and storms as weapons and in the service of an all-
weather air force. There was a ``weather race'' with the Russians and
secret cloud seeding in Vietnam. The 1978 United Nations Convention on
the Prohibition of Military or any other Hostile Use of Environmental
Modification Techniques (ENMOD), a landmark treaty, may have to be
revisited soon to avoid or at least try to mitigate possible military
or hostile use of climate control.
In 1962 Harry Wexler, Head of Research at the U.S. Weather Bureau,
shown here in the Oval Office, used computer models and satellite
observations to study techniques to change Earth's heat budget. Wexler
helped pen Kennedy's notable line, ``We choose to go to the moon in
this decade and do the other things . . .'' Wexler was in charge of
``the other things,'' such as the World Weather Watch and ways to
influence or control weather and climate. It was Wexler, in the era of
JFK (not Paul Crutzen in 2006) who first claimed climate control was
now ``respectable to talk about,'' even if he considered it quite
dangerous and undesirable. Wexler described techniques to warm or cool
the planet by two degrees. He also warned, notably, that the
stratospheric ozone layer was vulnerable to inadvertent or intentional
damage, perhaps by hostile powers, from small amounts of a catalytic
agent such as chlorine or bromine.



Here is an important discovery, made just next door in the Library
of Congress. It is Harry Wexler's handwritten note of 1962 that reads
(substituting words for symbols), ``Ultraviolet light decomposes ozone
into atomic oxygen. In the presence of a halogen like bromine or
chlorine, atomic oxygen becomes molecular oxygen and so prevents ozone
from forming. 100,000 tons of bromine could theoretically prevent all
ozone north of 65 N from forming.'' Recently, I have been in
correspondence with three notable ozone scientists about Wexler's early
work: Nobel Laureates Sherwood Rowland, Paul Crutzen, and current U.S.
National Academy of Sciences President Ralph Cicerone. They are
uniformly interested and quite amazed by Wexler's insights and
accomplishments.



Wexler wrote in 1962, ``[Climate control] can best be classified as
``interesting hypothetical exercises'' until the consequences of
tampering with large-scale atmospheric events can be assessed in
advance. Most such schemes that have been advanced would require
colossal engineering feats and contain the inherent risk of
irremediable harm to our planet or side effects counterbalancing the
possible short-term benefits.'' This is still true today.

Today's science is tomorrow's history of science

``In facing unprecedented challenges, it is good to seek historical
precedents,'' this is the epigraph of my new book Fixing the Sky: The
checkered history of weather and climate control. History matters--it
shapes identity and behavior; it is not just a celebratory record of
inevitable progress; and its perspective should inform sound public
policy. Each of our personal identities is the sum of our integrated
past, including personal and collective memories, events, and
experiences. It is not just who and where we are now, how we feel
today, and what we had for breakfast. Applied to geoengineering, we
should base our decision-making not on what we think we can do ``now''
and in the near future. Rather our knowledge is shaped by what we have
and have not done in the past. Such are the grounds for making informed
decisions. Students of climate dynamics who are passionate about
climate change would be well-served to study science dynamics
(history), since on decades to centuries and millennial time scales
ideas and technologies have changed as dramatically or perhaps more
dramatically than the climate system itself.
History can provide scholars in other disciplines with detailed
studies of past interventions by rainmakers and climate engineers as
well as structural analogues from a broad array of treaties and
interventions. Only in such a coordinated fashion, in which researchers
and policymakers participate openly, can the best options emerge that
promote international cooperation, ensure adequate regulation, and
avoid the inevitable adverse consequences of rushing forward to fix the
sky.
Climate change is simple, and we all should seek ways of having
less impact on the planet though a ``middle course'' of mitigation and
adaptation that is amenable to all, reasonable, practical, equitable,
and effective. But the climate system is extraordinarily complex,
perhaps the most complex system ever modeled or observed, with the most
important consequences imaginable for life and ecosystems. At best we
can only apprehend climate change, with three senses of the word
apprehension implied: (1) awareness and understanding, (2)
anticipation, dread, fear, and (3) intervention and control. Certainly
clouds, oceans, ice sheets and other factors make it more complex. But
the wildest of the wild cards in the system is the human dimension, so
studying that is absolutely essential.



Recommendations

I repeat my recommendations to the committee. We need:

1. A coordinated and autonomous interdisciplinary effort to
study the historical, ethical, legal, political, and societal
aspects of geoengineering and to make policy and governance
recommendations, not as an afterthought and not necessarily
within an existing scientific society.

2. An international ``Working Group 4'' on historical, social,
and cultural dimensions of climate change in general and
geoengineering in particular, perhaps under the auspices of the
IPCC.

3. A robust intergenerational component of training and
participation in such efforts.

In these ways I believe history can effectively inform public
policy. Thank you for your attention.

Selected References:

Fleming, James Rodger. Fixing the Sky: The checkered history of weather
and climate control. Columbia University Press, 2010.

Fleming, James Rodger. ``The Climate Engineers: Playing God to Save the
Planet,'' Wilson Quarterly (Spring 2007): 46-60. http://
www.colby.edu/sts/climateengineers.pdf.

Fleming, James Rodger. ``The Pathological History of Weather and
Climate Modification: Three cycles of promise and hype,''
Historical Studies in the Physical Sciences 37, no. 1 (2006):
3-25. http://www.Colby.edulsts/
06-fleming-pathological.pdf

Biography for James Fleming
James Rodger Fleming is Professor of Science, Technology, and
Society at Colby College. He earned degrees in astronomy (B.S., Penn
State), atmospheric science (M.S. Colorado State), and history (M.A.
and Ph.D. Princeton) and worked in atmospheric modeling, airborne
observational programs, consulting meteorology, and as historian of the
American Meteorological Society. Professor Fleming has held major
fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution, the National Science
Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American
Association for the Advancement of Science. He has been a visiting
scholar at MIT, Harvard, Penn State, the National Air and Space Museum,
the National Academy of Sciences, and the Woodrow Wilson International
Center for Scholars.
Awards and honors include election as a Fellow of the AAAS ``for
pioneering studies on the history of meteorology and climate change and
for the advancement of historical work within meteorological
societies,'' participation as an invited contributing author to the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, appointment to the Charles
A. Lindbergh Chair in Aerospace History by the Smithsonian Institution,
the Roger Revelle Fellowship in Global Stewardship by the AAAS, and a
number of named lectureships including the Ritter at Scripps
Institution of Oceanography, the Vetelsen at the University of Rhode
Island, and the Gordon Manly Lectureship of the Royal Meteorological
Society.
He is the author of Meteorology in America, 1800-1870 (Johns
Hopkins, 1990), Historical Perspectives on Climate Change (Oxford,
1998), The Callendar Effect (American Meteorological Society, 2007),
and his latest, Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and
Climate Control (Columbia University Press, 2010). Recent co-edited
volumes include Intimate Universality (Science History/U.S.A., 2006),
Globalizing Polar Science (Palgrave, 2010), and Osiris 26 (forthcoming)
on climate. He is currently working to link the local and global in the
history of Earth system science and to connect the history of science
and technology with public policy.
Professor Fleming was the founder and first president of the
International Commission on History of Meteorology and associate editor
of the New Dictionary of Scientific Biography, He currently serves as
editor-in-chief of History of Meteorology, domain editor for Wiley
Interdisciplinary Reviews on Climate, history editor of the Bulletin of
the American Meteorological Society, and member of the history
committee of the American Meteorological Society and the American
Geophysical Union.
Jim is a resident of China, Maine (not Mainland China!) with his
wife Miyoko. Together they raised two sons. He enjoys fishing, good
jazz, good BBQ, seeing students flourish, and building the community of
historians of the geosciences. ``Nothing is really work unless you
would rather be doing something else.''

Discussion

Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Dr. Fleming. At this point, we
will begin the first round of questions, but first I would like
to give a premise. Listening to the panel makes me think that
for most people, this is like coming in after the intermission
to Mr. Hall's movie about the elephants, and that we might want
to give a little bit more of a premise. And I would really
advise that anyone that has an interest in this issue to review
the Royal Society's report. It is very good.
I was thinking about giving Mr. Hall the two-page summary,
but I didn't want to overwhelm him. So Professor Shepherd----
Mr. Hall. You would have had to read it to me.

The Eruption of Mt. Pinatubo: Natural Solar Radiation
Management

Chairman Gordon. Professor Shepherd, just quickly, would
you sort of remind everyone about the volcano in Pinatubo in
1991 and what happened? I think that is a good foundation for
everyone to know.
Dr. Shepherd. Yes, thank you. The volcano emitted a large
amount of sulfur dioxide, amongst other things, some of which
made its way to the stratosphere, and the result of this was
the formation of a natural sulfate-based aerosol that spread
very rapidly around the world and lasted for a couple of years,
causing a fall in temperature of approximately 1 degree
Fahrenheit for a couple of years.
So this gives us some confidence that aerosols in the
stratosphere do have a cooling effect and that the quantities
of material required to do this are not unthinkably large.
However, volcanoes, of course, emit a lot of other stuff, as
well as sulfur dioxide, and so they are not a perfect analogue.
And one of the other issues in relation to----
Chairman Gordon. I just wanted you to sort of point out
that really nature has already given us somewhat of a model and
this is not completely not out of line.
Mr. Hall. I don't really understand it yet.

Structuring a Research Initiative

Chairman Gordon. I am going to give the panel some
questions to take home with you, and I would like your response
later. But let us just start a discussion if we could today
because if we are looking at a research program, I would like
to get a little better idea of what we should do. So let me put
out some questions for the panel and get some reaction, and
again, I would like for you to take it back and respond to us
later.
What would be the critical features of such a program?
Would there be just one coordinated program in the United
States? Which U.S. agencies would have to be involved from the
start and which would need to play a later role? What scale of
investment would be necessary, both initially and in the long
term, and what kind of expertise would be required? I will
later ask about the international implications but I would like
to get your thoughts on a research program here in the United
States. Who wants to start? Yes, sir. Dr. Fleming?
Dr. Fleming. I think based on what I said, we would have to
have more humanists involved, a lot more social science
component, and I know that the National Academy has done
things, but it is the National Academy of Science. And so I
would like to recommend that we go multi-agency but include not
only technical outfits in the discussion.
Chairman Gordon. We will just go down the hall. Professor
Shepherd and then Caldeira and then Lane and then Robock?
Professor Shepherd. Yes, I would suggest that the program
has to be international and that it should not focus
exclusively on one technology and specifically that it should
not focus exclusively on solar radiation management, because
that is a technology which requires you to maintain your
activity for as long as the greenhouse gases stay in the
atmosphere, which is several centuries to a thousand years. And
it is not clear that human society has the ability to sustain
an activity on that time scale.
So I think it would be very dangerous to start solar
radiation management without having figured out your exit
strategy, and your exit strategy would almost certainly include
one or other of the carbon dioxide removal methods. So I would
suggest that a small portfolio of methods of both of these
types should be researched in parallel.
Chairman Gordon. Dr. Caldeira?
Dr. Caldeira. I would like to suggest that we should be
thinking in terms of several research programs, each multi-
agency in character but led by different agencies. If we
separate the solar radiation management proposals from the
carbon dioxide removal proposals, I think the solar radiation
management proposals, the research, should perhaps be led by
the National Science Foundation [NSF], possibly the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration [NASA].
On the carbon dioxide removal, approaches again could be
divided into two major classes. Some are essentially growing
plants and burying the organic carbon made by plants. We
already have some research programs into growing new forests
and similar techniques. And those programs could perhaps be
expanded to encompass a broader range of biologically based
methods to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
The Department of Energy is already leading projects to
remove carbon dioxide from gases coming out of power plants.
Those programs could be expanded to also consider removal of
gases from the atmosphere. And so I think there is at least
three separate programs, and some of them might involve
expansion of existing programs on the carbon dioxide removal
side, but there is really no program at all on the solar
radiation management side. And I personally would like to see
NSF probably lead it, although NASA might make sense as well.
Chairman Gordon. Let us move to Mr. Lane.
Mr. Lane. I would suggest that the solar radiation
management--first of all, let me agree with Dr. Shepherd that I
think there ought to be research in both families, both air
capture and solar radiation management. However, solar
radiation management offers much larger economic payoffs
potentially and a much greater ability to reverse rapid, highly
destructive climate change should that occur. Therefore, I
guess I would reverse Dr. Shepherd's judgment of priorities and
say that of the two approaches, solar radiation management
deserves more attention, and as Dr. Caldeira has suggested, it
is not really receiving any support from the U.S. Government at
this time. It is clearly the sort of problem that is going to
require multiple agency inputs and poses a very difficult
organizational challenge for combining science and engineering.
Chairman Gordon. I am going to let everybody respond in
writing later, but Dr. Robock, if you would maybe just quickly
close us.
Dr. Robock. First of all, I would like to mention that
although the Pinatubo volcanic eruption cooled the planet, it
also produced drought in Asia and Africa. It destroyed ozone,
and it reduced solar radiation generation from direct solar
radiation by 30 percent in those technologies that were
developing. So it is a lesson of efficacy but also of problems.
I think that research into solar radiation management needs
to be done in a coordinated way, internationally, with climate
models. The National Science Foundation should probably take
the lead in the United States along with the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA] and NASA. There also
needs to be a research program to the technology. Can we
actually get particles into the stratosphere, and probably
NASA, the--Aeronautics, and the Department of Defense might be
looking into the technology of it, whether it is possible.
Chairman Gordon. I thank you. I now yield to Mr. Hall for
rebuttal.
Mr. Hall. I always come out second on that one when you are
the Chairman. You have got the gavel.
I will be serious with you because I appreciate you and I
appreciate your backgrounds and many years of studying and the
gifts you have made to this country, and your very appearance
here today makes me even more appreciative of you. I especially
like Dr. Shepherd, Professor Shepherd, because he at least
discussed global warming and he added the term cost to it, and
that is what we can't get hardly anybody to talk about, who is
going to pay it or how much China is going to continue to
pollute the world and not pay a dollar and then increase it on
an increasing ratio. So thank you for that. I agree with you on
that.
I don't disagree with you on anything you have said, I just
don't fully understand it. But he has given me the right to
write you, and you will be hearing from me. Thank you.

The Potential Efficacy of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mr. Lane, you said you advocate research and not
deployment, I guess that is what I am trying to say. Would you
expand on your comment and your testimony that a steep decline
in greenhouse gas emissions may well cost more than the
perceived value of the benefits? And let me say before that, we
had a study, I chaired one of the committees one time when we
were studying and we studied about asteroids. A professor told
us about volcanoes, but we were studying asteroids and the
danger and trying to get an international thrust on them. We
got no help on that because we had I think about $1.5 million
budget on that, and that was a couple of brilliant people and
their workers, co-workers with them. But we learned during that
hearing something that none of the group knew, including the
chairman, and that was me, that an asteroid just missed the
earth by five minutes some time in 1987 or 1988. So I think
this is worthwhile. And I was just spoofing the Chairman. He is
so good-natured. He is the only Chairman I can kid like that.
But go ahead now and answer me, if you would, Mr. Lane.
Mr. Lane. Yes, sir. It seems that the last 20 years have
shown not only that it is difficult to get agreement on
greenhouse gas controls, but that that is happening for very
clear reasons. China and India both have very rapidly growing
emissions, and yet it is clear from the way their governments
are dealing with the negotiations that they do not perceive
greenhouse gas emissions reductions, at least not steep ones,
as being in their national interest. And both of those
countries are too powerful to coerce, and the cost of bribing
them to reduce emissions when they don't feel that it is in
their national interests are likely to be prohibitively high. I
don't want to give the impression that I believe that we can go
on emitting greenhouse gases at ever-increasing rates. I don't.
I think eventually controls are going to be essential, but I
really strongly believe that the conditions are not in place
yet for a global agreement on significantly reducing emissions.
And until those conditions are in place, there really isn't
very much that the United States can do to change the global
trajectory of emissions.

Research and Development Before Application

Mr. Hall. Well, I thank you for that, and also I guess I
would ask you, your testimony seemed to suggest at the time
that there is R&D and not implementation. Are there entities,
organizations or countries that see an urgent need for
implementation versus the process of R&D? I know most of the
really rabid advocates of global warming mention everything but
the cost and mention everything but the fact that China I think
every six days are spewing--not using clean coal. And I think
we will fall back on coal one day, we are going to have to. But
it has to be clean coal. But they are increasing again I say on
an increasing ratio the damage to the earth without paying
anything. That goes for them, that goes for Russia, it goes for
India, it goes for Mexico, and it could go on and on of those
that want the benefits of the work that you probably all
believe in but don't want to participate in the cost. One or
the others of you made mention of that. I will let you have
whatever--I think I have may be two seconds left, but if you
can do your best to give me----
Mr. Lane. I do support R&D rather than deployment. Dr.
Robock is absolutely right. We don't have the technology yet to
do deployment, nor would it be prudent. For me personally, if I
were going to put my bet on where to do R&D in the U.S.
Government, along with NSF, as that Dr. Caldeira mentioned, I
would suggest that DARPA [Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency] might have a role.
Mr. Hall. Thank you.
Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Mr. Hall. I think we can submit
unanimously that this panel would say that there should be no
deployment, only research. I don't think you are going to find
anybody that is going to disagree with that.
Dr. Baird is recognized.

The Dire Need for Mitigation and Behavior Change

Mr. Baird. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I thank our panelists.
Roughly, how much CO2 do human beings put into the
air, anthropogenic CO2 on a daily basis? Anyone have
an estimate of that or annual, whatever number? Dr. Caldeira?
Dr. Caldeira. The average American puts out something like
their own average body weight each day in the form of carbon
dioxide. So something like 150 pounds of CO2 per
person per day in the United States.
Mr. Baird. Times 300 million people?
Dr. Caldeira. Right, times 365 days a year.
Mr. Baird. Mr. Robock, did you want to add to that? The
reason I ask the question is, we are doing geoengineering on a
massive scale. If 100 years ago somebody had said, hey, here is
a bright idea. We should promote a plan to put that much carbon
into the air--And Dr. Caldeira, I commend you for mentioning
ocean acidification--25 percent of which will go into the
oceans to make the oceans 30 percent more acidic within 50
years, and then continuing on after that to make it so acidic
that it reaches levels since not seen since the age of the
dinosaurs and dissolve coral reefs. Shouldn't Congress support
that? People would say, you are crazy. Geoengineering on that
scale, which is what we are doing, and now we are looking at
ways to reverse that.
Second observation would be, you know, years ago there was
a psychologist named Elizabeth Kubler-Ross who looked at what
happens when people are dying, and not everybody goes through
her five stages of dying, which got a lot of play at the time.
Nevertheless, her stages of dying went, you know, denial and
then bargaining, and the bargaining tends to be, isn't there
going to be someone to come rescue me from this cancer or this
other illness that I have got?
It strikes me that we are in sort of in those stages now,
and the reason I raise that, in the context of geoengineering.
We have had a whole series of hearings in my subcommittee and
this full committee on carbon sequestration, on nuclear fusion,
on geoengineering, and it seems to be everybody is trying to
say, isn't there someway out there that we don't have to make
changes in our behavior, that we can continue to spew just as
much CO2 or use just as much energy and something
somewhere is going to save us from just having to make this
horrific changes like turning down our thermostat, putting air
in our tires, et cetera? And so I applaud you all for
suggesting that we are not going to have this--to rescue us by,
you know, chemtrails or whatever people want to distribute into
the air.
There are some positive things that we could do. What would
be the impact of simple things like changing the color of roof
shingles or painting the rooftops? My rooftop here in town is
black. It is a black rubber surface. It gets hot as blazes up
there. I am told we can make substantial differences in
temperature and energy consumption, not on the scale that we
need. It is not enough. But the point is, piece together the
small stuff that doesn't require massive interventions. What
are some of the things we could do?
Dr. Robock. Actually, if we put solar panels on our roofs,
that would be a much better way to respond because we would
produce electricity from the sun and that would reduce the
amount of CO2 emissions from other sources, and that
would be much better than just painting the roofs white. It
would cost a little bit more money to start with, but in the
long run, it would be the best investment and it would be a
business opportunity. Why doesn't every new house have solar
panels built into the shingles rather than retrofitting it like
I did on my house, thanks to the subsidies from the State of
New Jersey?
And there are lots of little things we can do, and they
will all add up to a mitigation plan.
Mr. Baird. We focused mostly today so far on atmosphere and
solar radiation management. What about in water? I mean, we are
also geoengineering our water system. We are putting hundreds
of billions of pounds of effluent and fertilizers, et cetera,
in the water. What are some positive changes that we can do to
agricultural practices, runoff practices, et cetera, that could
help improve the quality of our water, not, you know, dumping
clay as a flocculent of algal blooms but some positive things
to reduce them from occurring to begin with. Do any of you have
comments on that? Are we mostly atmospheric today? You get the
point I am trying to make here, that we are causing the problem
through our own behavior and then we are somehow going to try
to fix the earth instead of fixing ourselves. If you had to
summarize that, which would you say is easier, change our
behavior or change the planet? Dr. Shepherd?
Dr. Shepherd. Well, you are making it into a black-and-
white choice, and my answer would be both. The problem is there
is an awful lot that we could do in Europe, in the United
States and in China and everywhere to reduce the impacts that
we are having, but however hard we try, that may not be enough.
So I think it is a mistake to make it black and white and say
it is either/or. I think we need to do both, and that may at
some stage involve geoengineering.
Mr. Baird. My time is expired. Thank you.
Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Dr. Baird. Dr. Barlett. Excuse
me, Dr. Ehlers is recognized.
Mr. Ehlers. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the
interesting interaction you just had. I am not quite sure what
Mr. Baird meant when he talked about fixing people. I know a
lot of people fix their dogs and cats, but on the other hand
that might be part of a good solution.
Mr. Hall. Professor, do you remember the name of that woman
that wrote that book?

The Need for a Multidisciplinary and Realistic Approach to
Climate Change

Mr. Ehlers. Anyway, hearing this discussion I am very much
reminded of Garrett Hardin who was a great environmentalist,
and he had a statement which I framed and hung on my wall for a
while. You can't do just one thing. And that is the heart of
the issue we are facing here today. I think we have a lot of
good ideas, a lot of things we might want to try, but you can't
do just one thing. And almost everything you do has side-
effects, some may be good, some may be bad. Frequently you
don't know until you have tried it. And that is what is going
to be the major impediment here as we proceed.
There is also a public attitude problem that--well, the
best example that I can give you, in the 1973 gas shortages,
when we had the big long gas lines, and you know, as a
physicist I was very interested in people's attitude toward
energy, and I thought we could do a much better job of
conserving energy. The response of most people even talking to
me would say, well, we really don't have to worry about this.
The scientists will come up with a solution. This intrinsic
faith that science can solve mammoth problems like that is
not--it is nice they think that much of me, but I don't think
it is realistic. I think we have to face these problems in all
of their dimensions.
And the point was made about China and India and what their
attitude is going to be. As long as we continue with the
current economic behavior of this Nation, we have no leverage
in which to try to solve the environmental problems. How can we
threaten the Chinese? If you don't do this for us, we are going
to stop borrowing money from you. That is not an awful lot of
leverage.
So I think you have to keep all these factors in mind. I am
not in the least bit skeptical about geoengineering. I think
that is something we really have to investigate. I am skeptical
about saying this is the answer to a major problem until we get
some data, do some experiments, find out what works and what
doesn't work, and above all, continue to recognize you can't do
just one thing.
I remember very clearly--I am showing my age by this--but
in the era when everyone believed we could shoot silver iodide
up into the atmosphere and make rain wherever we had a drought
spot. And we seriously pursued this in some areas of our Nation
and found that it just didn't work well because we had a lot of
side-effects we didn't anticipate.
So this was a bit more of a sermon than a question, and you
are welcome, any of you who wish to, can feel free to comment
on this and how you think our Nation and other nations can
address this problem in a thoughtful, reasonable, meaningful
way to try to come up with some solutions of geoengineering
that would work. Any comments? Yes. Dr. Caldeira.
Dr. Caldeira. I think you are correct in that we can't do
just one thing, and that I think everybody on the panel here
believes that we need to eventually get to an energy system
that does not use the atmosphere as a waste dump for our
industrial products, but that there is a potential for some of
these methods to reduce the risks that we are facing and reduce
these risks cost-effectively. And while the panel disagrees
about maybe the scale and scope of what a research program
should be, I think it is indicative that the entire panel
asserts the need for a research program.
I would just also like to take this opportunity to support
something Alan Robock said before when I was talking about the
structure of research, that on the solar radiation management
side, there is an environmental science component that might be
NSF but there is another component about developing and
engineering hardware that might better fit in the agencies that
Alan mentioned. Thank you.
Mr. Ehlers. Dr. Robock?
Dr. Robock. I would just like to say that we can't hold
geoengineering as a solution and allow that to reduce our push
toward mitigation. It is never going to be a complete solution.
We may need it in the event of an emergency, but let us not
stop mitigation and wait and see if geoengineering would work.
That is not the right strategy.
Mr. Ehlers. Along that line, I think it would be very
important for us to continue very strongly the approach of
reducing our use of fossil fuels. For example, I have advocated
for years that we try to move to solar shingles, that every
house has to be built with solar shingles.
Dr. Robock. We don't really need all these lights on in
here, either.
Mr. Ehlers. No, we don't.
Chairman Gordon. Well, the cameras wouldn't work as well.
Dr. Ehlers, if you don't--I am going to be a little more strict
because we are going to votes, unfortunately, in a few minutes.
Mr. Ehlers. It is so amazing how the clock runs so much
faster when it is my time.
Chairman Gordon. Well, it is also moving up, not down.
Mr. Ehlers. Thank you.
Chairman Gordon. Dr. Griffith, you are recognized for five
minutes.

The Challenge of International Collaboration

Mr. Griffith. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate this
opportunity, and I do think the initial discussions of this
subject are important, even though we may not reach a
conclusion. We do know we have a wide diversity here, with the
life expectancy of a male in China of 73 and the life
expectancy of the male in India of 63, which points out a great
disparity in what the needs of the various countries are. And
it makes it greatly difficult for a country like the United
States that represents only five percent of the world's
population to come to a conclusion or reach an agreement on how
we should approach or sell ourselves to the rest of the world.
I guess if we included Germany, France and England in that
population group, and Denmark, we may get up to six or seven
percent of the world's population.
So it is a good subject, and it is certainly necessary. I
appreciate each and every one of you being here, and I
appreciate the Chairman bringing the subject up. I think this
is a start, so thank you.
Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Dr. Griffith. Dr. Bartlett is
not here right now. We will recognize him when he gets here, so
Mr. Smith, you are up to bat.

Agriculture and Livestock

Mr. Smith of Nebraska. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will try
to be brief. This is my third year here, and it is interesting
being on the Science Committee and trying to sift through the
science and, you know, whether something is peer reviewed,
whether it is not, and rejection of recommendations that are
science is peer reviewed. It has been for this Nebraskan
interesting and how we might contribute and especially as it
relates to industry in my district. And if any of you could
speak to the impact, your perceived impact, of livestock
industry, I have heard various accusations, and if any of you
would care to comment on that.
Dr. Caldeira. I am not expert on the livestock industry,
but I do know that one of the concerns with respect to
livestock and global warming are methane emissions from
livestock. And I know that people are working on various ways
of removing methane from gases that might be in barns or pens
where livestock are held, and it might be potential for the
kind of research to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere
in general also to be applied to facilities such as livestock
pens or barns.
Mr. Smith of Nebraska. Thank you. Anyone else?
Dr. Fleming. Yes, I am involved with the University of
Kansas in a group that is doing this interdisciplinary graduate
education, and certainly as one of your neighbors, the group
there is getting technical training in agricultural sciences as
well as in techniques to mitigate or perhaps reduce some of
this. But the group is also looking at behavioral issues and
choices and ways of working together with the industries to
advance their purposes as well as other goals.
And so the point I was making is that I think the education
we have often is in content and technique of science or
techniques of engineering, but that social dimension is very
important. And so in looking at issues like global warming,
making personal commitments and personal decisions I think is a
very significant aspect of this program. It is not a solution
to the beef issue, but if smoking is bad for you or beef is bad
for the planet, people have to make some decisions or
alignments.
Mr. Smith of Nebraska. Are you suggesting that beef is bad
for the planet?
Dr. Fleming. No, but others have. It has been in the news
recently.
Mr. Smith of Nebraska. Well, I did read the comments of a
writer one time who said that eating a T-bone steak is more
egregious to the environment than driving a Hummer per se. I
was astounded, you know. I am not sure the nutritional values
were considered, you know, in the bigger picture, but certainly
there are some concerns, especially in the midst of this
economy, that in the so-called mitigating efforts, whether it
is cap and trade, which is called a lot of other things, or
whatever approach we might take, I hope that we remember that
we need to look at the big picture economically, that there are
some important factors here. Dr. Caldeira?
Dr. Caldeira. We do not know how well these methods will
work, these solar radiation methods will work at affecting
regional climates, but there is at least some possibility that
as a result of climate change, weather conditions will change
in America's heartland and that this will impact on the
production of grain. And you know, I would be misleading you if
I said oh, I thought we could reverse this, but I think there
is at least the potential that a research program with a
relatively small investment could understand, you know, if the
American heartland does turn into a dustbowl, is there a
potential to change weather patterns to allow us to engage in
agriculture once again? And so even if there is a small
probability that this will occur, the investment is small and
so the expected benefit of this investment is very high.
Mr. Smith of Nebraska. In my part of the country that I
represent we had an extended drought, and now we have certainly
a wet October. Is that wet October a result of climate change
and carbon emissions?
Dr. Robock. There is a lot of weather variability that,
because of the chaotic nature of the weather, you can't
attribute any drought or any flooding event to global warming.
The probability of different weather events changes over time,
but certainly that is just part of normal weather variability.
But cows do put a burden on the climate system. There are
the methane emissions and there is all the energy used in the
production of beef, and so that is--one of the mitigation
strategies is for people to eat less beef. And maybe there
could be a way for your constituents to gradually transition to
other things that they could do that would create less
greenhouse gases.
Chairman Gordon. I am sure that is the answer you wanted to
hear, Mr. Smith.
Mr. Smith of Nebraska. If only my time had not expired.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Gordon. Ms. Kosmas is recognized.

The Power of Scientific Innovation

Ms. Kosmas. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the
opportunity to listen to these gentleman before us today and to
suggest to all of you here--I am from Florida, and Kennedy
Space Center is in my district, and so I am really big on solar
and sun as well as NASA and space exploration. So my remarks
will be focused for the most part on the solar radiation
management, my remarks and questions. But I want to suggest to
my friend, Mr. Hall, that while you might think this is science
fiction, I was talking with my daughter yesterday who was
telling me my son, who is in China, was saying that they had a
massive snowstorm induced by the state of China or the nation
of China. So do you not believe that that happened?
Dr. Robock. I believe that the snowstorm happened, but I
don't think you can prove that they caused it.
Ms. Kosmas. Okay. All right. Well, maybe it is science
fiction. I don't know. But it is interesting, and I suspect if
they could, they would. And so I think all the comments
mentioned today about the necessity for research and
development and international cooperation in so doing are valid
and worth great consideration, that it is not impossible and
maybe not even improbable that someone, somewhere will
ultimately take advantage of the scientific opportunity. I
would like to see us move forward with research and
development, and I appreciate the comment of Dr. Shepherd that,
you know, be careful what you ask for because you are going to
have to wind it down eventually. And as you suggested with the
volcanoes, you need to know where you are going next.
Nevertheless, I think in this Nation we have both the
brains and the capability to move forward on new frontiers as
this is, mitigation, obviously, combined with new opportunities
for better ways to produce energy and also to protect the
environment. They kind of seem like they go without saying.
In fact, one of the reasons that I ran for office is
exactly that. I think we needed to be moving in a different
direction in this country with regard to protection of the
environment and conservation of energy and new energy
methodology. So I am pleased to be here and pleased to be on
this Committee.

Geoengineering and Climate Simulations

I wanted to just discuss for a moment with Dr. Caldeira,
you discussed in your comments the simulations and small-scale
field experiments of solar radiation management. Can you
discuss what the simulations and the experiments entailed? Let
us start with that.
Dr. Caldeira. Today there have been a number of modeling
groups using climate models to simulate the effects of
deflecting more sunlight away from the earth, and I believe
that all of the simulations that used some reasonable amount of
sunlight deflection found that sunlight deflection was able to
reduce most of the climate change in most places most of the
time. But as Alan Robock points out, after Mount Pinatubo, the
Amazon and the Ganges River delta had some of the lowest river
flow on record. And so there are negative consequences we need
to be aware of and to study more deeply.
In terms of experiments, so far no experiments have gone on
in the field, but we could think of process-based experiments.
You know, if you did put some material into the stratosphere,
what kind of chemical reactions would occur? Would the
particles stick together? So there are a lot of small-scale
field studies that could be done short of something that
affects climate. And we need to think carefully about how to go
about conducting these experiments.

A Potential Role for NASA

Ms. Kosmas. Okay. I know that it has been suggested that
the National Science Foundation and DARPA, maybe, would be
agencies. Could you tell me something about your feeling about
NASA being involved perhaps in these projects? Yes, sir. I am
sorry.
Dr. Robock. We use a NASA climate model with NASA computers
to do our simulations, and certainly NASA should be heavily
involved in the climate research. And also, NASA puts up
satellites, and we need a capability being able to measure
particles in the stratosphere. There used to be the SAGE
satellite, stratospheric aerosol and gas experiment, but they
no longer exist. There is a spare sitting on a shelf in
Hampton, Virginia.
Ms. Kosmas. We could bring it down to the Kennedy Space
Center, and I guarantee you we could get it out there.
Dr. Robock. That is right. And so NASA really needs to be
involved in an enhanced earth-observing program that can really
help us. I was here in Washington earlier this year at the
National Academy of Sciences in a panel, are we ready for the
next volcanic eruption? And the answer was no. And Jim Hansen
was sitting next to me. He said, no, we need a better
capability of being able to observe the stratosphere for a
volcanic eruption and for any geoengineering experiments. And
NASA could be heavily involved in that.
Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Ms. Kosmas. I think you are
going to get some business down there.
Ms. Kosmas. Good. Thank you.
Chairman Gordon. Mr. Rohrabacher, Mr. Hall has been anxious
by awaiting your five minutes.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and no
hearing like this would be fulfilled without my adding a list
at this point of 100 top scientists from around the world who
are very skeptical of the very fact that global warming exists
at all, but I would like to submit that for the record at this
time.
[The information follows:]









Skepticism of Global Climate Change

Mr. Rohrabacher. There you go. Let me just note that there
is ample reason for us to question whether or not things that
are being suggested today are really needed because there is
reason to question whether there is global warming, considering
the fact that it has gotten--it is not gotten warmer for the
last nine years, and the Arctic polar cap is now refreezing for
the last two years.
But that argument isn't what today's hearing is about, so I
will just make sure that that is on the record and in people's
minds when looking at some of these suggestions.
Let me ask about some of the specific suggestions. I
understand at 9/11 when they grounded all the airplanes that it
actually increased the temperature of the planet, is that
right? And thus----
Dr. Robock. Excuse me, that is not correct.
Mr. Rohrabacher. It is not correct?
Dr. Robock. There was one study that showed that without
clouds from contrails that the diurnal cycle of temperature
went up, the daily temperature went up, the nighttime
temperature went down, but later disproven. It was shown that
was just part of natural weather variabilities. So that wasn't
a very----
Mr. Rohrabacher. Let me note that every time it doesn't fit
into the global warming theory, it becomes natural variability
but when it does fit in, it becomes proof that there is global
warming.
Let me ask you this. That really wasn't then? Does anyone
else have another opinion of vapor trails, by the way? So we
have learned today that we really just have--and am I
misreading you by suggesting that you, too, are part of the
group that believes in global warming that would like to
restrict air travel or try to find ways of eliminating frequent
flyer miles? We know you don't want us to eat steak now. Are we
also not going to be able to fly on airplanes?
Dr. Robock. Airplanes are one of the sources of emissions.
If they use biodiesel and it recycles the fuel, then it
wouldn't be part of the problem. But indeed, if we--we can do
some emissions of CO2. We don't have to--these
mobile transportation sources are very hard to retrofit on
airplanes. With cars, you can, of course, generate electricity
with wind and solar, but airplanes, we still have to keep
flying and we can live with a little bit of CO2
emission if we deal with other sources.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Again, let me note that--by the way, you
are a scientist here. What is the percentage of the atmosphere
that is CO2? What percentage of the atmosphere?
Dr. Robock. It is .039 percent.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Okay. And most people, when I ask that
question, Mr. Chairman, out in the hinterland, people believe
it is 25 percent, and instead of this miniscule, that is .03,
that is 3 percent of 1 percent of the atmosphere. And there are
those who have realized--in the past there have been many times
when that CO2 content was enormously greater, wasn't
that right? And during that time period there were lots of
animals, like dinosaurs and lots of things growing, and the
world seemed to be doing pretty good.
Dr. Caldeira. CO2 concentrations were high in
the past, and the biosphere flourished. And even if we disagree
about what the threats are from climate change, and I think we
do, that, you know, I don't think my house is going to burn
down, but I buy fire insurance. And----
Mr. Rohrabacher. But you don't tell your neighbor that he
can't have steak or visit his kids in an airliner, and that is
the point.
Dr. Caldeira. I don't----
Mr. Rohrabacher. There are going to be changes. People have
to understand, there are going to be huge changes in our
lifestyle----
Dr. Caldeira. I don't----
Mr. Rohrabacher.--if this nonsense is accepted.
Dr. Caldeira. I don't believe we are going to solve this
problem by asking people to behave differently.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Okay.
Dr. Caldeira. I think we are going to solve it by improving
the systems that surround us. But to get back to my point, even
if we don't believe that climate change will damage us, we have
to say there is some risk. So then we have to say, well, how
much should we invest to try to mitigate that risk.
Mr. Rohrabacher. We are broke right now, and the bottom
line is that we have very little to invest in theories that may
or may not be correct, and we also have a lot of indication,
just the fact that you are using the word climate change is a
difference than what was used 10 years ago which was global
warming. And most of us realize that is because people now are
trying to hedge their bets so they can have these controls,
whatever way the temperature goes.
Dr. Caldeira. No, I don't think that is true. You know----
Chairman Gordon. Time.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Thank you very much.
Chairman Gordon. Speaking of dinosaurs, the time for Mr.
Rohrabacher has run out, and we will need to proceed to----
Mr. Rohrabacher. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Gordon. Mrs. Dahlkemper.

Prioritizing Geoengineering Strategies

Mrs. Dahlkemper. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and I
want to thank our witnesses for coming today. This is a
fascinating hearing, and I look forward to more hearings on
this as we delve into this subject further.
I have a question for the panel and anyone who would like
to address it. Do you believe that any particular
geoengineering options should be removed from consideration
completely? If so, why?
Dr. Caldeira. You know, I think we have to think in terms
of a portfolio and that there are some things that are clearly
more promising. There are some things that can be scaled up on
the solar radiation management side. There are things that
could be scaled up and deployed rapidly, and I think those two
are really particles in the stratosphere and perhaps whitening
clouds over the ocean.
On the carbon dioxide removal side, there are a bunch of
land-based options to increase the storage from carbon from
photosynthesis that need to be explored, and also
industrialized capture of CO2 from the air, and also
spreading minerals around on the earth. My own view is that
other options such as ocean fertilization, for example, are not
going to play a significant role in solving the problem. That
is not to say I would put zero money into them. I would just
put them way down in the list of my portfolio of investments.
Mrs. Dahlkemper. Anyone? Dr. Robock?
Dr. Robock. There has been a suggestion to put frisbees
into space to put a cloud of particles, of satellites, up to
block the sun at a point between the earth and the sun, and
that would probably cost trillions of dollars and nobody is
sure if it would work. So I wouldn't suggest we invest money in
that idea.
Ms. Dahlkemper. Dr. Shepherd?
Mr. Shepherd. I would personally exclude from consideration
the idea of covering desert areas with reflective material
because of the potential impacts on local rainfall patterns,
not to mention the environmental impacts on the desert
ecosystems themselves.
Ms. Dahlkemper. Dr. Fleming?
Dr. Fleming. Given the hurricane I showed that came ashore,
I would also suggest we be very careful about redirecting
storms.
Mrs. Dahlkemper. Dr. Caldeira.
Dr. Caldeira. I think we need to be clear what kind of
research we are considering. If we are talking about a climate
model and somebody wants to say, well, what would happen if we
changed the reflectivity of a desert in a climate model, that
is a small-scale, non-invasive kind of research that might be
good to do. But if somebody wants to start rolling out giant
plastic sheets over the deserts, that is something that we
shouldn't do. So what I am talking about portfolio, there are
some things that we should do at small scale, maybe just in
climate models and that should receive relatively low priority.
Dr. Robock. And I would say there is nothing that we should
do right now. We need a lot more research, theoretical
research, with climate models to see what the benefits but also
the risks would be of different suggested strategies. So far
everybody has done a different climate model experiment. It is
hard to compare the results. So I am organizing an
international program where all the climate modeling groups in
the world do exactly the same experiment so we can see, do they
really get drought in certain regions for certain experiments.
And if everybody does the same experiment, we can compare it,
and we will have a much better confidence that our models are
correct, just like we do for global warming experiments.

Needed International Agreements

Mrs. Dahlkemper. If we are looking at this climate system
being so complex, and we haven't even talked about some of the
international agreements, what kinds of things do we need to
have in place in terms of international agreements and legal
steps before we could really do a large-scale testing
initiative? Mr. Lane?
Mr. Lane. Yes, I would pick up on something that I said in
my written statement which is that nations may differ in their
interests in geoengineering, at least in solar radiation
management, which is the kind we are talking about for the most
part here. I would suggest that the United States really needs
to learn a lot more about the potential risks and benefits of
solar radiation management for the United States before it
embarks on any kind of international agreement or international
protocol. We need to be clear on U.S. interests, not that it
ultimately isn't going to turn into international bargaining,
but each country needs to be clear about its own interests
before we are ready for diplomatic bargaining, I would suggest.
Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Mr. Lane.
Mrs. Dahlkemper. Thank you.
Chairman Gordon. To demonstrate that the California
Republican Party is a big tent, Mr. Bilbray is recognized.
Mr. Bilbray. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to
quickly yield to the gentleman from the frozen wasteland of
Nebraska at this time.

More on Livestock Methane Output

Mr. Smith of Nebraska. I didn't realize that was a--thank
you, I guess.
Dr. Robock, following up on your suggestion that mitigating
the consumption of beef would help the environment, do you see
any nutritional drawbacks to that? Do you consume beef
yourself?
Dr. Robock. Yes. Now, I am not an expert on nutrition or on
the entire system of agriculture. I have just seen papers that
calculate how much greenhouse gases are admitted for, say, a
pound of beef versus a pound of pork or a pound of chicken or a
pound of potatoes, and just in that one narrow way of looking
at it, there is more emitted that causes more global warming
from beef.
Mr. Smith of Nebraska. But a narrow way of looking at it,
you are suggesting?
Dr. Robock. Yes. Yes. There are a lot of other
considerations. I am just talking about the impact on global
warming.
Mr. Smith of Nebraska. But you would advocate mitigating
consumption of beef as a means of accomplishing your objective?
Dr. Robock. Yes.
Mr. Smith of Nebraska. And how would you suggest going
about that? And in the interest of time, I do want to leave
some time. How would you suggest going about that?
Dr. Robock. Education. I mean, people--you can't--I don't--
it is your job to decide what to tax or not to tax. Obviously,
if you wanted people to behave differently, you give them
incentives and disincentives for behavior. But that is just one
of the ways that the climate system responds to methane and it
responds to carbon dioxide, and the current way of producing
beef emits a lot of those gases. That is just--what to do about
it? What the entire portfolio of mitigation should be? I am
not----
Mr. Smith of Nebraska. However, you just advocated for
something to mitigate the consumption of beef?
Dr. Robock. Well, so the way--if you do want to do that, of
course, then you give----
Mr. Smith of Nebraska. For the record, I don't want to.
Dr. Robock. I mean, I guess I am trying not to say
something that will make you feel bad but I am trying also to
be honest about----
Mr. Smith of Nebraska. I think you are a little too late.
Dr. Robock. Sorry.
Mr. Smith of Nebraska. But thank you.

The Need for Mitigation

Mr. Bilbray. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, as stated
before, the changing, you know, quote unquote, lifestyles or
whatever is going to be too little, too late. I want to thank
you for having this hearing. The fact is after seeing what kind
of proposal that supposedly was going to address climate change
that came out of the political structure here, I have come to
the conclusion that we need to talk about mitigation of the
crisis because we are not going to avoid it. There is not the
political will to do what it takes. There is not even the
political will to make it legal in the United States to do what
it takes to avoid climate change because I believe strongly
that we have got to have the ability to produce energy that
doesn't emit greenhouse gases so we can shut down all those
facilities that do, and there is not the political will to do
with that what we did with the interstate freeway system where
the government went out and sited, did the planning, did the
things so we can shut down the coal producing and the emissions
and all that other stuff. We are not willing to do that. We are
just willing to talk about how terrible it is.

Global Dimming and Risks of Stratospheric Injections

So this is going to be a treating the crisis and trying to
mitigate the adverse impact, and I appreciate that approach.
The question is, there was a comment, have we now eliminated
global dimming as a consideration in this issue?
Dr. Robock. If by global dimming you mean the effect of----
Mr. Bilbray. The pooling effect of particulates----
Dr. Robock. In the troposphere. That is not global but it
is continuing in places that emit a lot of particles, like in
India and China. But solar radiation management is global
dimming on a global scale. People are talking about putting a
cloud in the stratosphere, not down near here where we breathe
it.
Mr. Bilbray. My concern is as somebody who has worked on
air pollution, I would assume eliminating coal--I mean, clean
coal is like safe cigarettes. I am hard-core against it, but
that is fine. But if you eliminate coal which puts a lot of
particulates in, I am concerned that there may be an adverse
impact we don't consider.
Dr. Caldeira. If we eliminated coal use today, the earth
would probably heat up by about another degree Fahrenheit from
removing the sulfur. If we put just a few percent of that
sulfur in the stratosphere, we would get the same cooling
effect on a global average while eliminating something like 95
or more percent of lower-level pollution. And so we need to
think about what if China were to say, for each power plant
that we put sulfur scrubbers on, we will take three or four
percent of that sulfur and put it higher in the atmosphere to
get that cooling effect while eliminating 95 or more percent of
the----
Chairman Gordon. Excuse me, Doctor. We have about eight
minutes until we have to go vote. So I just want to assure Mr.
Smith that he can go home and tell his constituents that the
beef police will not be knocking on their door. And I recognize
Mr. Lujan to conclude our questions.

The Impact of Ingenuity and Behavior Change

Mr. Lujan. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate that, and as someone
that enjoys a T-bone or a lamb chop, sometimes it is raised on
the family farm that I live on. And I hope to do more wonderful
hunting in New Mexico. I would invite my colleagues to come
down to New Mexico to see for themselves. I appreciate the
emphasis with mitigation and what we are talking about here. I
would say that as we look to see what we have to do as a Nation
and what I hope that we are truly looking at here is not
telling people they don't have to fly to visit their family or
that they don't have to eat beef or that they don't have to do
whatever it is that is being said today, but that we are
telling people we can be smarter about the way that we do
things--that we are saying when we are talking about human
behavior, I do not see how encouraging people to be more
efficient with their home energy use or with vehicle use or
being smarter about things like that, that that doesn't have a
positive impact on all that we are looking at.
Again, being smarter about the way we do things, being able
to embrace ingenuity and challenge our scientists, our
engineers, our researchers to continue to do great things. You
know, when I was young I remember watching cartoons about
science fiction and this whole notion that people could one day
be in space, building a space station, not only walking on the
moon but staying up there for months upon end to do research.
Lo and behold, yesterday there were three astronauts that came
to visit us here on Capitol Hill who came back from making
improvements where there are more and more people that are
living in space, staying there for months upon end, where in a
global community we're doing some of these things that were
once considered science fiction. We are being smarter about the
way we do things, and we are doing them better.
And so as we look to see what is happening around the
earth, I know that there are many who truly believe that there
still isn't a problem, that this isn't something that we have
to do something about. And I would hope that we could get
something submitted into the record from those of you that are
willing to speak to them, to tell us what it is that we can
share with them as well, to talk about this problem that I
believe is facing us as a Nation and facing us as a global
community.

Climate Modeling Resources

As we talk about the science, though, and what indeed that
we can employ to be more aware of what is actually occurring
with the warming of the oceans or weather patterns, can you
talk about the importance of how we are able to include
computer modeling capabilities, of research laboratories, of
our national laboratories, of our colleges and our universities
around the United States that have super-computing capabilities
and the ability to now use new data to be able to feed you the
information that you need so that we can indeed solve some of
these problems? Dr. Caldeira?
Dr. Caldeira. I and my colleagues did some of the first
computer model simulations of the solar radiation management
methods at a Department of Energy National Lab, Lawrence
Livermore Lab, and the kind of computing facilities at places
like Los Alamos and the other labs in the system are really
valuable and were a great place to be able to do this work.
I am also, as an academic, a strong supporter of our
academic research institutions and the computing facilities at
those institutions. And I think that there is potential through
investing in this research area to revitalize our science,
education and the computing facilities that support that
education.
Chairman Gordon. Dr. Caldeira and for the rest of the
panel, we are down to less than five minutes now, so I will
quote, if he doesn't mind, Dr. Ehlers in saying, Mr. Lujan, you
brought us to an eloquent conclusion. Thank you for your
statement.
Before we close the hearing, as I told the witnesses
earlier, I will provide for them two questions, one, what does
a research program look like, and the second one, if we have
any type of international treaties or collaboration, what
should that look at. We would also welcome any comments to
follow up, Mr. Lujan, or anything else.
You have been an excellent panel. This has been I think an
important hearing, the start of a longer-term discussion, and I
think that we can say with consensus that no one is advocating
that geoengineering is a one-stop shop or any type of an
alternative to mitigation, but is something that needs to be
reviewed. And so I will say now that the record will remain
open for two weeks for additional statements from Members and
for answers to any follow-up questions the Committee might ask
the witnesses. The witnesses are excused, and the hearing is
adjourned. Thank you.
[Whereupon, at 11:45 a.m., the Committee was adjourned.]
Appendix:

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Answers to Post-Hearing Questions














Answers to Post-Hearing Questions
Responses by Ken Caldeira, Professor of Environmental Science,
Department of Global Ecology, The Carnegie Institution of
Washington, and Co-Author, Royal Society Report

Questions submitted by Representative Ralph M. Hall

Q1. For the Solar Radiation Management options, you state that there
are only two that would be able to address a significant part if not
all warming issues, sulfate injections and cloud seeding.

a. Although smaller options like white roofs and surfaces or
desert reflectors would not address the whole warming issue,
would it be useful to deploy these low impact options?

b. Or, is the idea that once the radiation infiltrates the
earth's atmosphere to a point where it would be reflected off
the surface, the battle has already been lost since it will be
captured on its return to space?

A1. Dr. Caldeira did not provide an answer to this question.

Q2. In your testimony you mention the Mt. Pinatubo volcanic eruption
in 1991 that caused a 1 degree Fahrenheit cooling of the earth for
about a year or two. Then the particles in the stratosphere discharged
by the volcano left, and the cooling effect wore off.

a. Where did those particles go to?

b. Is there a similar concern about acid rain or particulate
matter pollution if we inject particles into the stratosphere
to simulate a volcanic eruption?

A2. Dr. Caldeira did not provide an answer to this question.

Q3. Ultimately, almost all the energy we use here on earth comes from
the sun. Coal, oil and natural gas are essentially the remainder of
large amounts of biomass from millions of years ago. Water, wind, and
to a lesser extent, tidal energy are all derived from the Earth-Sun
system. Solar and bioenergy quite obviously require energy from the
sun. Only nuclear and geothermal energy seem to be independent of
energy from the sun. What are the potential risks to global energy
resources if we reduce the amount of solar radiation reaching the
Earth?

A3. Dr. Caldeira did not provide an answer to this question.

Questions submitted by Representative Dana Rohrabacher

Q1. If stopping coal use immediately would cause more supposed warming
than the entire CO2 increase since the beginning of
industrialization, why is that a good thing?

A1. Dr. Caldeira did not provide an answer to this question.
Answers to Post-Hearing Questions
Responses by John Shepherd, FRS, Professional Research Fellow in Earth
System Science, National Oceanography Centre, University of
Southampton, and Chair, Royal Society Geoengineering Report
Working Group

Questions submitted by Chairman Bart Gordon

Q1. Please describe what you think a comprehensive federal research
program on geoengineering should entail. What are the critical features
of such a program?

Which U.S. agencies would contribute to a research
initiative, and in what capacity?

What scale of investment would be necessary, both
initially and in the longer term?

What kind of professional and academic expertise
would be required?

A1. A comprehensive research programme should involve research on both
Solar Radiation Management (SRM) and Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR)
methods, since CDR methods are less risky, and would be needed for a
long-term solution, to provide the exit strategy for SRM methods, and
to deal with the ocean acidification problem. Since it is too early to
pick winners, research on several of the more promising methods of each
class should be undertaken. The scientific and technological research
should comprise technological development, computer modelling of both
intended and unintended environmental impacts, laboratory and pilot-
plant scale experiments, and field testing on various scales in due
course. For methods which involve dispersion of material in the
environment and/or transboundary effects (other than simply the removal
of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the atmosphere), large-scale field
tests should await the establishment of appropriate national and/or
international arrangements for the regulation of such research.
Research on economic aspects (especially life-cycle assessment on
financial, energy and carbon accounting bases), and on social, legal,
ethical and political aspects should be undertaken in parallel.
I am not an expert on U.S. research funding or institutional
capability, but would advocate that the research should be undertaken
as a coordinated joint programme by academic institutions, national
laboratories and where appropriate also by contracted commercial
research organisations. Funding of various aspects by NSF, DOE, NOAA
and NASA would be appropriate. Private and philanthropic funding should
not be excluded if channelled via a suitably transparent ``arms
length'' mechanism.
A suitable scale of investment for the U.S.A. would be of the order
of $100 million per year (direct costs only) for the first five years,
as a contribution to a coordinated international programme, increasing
progressively thereafter (possibly doubling each five years) until one
or more methods are selected for deployment, or all are abandoned as
unnecessary or undesirable.
A very wide range of scientific and engineering expertise will be
required (the precise requirement will depend on the technology in
question), together with professional expertise in socio-economic and
legal fields. Particular areas which may require additional support are
in all aspects of Earth System & Environmental Sciences, and Chemical,
Electrical & Mechanical Engineering. The further enhancement of Earth
System Models (and the computing infrastructure to run them) are likely
to be an early requirement.

Q2. Please prioritize the geoengineering strategies you believe
warrant extensive research, and explain your reasoning.

Within these, please highlight examples of potential
negative impacts you predict might accompany their deployment
and/or large-scale research.

Are there any strategies that you believe should be
eliminated from consideration due to unacceptable risks and
costs?

A2. Estimates of costs for all methods are very uncertain at present,
so cost should not be taken as a decisive selection criterion for the
time being (and it is premature to attempt comparative cost-benefit
analyses except at a very broad-brush level).
Among SRM methods the order of priority, nature of the research,
and potential negative impacts should be
High: Stratospheric aerosols [R&D on all aspects especially
deployment technology, and intended and unintended environmental
impacts: possible negative impacts on stratospheric ozone, upper
tropospheric clouds, poor cancellation of precipitation pattern
changes].
Medium: Cloud brightening [R&D on all aspects especially deployment
technology, radiative forcing attainable, and intended and unintended
environmental impacts: possible negative impacts on regional weather
patterns & ocean upwelling due to strongly localised radiative
forcing].
Low: Space-based methods [R&D: Desk-based feasibility studies only:
potential negative impacts due to non-uniform forcing and release of
rocket fuel combustion products etc to the atmosphere].
Among CDR methods the order of priority, nature of the research,
and potential negative impacts should be
High: Engineered capture of CO2 from ambient air [R&D on
technological development especially energy use and cost reduction:
potential negative impacts due to materials used and CO2
sequestration]
Medium: Enhanced weathering methods (both terrestrial and oceanic)
[R&D on technological development, effectiveness, and environmental
impacts: potential negative impacts due to materials & energy used, and
possibly on soil and ocean ecosystems]
Low: Biological methods (SECS, Biochar, enhanced soil carbon &
afforestation). [R&D on ecological impacts and land-use requirements &
conflicts: potential negative impacts on forest & grassland ecosystems]
Unpromising methods include land-surface (desert) albedo
enhancement, and ocean fertilisation (by both iron and macronutrients)
because of their expected high impacts on natural ecosystems.
[Please see Royal Society report for further explanation of
rationale]

Q3. Could some geoengineering activities be confined to specific
geographic locations?

For example, could solar radiation management be
localized specifically for the protection of polar ice?

A3. In general CDR methods can be applied at any location (e.g. where
energy and other costs are low) as convenient, though not all would
necessarily be confined within national boundaries (e.g. ocean
fertilisation).
It would on the other hand be generally undesirable to attempt to
localise SRM methods, because any localised radiative forcing would
need to be proportionally larger to achieve the same global effect, and
this is likely to induce modifications to normal spatial patterns of
weather systems including winds, clouds, precipitation and ocean
currents & upwelling patterns. It would be particularly undesirable to
attempt to cool some area (e.g. the polar regions) of one hemisphere
but not the other, as this is very likely to lead to a shift in the
location and seasonal range of the inter-tropical convergence zone
(ITCZ) with possible alteration of low-latitude weather systems
(especially the seasonal pattern and strength of monsoon systems).
It could however be useful to engineer a slight and smooth
latitudinal variation of SRM forcing (e.g. by aerosol release primarily
at high latitudes), to balance the spatial pattern of greenhouse
warming more precisely, and so to reduce any residual over-compensation
effects which are likely with a spatially uniform forcing (such as a
simple fractional reduction of solar radiation).

Q4. In his submitted testimony, Dr. Robock explained simply: ``To
actually implement geoengineering, it needs to be demonstrated that the
benefits of geoengineering outweigh the risks.''

What do you believe are the ``tipping points'' that
would justify large scale deployment of geoengineering?

Based on the current pace of carbon increases (about
2 parts per million a year) and your prediction of the efficacy
of conventional mitigation strategies, what would be an
appropriate timeline for research and possible deployment?

A4. I do not consider that a ``tipping point'' or ``emergency''
rationale for implementation of geoengineering is appropriate, simply
because it will be extremely difficult to detect tipping points (at
which irreversible state changes occur) before they are passed, or even
to be certain when they have been passed. Moreover, waiting for an
emergency situation more or less implies introducing a high level of
intervention rapidly, which is likely to be imprudent. I think it is
more constructive to consider trigger or threshold levels at which it
would be prudent to commence progressive implementation of
geoengineering over several decades (allowing the intervention to
commence at a low level so that one could verify its intended impacts
and hopefully detect any adverse impacts before they become serious).
It could for example be appropriate to commence geoengineering
intervention in time and in such a way as to limit the increase of
global temperature to 2 C (or any other agreed level) and maintain it
at that level for some considerable time, before deciding whether to
seek to reduce it. As stated above and in the Royal Society report, it
would be imprudent to commence SRM intervention without an exit
strategy, such as simultaneously commencing CDR intervention on a scale
sufficient to supplant the SRM intervention in the long term.
In the light of current (i.e. post-Copenhagen) expectations of
climate change, it would be desirable to commence a substantial
programme of R&D immediately, with a view to possible large-scale
deployment in about 20 years time, i.e. about 20 years before it is
expected that the global mean temperature increase will reach 2 C.

Q5. The effects of many geoengineering strategies such as
stratospheric injections could not likely be tested at less than full-
scale. To your knowledge, what types of international agreements would
address the challenges of large-scale testing?

Can you identify any existing treaties or agreements
that would apply to large-scale testing of geoengineering?

A5. To the best of my knowledge, there are no international treaties or
institutions which are at present appropriate to deal with regulation
of geoengineering in general, or stratospheric aerosol release in
particular (see fuller discussion in the Royal Society report). A major
revision and extension of ENMOD, and the creation of an executive arm
for this treaty, could be a possible route for the future. However, any
such body would have to cooperate closely with the UNFCCC eventually,
to ensure coordinated development of mitigation, adaptation and
geoengineering activities, and such a formal linkage should be created
in any new legal and institutional framework. A critical review of
existing treaties and institutions is a necessary and important early
action.

Questions submitted by Representative Ralph M. Hall

Q1. Mr. Shepherd, in your written testimony you mention that the
technologies required to achieve sufficient mitigation action are
available and affordable right now.

a. Would you please comment on what those technologies are?

b. Would you consider carbon capture and sequestration
technologies available and affordable?

c. Would you consider the installation and use of such
technologies available and affordable?

A1. (a) Please see the report of the Royal Society ``Towards a Low
Carbon Energy Future'' (available at http://royalsociety.org/WorkArea/
DownloadAsset.aspx?id
=5453) which summarises technologies available for implementation in
the immediate future, the medium term (up to 2050) and thereafter. Most
such technologies would result in somewhat higher energy prices, but
should nevertheless be regarded as affordable, since energy prices are
rarely the dominant component of domestic or industrial costs. Moreover
energy prices have historically been held at artificially low levels
(because the costs of the environmental impacts have hitherto been
ignored). Society and industry will of course need time to adapt to
higher energy prices.
(b) Given a sufficient investment of effort CCS would be available
for deployment over the next few decades, beginning well before 2020.
It would result in a substantial increase in electricity prices, but
for the reasons given above this should not be regarded as an
insurmountable obstacle.
(c) There are a number of technologies (see above) available for
rapid development and progressively increasing deployment, but the
timescale for the transition to a low-carbon energy system is
nevertheless several decades even using existing technology such as
nuclear fission.

Q2. We've heard a great deal today about Solar Radiation Management
techniques. Would you please tell us of some of the significant side
effects and risks associated with stratospheric aerosol methods?

A2. Please refer to the Royal Society report ``Geoengineering the
Climate'' for a detailed account of the possible side effects and risks
associated with SRM using stratospheric aerosols. Briefly the possible
side-effects identified to date are:
(a) Imperfect cancellation (over-compensation) of important facets
of climate change, including regional temperature patterns, but more
seriously of the regional and seasonal distribution of precipitation
(rainfall) especially at low latitudes. It should be noted that
rainfall is notoriously difficult to predict in all weather forecasting
and climate models anyway, and the reliable prediction of the effects
of SRM intervention is similarly difficult. Advances in computer
modelling are required for all of these purposes.
(b) Reduction of stratospheric ozone levels.
(c) Possible modification of high-level tropospheric clouds (with
consequences for climate which have not yet been evaluated).
(d) SRM methods have no effect on CO2 levels and
therefore do almost nothing to ameliorate ocean acidification.
The most serious risk is however that SRM techniques ``would create
an artificial, approximate, and potentially delicate balance between
increased greenhouse gas concentrations and reduced solar radiation,
which would have to be maintained, potentially for many centuries. It
is doubtful that such a balance would really be sustainable for such
long periods of time, particularly if emissions of greenhouse gases
were allowed to continue or even increase.'' Moreover, if the
intervention were terminated for any reason, all the climate change to
be expected from the elevated level of GHGs still in the atmosphere
would then occur very rapidly indeed (this is the ``termination
problem'').

Q3. During your ``Working Group'' deliberations, were there any
discussions surrounding liability? For example, if one nation were to
act, using a stratospheric aerosol method, and several nations gained
from the resultant ``cooling'', but there were unintended negative
impacts as well, would each nation be liable in some way or just the
one nation taking the action? How would the liability or remediation be
shared?

A3. We did discuss liability issues briefly (see sections 4.5 and 5.4
of the report) but did not feel able to offer firm conclusions on this
difficult subject (which also already arises, of course, over liability
for the impacts of climate change itself). As with climate change, it
is likely to be extremely difficult to attribute specific events
causing losses to the intervention undertaken, with sufficient
confidence to underpin a system for compensation. It may be more
practicable to establish a generic system, similar to that which is
evolving under the UNFCCC for compensation for the impacts of climate
change on vulnerable communities.
Answers to Post-Hearing Questions
Responses by Lee Lane, Co-Director, American Enterprise Institute (Aei)
Geoengineering Project

Questions submitted by Chairman Bart Gordon

Q1. Please describe what you think a comprehensive federal research
program on geoengineering should entail. What are the critical features
of such a program?

A1. Overview: Such a program should include both scientific research
and technology development. Over time, resource allocation should shift
from the former to the latter. Research should explore both the
possible benefits and the possible risks of geoengineering options.
Both solar radiation management (SRM) and air capture (AC) deserve to
be explored, but the former is far more important and less likely to
win adequate private sector support; it should receive the lion's share
of the public funding. The SRM program will eventually entail field
testing. The scale of the testing should gradually increase. To advance
SRM, the U.S. government will need to build its capacity to model and
to observe Earth's climate.

Three broad principles are crucial:

First, the solar radiation management (SRM) R&D program should be
organized separately from the air capture (AC) R&D program. Exploring
SRM entails tasks that differ from those needed to explore AC.
Disparate tasks demand disparate skills. Also, if research on AC were
ever to be successful it might well devolve to the private sector;
whereas, SRM is likely to remain under direct government control.
Yoking together two such different efforts would be certain to impede
the progress of both.
Second, each program should have a clearly defined and accountable
``owner''. He or she must be accountable for project performance:
therefore, he or she must also be able to allocate the available
budget. The R&D process is uncertain; surprises are inevitable;
therefore, managers must be free to respond to them.
Third, Congress, too, would have to play a part in the success of
R&D on geoengineering. R&D involves failures; indeed, an R&D program
that experiences no failures is almost certainly too conservative.
Members of Congress may be tempted to react to agency failures in ways
that reinforce this tendency. The temptation to view R&D through the
lens of local jobs is another notorious source of R&D inefficiency.

Q1a. Which U.S. agencies would contribute to a research initiative,
and in what capacity?

A1a. For SRM, R&D will involve Earth observation, modeling, and several
different areas on scientific research. NASA, NOAA, and NSF all possess
relevant expertise. As R&D progresses, skill in managing technology
development will play a growing role. Few civilian agencies of the U.S.
government have demonstrated talent for tasks of this kind.
A critical issue will be to choose the project's lead agency. The
lead agency should have a budget that allows it to draw on the
expertise available in other government agencies without granting any
of them the status of monopoly supplier. Congress would need to refrain
from allocating tasks and dollars to favored agencies and facilities.

Q1b. What scale of investment would be necessary, both initially and
in the longer term?

A1b. Initially, a few million dollars a year would suffice. At some
point, SRM would require sub-scale testing. Eventually a full scale
test might be warranted. These tests, and the needed global
observation, could eventually cost several billion annually. Seeking
alternatives to satellite observation might be an important cost saving
R&D task. At least some experts believe that such alternatives exist.

Q1c. What kind of professional and academic expertise would be
required?

A1c. The natural scientists on the panel are better qualified than Ito
respond to this question as it pertains to those disciplines; however,
Professor Fleming has observed that geoengineering also poses a number
of questions that fall within the ambit of the social sciences. On this
point, he is, I believe, correct. How government should respond to this
need is an open question. In an earlier era, with the RAND Corporation,
the U.S. government had great success in productively using social
science. The Committee is, I believe, going to be hearing from Dr.
Thomas Schelling. Dr. Schelling has had experience with RAND and with
other similar ventures. The Committee might wish to draw on his views
on this subject.
One fundamental question about SRM is the way in. which it should
be integrated with other means of coping with climate change. While the
natural sciences provide important inputs to answering this question,
economists, decision theorists, and political scientists also have
crucial contributions to make.

Q2. Please prioritize the geoengineering strategies you believe
warrant extensive research, and explain your reasoning.

A2. SRM may offer a defense against the possible onset of rapid and
very harmful climate change. Should such climate change occur, no other
response appears to offer a comparable option for avoiding harm. This
feature of SRM, combined with its apparently low cost, makes exploring
it a high priority. AC may also warrant R&D, but does not offer either
of these advantages; further, the private sector has fairly strong
economic incentives to explore AC. In contrast, if we are to have an
SRM option, the public sector will have to develop it.

Q2a. Within these, please highlight examples of potential negative
impacts you predict might accompany their deployment and/or large-scale
research.

A2a. Professor Robock has developed an extensive list of possible
objections. This list constitutes a starting point for the defensive
research agenda associated with SRM. I have nothing to add to his list.
In the case of AC, most of the technologies entail relatively
localized impacts; however, to have a global scale impact, AC must
capture and safely store truly gargantuan quantities of mass. The shear
scale of the task seems to dictate that its environmental costs will be
substantial.

Q2b. Are there any strategies that you believe should be eliminated
from consideration due to unacceptable risks and costs?

A2b. For reasons laid out in a recent paper (Bickel and Lane, 2009) the
space sunshade concept is an unappealing approach to SRM. It offers few
benefits that might not be achieved at vastly lower costs with other
SRM techniques, and the very large up-front infrastructure costs would
simply be so much waste if the project were to fail or be abandoned for
any reason.

Q3. Could some geoengineering activities be confined to specific
geographic locations?

A3. My understanding is that Dr. Michael MacCracken has been
considering some SRM options for localized interventions. See:
MacCracken, Michael, C. ``On the possible use of geoengineering to
moderate specific climate change impacts.'' Environ. Res. Lett. 4
(2009), 045107, available at: http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/1748-9326/
4/4/045107/er19-4-045107.html#er1317855s3
Another line of research has been summarized in recent work by
Rasch, Latham, and Chen. See: Rasch, Philip J., John Latham, and Chih-
Chieh (Jack) Chen. ``Geoengineering by cloud seeding: influence on sea
ice and climate system.'' Environ. Res. Lett. 4 (2009), 045112,
available at: http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/1748-9326/4/4/045112/
er19-4-045112.pdf?request-id=dc8ba35701-01a3-
4aec-b654-eee98f4a8a71
The Committee may wish to query these scholars on the results of
their findings.

Q3a. For example, could solar radiation management be localized
specifically for the protection of polar ice? If so, how?

Q4. In his submitted testimony, Dr. Robock explained simply: ``To
actually implement geoengineering, it needs to be demonstrated that the
benefits of geoengineering outweigh the risks.''

A4. The potential net benefits of SRM are, however, very large. One
recent study found that, globally, the difference between the benefits
of deploying SRM and the direct costs of doing so range from $200
billion to $700 billion a year in perpetuity. If other studies confirm
this result, SRM should be deployed unless its side-effects entail
annual net costs of at least $200 to $700. Determining if they do is a
key part of a research agenda for exploring this option. (Professor
Eric Bickel of the University of Texas at Austin is currently doing
innovative work in this field, and the Committee might wish to consult
him on these matters.)
Research of this kind must also encompass the indirect benefits of
deploying SRM, e.g. lowering the risk of trade wars triggered by GHG
controls, the ecologic havoc wreaked by biofuel mandates, and so forth.
No valid study can weigh only the indirect costs of SRM while ignoring
those of other approaches.

Q4a. What do you believe are the ``tipping points'' that would justify
large-scale deployment of geoengineering?

A4a. The natural scientists on the panel are better qualified than Ito
respond to this question.

Q4b. Based on the current pace of carbon increases (about 2 parts per
million a year) and your prediction of the efficacy of conventional
mitigation strategies, what would be an appropriate timeline for
research and possible deployment?

A4b. Globally, no consensus exists about paying the costs of GHG
controls, nor is such a consensus likely to emerge in less than several
decades at the very least. Under these conditions, global emissions
will continue rising for many decades to come. Atmospheric
concentrations will continue rising until long after emissions have
peaked.
At the same time, research on SRM is likely to progress rather
slowly. Larger scale field tests in particular might have to proceed at
a deliberate pace. It would be better to observe the climate's reaction
to one intervention at a time and with a significant interval between
interventions. The latter precaution would ensure that time-lagged
impacts were discovered. This combination of factors implies that R&D
on SRM should begin as soon as possible in order to allow the eventual
field tests to proceed cautiously.

Q5. The effects of many geoengineering strategies such as
stratospheric injections could not likely be tested at less than full-
scale. To your knowledge, what types of international agreements would
address the challenges of large-scale testing? Can you identify any
existing treaties or agreements that would apply to large-scale testing
of geoengineering?

A5. In a recent paper prepared for the American Enterprise Institute,
Professor Scott Barrett of Columbia University observed:

``According to Daniel Bodansky (1996: 316), ``international
law has relatively little specific to say about climate
engineering.'' Moreover, he adds, ``we should be cautious about
drawing conclusions from existing rules, for the simple reason
that these rules were not developed with climate engineering in
mind'' (Bodansky 1996: 316). Geoengineering creates a new
institutional challenge.

Professor Barrett's observations seem to suggest that no clear
regime exists. SRM is a problem that is likely to require arrangements
that are designed to fit its unique characteristics.
I would reinforce the caution that I expressed in my written
statement There is too much uncertainty about the nature of the U.S.
national interest in geoengineering for the U.S. government to consider
international agreements that might restrict our government's future
freedom of action.

Questions submitted by Representative Ralph M. Hall

Q1. Mr. Lane, would you expand on your comments in your testimony that
a steep decline in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions may well cost more
than the perceived value of its benefits?

A1. Most economic studies of climate change have concluded that a
policy of gradually restraining global GHG emissions would yield net
benefits. These same studies indicate that attempts to apply more rapid
emission restraints would be likely to impose costs that exceed their
benefits. Professor Richard Tol's recent paper for the Copenhagen
Consensus Center basically reaffirms this consensus.
A few studies have departed from this consensus. Some of these,
like the analyses of Lord Stern and. William Cline, produce different
results largely because of atypical assumptions about the rate at which
future benefits should be discounted. William Nordhaus of Yale has
presented a cogent critique of this approach. It is my personal
impression that, on this point, at least here in the U.S., most
economists who have examined the question, although not all of them,
would favor the basic thrust of Nordhaus' analysis over that offered by
Stern and Cline.
On a different point, Professor Martin Weitzman of Harvard has
argued that the possible harm from low-probability, but very high-
impact, climate change events is so great that benefit-cost analysis
becomes, in his view, a poor guide to policy. Other economists,
including Nordhaus, disagree. Debate continues, but unless GHG controls
have a large impact on the trend in emissions, they might have little
probability of lowering the risk of high-impact climate change. Nothing
in the last twenty years' history of GHG control talks suggests that
controls will, in fact, produce sharp reductions in emissions.
Finally, but perhaps most importantly, how GHG controls are
structured will have a major effect on their costs. GHG control
policies that are overly stringent, or those that fall unevenly across
countries or economic sectors, will drastically raise the costs of
reaching any given emission reduction target. Unfortunately, both
globally and in the U.S., GHG controls are taking on exactly these cost
increasing features. China's and India's refusal at the Copenhagen
climate talks to make firm commitments or to pledge more than business-
as-usual steps guarantees that either GHG controls will have virtually
no effect on emissions or that they will do so only at an exorbitant
cost.

Q2. How do you see R&D informing or defining the scope of the
potential problems associated with solar radiation management (SRM)?

A2. Current climate models do a poor job of replicating regional
rainfall patterns. Yet changes in regional rainfall, if they occur, are
likely to account for the most economically significant unwanted side
effect of SRM. Without improved models, it will be impossible to
determine if a problem exists and, if it does, how severe it might be.
With all of the potential drawbacks of SRM, the initial scientific
research should then supply inputs for studies monetizing any costs
that are found.
Where research finds real problems with current SRM, concept
redesign may avoid them. Alternatively, new SRM concepts might avoid
problems; thus, earlier defensive research may partly shape the course
of development.

Q3. While the U.S. is party to many international treaties, some of
the more significant ones are agreements that we have not been able to
sign on to, like the Law of the Sea.

a. How does this affect our future abilities to develop
international governance and regulatory structures to address
development and deployment of geoengineering technologies?

A3. Agreements designed for other purposes, as suggested by Dr.
Bodansky, may fit awkwardly with the features of SRM. A workable SRM
option would not require universal participation. Indeed, if
transaction costs of managing the system were to be kept within reason,
a relatively small subset of major powers would have to assume
disproportionate authority over its operations. For the ``governance''
arrangements for SRM, a coalition of the willing might be a better
model than agreements based on the fiction of international equality.

Q3b. How soon should these international negotiations begin? Before
the technologies are deemed feasible by research? Or should we wait
until the technology is mature enough to be considered deployable?

A3b. The U.S. interest in the various kinds of geoengineering remains
unclear. It is clear, however, that the concept of geoengineering as a
weapon is nonsense, but it is also clear that the benefits and costs of
geoengineering are likely to vary from country to country. U.S.
interests in the future development of this concept may, therefore,
differ from those of other countries; yet the substance and the form of
a possible international regime on geoengineering would be likely to
affect the course of its development. Indeed, a regime that did not
have such an effect would be a waste of effort. The U.S. government
should acquire substantially more knowledge about geoengineering's
potential benefits and risks before embarking on any talks that might
restrict its future freedom of action.
Answers to Post-Hearing Questions
Responses by Alan Robock, Professor, Department of Environmental
Sciences, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences,
Rutgers University

Questions submitted by Chairman Bart Gordon

As stated in my original testimony, geoengineering proposals can be
separated into solar radiation management (by producing a stratospheric
cloud or making low clouds over the ocean brighter) or carbon capture
and sequestration (with biological or chemical means over the land or
oceans). My expertise is in the first area. In particular, my work has
focused on the idea of emulating explosive volcanic eruptions, by
attempting to produce a stratospheric cloud that would reflect some
incoming sunlight, to shade and cool the planet to counteract global
warming. In these answers, except where indicated, I will confine my
remarks to solar radiation management, and use the term
``geoengineering'' to refer to only it. I do this because it is the
suggestion that has gotten the most attention recently, and because it
is the one that I have addressed in my work.

Q1. Please describe what you think a comprehensive federal research
program on geoengineering should entail. What are the critical features
of such a program?

A1. A comprehensive federal research program should follow the advice
of the policy statement on geoengineering endorsed by both the American
Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union in 2009, who
recommend:

1. ``Enhanced research on the scientific and technological
potential for geoengineering the climate system, including
research on intended and unintended environmental responses.

2. ``Coordinated study of historical, ethical, legal, and
social implications of geoengineering that integrates
international, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational issues
and perspectives and includes lessons from past efforts to
modify weather and climate.

3. ``Development and analysis of policy options to promote
transparency and international cooperation in exploring
geoengineering options along with restrictions on reckless
efforts to manipulate the climate system.''

Being only an expert in the first category, I will confine my
responses to those issues, but urge you to seek advice from historians,
social scientists, and political scientists on items 2 and 3, which are
also very important.
A research program devoted to the scientific and technological
potential should include computer modeling, engineering studies of
systems that could create particles in the stratosphere or brighten
clouds, and observing systems for marine stratocumulus clouds and
stratospheric aerosols.
State-of-the-art climate models, which have been validated by
previous success at simulating past climate change, including the
effects of volcanic eruptions, should be used for theoretical studies.
They would consider different suggested scenarios for injection of
gases or particles designed to produce a stratospheric cloud, and
different scenarios of marine cloud brightening, and evaluate the
positive and negative aspects of the climate response. So far, the
small number of studies that have been conducted have all used
different scenarios, and it is difficult to compare the results to see
which are robust. Experiments should be coordinated among the different
climate modeling groups that are performing runs for the Climate
Modeling Intercomparison Project (CMIP) of the World Climate Research
Programme Working Group on Coupled Modelling, described at http://cmip-
pcmdi.11n1.gov/, for assessing climate models and their response to
many different causes of climate change, including anthropogenic
greenhouse gases and aerosols. As they explain at the above website,
CMIP is ``a standard experimental protocol for studying the output of
coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs). CMIP
provides a community-based infrastructure in support of climate model
diagnosis, validation, intercomparison, documentation and data access.
This framework enables a diverse community of scientists to analyze
GCMs in a systematic fashion, a process which serves to facilitate
model improvement. Virtually the entire international climate modeling
community has participated in this project since its inception in
1995.'' Financial support from a national research program, in
cooperation with other nations, will produce more rapid and more
comprehensive results. The studies need to include advanced treatment
of aerosol particles in climate models, including how they form and
grow, as well as their effects on radiation and ozone.
Another area of research that needs to be supported under the first
category is the technology of producing a stratospheric aerosol cloud.
Robock et al. [2009] calculated that it would cost several billion
dollars per year to just inject enough sulfur gas into the stratosphere
to produce a cloud that would cool the planet using existing military
airplanes. Others have suggested that it would be quite a bit more
expensive. However, even if SO2 (sulfur dioxide) or
H2S (hydrogen sulfide) could be injected into the
stratosphere, there is no assurance that nozzles and injection
strategies could be designed to produce a cloud with the right size
droplets that would be effective at scattering sunlight. However, the
research program will also need to fund engineers to actually build
prototypes based on modification of existing aircraft or new designs,
and to once again examine other potential mechanisms including
balloons, artillery, and towers. They will also have to look into
engineered particles, and not just assume that we would produce sulfate
clouds that mimic volcanic eruptions. In addition, engineering studies
will be needed for ships that could inject salt into marine clouds.
At some point, given the results of climate models and engineering,
there may be a desire to test such a system in the real world. But this
is not possible without full-scale deployment, and that decision would
have to be made without a full evaluation of the possible risks.
Certainly individual aircraft or balloons could be launched into the
stratosphere to release sulfur gases. Nozzles can be tested. But
whether such a system would produce the desired cloud could not be
tested unless it was deployed into an existing cloud that is being
maintained in the stratosphere. While small sub-micron particles would
be most effective at scattering sunlight and producing cooling, current
theory [e.g., Heckendorn et al., 2009] tells us that continued emission
of sulfur gases would cause existing particles to grow to larger sizes,
larger than volcanic eruptions typically produce, and they would be
less effective at cooling Earth, requiring even more emissions. Such
effects could not be tested, except at full-scale.
Furthermore, the climatic response to an engineered stratospheric
cloud could not be tested, except at full-scale. The weather is too
variable, so that it is not possible to attribute responses of the
climate system to the effects of a stratospheric cloud without a very
large effect of the cloud. Volcanic eruptions serve as an excellent
natural example of this. In 1991, the Mt. Pinatubo volcano in the
Philippines injected 20 Mt (megatons) of SO2 (sulfur
dioxide) into the stratosphere. The planet cooled by about 0.5 C (1
F) in 1992, and then warmed back up as the volcanic cloud fell out of
the atmosphere over the next year or so. There was a large reduction of
the Asian monsoon in the summer of 1992 and a measurable ozone
depletion in the stratosphere. Climate model simulations suggest that
the equivalent of one Pinatubo every four years or so would be required
to counteract global warming for the next few decades, because if the
cloud were maintained in the stratosphere, it would give the climate
system time to cool in response, unlike for the Pinatubo case, when the
cloud fell out of the atmosphere before the climate system could react
fully. To see, for example, what the effects of such a geoengineered
cloud would be on precipitation patterns and ozone, we would have to
actually do the experiment. The effects of smaller amounts of volcanic
clouds on climate can simply not be detected, and a diffuse cloud
produced by an experiment would not provide the correct environment for
continued emissions of sulfur gases. The recent fairly large eruptions
of the Kasatochi volcano in 2008 (1.5 Mt SO2) and Sarychev
in 2009 (2 Mt SO2) did not produce a climate response that
could be measured against the noise of chaotic weather variability.
Any field testing of geoengineering would need to be monitored so
that it can be evaluated. While the current climate observing system
can do a fairly good job of measuring temperature, precipitation, and
other weather elements, we currently have no system to measure clouds
of particles in the stratosphere. After the 1991 Pinatubo eruption,
observations with the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment II (SAGE
II) instrument on the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite showed how the
aerosols spread, but it is no longer operating. To be able to measure
the vertical distribution of the aerosols, a limb-scanning design, such
as that of SAGE II, is optimal. Right now, the only limb-scanner in
orbit is the Optical Spectrograph and InfraRed Imaging System (OSIRIS),
a Canadian instrument on Odin, a Swedish satellite. SAGE III flew from
2002 to 2006, and there are no plans for a follow on mission. A spare
SAGE III sits on a shelf at a NASA lab, and could be used now. There is
one satellite in orbit now with a laser, but it is not expected to last
long enough to monitor future geoengineering, and there is no organized
system to use it to produce the required observations of stratospheric
particles. Certainly, a dedicated observational program would be needed
as an integral part of any geoengineering implementation.

Q1a. Which U.S. agencies would contribute to a research initiative,
and in what capacity?

A1a. The U.S. agencies most involved in climate modeling are the
National Science Foundation (NSF), National Center for Atmospheric
Research (funded mostly by NSF), National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA),
and Department of Energy (DOE). I would recommend that NSF be in charge
of a climate modeling research program, coordinated with the other
agencies, with the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and
Intercomparison of the DOE continuing their program of archiving all
the model output for intercomparisons. For the engineering studies, I
recommend that NASA be in charge, in cooperation with the Department of
Defense, which may be able to provide expertise in some of the proposed
delivery systems. For an improved system of stratospheric aerosol
observing, as well as better cloud observing from space, NASA should be
in charge.

Q1b. What scale of investment would be necessary, both initially and
in the longer term?

A1b. A geoengineering research program should not be at the expense of
existing research into climate change, mitigation, and adaptation. Our
first goal should be rapid mitigation, and we need to continue the
current increase in support for green alternatives to fossil fuels. We
also need to continue to better understand regional climate change, to
help us to implement mitigation and adapt to the climate change that
will surely come in the next decades no matter what our actions today.
But a small increment to current funding to support geoengineering will
allow us to determine whether geoengineering deserves serious
consideration as a policy option. The total expenditure for climate
model experimentation should be on the order of $10 million per year,
which would include expanding current efforts as well as training of
new scientists to work on these problems, through postdocs and graduate
student fellowships.
As for the engineering studies, you would have to ask engineering
experts. Certainly studies should be done of the feasibility of
retrofitting existing U.S. Air Force planes to inject sulfur gases into
the stratosphere, as described by Robock et al. [2009], as well as of
developing new vehicles, probably remotely-piloted, for routine
delivery of sulfur gases or production of aerosol particles. A separate
engineering effort aimed at ships that could inject salt into marine
clouds should be part of the effort.
The dedicated observational effort described above would involve
field campaigns to observe cloud experiments, which could probably be
conducted with existing aircraft, but the campaigns would need to be
funded. In addition, NASA needs to develop a robust, ongoing set of
satellites to observe stratospheric aerosols, to prepare for the next
volcanic eruptions, which serve as natural analogs for stratospheric
geoengineering, as well as to monitor any in situ stratospheric
experiments that may be conducted in the future. However, right now
NASA could devote $1 million per year to just using current satellites
to produce a continuous record of stratospheric aerosols and
precursors. Many different observations are not being analyzed in a
routine manner, and are only used by individual investigators to study
specific cases, such as the Australian forest fires early in 2009 or
the Kasatochi volcanic eruption of 2008. If a NASA-produced database
were available routinely, much could be learned from these ongoing
natural experiments. For new systems, experts on aircraft field
campaigns and satellite development would need to be consulted about
the costs.

Q1c. What kind of professional and academic expertise would be
required?

A1c. Climate modelers; experts in atmospheric chemistry and aerosols;
cloud physicists; specialists in aircraft and satellite observations;
satellite, aircraft, balloon, artillery, and tower engineers;
historians; social scientists; political scientists.

Q2. Please prioritize the geoengineering strategies you believe
warrant extensive research, and explain your reasoning.

A2. Two types of solar radiation management, using stratospheric
aerosols and marine cloud brightening, warrant extensive research. Both
mimic observed changes in the atmosphere that have already occurred. We
know that volcanic eruptions reduce solar radiation and cool the planet
and we know that particles injected into marine stratocumulus clouds
make them brighter, which presumably would cool the surface if there
were no other compensating changed in the clouds. In both cases, there
are no obvious serious side effects from the sulfur gases or salt
proposed for the injections.

Q1a. Within these, please highlight examples of potential negative
impacts you predict might accompany their deployment and/or large-scale
research.

A1a. Computer modeling research of stratospheric aerosols or marine
cloud brightening would only have negative effects if it took
resources, such as the time of scientists or computers, away from more
productive activities. But if funded in addition to other ongoing
climate research, it would enhance our understanding of the climate
system both in theory and in enhanced observations.
Actual deployment of either scheme into the atmosphere, however,
would have the potential to produce serious side effects. That is why I
advocate extensive computer modeling before any such decision is made,
to better understand and quantify each of the potential problems. I
have enumerated many potential negative impacts of stratospheric
geoengineering in Robock [2008a, 2008b], so will only list them briefly
here, from Robock et al. [2009]:

1. Drought in Africa and Asia

2. Continued ocean acidification from CO2

3. Ozone depletion

4. No more blue skies

5. Less solar power

6. Environmental impact of implementation

7. Rapid warming if stopped

8. Cannot stop effects quickly

9. Human error

10. Unexpected consequences

11. Commercial control

12. Military use of technology

13. Conflicts with current treaties

14. Whose hand on the thermostat?

15. Ruin terrestrial optical astronomy

16. Moral hazard - the prospect of it working would reduce
drive for mitigation

17. Moral authority - do we have the right to do this?

As for marine cloud brightening, cooling over the oceans with
persistent cloudiness might affect the entire oceanic biosphere and
food chain. Because marine clouds would only be in certain locations,
the differential cooling would change weather patterns. Jones et al.
[2009] found in their climate model experiments that this could produce
a drought in the Amazon rainforest, with devastating effects on the
forests and other life there.

Q2b. Are there any strategies that you believe should be eliminated
from consideration due to unacceptable risks and costs?

A2b. Angel [2006] proposed placing shades in orbit between the Sun and
Earth to reduce the amount of insolation, but it would be very
expensive and difficult to control, so I would not recommend research
into this idea.

Q3. Could some geoengineering activities be confined to specific
geographic locations?

A3. Marine cloud brightening could be conducted in specific locations,
but that might not be very effective at dealing with global warming.

Q3a. For example, could solar radiation management be localized
specifically for the protection of polar ice?

A3a. Not that I know of. Marine cloud brightening would not be
effective in the Arctic, since there is no proposed technology to
whiten clouds that would operate on ice in the Arctic. Furthermore, one
would need clouds in the correct location in order to brighten them. In
the Arctic, unlike off the west coasts of North and South America and
Africa, marine stratocumulus do not persist as regularly in specific
locations. In addition, because of the low angle of the Sun in the
Arctic, changing cloud albedo would not be very effective.
With respect to stratospheric aerosols, Robock et al. [2008c]
showed that if aerosols were created in the Arctic stratosphere, while
Arctic temperature could be controlled and sea ice melting could be
reversed, there would still be large consequences for the summer
monsoons over Asia and Africa, since the aerosols would not be confined
to the polar region.

Q3b. If so; how?

Q4. In your submitted testimony, you explained simply: ``To actually
implement geoengineering, it needs to be demonstrated that the benefits
of geoengineering outweigh the risks.'' What do you believe are the
``tipping points'' that would justify large scale deployment of
geoengineering?

A4. The declaration of a planetary emergency that would justify large-
scale geoengineering would require more climate research. While
increased melting of Greenland or Antarctica along with rapidly rising
sea level, or an increased frequency of severe hurricanes, droughts or
floods, might appear to be a tipping point or an emergency, we would
need much more research to quantify whether these changes were indeed
caused by global warming and whether geoengineering would halt them. We
would also have to be sure that the negative side effects of any
proposed geoengineering would be much less than the problems it was
attempting to solve, and that those affected by these actions would be
fairly compensated.

Q4a. Based on the current pace of carbon increases (about 2 parts per
million a year) and your prediction of the efficacy of conventional
mitigation strategies, what would be an appropriate timeline for
research and possible deployment?

A4a. No matter how effective conventional mitigation strategies prove
to be in the next decade, the amount of global warming will be about
the same, as the greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere will
continue to cause warming. Mitigation will only make a difference in
the longer term. So geoengineering research should not depend on the
short-term political decisions in the next few years (and mitigation
should definitely not wait for the possibility of safe and effective
geoengineering). So independent of short-term changes in greenhouse
gases emissions, I would recommend a 10-year research program that will
use climate models to investigate the efficacy, risks, and costs of
proposed geoengineering schemes, include technical research to
determine whether it is even possible to implement the proposed
schemes, and develop and deploy robust observing systems. This will
allow policymakers to have enough information in a decade to decide
whether geoengineering should ever be implemented as an emergency
measure. Since these proposed schemes would work very quickly, within a
year or two, this would leave enough time to adequately research them
and still implement them before catastrophic climate change is likely.

Q5. The effects of many geoengineering strategies such as
stratospheric injections could not likely be tested at less than full-
scale. To your knowledge, what types of international agreements would
address the challenges of large-scale testing?

A5. There are several current international treaties, such as the
Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer, the
Antarctic Treaty, the Law of the Sea, the Framework Convention on
Climate Change, and Nuclear Test Ban treaties, that seek to limit
environmental damage from human emissions. These treaties, while they
do not apply directly to geoengineering, serve as a warning that humans
can have a strong, inadvertent, negative impact on the environment, and
that we must keep this in mind with respect to geoengineering. They
also serve as models for the types of treaties that different nations
can sign to agree to protect the environment.

Q5a. Can you identify any existing treaties or agreements that would
apply to large-scale testing of geoengineering?

A5a. I am not a lawyer, but the U.N. Convention on the Prohibition of
Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification
Techniques (ENMOD) may apply. The terms of ENMOD explicitly prohibit
``military or any other hostile use of environmental modification
techniques having widespread, long-lasting or severe effects as the
means of destruction, damage, or injury to any other State Party.'' Any
geoengineering scheme that adversely affects regional climate, for
example, producing warming or drought, would therefore violate ENMOD if
done in a hostile manner, which would be difficult to determine.
Therefore, new governance mechanisms would have to be developed before
any experimentation in the atmosphere.
See end of document for all references.

Questions submitted by Representative Ralph M. Hall

Q1. In your testimony, you indicate that one of the shortcomings of
``solar radiation management'' geo-engineering is that it could produce
drought in Asia and Africa and threaten the food supply for billions of
people. Some scientists have suggested that global climate change could
have the same result; others have suggested that it will actually
increase agricultural production in some areas of the world.

a. If we were to undertake some type of large scale geo-
engineering experiment, how would we be able to differentiate
between the effects of global climate change and those from the
geo-engineering and make the necessary modifications to prevent
catastrophe?

A1,1a. There is a certain natural variability of climate because of the
chaotic nature of the atmosphere and oceans. This randomness limits our
ability to make weather forecasts beyond about two weeks and limits our
ability to make ocean forecasts, such for El Ninno events, beyond about
six months. So the attribution of particular weather and climate
events, such as strong hurricanes, tornado outbreaks, droughts, and
floods, to a particular geoengineering experiment or to the effects of
greenhouse gases is not possible in the absolute sense and can only be
done statistically. That is, theory (models) tell us that the
probability of events like this would change in response to different
things human might put into the atmosphere, but we cannot attribute any
particular event to a particular cause. Therefore, a real-world
geoengineering experiment would have to be conducted for a long time,
10 or 20 years or longer, so as to gather enough data to calculate the
statistics. It is only after 60 years of global warming since about
1950 and decades of the IPCC process that we have a clear understanding
the greenhouse gases are responsible.
The answer to the question would depend on what type of
geoengineering were conducted, such as stratospheric aerosols or marine
cloud brightening, and the strength of the geoengineering. For a
massive injection of aerosols into the stratosphere, or massive seeding
of clouds, the effects of geoengineering would be stronger and a
shorter experiment would be needed to separate the effects from global
warming. Climate model experiments will be able to give us a good idea
of how strong and how long a real-world experiment would be needed to
separate the effects from natural variability and from global warming.

Q1b. If we were able to differentiate between the effects of global
climate change and effects from geoengineering, is it now possible to
determine whether a drought is caused by anthropogenic climate change
or just natural variability?

A1b. No. As explained above, the attribution of particular weather and
climate events, such as strong hurricanes, tornado outbreaks, droughts,
and floods, to a particular geoengineering experiment, to the effects
of greenhouse gases, or just to natural variability is not possible in
the absolute sense and can only be done statistically. That is, theory
(models) tells us that the probability of events like this would change
in response to different things human might put into the atmosphere,
but we cannot attribute any particular event to a particular cause. For
example, what if we start geoengineering and we get a reduction of
summer monsoon rainfall in India for two out of the first five years?
Could this have happened by chance, or was it caused by the
geoengineering? We could not answer that question without many more
years of experimentation in the real world. However, we could easily do
that experiment in climate models.

Q2. In your testimony you indicate that you have been using NASA
climate models and NASA computers to conduct climate model simulations.
You also indicate that increases in funding for research are necessary
to explore these concepts further.

a. Do you believe much of this research can be done utilizing
existing resources such as those at NASA?

A2,2a. No. Climate modeling needs to be done at many different research
centers with many different climate models, and the results compared to
be sure they are robust. This is the current strategy of CMIP, as
discussed in detail in the answer to Mr. Gordon's question 1 above.
All the world climate modeling groups are currently finalizing
their latest model versions so that they can begin a suite of
experiments, called CMIP-5, in preparation for the next
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. While NASA and other
climate modeling centers in the United States, such as at the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Geophysical Fluid
Dynamics Laboratory. and the National Center for Atmospheric Research
do not need new resources to complete their model development, the
current scientists working there are completely occupied with the CMIP-
5 experiments. They would need more personnel and computer resources to
complete additional geoengineering experiments.

Q2b. What additional resources and capabilities would be required to
further research in this area?

A2b. This question is completely answered in response to questions 1
and 2 of Mr. Gordon above, and I refer you to those answers.

Q2c. Are these models peer reviewed? Are you privy to the assumptions
that go into building the models before you run your simulations?

A2c. Absolutely yes. The climate model we are currently using, Goddard
Institute for Space Studies ModelE, is described in peer-reviewed
publications by Schmidt et al. [2006], Russell et al. [1995], and Koch
et al. [2006]. We and anyone else who reads these papers completely
understand the assumptions that go into them. Furthermore, this model
is part of the CMIP experiments described above, and its capabilities
are well known and documented.

Q3. In reading your testimony, one comes to the conclusion that
regardless of how much research we perform ahead of time, we will never
really know the true effects geo-engineering would have on the planet
without actually doing it because of all the possible variables. Is
that an accurate statement? How accurate is that for other
technological ventures we have undertaken?

A3. I guess that depends on what ``know the true effects'' means.
Indeed we would learn a lot by experimenting in the real world and
would be able to compare the responses to those obtained theoretically
by climate modeling. But as explained above, there is a certain natural
variability of climate because of the chaotic nature of the atmosphere
and oceans. This randomness limits our ability to make weather
forecasts beyond about two weeks and limits our ability to make ocean
forecasts, such for El Nino events, beyond about six months. So the
attribution of particular weather and climate events, such as strong
hurricanes, tornado outbreaks, droughts, and floods, to a particular
geoengineering experiment or to the effects of greenhouse gases is not
possible in the absolute sense and can only be done statistically. That
is, the probability of events like this would change in response to
different things human might put into the atmosphere. Therefore, a
real-world experiment would have to be conducted for a long time, 10 or
20 years or longer, so as to gather enough data to calculate the
statistics. For example, what if we start geoengineering and we get
less drought in California for three out of the first five years. Could
this have happened by chance, or was it caused by the geoengineering?
We could not answer that question without many more years of
experimentation in the real world. However, we could easily do that
experiment in climate models.
As for other technical ventures, it would depend on the technology,
and I am not an qualified to answer the question in general. But I
would like to say that some experiments should never be conducted in
the real world. For example, I have conducted a lot of research on the
climatic effects of nuclear weapons. If used in warfare, the fires they
would ignite would produce so much smoke that climate models tell us
that the cold and dark at the Earth's surface would severely impact
agriculture and even produce a nuclear winter [Robock et al., 2007a,
2007b]. This is an experiment we should never try to verify in the real
world.

References

Angel, R. (2006), Feasibility of cooling the Earth with a cloud of
small spacecraft near the inner Lagrange point (L1), Proc. Nat.
Acad. Sci., 103, 17,184-17,189.

Heckendorn P., et al. (2009), The impact of geoengineering aerosols on
stratospheric temperature and ozone, Environ. Res. Lett., 4;
045108, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/4/4/045108.

Jones, A., J. Haywood, and O. Boucher (2009), Climate impacts of
geoengineering marine stratocumulus clouds, J. Geophys. Res.,
114, D10106, doi:10.1029/2008JD011450.

Koch, D., G. A. Schmidt, and C. V. Field (2006), Sulfur, sea salt, and
radionuclide aerosols in GISS ModelE, J. Geophys. Res., 111,
D06206, doi:10.1029/2004JD005550.

Robock, A., L. Oman, G. L. Stenchikov, O. B. Toon, C. Bardeen, and R.
P. Turco (2007a), Climatic consequences of regional nuclear
conflicts. Atm. Chem. Phys., 7, 2003-2012.

Robock, A., L. Oman, G. L. Stenchikov (2007b), Nuclear winter revisited
with a modem climate model and current nuclear arsenals: Still
catastrophic consequences. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D13107,
doi:10.1029/2006JD008235.

Robock, A. (2008a), Whither geoengineering? Science, 320, 1166-1167.

Robock, A. (2008b), 20 reasons why geoengineering may be a bad idea,
Bull. Atomic Scientists, 64, No. 2, 14-18, 59, doi:10.2968/
064002006.

Robock, A., L. Oman, and G. Stenchikov (2008c), Regional climate
responses to geoengineering with tropical and Arctic SO2
injections, J. Geophys. Res., 113, D16101, doi:10.1029/
2008JD010050.

Robock, A., A. B. Marquardt, B. Kravitz, and G. Stenchikov (2009), The
benefits, risks, and costs of stratospheric geoengineering.
Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L19703, doi:10.10291 2009GL039209.

Russell, G. L., J. R. Miller, and D. Rind (1995), A coupled atmosphere-
ocean model for transient climate change, Atmos.-Ocean, 33,
683-730.

Schmidt, G. A., et al. (2006), Present day atmospheric simulations
using GISS ModelE: Comparison to in-situ, satellite and
reanalysis data, J. Clim., 19, 153-192.
Answers to Post-Hearing Questions
Responses by James Fleming, Professor and Director, Science, Technology
and Society Program, Colby College

Questions submitted by Chairman Bart Gordon

Q1. Please describe what you think a comprehensive federal research
program on geoengineering should entail. What are the critical features
of such a program?

A2. The American Meteorological Society's Statement on Geoengineering
http://www.ametsoc.org/policy/
2009geoengineeringclimate-ansstatement.html (also approved
by the American Geophysical Union) recommends that proposals to
geoengineer climate require more research of an interdisciplinary
nature, cautious consideration, and appropriate restrictions. Here are
their summary recommendations:

a. Enhanced research on the scientific and technological
potential for geoengineering the climate system, including
research on intended and unintended environmental responses.

b. Coordinated study of historical, ethical, legal, and social
implications of geoengineering that integrates international,
interdisciplinary, and intergenerational issues and
perspectives and includes lessons from past efforts to modify
weather and climate.

Development and analysis of policy options to promote transparency
and international cooperation in exploring geoengineering options along
with restrictions on reckless efforts to manipulate the climate system.
Geoengineering, understood as purposeful manipulation of the global
climate and biophysical systems of the entire Earth by a particular
project or entity, however well intentioned, could lead to
international conflict and unpredictable ecological disasters. Humans
know far too little about the climate system to imagine that any large-
scale intervention would have the desired result, or even a predictable
result. Any nation engaging in global-scale geoengineering could be
placing itself and all other life on the plant in jeopardy.
The famous mathematician John von Neumann called climate
engineering a ``thoroughly `abnormal' industry,'' arguing that large-
scale interventions, especially solar radiation management, were not
necessarily rational undertakings and could have ``rather fantastic
effects'' on a scale difficult to imagine. Tinkering with the Earth's
heat budget or the atmosphere's general circulation, he said, ``will
merge each nation's affairs with those of every other, more thoroughly
than the threat of a nuclear or any other war may already have done''--
and possibly lead to ``forms of climatic warfare as yet unimagined.''
In this sense, geoengineering is potentially more powerful and more
destructive than an arsenal of H-bombs. Since some forms of solar
radiation tinkering could be undertaken by private entities or rogue
nations unilaterally and relatively cheaply, what is urgently needed is
research, discussion, and education on all the possible things that are
wrong with such a technocratic approach to thinking about climate
change. As Harry Wexler once said, ``the human race is poised
precariously on a thin climatic knife-edge.'' One of the worst climatic
disasters imaginable involves destabilizing the climate system,
damaging stratospheric ozone, triggering drought, and otherwise
destroying our relationship with the sky by misplaced climate
tinkering.
Therefore, a comprehensive research program in geoengineering
cannot be merely a scientific and technically-based effort. It must be
led by historically-informed humanistic and social science efforts to
understand the precedents and contextualize human desires (and hubris)
involved in intervening in natural systems. Such discussions should
seek to avoid being dominated by Western technocratic influences, and
would need to be fully international, interdisciplinary, and
intergenerational in nature so that a global conversation emerges.
In this sense, no technical agency in the U.S. or elsewhere has the
capacity to lead such an effort. More likely international scholarly,
humanitarian, and governance organizations would have to pool their
resources in such an undertaking. Any scientific or technical research
on geoengineering should be conducted only as part of the mainstream
effort in atmospheric science. It should not be in any way be a secret
effort within DoD, or a single or multi-agency effort funding mainly
enthusiasts for the techniques. It should be spearheaded in the U.S. by
NSF, which has the best open peer review practices and which also
sponsors the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). NSF has
the added virtue of funding social, economic, and behavioral studies
(including Science Studies) and NCAR maintains a unit specializing in
environmental and social impacts.
Support is urgently needed for historical studies of existing
environmental treaties, international accords, and efforts to govern
new technologies. These would include the 1978 UN Convention on the
Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental
Modification Techniques (ENMOD), the Antarctic Treaty, the Law of the
Sea, the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, and gatherings such as the 1975
conference in Asilomar, California on recombinant DNA. This would be
followed by meetings of historians, ethicists, social scientists, and
policy experts from around the world for interdisciplinary discussion
and recommendations. Funding for a program involving about 10 core
staff, office support, a variety of conferences, and a publishing
program with peer-reviewed reports and volumes may be able to function
for approximately $2 million per year or ten times this amount for a
robust international effort. To foster historical, humanistic, social,
public policy, and governance discussions, the Woodrow Wilson
International Center for Scholars is a likely venue. It could serve as
a scholarly, non-partisan integration point for related efforts at
other institutions. Investment in this program would not require much
if any hardware purchases or facilities, but should involve a full
program of conferences, meetings, seminars and high-level
consultations. It should have a director and staff, senior and junior
fellows, affiliated members from around the world, and internships and
other student opportunities.
Geoengineering research is currently not ready, and may never be
ready for any field testing, large scale or otherwise. It is best done
indoors using computer simulations and in other controlled conditions,
such as laboratories and wind tunnels. For decades, verification of
weather modification experiments has been stymied by natural
variability in cloud and weather conditions. The same is true many
times over for experiments on the global climate.
What is most needed in atmospheric science today is more focused
and basic research on atmospheric dynamics and chaotic forcings. If, as
Edward Lorenz maintained, the climate system exhibits modes that are
extremely sensitive to perturbations, what unknown effect might a
sulfate cannon in China, Russia, or perhaps Livermore, California have
on the global or regional climate? Also needed, especially now, is a
concerted effort to restore scientific and public confidence in the
atmospheric sciences, their peer review practices, Earth's instrumental
and proxy temperature records, and the authority and behavior of
computer models and their results. The Earth orbiting satellite
monitoring gap identified in the National Academy's Decadal Survey
(2007) also needs to be addressed. This effort alone may involve
approximately doubling the current support for basic research, or about
$1-2 billion per year.
So in summary, $2-20 million for open conferences on social aspects
and governance, and $1-2 billion for basic peer-reviewed research on
and monitoring of the climate system seem to be in order.

Q2. Please prioritize the geoengineering strategies you believe
warrant extensive research, and explain your reasoning.

A2a. As described above, concerted study of the history, social
aspects, and governance of technological interventions and
geoengineering proposals, past and present, to cast a new light on just
what is being proposed.
b. As described above, increased capacity in basic atmospheric
science and climate monitoring, in which model geoengineering proposal
play a role, but only a role in a better understanding of the planet.
c. All of the proposed techniques of solar radiation management
(SRM) and carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) have many, many
serious and unexamined problems. None are really cheap, because
economists have only looked at direct costs, not at potential damages.
None are ready for field testing or deployment. All of the techniques
might well be researched using models and laboratory experiments. For
example:

Space mirrors. In 1989 James Early, a scientist from Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory, revisited the issue of space mirrors
(first proposed in the 1920s) and linked space manufacturing fantasies
with environmental issues in his wild speculations on the construction
of a solar shield ``to offset the greenhouse effect.'' His back-of-the-
envelope calculations indicated that a massive shield some 1,250 miles
in diameter would be needed to reduce incoming sunlight by 2 percent.
He estimated that an ultra-thin shield, possibly manufactured from
lunar materials using nano-fabrication techniques, might cost ``from
one to ten trillion dollars.'' Launched from the moon by an unspecified
``mass driver,'' the shield would reach a ``semi-stable'' orbit at the
L1 point one million miles from Earth along a direct line toward the
Sun, where it would perch ``like a barely balanced cart atop a steep
hill, a hair's-width away from falling down one side or the other.''
Here it would be subjected to the solar wind, harsh radiation, cosmic
rays, and the buildup of electrostatic forces. It would have to remain
functional for ``several centuries,'' which would entail repair
missions. It would also require an active positioning system to keep it
from falling back to Earth or into the Sun. Early did not indicate what
a guidance system might look like for a 5 million square mile sheet of
material possibly thinner than kitchen plastic wrap, with a mass close
to a billion kilograms (2.2 billion pounds in Earth gravity). In other
words, it was not feasible. A recent update of this proposal by Roger
Angel fares no better.
Stratospheric Aerosols. Using guns, rockets, or balloons to
maintain a dust or aerosol cloud in the stratosphere to increase the
reflection of sunlight may sound cheap and appealing, but it is far
from rational and may have many unwanted an unexpected side effects.
Geoengineering advocate Lowell Wood has proposed attaching a long hose
to a nonexistent but futuristic military High Altitude Airship (a
Lockheed-Martin/DOD stratospheric super blimp now on the drawing board
with some twenty-five times the volume of the Goodyear blimp) to
``pump'' reflective particles into the stratosphere. According to Wood,
``Pipe it up; spray it out!'' Wood has worked out many of the details--
except for high winds, icing, and accidents, since the HAAs are likely
to wander as much as 100 miles from their assigned stations. Imagine a
25-mile long hose filled with ten tons of sulfuric acid ripping loose,
writhing wildly, and falling out of the sky. Environmental problems
from such techniques (as documented by Alan Robock) include damage to
tropical rainfall patterns, unwanted stratospheric ozone depletion, and
regional effects that may lead to international disagreements.
Air capture of carbon dioxide, with long-term storage. Klaus
Lackner of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, collaborating
with Tucson, Arizona-based Global Research Technologies, envisions a
world filled with millions of inverse chimneys, some of them over 300
feet high and 30 feet in diameter, inhaling up to 30 billion tons of
carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year (the world's annual
emissions) and sequestering it in underground or undersea storage
areas. Lackner has built a demonstration unit in which a filter filled
with caustic and energy intensive sodium hydroxide can absorb the
carbon dioxide output of a single car. He admits, however, that this
system is not safe or practical, so he is currently looking into
proprietary ``ion-exchange resins'' with undisclosed energetic and
environmental properties. Of course, the capture, cooling,
liquefaction, and pumping of 30 billion tons of atmospheric carbon
dioxide (the world's annual emissions) would require an
astronomical amount of energy and infrastructure, and it is not at all
certain that Earth has the capacity for safe long-term storage of such
a large amount of carbon.

Q3. Could some geoengineering activities be confined to specific
geographic locations?

A3. No. If they could, they would not be ``geo''--scale engineering.
Also, the Earth's atmosphere is a fluid system that interacts and
exchanges energy, mass, and momentum. Interventions in the radiation
budget anywhere will trigger changes in the general circulation,
including changes in stoma tracks and in particular storms and
precipitation patterns. Proposals to restrict aerosol injections to the
Arctic circle do not address the global spread of matter in the
stratosphere or the interaction of air masses across latitudes. An
imaginary Arctic forecasting center with authority to trigger
stratospheric aerosol attacks is far beyond modem operational
meteorology. Understanding and prediction are what is needed.
Intervention and control are not really possible.

Q4. In his submitted testimony, Dr. Robock explained simply, ``To
actually implement geoengineering, it needs to be demonstrated that the
benefits of geoengineering outweigh the risks.'' [Questions on tipping
points and timeline for research and deployment].

A4. Dr. Robock has published ``20 Reasons Why Geoengineering May Be a
Bad Idea.'' His list includes the following:

(1) Potentially devastating effects on regional climate,
including drought in Africa and Asia, (2) Accelerated
stratospheric zone depletion, (3) Unknown environmental impacts
of implementation, (4) Rapid warming if deployment ever stops,
(5) Inability to reverse the effects quickly, (6) Continued
ocean acidification, (7) Whitening of the sky, with no more
blue skies, but nice sunsets, (8) The end of terrestrial
optical astronomy, (9) Greatly reduced direct beam solar power,
(10) Human error, (11) The moral hazard of undermining
emissions mitigation, (12) Commercialization of the technology,
(13) Militarization of the technology, (14) Conflicts with
current treaties, (15) Who controls the thermostat? (16) Who
has the moral right to do this? (17) Unexpected consequences.

Some of these results (1-5) are derived from general circulation
model simulations and others (6-9) from back-of-the-envelope
calculations; most, however (10-17), stem from historical, ethical,
legal, and social considerations. Regarding item (8), most enthusiasts
for solar radiation management have overlooked its ``dark'' side: the
scattering of starlight as well as sunlight, which would further
degrade seeing conditions for both ground-based optical astronomy and
general night sky gazing. Imagine the outcry from professional
astronomers and the general public if the geoengineers pollute the
stratosphere with a global sulfate cloud; imagine a night sky in which
sixth-magnitude stars were invisible, with a barely discernable Milky
Way, and fewer visible star clusters or galaxies. This would constitute
a worldwide cultural catastrophe.
Since global climate change is forced by a combination of natural
and human factors, since it is a relatively slowly developing problem,
and since it will affect different nations and groups differently,
there is no clear ``cliff'' or readily defined ``tipping point,''
beyond which the sulfate cannons should roar. Mitigation and adaptation
are the best strategies, so no lines in the sand can yet be set. The
1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change requires the
``stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a
level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the
climate system.'' No one has yet defined ``dangerous,'' but attempts
have been made to set the goal at 2 degrees of warming or 350 or 450
ppm CO2. SRM does not stabilize greenhouse gas
concentrations at all, it does not help with ocean acidification, and
it may in its own right be considered ``dangerous anthropogenic
interference with the climate system.'' CCS maybe possible, but the
energetics, cost, and stability of long term sequestration, with giant
pools of CO2 underground remain unknown.
The increase in CO2 concentration of 2 ppm per year is
not in itself a significant problem. It is the sensitivity of the
climate system to CO2 forcings (via water vapor, clouds, and
other mechanisms) that is at issue. Efforts at mitigation and
adaptation must be bipartisan and international; they must be given
every possibility for success. Research in the historical, social,
governance aspects of geoengineering should begin now, with the
possibility left open that these technologies are too dangerous and
unpredictable to govern. Also research into the negative side effects
of geoengineering proposals should continue with modeling studies.
There are no current prospects for responsible deployment of
geoengineering techniques.

Q5. The effects of many geoengineering strategies such as
stratospheric injections could not likely be tested at less than full
scale. To your knowledge, what types of international agreements would
address the challenges of large-scale testing?

A5. The 1978 UN Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other
Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques (ENMOD) serves as
a landmark treaty that may have to be revisited soon to avoid or at
least try to mitigate both inadvertent harm or possible military or
otherwise hostile use of climate control. This includes the governance
and possible side effects of large-scale outdoor testing. If ``climate
change has the power to unsettle boundaries and shake up geopolitics,
usually for the worse,'' it is certain that the governments of the
world will have their strategic military planners working in secret on
both worst-case scenarios and technological responses.
Chairman Gordon, the U.S. Congress can play a large role in
supporting efforts to study the problems and limits of the non-existent
technologies of geoengineering, but there is as yet no warrant for
field testing or deployment.

Questions submitted by Representative Ralph M. Hall

Q1. Dr. Fleming, in your statement you include a short list of reasons
that many people have claimed as the fundamental problems with climate
engineering. Just to name a few, you mention the claims regarding lack
of understanding, lack of technology, lack of political will to govern
over it, etc.

a. Are these claims very similar to the ones people have heard
every time a new technology or concept arises that threatens to
alter our fundamental understandings of the universe?

b. How has society managed to get through those previous
technological growth spurts?

A1. Geoengineering does not ``alter our fundamental understanding of
the universe'' in any Copernican sense. Nor is it a ``quantum
revolution'' or in any way comparable to famous discoveries or
theories, such as evolution, relativity, or plate tectonics. It is not
a scientific discover at all, but a set of speculative intervention
strategies with potential military implications. In the past new
technologies such as radio or transistors allowed us to communicate
across the miles and to miniaturize electronic devices such as radios
and computers. New drugs such as penicillin battled infections. While
they needed regulation and some guidelines, they did not offer a global
threat to the planet. Recombinant DNA is a new technology that required
oversight and regulatory control. This was true in spades for nuclear
power and nuclear weapons. Geoengineering comes closest to these types
of dangerous technologies, but it is much, much more speculative, and
as yet, it does not even exist!
There is no one answer to how ``society managed to get through
those previous technological growth spurts.'' I think each case is
unique and requires special historical contextualization. In some
cases, such as the use of the machine gun in the Anglo-Zulu War of
1879, that society did not ``manage'' very well. And civil society
itself was lucky to survive the escalation of civilian aerial bombing
that occurred during World War II.

Q2. Just for the sake of argument, if it was decided that such climate
engineering projects needed regulation, which Federal agency would be
the most appropriate to do it?

A2. This answer closely parallels my response to Congressman Gordon,
which I hope you have in hand. No technical or regulatory agency in the
U.S. or elsewhere has the authority or capacity to lead such an effort.
Just as no nation has the authority to set the global temperature, even
if it could. Study and discussion of geoengineering must be
international, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational, with strong
historical, social, and governance efforts leading the way. In the US,
the NSF would be the best agency to study the issues, but regulation
would have to be international, perhaps through UN mechanisms such as
the ENMOD Convention.

Q3. I find it interesting that you state that the human dimension is
the biggest wildcard in the whole climate change debate that
essentially makes it unpredictable. One of the reasons the hearing is
important is due to the concern that one nation, or even just one
individual, could take it upon themselves to ``fix the climate change
problem'' and utilize some technology that would have global effects.

a. Should we be looking at this issue as a national security
problem? Not unlike a rogue state or terrorist group that
releases a biological, chemical or nuclear weapon on some
unsuspecting populace?

b. Could the actions of a lone ``climate savior'' have global
effects that would rise to this level of concern? Or is the
technology really not in a place where this is an issue now,
but we should be discussing it for the future?

A3. Unilateral or rogue nation intervention in the global climate
system is indeed possible and would raise very serious national and
international security concerns, as John von Neumann in 1956 and many
others have repeatedly pointed out. One problem is that such
interventions may start out as well-intentioned, but the effects could
be widespread, harmful, and unpredictable. That is, they might be
indiscriminate. Other scenarios may include climate tinkering favoring
one nation and harming another, for example by redirecting rainfall.
Also attribution may be a real problem, given the large variability of
weather and climate, so such tinkering may be hard to prove. A
favorable result of this situation may be a desire to strengthen
satellite or ground-based measuring and monitoring capabilities in
order to detect such activity and take more measurements. In this sense
it may resemble the need for verification schemes for other potential
weapons systems.
I think many of the recent and current geoengineering proposals
have a tinge of ``climate savior'' As (rightly or wrongly) alarm over
global warming spreads, some climate engineers are engaging in wild
speculation and are advancing increasingly urgent proposals about how
to ``control'' Earth's climate. They are stalking the hallways of
power, hyping their proposals, and seeking support for their ideas
about fixing the sky. The figures they scribble on the backs of
envelopes and the results of their simple (yet somehow portrayed as
complex) climate models have convinced them, but very few others, that
they are planetary saviors, lifeboat builders on a sinking Titanic,
visionaries who are taking action in the face of a looming crisis. They
present themselves as insurance salesmen for the planet, with policies
that may or may not pay benefits. In response to the question of what
to do about climate change, they are prepared to take ultimate actions
to intervene, even to do too much if others, in their estimation, are
doing too little. We are already discussing these attitudes, and there
may arise some day a need to stop even a well-intentioned action. Bill
Gates is currently investing in geoengineering and may have such an
attitude; while $25 million ``Branson prize'' for reducing global
warming acts to encourage planetary tinkers, cum saviors.
Ranking Member Hall, the U.S. Congress can play a large role in
supporting efforts to study the problems and limits of the non-existent
technologies of geoengineering, but there is as yet no warrant for
field testing or deployment.
Appendix 2:

----------


Additional Material for the Record










GEOENGINEERING II: THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS AND ENGINEERING CHALLENGES

----------


THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2010

House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Energy and Environment
Committee on Science and Technology,
Washington, DC.

The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:03 a.m., in
Room 2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Brian
Baird [Chairman of the Subcommittee] presiding.


hearing charter

COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Geoengineering II:

The Scientific Basis and Engineering Challenges

thursday, february 4, 2010
10:00 a.m.&
2325 rayburn house office building

Purpose

On Thursday, February 4, 2010, the House Committee on Science &
Technology, Subcommittee on Energy and Environment will hold a hearing
entitled ``Geoengineering II: The Scientific Basis and Engineering
Challenges.'' The purpose of the hearing is to explore the science,
engineering needs, environmental impact(s), price, efficacy, and
permanence of select geoengineering proposals.

Witnesses

Dr. David Keith is the Canada Research Chair in
Energy and the Environment at the University of Calgary.

Dr. Philip Rasch is a Laboratory Fellow of the
Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division and Chief
Scientist for Climate Science, Pacific Northwest National
Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy.

Dr. Klaus Lackner is the Ewing Worzel Professor of
Geophysics and Chair of the Earth and Environmental Engineering
Department at Columbia University.

Dr. Robert Jackson is the Nicholas Chair of Global
Environmental Change and a professor of Biology at Duke
University.

Background

This hearing is the second of a three-part series on
geoengineering. On November 5, 2009 the Full Committee held the first
hearing in the series, entitled ``Geoengineering: Assessing the
Implications of Large-Scale Climate Intervention.'' This Subcommittee
hearing will examine the scientific basis and engineering challenges of
geoengineering. In the spring of 2010 the Committee will hold the final
hearing in this series in which issues of governance will be discussed.
This series of hearings serves to create the foundation for an informed
and open dialogue on the science and engineering of geoengineering.
As discussed in the first hearing, strategies for geoengineering
typically fall into two major categories: Solar Radiation Management
and Carbon Dioxide Removal (hereafter SRM and CDR, respectively). The
objective of Solar Radiation Management (SRM) methods is to reflect a
portion of the sun's radiation back into space, thereby reducing the
amount of solar radiation trapped in Earth's atmosphere and stabilizing
its energy balance. Methodologies for SRM include: installing
reflective surfaces in space; and increasing reflectivity, or albedo
\1\ of natural surfaces, built structures, and the atmosphere. To
balance the impacts of increased atmospheric carbon levels, most SRM
proposals recommend a goal of 1-2% reduction of absorbed solar
radiation from current levels. Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) methods
propose to reduce excess CO2 concentrations by capturing,
storing, or consuming carbon directly from air, as compared to direct
capture from power plant flue gas and storage as a gas. CDR proposals
typically include such methods as carbon sequestration in biomass and
soils, ocean fertilization, modified ocean circulation, non-traditional
carbon capture and sequestration in geologic formations, and
distributing mined minerals over agricultural soils, among others.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Albedo is measured on a scale from 0 to 1, with 0 representing
the reflectivity of a material which absorbs all radiation and 1
represents a material which reflects all radiation. Newly laid asphalt
has a typical albedo of 0.05 and fresh snow can have an albedo of
0.90.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Geoengineering Strategies

Atmospheric solar radiation management (SRM)

One approach to atmospheric SRM is known as `marine cloud
whitening' in which a fine spray of particles, typically via droplets
of salt water, would be injected into the troposphere (the lowest level
of our atmosphere) to increase the number of cloud-condensation nuclei
and encourage greater low level cloud formation. The objective is to
increase the albedo of existing clouds over the oceans, thus reflecting
more sunlight into the atmosphere before it reaches Earth. To achieve
the necessary radiative forcing to stabilize global temperatures, cloud
cover would need to increase 50-100% from current levels.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\2\ An increase in ocean cloud cover to 37.5-50% of ocean surface
area.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Stratospheric sulfate injection is another atmospheric SRM
approach.. The objective is to mimic the large quantity of sulfuric
emissions and the consequent albedo increase that a volcanic eruption
would naturally create. For example, the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo
in the Philippines is thought to have caused a 1-2 year decrease in the
average global temperature by 0.5 C by increasing global albedo.\3\
To accomplish this effect via stratospheric sulfate injections, a spray
of sulfate particles would be injected into the stratosphere, which is
between six and 30 miles above the Earth's surface. This proposal
typically garners the most attention among geoengineering's scientific
community.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\3\ Groisman PY (1992)

Drawbacks and challenges

Both atmospheric SRM approaches described here could be quickly
deployed at a relatively low cost and shut down if necessary; however,
both approaches require further research and may carry significant
unintended consequences for ocean ecosystems, agriculture, and the
built environment.
Marine cloud whitening deployment strategies could include aerosol
distribution from a large fleet of ships, unmanned radio-controlled
ocean vessels, or aircraft. Further research is needed to optimize
variables such as droplet size and concentration, cloud longevity, and
the necessary increase in cloud cover to achieve desired results. The
material itself (i.e. salt water) would be inexpensive for marine cloud
whitening as it is abundant, and environmental impacts may be limited
and somewhat predictable. However, it has been noted that marine cloud
whitening activities could cause changes in local weather patterns, and
deployment might be very energy-intensive.
A variety of deployment methods have been suggested for
stratospheric sulfate injections, including sprays from aircraft, land-
based guns, rockets, manmade chimneys, and aerial balloons.\4\
Environmental impacts from sulfate injection could occur because the
sulfate materials would eventually fall from the stratosphere into the
troposphere and ``rain out'' onto the land and ocean. This would
contribute to ocean acidification and could negatively impact crop
soils and built structures.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\4\ Novim (2009)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
The SRM strategies discussed here would be long term investments
that must be carefully planned and continually maintained in order to
achieve their goals and avoid rapid climatic changes. Presumably,
greenhouse gas levels could continuously rise while such SRM strategies
were deployed. Therefore, in the case of an interruption or termination
in service, the actual impact(s) of increased greenhouse gas
concentrations would be felt, i.e., the effects of SRM would be quickly
negated. This would present great risk to human populations and natural
ecosystems. Apart from these effects, stratospheric injections and
marine cloud whitening also run the risk of creating localized impacts
on regional climates throughout their deployment. In addition, the
decrease in sunlight over the oceans due to marine cloud whitening
could affect precipitation patterns and regional ocean ecosystem
function. Furthermore, as with other geoengineering ideas, these SRM
approaches are criticized for drawing attention and resources away from
climate change mitigation and CO2 reduction efforts.

Terrestrial-based biological approaches (SRM and CDR)

The terrestrial-based biological approaches to geoengineering
discussed here include vegetative land cover and forestry methods
(e.g., the biological sequestration of carbon, CDR strategies, and
increasing the albedo of terrestrial plants, an SRM strategy). These
strategies are at different stages of development and deployment, with
carbon sequestration in forest ecosystems \5\ likely to be the most
effective in the near-term.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\5\ The Reduced Emissions Deforestation and Degradation (REDD)
carbon trading concept provides a starting point for this discussion.
The REDD program employs market mechanisms to compensate communities in
developing countries to protect local forests as an alternative income
mechanism to logging or farming the same land.

Increasing albedo and carbon sequestration potential in forests,
grasslands, and croplands
The ability of forests and other vegetative systems such as
grasslands and croplands to store CO2 and to reflect solar
radiation is crucial to climate change mitigation efforts. Certain
geoengineering strategies propose to leverage these properties through
massive-scale planting of more reflective or CO2-absorbent
vegetation. In traditional, terrestrial-based biological carbon
sequestration, CO2 is absorbed by trees and plants and it is
stored in the tree trunks, branches, foliage, roots, and soils.
Geoengineers propose to alter the ability of the plants and trees to
sequester carbon or to reflect light \6\ using non-native species and
techniques from traditional plant breeding and genetic engineering. The
basic processes of photosynthesis and light reflection would still
occur, but geoengineers would either increase the carbon absorption and
reflective capacities of existing vegetation, or introduce non-native
species with such increased capacity(s). Deployment of these land-cover
systems would be both systematic and massive to achieve the desired
effect(s).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\6\ Research suggests that vegetative land cover in the form of
crops and grasslands can impact climate by increasing local albedo by
up to 0.25 (on a 0-1 point scale) and thus reflect more light into the
atmosphere.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
There are a number of advantages of these approaches. Development
and implementation is relatively low cost and the global infrastructure
required to create and propagate similar traits in crops and grasses
through to large-scale cultivation already exists.\7\ There are fewer
potential issues concerning irreversibility than other proposed
geoengineering schemes. And, the climate impacts are inherently focused
in the regions that are most important to food production and to
population centers, thus providing more directed benefits even when
applied globally. Maintaining the technology is also less of a problem
as crops are replanted annually; however, to maintain the mitigation
benefit, high albedo varietals must be continually planted and mature
forests must be maintained.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\7\ The technology exists, but to deploy it on a commercial scale
across the globe could take a decade or more.

Biochar
Biochar \8\ may have potential as an efficient method of
atmospheric carbon removal (via plant growth) for storage in soil.
Biomass \9\ is converted to both biochar (solid) and a bio-oil (liquid)
by heating it in the absence of air. The bio-oil can be converted to a
biofuel after a costly conversion process, and the biochar can serve as
bio-sequester (i.e. atmospheric carbon capture and storage). Biochar,
is a stable charcoal-solid that is rich in carbon content, and thus can
potentially be used to lock globally significant amounts of carbon in
the soil.\10\ Unlike typical CO2 capture methods which
typically require large amounts of oxygen and require energy for
injection, the biochar process breaks the carbon dioxide cycle,
releasing oxygen, and removing carbon from the atmosphere and
sequestering it in the soil for possibly hundreds to thousands of
years.\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\8\ Biochar is charcoal created by the heating of biomass, trees
and agriculture waste, in the absence of air, i.e. pyrolysis.
\9\ Biomass could consist of trees and agricultural wastes.
\10\ Laird (2008)
\11\ Not only do biochar-enriched soils contain more carbon, 150gC/
kg compared to 20-30gC/kg in surrounding soils, but biochar-enriched
soils are, on average, more than twice as deep as surrounding soils.
Therefore, the total carbon stored in these soils can be one order of
magnitude higher than adjacent soils (Winsley 2007).

Drawbacks and challenges

The biological systems discussed here present challenges to the
development of effective deployment, accounting, and verification
systems for these terrestrial-based approaches to geoengineering. For
example, the climate benefits of sequestration practices can be
partially or completely reversed because these resources are subject to
natural decay, disturbances, and harvests, which could result in the
sudden or gradual release the carbon back to the atmosphere. Forests
plateau \12\ in their ability to reflect light and absorb CO2
as they mature, and they release CO2 as they decay;
therefore, their utilization as geoengineering strategies would require
careful monitoring and accounting of CO2 storage over time
as these systems do not provide long-term storage stability. These
systems would also need to be maintained even after saturation to
prevent subsequent losses of carbon back to the atmosphere. This would
also be the case for management of soils.\13\ \14\ \15\ Addressing
these challenges is important if sequestration benefits are to be
compared to other approaches.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\12\ Soils also plateau in their ability to sequester
CO2.
\13\ Lehmann, Gaunt and Rondon (2006)
\14\ Lal et al. (1999)
\15\ West and Post (2002)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sophisticated and verifiable carbon accounting strategies are
needed across the board to optimize carbon-sensitive land uses at
different climates and geographies. Existing statistical sampling,
models and remote sensing tools can estimate carbon sequestration and
emission sources at the global, national, and local scales. However,
complex spatial-temporal models would be required for each technique
described here. For example, estimating changes in soil carbon over
time is generally more challenging than those for forests due to the
high degree of variability of soil organic matter--even within small
geographic scales like a corn field--and because changes in soil carbon
may be small compared to the total amount of soil carbon. And, it is
not presently clear whether there would be greater carbon savings by
planting trees and then converting those trees into biochar or planting
trees and allowing them to grow, thereby sequestering carbon in both
the soil and in the plant material.
Tradeoffs between immediate climate objectives and environmental
quality may be necessary with these techniques. If nitrogen-based
fertilizers are applied to crops to increase yields for biological
sequestration methods, the benefit would be partially or completely
offset by increased emissions of N2O. The installation of
non-native or genetically engineered species could be associated with
additional environmental disruption such counteractive changes in
reflectivity. For example, a large scale afforestation initiative over
snow or highly reflective grasslands would increase carbon consumption
but greatly decrease local albedo. Similarly, genetic modification of
crops to increase their albedo could reduce their carbon uptake.
Lastly, these techniques are likely to replace diverse ecosystems with
single-species timber or grass plantations to generate greater carbon
accumulation at the cost of biodiversity.

Non-traditional carbon capture and sequestration or conversion

Non-traditional carbon capture and sequestration (i.e. conversion)
strategies would utilize geological systems to capture carbon. First
carbon would be captured by exposing it to chemical adsorbents such as
calcium hydroxide (CaCO3, zeolites, silicates, amines, and
magnesium hydroxide (Mg(OH)2).\16\ Then, heat or agitation
would be used to separate the carbon from the adsorbent. The carbon can
then be stored in a geologic receptacle or it would be stored as a new
chemical compound in a liquid or solid formation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\16\ Dubey et al. (2002)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Most geologic carbon removal strategies can be categorized as in
situ or ex situ. Ex situ carbonation requires the sourcing and
transportation of materials that react with carbon to the source of
output (e.g., the smokestack). The energy input may be quite high
because the carbon absorbent must be ground up to allow for a
sufficient rate of carbon absorption. Air capture is a key component to
the geologic carbon sequestration and geochemical weathering of carbon.
In this process, a carbon-adsorbent chemical, such as calcium
hydroxide, binds to carbon and separates it from the ambient air. The
adsorbent chemical is then heated, the bound CO2 is
released, and a pure CO2 stream is produced. Air capture
differs from traditional carbon capture on power plants and other high-
intensity carbon emitters in that it is a distributed approach to
capture (as many of the main sources of carbon are actually a
collection of distributed entities, e.g. vehicles and buildings).
Alternatively, in situ carbonation injects carbon into geologic
formations suited to the mineralization of carbon.\17\ The injected
material is then left in the formation to carbonize at a more natural
rate. Carbon storage in a liquid or solid represents a more permanent
option for carbon management and can be thought of as the mere
stimulation of naturally occurring processes that take place over
thousands of years instead of months. It would potentially require less
stringent regulatory and liability frameworks than traditional carbon
storage in a gaseous form. This could make deployment costs more
manageable per unit than traditional carbon capture and storage.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\17\ Kelemen and Matter (2008)

Challenges and drawbacks

The scale required for deployment of non-traditional carbon capture
and sequestration methods present challenges to their eventual use.
Geological capture and storage at a geoengineering scale would
represent an immense investment, requiring hundreds or thousands of
units and immense land formations suitable for storage. In addition,
most suggested geological sequestration strategies require a high input
of heat or pressure, either to release the carbon from its adsorbents
or to speed the necessary reactions for solid storage, and thus are
energy burdens for the deployment of this technology.
Ambient air is comprised of 0.04% carbon, and the slip streams of
exhaust from coal fired power plants are approximately 15%; therefore,
the amount of carbon gathered per unit of air processed would be far
lower. In addition to issues of scale, in situ storage material may
remain as a gas and be released after a period of time, which leads to
additional monitoring and verification needs.

Other Strategies

Several geoengineering strategies were not emphasized in this
hearing due to projected environmental impacts and project feasibility.
Several of these techniques are detailed below.

Enhanced weathering techniques--Silicate minerals would be sourced,
ground, and distributed over agricultural soils to form carbonates.
This category of in situ carbonation works in the same manner as the
non-traditional carbon consumption strategies discussed above. The
actual mineral distribution could be performed at a relatively low
direct cost; however, the mining activities would require sizable
energy inputs. In addition, introducing large quantities of chemicals
to a landmass could incur significant changes, both predictable and
unpredictable, to the entire ecosystem.

Chemical ocean fertilization--Similar to enhanced weathering in
terrestrial systems, this strategy calls for the distribution of ground
minerals over the oceans. Iron, silicates, phosphorus, nitrogen,
calcium hydroxide and/or limestone could enhance natural chemical
processes that consume carbon, such as photosynthesis in phytoplankton.
Mining and environmental impacts are major challenges. Iron is the most
popular candidate chemical for this strategy as it would require the
smallest quantity to significantly lower carbon concentrations.

Oceanic upwelling and downwelling--Naturally occurring ocean
circulation would be accelerated in order to transfer atmospheric
greenhouse gases to the deep sea. Atmospheric carbon is absorbed by the
ocean at the air-water interface, and it is largely stored in the top
third of the water column. This approach would use vertical pipes to
transfer the carbon rich surface waters to the deep ocean for storage.
It would likely require massive engineering efforts and could
significantly alter the ocean's natural carbon cycle and circulation
systems.

White roofs and surfaces--Painting the roofs of urban structures
and pavements in the urban environment white would increase their
albedo by 15-25%. A white roofs program would need global
implementation to achieve a meaningful impact on radiative forcing,
incurring great costs and logistical challenges; however, white roofs
can help mitigate the urban heat island problem, which plagues
metropolises like Tokyo and New York City.

Desert reflectors--Metallic and other reflective materials would be
used to cover largely underused desert areas, which account for 2% of
the earth's surface to reflect sunlight. This approach could have large
detrimental impacts on local ecosystems and precipitation patterns.
Preliminary cost estimates are in the high billions or trillions of
dollars.

Space-based reflective surfaces--A large satellite or an array of
several small satellites with mirrors or sunshades would be placed in
orbit or at the sun-earth Lagrange (L l) point to reflect some
percentage of sun radiation. Preliminary cost estimates for this
strategy are usually in the trillions of dollars.

References

(3) Groisman PY. (1992). Possible regional climate consequences of the
Pinatubo eruption: an empirical approach. Geophysical Research
Letters 19: 15, 1603-1606.

(4) Blackstock, JJ, Battisti, DS, Caldeira, K, Eardley, DM, Katz, JI,
Keith, DW, Patrinos, AAN, Schrag, DP, Socolow, RH, and Koonin,
SE. (Novim, 2009). Climate Engineering Responses to Climate
Emergencies, archived online at: http://arxiv.org/pdf/0907.5140

(5) Birdsey, RA. (1996). Regional Estimates of Timber Volume and Forest
Carbon for Fully Stocked Timberland, Average Management After
Final Clearcut Harvest. In Forests and Global Change: Forest
Management Opportunities for Mitigating Carbon Emissions Volume
2, Edited by R.N. Sampson and D. Hair. Washington, DC.

(6) Canadell, JG, and Raupach, MR. (2008). Managing forests for climate
change mitigation. Science. 320: 1456-1457. Available online at
http://wwvw.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/320/5882/
1456?sa-campaign=Email/toc/13-June-2008/10.1126/
science.1155458 as of January 19, 2010.

(7) Lai, R, Kimble, JM, Follett, RF, and Cole, CV. (1999). The
Potential of U.S. Cropland to Sequester Carbon and Mitigate the
Greenhouse Effect. Lewis Publishers.

(8) West, O, and Post, WM. (2002). Soil Organic Carbon Sequestration
Rates by Tillage and Crop Rotation: A Global Data Analysis.
Journal of the Soil Science Society of America. 66:1930-1946.

(9) Lehmann, J, Gaunt, J and Rondon, M. (2006). Bio-char Sequestration
in Terrestrial Eco-Systems--A Review. Mitigation and Adaptation
Strategies for Global Change. 11: 403-427. DOI: 10.100/s11027-
005-9006-5

(10) Winsley, P. (2007). Biochar and bioenergy production for climate
change mitigation. New Zealand Science Review. 5: 5.

(11) Laird, DA. (2008). The Charcoal Vision: A Win-Win-Win Scenario for
Simultaneously Producing Bioenergy, Permanently Sequestering
Carbon, while Improving Soil and Water Quality. Journal of
Agronomy. 100: 178-181.

(13) Dubey, MK, Ziock, H, Rueff, G, Elliott, S, Smith, WS, Lackner, KS,
and Johnson, NA. (2002). Extraction of Carbon Dioxide from the
Atmosphere through Engineered Chemical Sinkage. Fuel Chemistry
Division Preprints. 47(1): 81-84.

(14) Kelemen, P. and Matter, J. (2008) In Situ Mineral Carbonation in
Peridotite for CO2 Capture and Storage. Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. 105(45): 17295-
17300. Available online at http://americasclimatechoices.org/
Geoengineering-Input/attachments/
Kelemen%20%20Matter%20NAS%20White%20Paper.pdf as of January 15,
2010.
Chairman Baird. I will call the hearing to order.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Some discussion was held prior to the formal opening of this
hearing. For a transcript of these comments, see Appendix.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
As I mentioned earlier, I have already introduced our
witnesses, and this is a hearing on geoengineering. As we deal
with the issues of overheating of our planet and acidification
of the ocean, this is one option for possibly mitigating the
impacts, part of a series of hearings and an effort initiated
by our Chair, Mr. Gordon.
[The prepared statement of Chairman Baird follows:]
Prepared Statement of Chairman Brian Baird
Good morning. I want to welcome everyone to today's hearing
discussing the scientific and technological premises underlying various
proposals for geoengineering.
Geoengineering is a term that has come to define a range of often
controversial strategies to deliberately alter the Earth's climate
systems for the purpose of counteracting climate change_presumably
through reflection of sunlight or absorption of CO2 from the
air.
Make no mistake, despite the sometimes far-fetched proposals, this
is not a subject that should be taken lightly. As Chairman Gordon has
also made clear: Geoengineering has been proposed as, and it can only
be responsibly discussed as a last-ditch measure in the case that
traditional carbon mitigation efforts prove ineffective on their own.
Even then, a tremendous amount of research is required to know what
strategies may be worth deploying.
The concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is already
driving great changes in the Earth's climate.
The long-term consequences of climate change will become especially
threatening, and some of these consequences are already being felt.
For example, oceans naturally absorb atmospheric carbon through the
air-water interface. As the concentration of greenhouse gases has
increased in the atmosphere so has the absorption of carbon by the
oceans. On the surface this is good because it helps to mitigate
climate change; however, below the ocean's surface the excessive
absorption of carbon is changing the chemistry of the ocean_it is
creating ocean acidification.
The effects of ocean acidification will span the ocean food web
which will affect our fishermen, coastal communities, and our national
and global economies.
Today's hearing is not about ocean acidification per se, but it is
about controversial methods to reduce or mitigate the causes and
effects of climate change through geoengineering.
Without question, our first priority is to reduce the production of
global greenhouse gas emissions.
However, as I said, if such reductions achieve too little, too
late, there may be a need to consider a plan B_to utilize methodologies
to counteract the climatic effects of greenhouse gas emissions by
`geoengineering'.
Many proposals for geoengineering have already been made. Some may
have potential, some sound downright scary, and they all carry levels
of uncertainty, hazards, and risks that could outweigh their intended
benefit.
Furthermore, the technologies proposed for deployment of many of
these geoengineering techniques are very young or non-existent, and
there are major uncertainties regarding their effectiveness,
environmental impacts, and economic costs.
For example, I am especially interested in discussing the potential
for the solar radiation management techniques to exacerbate ocean
acidification.
The implications of geoengineering are decidedly global in scope,
but geoengineering has the potential to be undertaken in a unilateral
fashion, without consensus or regard for the well-being of other
nations.
Therefore, an open, public dialogue is needed in the face of such
hazards, risks, and uncertainties. As you may recall this hearing is
the second of a three-part series on geoengineering.
On November 5, 2009, the Full Committee held the first hearing in
the series, entitled ``Geoengineering: Assessing the Implications of
Large-Scale Climate Intervention.''
Today's Subcommittee hearing will examine the scientific basis and
engineering challenges of geoengineering.
This series of hearings serves to create the foundation for an
informed and open dialogue on the science of geoengineering, and should
in no way be regarded as supportive of deployment of geoengineering.
With that I turn it over to the distinguished Ranking Member, Mr.
Inglis.

Chairman Baird. I thank the Ranking Member for being here,
and recognize him if he has any opening remarks.
Mr. Inglis. I don't, Mr. Chairman, and I will submit them
for the record.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Inglis follows:]
Prepared Statement of Representative Bob Inglis
Good morning, and thank you for holding this hearing, Mr. Chairman.
I look forward to discussing the scientific and engineering challenges
related to geoengineering.
Last November, the full committee began our examination of
geoengineering as a strategy to minimize the impacts of a warming
climate. What we heard was theoretically promising: geoengineering may
prove to be a low-cost intervention to buy us time to reduce our
greenhouse gas emissions and limit our impact on the global climate
system.
Still, we face considerable uncertainty. Dr. Rasch appropriately
describes geoengineering as a ``gamble'' in his testimony. is this a
gamble worth trying? At this hearing, I hope to hear what steps we need
to take to increase our understanding of geoengineering technologies
and come one step closer to determining whether this is a viable
option.
In particular, I hope that the witnesses will discuss what
technologies, techniques, and capabilities must be developed to study
and deploy geoengineering options, and what level of financial
investment is required for these developments. I also hope the
witnesses will discuss the gaps in our understanding of the climate
system that may limit our ability to justify such large-scale
intervention, and which alternatives may minimize further changes to
the climate, resource cycles, or global ecology.
We also need to decide whether investments in geoengineering are
worthwhile. There are a number of ecological, economic, and political
uncertainties that also need to be addressed before these
interventionist strategies are implemented. Moreover, there is a
significant ethical question involved in deploying large-scale
geoengineering techniques to forcibly change the climate in an effort
to undo the damage we have already done. I hope to address these
questions in a future hearing.
Again, thank you for holding this important hearing, Mr. Chairman.
I look forward to hearing from the witnesses and I yield back the
balance of my time.

Chairman Baird. Thank you, and I will submit my opening
remarks for the record.
With that, we will proceed. Each witness will have five
minutes to proceed. Then if we have time, we will follow up
with questions. If not, we will take a break for votes.
Dr. Keith, please.

STATEMENTS OF DR. DAVID KEITH, CANADA RESEARCH CHAIR IN ENERGY
AND THE ENVIRONMENT, DIRECTOR, ISEEE ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL
SYSTEMS GROUP, UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY

Dr. Keith. Chairman Baird, Committee Members, thank you
very much for having me here today.
We must make deep cuts in global emissions if we are going
to manage the risks of climate change. Emissions reductions are
necessary, but they are not necessarily sufficient. This is
because even if we halt all emissions instantly today, which is
not going to happen, the climate risks they pose would persist
for millennia. Also, the climate's response to the amount of
CO2 we put in the air is highly uncertain. We could
get lucky and see small amounts of climate change, or we could
be unlucky. Risk management is the heart of climate policy, so
a small risk of catastrophic impact exists even with today's
carbon burden, and that risk grows with each ton of new
emissions. So because risk management is central, we must hope
for the best while laying plans to navigate the worst.
Geoengineering describes two distinct concepts. Carbon
dioxide removal, CDR, is a set of tools for removing carbon
dioxide from the atmosphere, while solar radiation management,
SRM, would reduce the earth's absorption of solar energy,
cooling the planet by adding sulfur aerosols to the upper
atmosphere or by adding sea salt aerosols to whiten marine
clouds. SRM and CDR_forgive my acronyms_do different things,
entirely different things. SRM is cheap and can act quickly to
cool the planet, but it introduces novel environmental and
security risks, and it can at best only partially mask the
impacts of CO2 in the air. The low price tag is very
attractive but it raises the risks of unilateral action and a
facile cheerleading that promotes exclusive reliance on SRM.
In concert with emissions cuts, CDR can reduce the carbon
burden in the atmosphere, a kind of global climate remediation.
We need this capability. Unless we can remove CO2
from the air faster than nature does, we will, we are,
consigning the earth to a warmer future for millennia or a
sustained and risky program of solar radiation management.
Carbon removal can only make a difference if we capture
carbon by the gigaton. The sheer scale of the carbon challenge
means that just like emissions cuts, CDR will always be much
more expensive and much slower acting than SRM.
SRM and CDR_again, forgive the acronyms_each provide a
means to manage climate risk, but they are wholly distinct with
respect to the science and technology required to deploy and
test them, with respect to their costs and environmental risks,
and with respect to the challenges they pose for public policy
and governance regulation. Because these technologies have
little in common, I suggest that we will have a better chance
to craft sensible policy if we separate them almost entirely in
the policy process.
In the spirit of disclosure, I offer a few comments about
my own work. Along with my academic work, I run a startup
company, Carbon Engineering, that seeks to develop large-scale
industrial technologies for capturing CO2 from the
air, a form of CDR. Professor Lackner will say more about this
later. I am thrilled to work on this technology. It has a shot,
however small, at providing a tool to manage one of the
greatest environmental threats. I will be happy to answer
questions about this and other CDR technologies but I will
focus my remarks on SRM because I believe that is where there
is the most urgent need for government action.
Because of the serious concerns raised by the enormous
leverage SRM grants us over the global climate, I think it is
crucial that development of these technologies be managed in a
way that is as transparent as possible. I therefore do no
commercial or proprietary work on SRM.
In my written comments, I offer some thoughts about the
specific kinds of research that are needed, the funding, the
agencies that might be appropriate or might not, the scale of
the research program. One thing I will say here is that we
don't want to start too fast. Research programs can be killed
by getting too much money too quickly.
The idea of deliberately manipulating the earth's energy
balance to offset human-driven climate change strikes many as
dangerous hubris. Solar engineering is like chemotherapy: no
one wants it. It is far better to avoid carcinogens but we all
want the ability to do chemo and to understand its risks should
we find ourselves with dangerous cancer. The primary argument
against doing SRM research is fear that it will sap our will to
cut emissions. I share this view. Yet I believe that the risks
of not doing research outweigh the risks of doing it. SRM may
be the only means to fend off the risk of rapid and high-
consequence climate impacts. Furthermore, there are
environmental and geopolitical risks posed by the potential of
unilateral deployment of SRM by a small or large state acting
alone which can best be managed by developing widely shared
knowledge, risk assessment and norms of governance. I don't
mean one big U.N.-style government system, I just mean some
understanding, however it works, of how we manage this
thermostat for the planet.
It is a healthy sign that a common first response to
geoengineering is revulsion. It suggests we have learned
something from past instances of techno-optimism and subsequent
failures, but we must not overinterpret past experience.
Responsible management of climate risk requires sharp emissions
cuts and clear-eyed research on SRM linked with the development
of shared tools for managing it. The two are not in opposition.
They are not dichotomies. We are currently doing very little on
either, cutting emissions or this, and we urgently need action
on both. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Keith follows:]
Prepared Statement of David Keith

Learning to manage sunlight: Research needs for Solar Radiation
Management

Two kinds of geoengineering

Geoengineering describes two distinct concepts. Carbon Dioxide
Removal (CDR) describes a set of tools for removing carbon dioxide from
the atmosphere, while Solar Radiation Management (SRM) would reduce the
Earth's absorption of solar energy, cooling the planet by, for example,
adding sulfur aerosols to the upper atmosphere or adding sea salt
aerosols to increase the lifetime and reflectivity of low-altitude
clouds.
We must make deep cuts in global emissions of carbon dioxide to
manage the risks of climate change. While emissions reductions are
necessary, they are not necessarily sufficient. Emission cuts alone may
be insufficient because even if we could halt all carbon emissions
today, the climate risks they pose would persist for millennia_by some
measures, the climate impact of carbon emissions persists longer than
nuclear waste. Moreover, the climatic response to elevated carbon
dioxide concentration is uncertain, so a small risk of catastrophic
impacts exists even at today's concentration.
Technologies for decarbonizing the energy system, from solar or
nuclear power to the capture of CO2 from the flue gases of
coal-fired power plants, can cut emissions_allowing us to limit our
future commitment to warming_but they cannot reduce the climate risk
posed by the carbon we have already added to the air, and that risk
grows as each ton of emissions drive up the atmospheric carbon burden.
Risk management is at the heart of climate policy: planning our
response around our current estimate of the most likely outcome is
reckless. We must hope for the best while laying plans to navigate the
worst.
SRM and CDR do different things. SRM is cheap and can act quickly
to cool the planet, but it introduces novel environmental and security
risks and can_at best_only partially mask the environmental impacts of
elevated carbon dioxide.
In concert with emissions cuts, CDR technologies can reduce the
carbon burden in the atmosphere; one might call it global climate
remediation. We need a means to reduce atmospheric CO2
concentrations in order to manage the long-run risks of climate change.
Unless we can remove CO2 from the air faster than nature
does, we will consign the earth to a warmer future for millennia or
commit ourselves to the risks of sustained SRM.
But, carbon removal can only make a difference if we capture carbon
by the gigaton. The shear scale of the carbon challenge means that CDR
will always be relatively slow and expensive.
SRM and CDR each provide a means to manage climate risks; they are,
however, wholly distinct with respect to

the science and technology required to develop, test and
deploy them;

their costs and environmental risks; and,

the challenges they pose for public policy and governance.

Because these technologies have little in common, I suggest that we
will have a better chance to craft sensible policy if we treat them
separately.
In the spirit of disclosure, I offer a few comments about my own
work. I run Carbon Engineering, a startup company that aims to develop
industrial scale technologies for capturing CO2 from the
air. I will be happy to answer questions about these technologies, but
I will focus my remarks on SRM because I believe that is where there is
the most urgent need for action that links the development of a
research program to progress on learning how to manage this potentially
dangerous technology.
Because of the serious and legitimate concerns raised by the
enormous leverage SRM technologies grant us over the global climate, I
think it is crucial that development of these technologies be managed
in a way that is as transparent as possible. I therefore do no
commercial or proprietary work on SRM.
The primary argument against research on SRM is fear that it will
reduce the political will to lower greenhouse gas emissions. I believe
that the risks of not doing research outweigh the risks of doing it.
Solar-radiation management may be the only response that can fend off
unlikely but rapid and high-consequence climate impacts. Further, there
are environmental and geopolitical risks posed by the potential of
unilateral deployment of SRM, which can best be managed by developing
widely-shared knowledge, risk assessment, and norms of governance.
The idea of deliberately manipulating the Earth's energy balance to
offset human-driven climate change strikes many as dangerous hubris. It
is a healthy sign that a common first response to geoengineering is
revulsion. It suggests we have learned something from past instances of
over-eager technological optimism and subsequent failures. But we must
also avoid over-interpreting this past experience. Responsible
management of climate risks requires sharp emissions cuts and clear-
eyed research and assessment of SRM capability. The two are not in
opposition. We are currently doing neither; action is urgently needed
on both.

An overview of solar radiation management

SRM has three essential characteristics: it is cheap, fast, and
imperfect. Long-established estimates show that SRM could offset this
century's global-average temperature rise a few hundred times more
cheaply than achieving the same cooling by emission cuts. This is
because such a tiny mass is required: a few grams of sulfate particles
in the stratosphere can offset the radiative forcing of a ton of
atmospheric carbon dioxide. At a few $1000 a ton for aerosol delivery
to the stratosphere that adds up to a figure in the order of $10
billion dollars per year to provide a cooling that_however crudely_
counteracts the heating from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
This low price tag is attractive, but raises the risks of single
groups acting alone and of facile cheerleading that promotes exclusive
reliance on SRM.
SRM can alter the global climate within months_as shown by the 1991
eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, which cooled the globe about 0.5 C in less
than a year. In contrast, because of the carbon cycle's inertia, even a
massive program of emission cuts or carbon dioxide removal will take
many decades to discernibly slow global warming.
A world cooled by managing sunlight will not be the same as one
cooled by lowering emissions. An SRM-cooled world would have less
precipitation and less evaporation. Some areas would be more protected
from temperature changes than others, creating local winners and
losers. SRM could weaken monsoon rains and winds. It would not combat
ocean acidification or other carbon dioxide-driven ecosystem changes
and would introduce other environmental risks such as delaying the
recovery of the ozone hole. Initial studies suggest that known risks
are small, but the possibility of unanticipated risks remains a serious
underlying concern.
Cheap, fast and imperfect: each of these essential characteristics
has profound implications for public policy.

Because SRM is imperfect, it cannot replace emissions cuts. If
we let emissions grow and rely solely on SRM to limit warming, these
problems will eventually grow to pose risks comparable to the risks of
uncontrolled emissions.
Because SRM is cheap, even a small county could act alone, a
fact that poses hard and novel challenges for international security.
Finally, because SRM appears to be the only fast-acting method
of slowing global warming it may be a powerful tool to manage the risks
of unexpectedly dangerous climate outcomes.

Towards Solar Radiation Management research plan

The capacity to implement SRM cannot simply be assumed. It must be
developed, tested, and assessed. Research to date has largely consisted
of a handful of climate model studies, using very simple
parameterization of aerosol microphysics. More complex models of
aerosol physics need to be developed and linked to global climate
models. Field tests will be needed, such as experiments generating and
tracking stratospheric aerosols to block sunlight and dispersing sea-
salt aerosols to brighten marine clouds. Decades of upper atmosphere
research has produced a mass of relevant science. But, except for a
recent ill-conceived Russian test, there have been no field tests of
SRM.
There has been no dedicated government research funding available
for SRM anywhere in the world; though, a few programs for have begun in
Europe in the past few months.
The environmental hazards of SRM cannot be assessed without knowing
the specific techniques that might be used, and it is impossible to
identify and develop techniques without field testing. Such tests can
be small: tonnes not megatonnes.
It is widely assumed, for example, that a suitable distribution of
stratospheric sulfate aerosols can be produced by releasing SO2
in the stratosphere, but new simulations of aerosol micro-physics
suggest the resultant aerosol size distribution would be skewed to
large particles that are relatively ineffective. Several aerosol
compositions and delivery methods may offer a way around this problem,
but choosing between them and assessing their environmental impacts
will require small-scale in-situ testing.
To provide a specific example related to my own work, NASA's ER-2
high-altitude research plane might be used to release a ton of sulfuric
acid vapor along a 10 km plume in the stratosphere, and fly through the
plume to assess the formation of aerosol and its sun scattering ability
and its impact on ozone chemistry. Such tests take a few years to plan
and cost a few million dollars.
An international research budget growing from roughly $10 million
to $1 billion annually over this decade would likely be sufficient to
build the capability to deploy SRM and greatly improve understanding of
its risks.
It is important to start slowly. Research programs can fail if they
get too much money too quickly. Given the limited scientific community
now knowledgeable about SRM, a very rapid buildup of research funding
might result in a lot of ill-conceived projects being funded and, given
the inherently controversial nature of the technology, the result might
be a backlash that effectively ends systematic research.
The U.S. will need an interagency research program, because no
single agency has the right combination of abilities to manage the
whole program. For example, NSF's processes for transparent peer-review
and investigator driven funding will be important in effectively
supporting the diversity of critical analysis that is necessary on such
an inherently controversial topic. But NSF is perhaps less suited to
manage the larger mission oriented programs that link technology
development and science.
NASA has some institutional history and abilities that may be
particularly relevant to stratospheric SRM. The high-speed research
program, for example, linked scientific efforts to understand the
impacts a supersonic transport fleet on the ozone layer with technology
development aimed to minimize those impacts. The management and
research assets used in this program could serve as the foundation of a
program to develop and test technologies for delivering stratospheric
aerosols. But NASA is less suited to fostering diverse early-stage
science.
DOE's Office of Science has a record managing large programs and
DOE has a relevant track record with its Atmospheric Radiation
Measurement (ARM) program. But SRM is not at its core an energy problem
and there will be difficulties fitting it into the DOE structure.
Finally, the inherently controversial nature of SRM research makes
it particularly important that it not be entrusted exclusively to
either its proponents or its adversaries. The development of an
interagency program may help to foster the necessary diversity. Indeed,
there may be value in a ``blue team/red team'' approach, as sometimes
used for military preparedness planning. One team is charged to make an
approach as effective and low-risk as possible, while the other works
to identify all the ways it can fail. Anticipating the conditions of
urgency, even panic, that might attend a future decision to deploy SRM,
such an adversarial approach may increase the quality and utility of
information available in time to aid future decision-makers.

Concluding thoughts

Although risk of climate emergencies may motivate SRM research, it
would be reckless to conduct the first large-scale SRM tests in an
emergency. Instead, experiments should expand gradually to scales big
enough to produce barely detectable climate effects and reveal
unexpected problems, yet small enough to limit resultant risks. Our
ability to detect the climatic response to SRM grows with the test's
duration, so starting sooner makes the scale of experiment needed to
give detectable results by any future date-say by 2030-smaller. A later
start delays when results are known, or requires a bigger intervention
in order to detect the response.
Beyond research, building responsibly toward future SRM capability
also requires surmounting problems of international governance that are
hard, and novel. These are quite unlike the problems of emissions
mitigation, where the main governance challenge is motivating
contributions to a costly shared goal. For SRM, the main problem will
be establishing legitimate collective control over an activity that
some might seek to do unilaterally. Such a unilateral challenge could
arise in many forms and from many quarters. At one extreme, a state
might simply decide that avoiding climate-change impacts on its people
takes precedence over environmental concerns of SRM and begin injecting
sulfur into the stratosphere, with no prior risk assessment or
international consultation. If this were a small state, it could be
quickly stopped by great-power intervention. If it were a major state,
that might not be possible.
Alternatively a nation might grow frustrated at the pace of
international cooperation and establish a national program of gradually
expanding research and field tests. This might be linked to a
distinguished international advisory board, including leading
scientists and retired politicians of global stature. It is plausible
that, after exhausting other avenues to limit climate risks, such a
nation might decide to begin a gradual, well-monitored program of SRM
deployment, even absent any international agreement on its regulation.
In this case, one nation_which need not be a large and rich
industrialized country_would effectively seize the initiative on global
climate, making it extremely difficult for other powers to restrain it.
No existing treaty or institution is well suited to SRM governance.
Given current uncertainties immediate negotiation of a treaty is
probably not advisable. Hasty pursuit of international regulation would
risk locking in commitments that might soon be seen as wrong-headed,
such as a total ban on research or testing, or burdensome vetting of
even innocuous research projects.
A better approach would be to build international cooperation and
norms from the bottom up, as knowledge and experience develop_as has
occurred in cases as diverse as the development of technical standards
for communications technology to the landmine treaty which emerged
bottom-up from action by NGOs. A first step might be a transparent,
loosely-coordinated international program supporting research and risk
assessments by multiple independent teams. Simultaneously, informal
consultations on risk assessment, acceptability, regulation, and
governance could engage broad groups of experts and stakeholders such
as former government officials and NGO leaders. Iterative links between
emerging governance and ongoing scientific and technical research would
be the core of this bottom-up approach.
Opinions about SRM are changing rapidly. Only a few years ago, many
scientists opposed open discussion of the topic. Many now support
model-based research, but discussion of field testing of the sort we
advocate here is contentious and will likely grow more so. The main
argument against SRM research is that it would undermine already-
inadequate resolve to cut emissions. I am keenly aware of this `moral
hazard'_indeed I introduced the term into the geoengineering
literature_but I am skeptical that suppressing SRM research would in
fact raise commitment to mitigation. Indeed, with the possibility of
SRM now widely recognized, failing to subject it to serious research
and risk assessment may well pose the greater threat to mitigation
efforts, by allowing implicit reliance on SRM without critical scrutiny
of its actual requirements, limitations, and risks. If SRM proves to be
unworkable or poses unacceptable risks, the sooner we know the less
moral hazard it poses; if it is effective, we gain a useful additional
tool to limit climate damages.

Biography for David Keith




Professor Keith has worked near the interface between climate
science, energy technology and public policy for 20 years. His work in
technology and policy assessment has centered on the capture and
storage of CO2. the technology and implications of global
climate engineering, the economics and climatic impacts of large-scale
wind power and the prospects for hydrogen fuel. As a technologist,
David has built a high-accuracy infrared spectrometer for NASA's ER-2
and developed new methods for reservoir engineering increase the safety
of stored CO2. He now leads a team of engineers developing
technology to capture of CO2 from ambient air at an
industrial scale.
David took first prize in Canada's national physics prize exam, he
won MIT's prize for excellence in experimental physics, was listed as
one of TIME magazine's Heroes of the Environment 2009 and was named
Environmental Scientist of the Year by Canadian Geographic in 2006. He
spent most of his career in the United States at Harvard University and
Carnegie Mellon University before returning to Canada in 2004 to lead a
research group in energy and environmental systems at the University of
Calgary.
David has served on numerous high-profile advisory panels such as
the U.K. Royal Society's geoengineering study, the IPCC, and Canadian
`blue ribbon' panels and boards. David has addressed technical
audiences with articles in Science and Nature, he has consulted for
national governments, global industry leaders and international
environmental groups, and has reached the public through venues such as
the BBC, NPR, CNN and the editorial page of the New York Times.

Chairman Baird. Thank you, Dr. Keith.
Dr. Rasch.

STATEMENTS OF DR. PHILIP RASCH, CHIEF SCIENTIST FOR CLIMATE
SCIENCE, LABORATORY FELLOW, ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES AND GLOBAL
CHANGE DIVISION, PACIFIC NORTHWEST NATIONAL LABORATORY

Dr. Rasch. Thank you, Chairman Baird and the Subcommittee,
for inviting me today.
I think I will start by just reminding you of what solar
radiation management is. Scientists tend to loosely refer to
light or heat or energy as radiation, and so when we speak of
solar radiation management, we really mean managing the amount
of sunlight reaching the surface of the earth. If we can
reflect a little bit more sunlight back to space, then we will
cool the planet.
Before jumping into some of the scientific issues, I am
going to speak just for a second on funding issues. If you look
at my assessment of funding in the written testimony, you will
see that I think that the total grants from U.S. agencies today
for geoengineering research amounts to about $200,000 a year.
If you add in some invisible funding that comes from faculty
members or scientists like myself donating their time, it might
double. If you add in foundation money, it might come to a
million dollars a year. If you contrast this with the kind of
program like the Apollo program to put a man on the moon of $2
billion per year or total up all the climate research today of
$1 billion per year, then you can see we are currently putting
a tiny, tiny amount in, and maybe that is the right thing to
do. That is really for policymakers like you to help us decide.
But if you think it is important to do geoengineering research,
then it would be very easy to make a big difference with a
relatively small amount of money.
You asked me to talk about the solar radiation management
techniques known as stratospheric sulfate aerosols and cloud
whitening. I have worked in both of these areas. Scientists are
interested in these two ideas because we already know they play
a role in the real world. We see that when volcanoes produce
sulfate aerosols high in the atmosphere, the planet cools. We
see that when ships inject aerosols as pollution into clouds,
that those clouds become whiter and reflect more sunlight_some
of those clouds do_which should cool the planet a bit. We think
we might be able to do the same kind of thing deliberately. In
climate models when we brighten the clouds, we see that the
planet cools. When we inject an aerosol like volcanoes do, we
see that the planet cools. That is the good news, but that
statement is far too simple. There are also undesirable things
that happen. We see that even though we might make the average
temperature of the planet about right, the rainfall patterns
would change some from today, and some places become warmer and
some places become cooler.
So there are going to be winners and losers in this
geoengineering activity if we were to do it. But nevertheless,
as David has said, there are reasons why we might consider
doing it. We know that the models that we are using today are
far too simple and incomplete. We know how to do better. There
are many outstanding unresolved important issues that need to
be addressed if one wants to understand geoengineering better.
I have made some suggestions in my written testimony about ways
we might use funding to strengthen the activity involving
computer modeling, technology development, and lab and field
research. There are a bunch of first-class research scientists
and engineers in the United States and Europe now working for
free in their spare time to think about this, but there are
some things that take money to solve, and a much better job
could be done if there was a funded program for geoengineering.
All the work that I have suggested doing essentially comes
down to focusing on two questions: Can we actually create
particles in the stratosphere or whiten clouds as we assumed in
our first climate studies? We need technology development and
we need fundamental research to understand this.
Then the second part would be: What would be the impact on
climate if we did put the particles into the stratosphere or
whiten clouds? This involves deployment, actually, at some
level. I think I have to skip over, in the interest of time, my
discussions of some of the subtleties of the ways we could
focus on the cloud whitening or the stratospheric aerosols, but
I would be glad to take questions about it.
You also asked me to address deployment issues. I feel very
strongly we are not ready for deployment, if by deployment you
mean trying to affect the climate. There are too many things
that haven't been looked at yet, but there is a lot we can do
with fieldwork that will help us understand geoengineering but
won't change the climate. For the cloud whitening strategy,
field and modeling studies would help us understand a critical
feature of the climate system called the aerosol indirect
effect, which is really critical for understanding climate
change more generally as well. I don't have the time to talk to
you about this now but I would love to address it if you ask me
questions.
I think that if we managed to tighten up our work to the
point that we think a geoengineering strategy looks viable, it
would probably require a Manhattan Project, looking at it with
a much larger group of stakeholders, checking the science,
searching for flaws in our initial work and worrying about
issues far beyond the scope of physical scientists.
Thanks for listening to me and I am happy to take
questions.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Rasch follows:]
Prepared Statement of Philip Rasch
I would like to thank the committee for the invitation to provide
testimony at this hearing. I am aware that this is the second of three
hearings on geoengineering, and that you have already been introduced
to many of the concepts behind geoengineering at your previous hearing.
A number of important documents were submitted during the previous
hearing. I will not submit any more beyond my own testimony during this
hearing, but I do refer to a few more scientific papers that I think
are relevant (listed in the references at the end). I have attempted to
strike a balance between repeating some of the information covered in
the last hearing to provide continuity, and new material.
There are two classes of geoengineering (the intentional
modification of the Earth's Climate) being discussed in the scientific
community and by the congressional committee: 1) Approaches designed to
draw down the concentration of Greenhouse Gases, to reduce Global
Warming; and 2) ``Solar Radiation Management''. You asked me to focus
on Solar Radiation Management, with particular attention to
stratospheric sulfate aerosols, and marine cloud whitening. I will try
to respond to the specific questions that you listed in your letter,
and will also provide additional information where I think it relevant.
What is Solar Radiation Management? Solar Radiation Management
refers to the idea that mankind might be able to influence the amount
of sunlight reaching the surface of the Earth deliberately. Scientists
sometimes use the terms ``radiation'', ``light'', ``energy'' and
``heat'' in this context interchangeably. So ``Solar Radiation
Management'' really means, ``managing the amount of sunlight reaching
the Earth's surface''. The global temperature of the planet is
determined by the Earth system finding a balance between the energy
absorbed from sunlight, and the energy leaving the atmosphere as
radiant energy (heat) in the infrared part of the electromagnetic
spectrum. The idea behind Solar Radiation Management is that if mankind
could find a way to make the planet a little more reflective to
sunlight, then less would be absorbed by the Earth, and the planet will
be slightly cooler than it would otherwise be. So Solar Radiation
Management is designed to cancel some of the warming that we expect
from increasing Greenhouse Gas Concentrations.
Note that even if Solar Radiation Management succeeds, it will not
cancel all the effects of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations. The
increasing acidity of the oceans with its impact on ocean life is a
good example of a consequence of increasing CO2 that will
not be treated by Solar Radiation Management.
Before jumping in further, I want to get past a few ``buzzwords''
immediately. From here on I will often replace the term ``Solar
Radiation Management'' with the word ``geoengineering''. And I will
often loosely refer to the ``changes in the amount of energy entering
or leaving some part of the planet because of some climate factor'' as
a ``forcing''. So there is a forcing associated with increasing
greenhouse gases, and there is another forcing associated with Solar
Radiation Management. The idea is to try to match the forcings so that
they kind of cancel.
Preliminary Remarks on Geoengineering Research Goals and Expected
Outcomes: There are many uncertainties in geoengineering research.
Identifying the consequences of geoengineering to the climate of the
planet is at least as difficult as identifying the changes to the
planet that will occur from increasing greenhouse gases. Just as
scientists cannot be certain of all of the consequences of doubling (or
more) the concentration of CO2 to the planet, we cannot be
certain of the outcome of any particular strategy for geoengineering
the planet to counter that warming. What science can do is use the same
tools and body of knowledge to identify likely outcomes from either
class of perturbations to the planet.
I am not sure we could ever be certain of the outcome of
geoengineering. I think it is important to recognize that
geoengineering is a gamble. The decision to try geoengineering in the
end will probably be based upon balancing the consequences of a
negative outcome from geoengineering against the negative outcome from
``not geoengineering''.
I believe there are a variety of activities to consider for
geoengineering research:

Assessment, Integration: to brainstorm, review
suggested strategies, and identify obviously unsuitable
suggestions. Only a little work has been done to evaluate
proposed strategies for efficacy and costs (e.g. Royal Society
report, 2009 and Lenton and Vaughan, 2009).

Computer Modeling: There are a variety of kinds of
modeling studies that are relevant to geoengineering.

Climate models and Earth system models are needed
that provide a global view about interactions between
many parts of the climate system over time scales as
long a centuries.

``Process Models'' that include a lot of detail
about one specific feature of the Earth system are also
needed. These kinds of models might describe how for
example cloud drops might form, but they neglect
anything that isn't central to that understanding, like
what the rainfall was a thousand miles away. They do
calculations that are generally far too expensive to be
used for a global computer calculation but they are
incredibly useful for understanding how a particular
process operates. Science frequently uses global models
to produce a broad view of geoengineering outcomes, but
for those strategies that look promising, increasingly
stringent levels of analysis are required to see
whether the simple assumptions used in a climate model
hold up. Process models are used to understand
important details.

Other models may also be needed for a broader set of
questions (for example the impact of geoengineering on
ecosystems or the economy).

Lab and Fieldwork: Lab and fieldwork are critical to
assure a thorough understanding of the fundamental physical
process important to climate and that computer models are
reasonably accurate in representing that process. I think it is
critical to distinguish between ``small scale field studies''
where we might introduce some particles into the atmosphere
over such a small scale that they would have negligible climate
impact, and ``full scale deployment'' where we expect to
actually have a climate impact. Field studies might try to
induce a deliberate change to some feature of the earth system
at a level with a negligible impact on the climate, but the
change would allow us to detect a response in a component
important to climate. For example, with Cloud Whitening one
might try to modify a cloud, or a group of clouds by
introducing a change over a very small area, over and over
again for a month, to see whether we really understand how that
kind of cloud works, and whether models can reproduce what we
see in the real world. With Stratospheric Aerosols one might
envision devoting a few aircraft to trying to deliver the
material needed to make aerosol particles in the stratosphere,
and then look to see whether the right size particles form, and
how long they last.

Technology Development: to develop equipment and
measurement strategies that might be used for process studies,
for exploratory trials, or as prototypes for full deployment.
Some work has been done to develop plans for the devices needed
for the cloud whitening strategy, and the ships that could
deploy the sea salt particles.

Deployment Activities: Obviously, one can envision a
gradation of experiments to the climate, ranging from those
with no impact, to those having a huge impact. I am going to
reserve the word ``deployment'' to refer to geoengineering
designed to have a big impact on climate. I don't think
scientists know enough today about geoengineering, and so I
don't think we are ready for ``deployment''. I am going to
avoid much discussion of full deployment scenarios for the rest
of my testimony except to tell you what a climate model says
might happen, and to acknowledge that when and if we think we
understand geoengineering well enough to deploy it we must
consider many new issues. Monitoring, infrastructure, energy
consumption, economic modeling, governance, and much else are
needed if we reach a stage where deployment is viable.

Preliminary Remarks on Costs associated with Geoengineering
Research. The costs are determined in large part by the goals of the
research, and the outcomes that are to be achieved.
In my opinion before a nation (or the world) ever decided to deploy
a full scale geoengineering project to try to compensate for warming by
greenhouse gases it would require an enormous activity, equivalent to
that presently occurring within the modeling and assessment activities
associated with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
activity, or a Manhattan Project, or both. It would involve hundreds or
thousands of scientists and engineers and require the involvement of
politicians, ethicists, social scientists, and possibly the military.
These issues are outside of my area of expertise. Early ``back of the
envelope'' calculations estimated costs of a few billion dollars per
year for full deployment of a stratospheric aerosol strategy (see for
example, Crutzen, (2006) or Robock et al (2009b)). These numbers are
very rough. I am not sure it is worth refining them much at this time,
due to the many uncertainties that need to be resolved by exploratory
research.
There are many smaller steps that can be taken to make initial
progress on understanding geoengineering at a much lower cost, and at a
level that does not require an international consensus, or actually
introduce significant changes in the Earth's climate. These steps are
worth doing because they allow us to identify obvious deficiencies in
geoengineering strategies, and revise or abandon the problematic
strategies.
To put my recommendations on future research in context, I want to
start by summarizing the research taking place today, and estimating
the costs associated with that research.
The research that has been done so far has been done on a
shoestring budget. I am aware of 3 research groups in the U.S. that
have done substantial geoengineering research in the last five years (I
believe there are now 4 groups). Some of that work was done by
postdoctoral researchers or students with fellowships allowing the
freedom to work on any topic of their choice. Other work was done
because a faculty member or a scientist like myself (in my previous
position) had some small amount of flexibility in his or her
appointment that allowed them to do research on geoengineering for a
small fraction of their time. I believe that there are now two very
small research grants sponsored by U.S. government agencies that
explicitly support GEOE research totaling about $200,000/year. The
``implicit'' funding I described might double that contribution.
Foundations have also contributed funding for geoengineering that may
amount to another $500,000 per year.
I estimate the total (2009) budget for all geoengineering research
within the U.S. is probably $1M/year or less. Perhaps half of that is
from private foundations.
There is a single major European Proposal funded by the E.U. at
$1.5 Million per year to fund geoengineering research, and a number of
activities started in the United Kingdom on geoengineering that total
perhaps $1.6 Million per year. I believe that Germany is also now
considering funding some geoengineering research.
I think the Apollo Program to send a man to the moon took place
over about 10 years, and ran about $20 Billion dollars (http://
spaceflight.nasa.gov/history/apollo) so that comes to about $2 Billion
per year. And those costs are not cast in today's dollars, so it would
appear to be more if we adjusted for inflation.
I estimate from the U.S. Climate Change Science Program 2009
budgets (http://www.usgcrp.gov/usgcrp/Library/ocp2009/ocp2009-budget-
gen.htm) that the total for climate science in the U.S. is about $l
Billion per year.
So the current spending on geoengineering research is tiny compared
to these activities. And maybe it should be, that is not for me to
decide. I think that is your job in part. But I can tell you that $10,
20, or $50 Million per year would have an enormous effect on the
research activity in this area.
Finally, it is worth writing a little bit about costs of field
experiments. Although the comprehensive, international and successful
VOCALS field research experiment conducted off Chile in 2008 had no
geoengineering component to it, the range of techniques and measurement
strategies involved were very similar to those required for a limited-
area field test of the cloud whitening scheme discussed below. VOCALS
cost $20-25 Million.
Now, on to your questions.

How does stratospheric sulfate aerosol achieve the necessary radiative
forcing?

Mankind has known for many years that the planet cools following a
moderately strong volcanic eruption (like Pinatubo). We believe that
the planet cools because volcanoes inject a lot of a gas called sulfur
dioxide into the layer of the atmosphere called the stratosphere (a
stable layer in the atmosphere with its base at about 10km near the
poles, and about 18km at the equator). This gas undergoes a series of
natural chemical reactions that end up producing a mixture of water and
sulfuric acid in small droplets we call sulfate aerosols. These sulfate
aerosols act like small reflectors that scatter sunlight. Some of the
sunlight hitting these drops gets scattered down, and some up. The part
that goes up never reaches the surface of the Earth and so the Earth
gets a bit cooler than it would otherwise.
The geoengineering idea is to inject a ``source'' for aerosols into
the same region of the atmosphere that volcanoes tend to inject the
gas. I use the word ``source'' to refer to either a gas like sulfur
dioxide (or another gas that will eventually react chemically and form
sulfate aerosols), or to inject sulfuric acid (or some other particle
type) directly. The expectation is that similar particles to those
following a volcanic eruption will form from that source, and the earth
will undergo a cooling similar to a volcano. The idea is to reduce the
amount of energy reaching the surface of the earth to introduce just
enough to balance the warming caused by increases in greenhouse gases.
If the particles were like those that formed after Pinatubo we think
that an amount like one quarter of that injected by Pinatubo per year
would balance the warming that we expect from a doubling of CO2
concentrations if it were injected at tropical latitudes. These numbers
might change if the aerosols were injected in Polar Regions.
You might also be interested to know that scientists have
occasionally considered using other kinds of particles to do
geoengineering. But you asked me to focus on sulfate aerosols so I will
not discuss other particles further.
Scale and amount of materials needed. The amount of material needed
depends upon the size of the particles that form. Little particles are
better reflectors than big particles, and big particles also settle out
faster than little ones do, so it is desirable to keep them small.
Unfortunately, the size of the particles that form is a really
complicated process. It depends upon whether particles already reside
in the volume where the source is introduced. If particles already
exist near the place the source is introduced then the source will tend
to collect on the existing particles and make them bigger, rather than
making new small particles. One of the main challenges to this
geoengineering strategy is finding a way to continue to make small
particles. One very recent paper (Heckendorn et al, 2009) suggests that
first studies underestimated how quickly big particles will form, and
that more of the source will be needed than the first studies assumed
(perhaps 5 times as much). One challenge to this type of geoengineering
research is to establish whether it is possible to produce small
particles deliberately at the appropriate altitude for long periods of
time.

Over what time period would deployment need to take place?

If the geoengineering works as we have seen in climate models [that
is, it cooled the planet] there would be very strong hints that the
strategy was working within a couple of years of deployment. Scientists
would certainly be more comfortable considering averages of 5 to 10
years of temperature data before making very strong statements about
temperature changes. It would also take multiple years to sort out all
the consequences (good and bad) to precipitation, sea ice, etc. Some of
the known negative consequences from this type of geoengineering would
be evident quickly (e.g. impact on concentrations of ozone in the
stratosphere, changes in the amount of direct sunlight useful for solar
power concentrators, and other consequences discussed in Rasch et al,
2008 and Robock 2009). Some effects, like those on ecosystems, might
take more years to manifest. I don't think anyone has yet looked at
impacts on ecosystems.
How would we do the deployment? This geoengineering strategy would
require deploying the particle source year after year, for as long as
society wanted to produce a cooling. Aerosols introduced in the
stratosphere will gradually mix into other layers in the atmosphere as
they are blown around by winds or as gravity draws them into lower
layers where they are rapidly removed. Aerosols in the stratosphere
tend to last about a year before being removed (shorter near the poles
where the aerosols get flushed out faster, and longer near the
equator). One strategy is to deploy the source near the equator, and
allow the particles to spread as a thin layer over the whole globe
(this is roughly how things worked for Pinatubo). This would apply a
cooling that is relatively uniform over the globe. Model studies
usually assume that the source would be introduced steadily near the
equator over the course of a year. Another strategy might be to produce
the particles only near the poles during the spring, and let them get
flushed out over the course of a summer (because they are flushed out
faster near the pole). While the aerosols are located above the poles,
they would shield the sea ice to keep the poles cooler in summer, and
then allow the aerosols to disappear during winter when there is no
sunlight at the poles anyway. Robock (2009) has shown that the
particles actually spread and produce a cooling beyond the Polar
Regions.
An important issue to note is that will be substantial difficulties
in evaluating this geoengineering strategy without full deployment.
This makes it difficult to improve our understanding slowly and
carefully using field experiments that do not change the Earth's
climate. The issue is this. We know from volcanic eruptions that
stratospheric aerosols reside at these high altitudes for long periods
of time (months to a year or so), and over that time, no matter where
the aerosols are initially produced, they will spread to cover quite a
bit of a hemisphere. We also know stratospheric aerosols develop
differently if a source is introduced where aerosols already exist
compared to the way they would form if there are only a few aerosols
around. A fully implemented geoengineering solution would require that
the aerosols cover a very large area of the globe with high
concentrations. So it is important that we study the aerosols in an
environment where they exist in high concentrations.
But to avoid introducing a large perturbation to the atmosphere
with consequences to the Earth's climate during exploratory tests it
would be desirable to start by introducing the aerosol over a very
small patch of the earth. However if one started with a small patch of
aerosol, then it will mix with the rest of the atmosphere and dilute
quite rapidly, and we do not expect the aerosol to evolve in the same
way when the particles are dilute, as they would if there were a lot of
them around. It will also be difficult to monitor their evolution if
there aren't many of them around.
So we are caught between rock and a hard place. Too small a field
test, and it wont reveal all the subtleties of the way the aerosols
will behave at full deployment. A bigger field test to identify the way
the aerosols will behave when they are concentrated will have an effect
on the planet's climate (like Pinatubo did), albeit for only a year or
two. I have not seen a suggestion on how to avoid this issue.
How long the direct and indirect impacts would persist: Model
simulations, and observations of volcanic eruptions suggest that when
the source is terminated, most of the aerosols would disappear in a
year or two. Models suggest that the globally averaged temperature
would respond by warming rapidly (over a decade or so) to the
temperature similar to what would occur if no geoengineering had been
done (Robock et al, 2008). The rapid transition to a warmer planet
would probably be quite stressful to ecosystems and to society. There
might be other longer timescale responses in the climate system (in
Ecosystems (plant and animal life) because it takes many years for
plants and animals to recover from a perturbation (think of a forest
fire for example). Deep ocean circulations also respond very slowly, so
it would take many years to influence them, and many years for them to
recover. These effects have not been looked at in climate models and it
is another area meriting scientific research.
State of Research on geoengineering by stratospheric aerosols Here
is a very brief overview of research has been taking place given the
current ``shoestring budgets'':

1. Assessment, Integration: As mentioned above, the papers by
Lenton and Vaughan (2008), and the report of the Royal Society
(citation) provide some assessments of this strategy compared
to others. Those studies are already somewhat out of date,
given the additional information from studies over the last two
years.

2. Modeling: A number of papers have appeared in the
scientific literature exploring consequences of geoengineering
with stratospheric aerosols using global models. These studies
essentially frame the questions by assuming that it is possible
to deliver a source gas to the stratosphere, and that gas will
produce particles similar to the ones produced after the Mount
Pinatubo eruption. Then they proceed to ask questions like
``What would be the effect of those aerosols on the Earth
System?'' using standard climate modeling techniques. The
community is beginning to transition from the first ``quick and
dirty look'' (e.g. Robock et al, 2008; Rasch et al, 2008). Each
modeling group that explored stratospheric aerosol
geoengineering did it a different way. Alan Robock has proposed
that modeling groups try to compare their stratospheric aerosol
geoengineering studies in a more systematic for the next IPCC
assessment. Only one group (Heckendorn) has tried to understand
the details of formation and aerosol size evolution, and they
used a model framework with a number of very significant
simplifications. It would be desirable to remove those
simplifications. It is also time to begin assessing the
evolution of the source of the aerosol from the time it is
delivered from an aircraft until it spreads to a larger volume
(like a few hundred km). Rasch et al (2008) revisited research
performed during the 1970s and 1980s to estimate the aerosol
formation and evolution after the source is released from an
aircraft.

3. Lab and Field Studies: I am not aware of any efforts to
conduct or plan lab or field studies to understand component
processes important for this kind of geoengineering.

4. Technology development: I am not aware of any efforts to
assess or develop technologies for producing the stratospheric
aerosols.

5. Deployment: There has been one study that tried to assess
the cost of just lifting various candidate compounds to the
needed altitude using existing technology (Robock et al, 2009).
There have been no studies yet published that explore what the
optimal source gas or liquid is, how it should be injected into
the atmosphere, or how to optimally deliver it. I know that
David Keith, who is also testifying here, has thought about
this, and he can do a better job briefing you on this activity
than I.

Cost estimates and recommendations for an improved research program for
stratospheric Aerosols:

A few $10s of Million per year funding for research would allow
substantial theoretical progress in geoengineering research through
modeling, and perhaps some proto-typing of instruments to produce the
aerosol source, and specialized instruments for measurement. It might
be sufficient for a field program every other year.

Here is an incomplete list of some of the tasks that should considered
in terms of the topics the committee charged me
with addressing: 1) Research, 2) Deployment, 3)
Monitoring 4) Downscaling, cessation and necessary
environmental remediation, and 5) Environmental
impacts:

1) Research: There are many opportunities for research. Here are a
few ideas.

Detailed Models

a. Systematic assessment of particle formation and
growth using size resolved aerosol models. Two
different kinds of models would probably be required:
1) A plume model to deal with the evolution of the
particles from source release to the point that the
plume has grown to maybe 10km in horizontal extent and
a few hundred meters in the vertical, 2) a size
resolved aerosol model to track the particle evolution
from 10km until the aerosol has been removed.
Investigator could be tasked with exploring whether one
would inject particles or a gas as a source, the
strategies for the temporal and spatial scales of
injection, and sensitive to the environment that the
source is injected (e.g. do the particles developed
differently if the air already contains aerosols).


Global Models

a. Global models indicate a number of positive and
negative consequences to the planet from
geoengineering. The first ``quick and dirty''
calculations described above produced different cooling
responses, and different precipitation responses in
different models. We don't yet know whether the
differences are due to model differences, or different
assumptions about emissions, particle size, etc. It
would be good to systematize studies of geoengineering
across multiple models to help in assessing uncertainty
about the effect of geoengineering.

b. We need to make sure that the global models are
producing similar pictures of aerosol formation,
coalescence and removal to the picture provided by the
detailed process models.

c. Very little work has been done in exploring
sensitivity to injection scenarios. For example we
don't know whether the geoengineering may have a
different impact if we produce the aerosol at a
constant rate over a year, or mimic a volcanic
injection every other year.

d. There has been no assessment of the impact of the
geoengineering aerosol on homogeneous nucleation of ice
clouds

e. There has been no exploration of how changes in how
geoengineering might affect ecosystems (plants and
animal health)

2) Field testing and Deployment

a. How do we deliver the source to the region of
release? A variety of delivery mechanisms have been
proposed, but none have been tested, and no engineering
details have ever been developed to the point that
costs could be assessed.

b. Once we have a detailed idea of precisely what
source we want, can we produce that source?

c. Plan an exploratory field experiment to help
understand the formation and evolution of the particles
for the first few weeks. After injecting the source in
the stratosphere do particles form as models suggest?
How do we track the plume? What instruments are
required to measure the particle properties, the plume
extent, and the reduction in sunlight below the plume.
Do the particles coagulate and grow as our models
suggest? Do the particles mix and evolve the way our
models tell us they will (from source to the first
scale, and from the first scale to the globe scale?).

3) Monitoring: We don't have much capability of monitoring the
details of sulfate aerosol from space any more (we had better
capability in the past before the NASA SAGE instrument died). This
issue is documented in some of the contributions submitted by Allen
Robock in the previous hearing. It would also be good to develop a
``standing task force'' that was capable of monitoring the detailed
evolution of the aerosol plume following a volcanic eruption. This
would allow us to gain significant understanding of plume evolution
without the need to produce a source for the aerosol.

4) Downscaling, cessation, environmental remediation.

a. The only insight that we have about impacts of the
geoengineering by sulfate aerosols come from that
gained from the global climate model studies, and
seeing the impact of climate changing volcanic
eruptions. Both classes of studies suggest that if the
source for stratospheric aerosols was turned off, the
aerosols go away within a year or two, and the climate
returns to a state much like it was before the
stratospheric aerosols over a decade or so. The rapid
return of temperature to the ungeoengineered state
would probably produce significant stresses to society,
and ecosystems, but no studies have been done to
explore this.

5) Environmental Impact: There are a variety of possible
environmental consequences, which have been described in the studies by
Rasch and Robock submitted at the last hearing. Among them are a)
changes in the ratio of direct to diffuse sunlight, with possible
impacts on ecosystem, and solar electricity generation; b) changes in
precipitation patterns; c) changes in El Nino.

Which U.S. Agencies might be involved: I can easily identify
expertise and capability in the following agencies:

1) NASA (which has a long history of interest in particles and
chemistry at the relevant altitudes through its High Speed
Research Program and Atmospheric Effects of Aviation Programs,
as well as the capability of remote sensing of particles and
their radiative impact from space and the surface).

2) NSF (many university researchers can also contribute to the
same parts of the project that are mentioned for NASA).

3) There are individual research groups within DOE and NOAA
that could make important contributions to modeling, field
campaign and measurement programs.

How does marine cloud whitening achieve the necessary radiative
forcing?

The idea behind ``Solar Radiation Management'' by ``cloud
whitening'' is to make clouds a bit ``whiter'' (a bit more reflective
to sunlight) than they would otherwise be.
Clouds are enormously important to the climate of the earth.
Everyone has experienced the cooling that results on a hot summer
afternoon when a cloud goes by overhead and shades the earth. This
occurs because the cloud reflects the sunlight that would otherwise
reach the surface and heat up the ground. Clear winter nights will
frequently be much colder than a nearby night when the sky is overcast.
This is because high clouds ``trap'' heat that would otherwise escape
to space. So it is warmer when high ice clouds are around.
These features of clouds acting to cool or warm the planet are
(like the stratospheric aerosols) due to their impact on ``radiation''
(again loosely identified with ``energy'', or ``light'', or ``heat'').
Low altitude liquid clouds tend to cool the planet more than they warm
it. High altitude ice clouds also act to warm the planet, by trapping
some of the energy that would otherwise escape to space. Scientists
believe the low cloud effect wins out in terms of reflecting or
trapping energy, and clouds as a whole tend to cool the planet more
than they warm it.
It is easy to find a few places on the planet where we know that
mankind makes clouds ``whiter'' (by which I mean more reflective)
because we see evidence for it in satellite pictures. These are the
areas where ``ship tracks'' occur. In these special regions dramatic
changes occur in cloud properties near where the ships go. Scientists
believe that the clouds are whiter due to the aerosols emitted as
pollution by the ships as they burn fuel. The extra aerosols in the
clouds change the way the cloud develops, and this makes it whiter, as
I describe below.
All clouds are influenced by (both man-made and natural) aerosols.
Every cloud drop has an aerosol embedded in it. Cloud drops always form
around aerosols. The way that aerosols interact with a cloud is
determined by the size and chemical composition of the aerosol, and by
the cloud type. To make an extreme simplification of a very complex
process, the general idea of geoengineering a cloud goes like this. If
one introduces extra aerosol into a region where a cloud is going to
form, then when the cloud forms, there will be more cloud drops in it
than there would otherwise have been. The term ``seeding'' has been
introduced to describe the process of introducing extra aerosols into
an area. It ends up that if cloud has more drops in it, then it tends
to be whiter than if it had fewer drops. Again, this is a
simplification. The whiteness also has to do with the size of each
cloud drop, and how it changes the way that the cloud precipitates, but
I am trying to keep the discussion short.
It is possible to demonstrate the whitening effect by aerosols for
many cloud types over many regions, but the effect is most dramatic in
the clouds that form in ship tracks.
The whiteness of a cloud is influenced by many factors. Aerosols
are critical but certainly not the only important factor influencing a
cloud. One type of cloud (for example midlatitude storm clouds seen in
Washington in January) will respond differently to aerosol changes than
another cloud type (for example the marine stratocumulus seen off the
coast of California).
The whitening phenomenon is believed to occur in many cloud
systems, but the effect may be most important in marine clouds near the
Earth's surface. Also clouds generally become more important in
reflecting sunlight over oceans because the ocean surface reflects less
sunlight than the land or snow even without clouds, so putting a bright
cloud over oceans cools the Earth more than if you put the same bright
cloud over already bright land or ice.
Scientists have speculated that geoengineering could be performed
by whitening many clouds over oceans deliberately, rather than
whitening a few of them accidently as we do today with ``ship tracks''.
The idea is to introduce tiny particles made of sea salt into the air
near where clouds might form, rather than the pollution particles
produced by freighters, and to do it in a lot more places in a
controlled and efficient way. Scientists think this seeding might make
the clouds whiter, and thus make the planet reflect more sunlight, and
become cooler.
Conceptually, the idea is quite simple, but realistically many
complications come into play. Clouds are enormously complex features of
the atmosphere. While we know a lot about the physics of clouds, we
aren't good at representing their effects precisely. One of the most
complex and uncertain aspects of clouds is in understanding and
predicting how clouds interact with aerosols (the so called ``Aerosol
Indirect Effect''). This complexity is well described in the Fourth
Assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel in Climate Change (AR4,
2007). While we know that there are situations where additional aerosol
will make a cloud whiter, we also believe there are situations where
putting extra aerosol into a cloud will make little or no difference.
The idea behind cloud whitening as a geoengineering strategy is
thoroughly described in a review paper by Latham (2008). Some hints
about the complexities associated with changing cloud properties can be
found in the papers by Wang et al (2009a, b). Some of the difficulties
in treating aerosol cloud interaction are discussed in the paper by
Latham et al (2008), and the papers cited there. A very recent review
of the reasons why aerosol cloud interactions are so difficult to treat
in models can be found in Stevens and Feingold (2009). Some preliminary
scoping work has been done to consider how one might design a field
experiment to explore changing the reflectivity of a cloud. This is
discussed below.
One very attractive consequence of doing a limited field test of
whitening clouds by geoengineering is that it provides an opportunity
to get a fundamental handle on the ``Aerosol Indirect Effect''. Trying
to whiten a cloud, or a cloud system, is a fundamental test of our
understanding of how a particular cloud type works, and of the ways in
which clouds and aerosols interact. Because the Aerosol Indirect Effect
is one of the critical and outstanding questions in climate change,
doing that kind of field experiment would be of incredible value.
Scale and amount of materials needed: Latham et al (2008) and
Salter et al (2008) have estimate that the total amount of aerosol that
needs to be pumped into that atmosphere is about 30 m3 per second. They
estimate that it might require X ships deployed over a large area
(perhaps as much as 30% of the ocean surface) to distribute that sea.
Over what time period would deployment need to take place and how
would we do the deployment? One interesting and important difference
between geoengineering using stratospheric aerosols, and geoengineering
using cloud whitening is that the very short lifetime of clouds and
aerosols near the surface (of a few days or less) means that if one is
able to change clouds the changes will be local, and it should be
possible to ``turn on'' and ``turn off' the changes in reflectivity of
the clouds very quickly (on the time scale of a few days).
There is a lot of variability in clouds, and scientists considering
geoengineering by cloud whitening don't expect to change clouds as
dramatically as a ship track does. The changes will be subtle and some
care will be required to ``detect'' the change in clouds.
The fact that the response by clouds to the aerosols is immediate
and local is good and bad. The positive aspect is that a meaningful
experiment can be designed to try to change clouds in a small region
for a short time. Since one can restrict the experiment this way it is
possible to be very confident that a small test would have no
discernable effect on the Earth's climate, but it would be a meaningful
test. (I have indicated that this is a difficult for Stratospheric
Aerosol Geoengineering). One could imagine trying field experiment at
successive locations to see whether it was possible to change
particular types of cloud to gain knowledge and experience about cloud,
aerosols, and cloud whitening. This means that designing a program to
explore the cloud whitening concept and examine the impact on clouds in
an incremental fashion is much easier than doing it with stratospheric
aerosols.
With either the stratospheric aerosol strategy, or the cloud
whitening strategy the goal is to reduce the amount of sunlight
reaching the Earth's surface a bit. If the strategy spreads out the
shading over a large area (as done with the stratospheric aerosol
strategy) then it is not necessary to make much change in sunlight
reaching the surface anywhere. If the strategy concentrates the changes
over smaller areas (as done with the cloud brightening strategy) then
the change in sunlight reaching the surface will be larger at those
locations. So geoengineering by cloud whitening is likely to introduce
stronger effects locally than would be seen in the stratospheric
aerosols.
If it does prove possible to deliberately change the whiteness of a
cloud system, then it would be possible to ramp up the activity,
increasing the ocean area and the duration of time that the cloud
systems are affected to the point that the Earth's climate should be
influenced. Obviously larger and larger communities of stakeholders
would need to be involved as scope of the project increased.
If changing the cloud forcing was effective and it was ramped up to
the point that it is influencing the climate then other issues must be
considered. It ends up that the local changes in cooling patterns are
likely to set up stronger responses in weather and ocean currents than
the broader and weaker patterns seen with the stratospheric aerosols.
Also, it is the case that the clouds that are believed to be most
easily influenced by the cloud whitening reside in the subtropics, so
the reduction in the amount of sunlight reaching the surface will tend
to be strongest in those regions. Since the atmosphere and ocean
distribute the heating and cooling through winds and currents the
effect will eventually be distributed over the globe, but the
difference in the weather or precipitation for example may still be
more evident in the cloud whitening than the stratospheric aerosol
strategy.
However, there are many processes in the Earth System that would
take much longer to respond (with timescales of weeks, months, and
years). If society were to ``turn on'' cloud whitening globally we
would probably see noticeable effects on surface temperature within a
couple years. We might also see any negative consequences (e.g. changes
in some major precipitation systems, if those changes were to occur)
within a few years, although it would take a number of years to feel
confident in documenting the positive or negative changes in climate
(as also seen with stratospheric aerosol geoengineering).
How long the direct and indirect impacts would persist: As far as I
know, no one has explored the response of the Earth system if
geoengineering by sea salt aerosols were terminated in a climate model,
and there are no natural analogues like there are with stratospheric
aerosols and volcanoes. I expect that after terminating the source for
the aerosols, the aerosols perturbations would disappear over a few
days. Like the stratospheric aerosols, I would expect after removal of
the geoengineering forcing to see a rapid return (on the timescale of a
decade or so) to the globally averaged temperature similar to a world
experiencing only high concentrations of greenhouse gases. Again, there
will probably be longer timescale responses in the Earth System of a
more subtle nature (for example some ocean circulations will take years
to respond, and there could be long term responses in ecosystems). As
with the stratospheric aerosol strategy, these issues should be
explored.
State of Research on geoengineering by cloud whitening. Here is a
very brief overview of recent research with the current ``shoestring
budgets'':

1. Assessment, Integration: The report of the Royal Society
(2009) provides some assessments of this strategy compared to
others.

2. Modeling:

Global Models

a. A number of papers have appeared in the scientific
literature exploring consequences of geoengineering
with cloud whitening using global models (Rasch et al
2009; Jones et al 2008). These studies essentially
frame the questions by assuming that it is possible to
control the number of drops in a cloud system
perfectly. Then they proceed to ask questions like
``what would the effect be of those cloud changes on
the Earth System'' using standard climate modeling
techniques. The community is beginning to transition
from the first ``quick and dirty look'' to a more
thorough exploration of the subtleties of the strategy
(e.g. Korhonen et al, 2010) although that study still
employed some significant simplifications compared to
the state of the art in aerosol and climate modeling.

b. Each modeling group that has explored cloud
whitening geoengineering has assumed different ways of
producing cloud changes, and introduced those changes
at different longitudes and latitudes, and made
different assumptions about greenhouse gas
concentrations changes. There have been no attempts yet
to systematize these scenarios and explore variations
on them.

Process Models

a. There has been some recent work with Large Eddy
Simulation studies on ship tracks by Wang (2009)

3. Lab and Field Studies: No recent field studies have been done
with cloud whitening. In 2008 a field experiment called VOCALS took
place to study clouds and cloud aerosols interactions off the coast of
Peru and Chile. This field experiment had no geoengineering component
to it but the clouds systems in that region are of the type relevant to
geoengineering, and the range of techniques and measurement strategies
involved were very similar to those required for a limited-area field
test of cloud whitening, and it could be used to estimate costs for
limited field testing. There have been earlier field studies to measure
cloud changes following ship tracks (for example, MAST, the Monterey
Ship Track experiment), and I believe another similar study is being
planned by B. Albrecht and J. Seinfeld.
4. Technology Development: Some exploratory work in developing
spray generators to produce the appropriately sized sea salt particles
for seeding the clouds has been done in two groups, one led by Armand
Neukermans in California, and another led by Dan Hirleman at Purdue.
5. Deployment: I don't think we are ready to address this issue
6. Interactions with other communities: I don't have the expertise
to provide guidance on this issue, but I am interested.

Cost estimates and recommendations for an improved research program for
cloud whitening.

I see three logical phases to research in exploring cloud
whitening. I believe only the first phase should be considered at this
time. The others require much more discussion, governance, and
involvement by national and international stakeholders and planning.

Phase 1: Using Models, and extremely limited field
experiments where there is no chance of significantly effecting
to the climate to determine whether it is actually possible to
whiten clouds in a predictable, controlled manner. Are there
changes to other cloud properties (for example, cloud
precipitation, cloud height, cloud thickness)

Phase 2: Enlarge the scope of the geoengineering
research and consider the consequences if we were to whiten
cloud for long enough that it might actually make a difference
to local climate. Look at the consequences to the local
environment on short time scales (like less than a week). These
consequence might matter to people, but they would be small
compared to the kind of ways we already perturb the climate
system (like the forest fires in Borneo, a Pinatubo, etc)

Phase 3: Full scale deployment.

Again, progress would be increased immediately by funding and
attention for all of these activities. If the cloud whitening actually
proves successful during the smallest scale tests then the deployment
issues become important, and a second phase of research and development
become necessary.
For the initial exploratory phase, $10 Million per year funding for
research would allow substantial theoretical progress in geoengineering
research through modeling, and perhaps some proto-typing of instruments
to produce the aerosol source, and specialized instruments for
measurement.
The 2008 VOCAL field campaign might serve as a reasonable estimate
of the cost of a first class one-time field experiment with a focus on
aerosol cloud interaction in the right kind of cloud system. That field
experiment cost over $20 Million.
Thus, a strong initial effort to study cloud whitening might well
be funded at $20-$25 million per year, assuming a field study every 2-3
years.
Here is an incomplete list of some of the tasks that should be
considered in terms of the topics the committee charged me with
addressing: 1) Research, 2) Deployment, 3) Monitoring 4) Downscaling,
cessation and necessary environmental remediation, and 5) Environmental
impacts:

1. Theoretical Research and Technology development:

Process Models

a. The first studies by Wang (2009) using ``Large Eddy
Simulation'' model for ship track research should be
extended to explore the problem from a geoengineering
point of view. Investigators could be tasked with
exploring how to optimize the injection of the aerosols
(how many ships per cloud region, whether it makes a
difference if the cloud system has already formed or is
expected to form soon, sensitivity to diurnal cycle of
boundary layer clouds, sensitivity to levels of
background aerosol (pollution levels). This would
require simulations over larger domain, longer time
frames, different cloud regimes, perhaps with more
complex formulations of cloud and aerosol microphysics.

b. Very high resolution modeling studies should be
performed of the evolution of the aerosol particles as
they are emitted from the seed generator until they
enter a cloud.

Global Models

a. Make emission scenarios uniform across multiple
models

b. Impact on precipitation
c. Make sure models are consistent with the picture
provided by the detailed models


Technology Development

d. We need to develop equipment that is capable of
producing the aerosols that will be used to seed the
clouds.

2. Deployment: The knowledge and technology are not yet at a stage
where deployment should be considered. The research program will change
completely if research indicates it is possible to whiten clouds in a
controllable and reproducible way.
3. Monitoring: During the first phase, while trying to establish
whether cloud whitening is viable; monitoring should be consider part
of the field campaign. The picture will change completely if deployment
becomes viable and much more work is required to scope out a monitoring
activity.

4. Downscaling, cessation, environmental remediation.

a. During phase 1 there should be no impact on the
climate.

b. If a geoengineering solution were to be deployed,
The only guidance we would have on this is research
from global climate models. There are no analogues that
come to mind in nature for cessation of geoengineering
by cloud whitening. My suspicion is that climate models
would show a recovery quite similar to that discussed
in the section on stratospheric aerosols. This kind of
study should be performed.

5. Environmental Impact: Because geoengineering has the potential
for affecting precipitation patterns, and major circulation features
like ENSO and monsoons, there are many ways in which it can have an
environmental impact, with consequences to society and ecosystems. This
issue will be very important in a ``Manhattan'' level activity if phase
1 research ever succeeds and deployment is seriously considered.
Which U.S. Agencies might be involved: NASA, NSF, DOE and NOAA all
have relevant responsibilities and expertise for the Phase 1
activities.

Closing Remarks:

Thank you for asking me to testify. I have tried to respond to you
questions, and provide some of the answers, although I think that
science does not know enough to answer completely.
I would like to leave you with a few take home messages.

1. I recognize that geoengineering is a very controversial and
complex subject, and that there are many issues associated with
it of concern to scientists and society. It can, for example,
be viewed as a distraction, or an excuse to avoid dealing with
greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists interested in
geoengineering want to be responsible and transparent. We care
about doing the science right, and in a responsible way. We
believe that our energy system transformation is proceeding too
slowly to avoid the risk of dangerous climate change from
greenhouse gases, and that there has been little societal
response to the scientific consensus that reductions must take
place soon to avoid the risk of large and undesirable impacts.

2. Geoengineering should be viewed as a choice of last resort,
It is much safer for the planet to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions. Geoengineering would be a gamble. Just as there are
many uncertainties associated with predicting the kind of
changes to our climate from increasing greenhouse gases, there
will be similar uncertainties to predicting the changes from
geoengineering.

3. Current Climate models indicate that geoengineering would
cool the planet and compensate for some, but not all of the
consequences of increased greenhouse gases.

4. I don't think scientists know enough today about
consequences of geoengineering to climate, and so I don't think
we are ready for ``deployment''. Before anyone should consider
full-scale deployment of a geoengineering strategy, lots of
basic work (what I call phase 1 research) could be done to lay
the groundwork for deployment. The basic work will help in
eliminating unsuitable strategies, in identifying important
issues to hone in on, to help us revise strategies to make them
more suitable for deployment, and in some cases could help in
revealing fundamental information critical for understanding
climate change (I am thinking about information about the
``Aerosol Indirect Effect'' when I refer to the issue of
critical understanding).

5. Right now, less than $1 million per year is spent on
geoengineering research in the US. A viable research activity
with a chance of making rapid, solid progress including field
studies would probably require $20-40 million per year for
either program.

6. I believe that if phase 1 research does come up with a
promising strategy for geoengineering, and deployment is
seriously considered, that the level of scrutiny and level of
funding must increase very sharply to a level similar to that
of a ``Manhattan Project''. Such a project would need to
consider many issues beyond the physical sciences.

References:

Bower, K. N., Choularton, T. W., Latham, J., Sahraei, J. & Salter, S.
H. 2006 Computational assessment of a proposed technique for
global warming mitigation via albedo enhancement of marine
stratocumulus clouds. Atmos. Res. 82, 328-336. (doi:10.1016/
j.atmosres.2 005.11.013)

Crutzen, P. (2006), Albedo enhancement by stratospheric sulfur
injections: A contribution to resolve a policy dilemma?, Clim.
Change, 77, 211-219, doi:10.1007/s10584-006-9101-y.

Heckendorn, P, D Weisenstein, S Fueglistaler, B P Luo, E Rozanov, M
Schrane, L W Thomason and T Peter 2009, The impact of
geoengineering aerosols on stratospheric temperature and ozone
Environ. Res. Letts. 4, 045108,

Korhonen, H, K. S. Carslaw, and S. Romakkaniemi, 2010, Enhancement of
marine cloud albedo via controlled sea spray injections: a
global model study of the influence of emission rates,
microphysics and transport, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss. 10,
735-761, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/4/4/045108

Latham J, Rasch P J, Chen C-C, Kettles L, Gadian A, Gettelman A,
Morrison H, Bower K and Choularton T W, 2008 Global temperature
stabilization via controlled albedo enhancement of low-level
maritime clouds Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 366 3969-87

Lenton, TM, and Vaughan, NE: 2009, The radiative forcing potential of
different climate geongineering options. Atmospheric Chemistry
and Physics Discussion 9, 2559-2608.

Rasch, P. J., et al. (2008a), An overview of geoengineering of climate
using stratospheric sulphate aerosols, Philos. Trans. R. Soc.
A, 366, 4007-4037, doi:10.1098/rsta.2008.0131

Rasch, PJ, J. Latham and C-C Chen, 2009, Geoengineering by cloud
seeding: influence on sea ice and climate system, Env. Res.
Letts, 4 (2009) 045112 (8pp) doi:10.1088/1748-9326/4/4/045112

Robock, A, 2009, Benefits, Risks, and Costs of Stratospheric
Geoengineering, Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 36, L19703,
doi:10.1029/2009GL039209,

Robock, A., L. Oman, and G. Stenchikov (2008), Regional climate
responses to geoengineering with tropical and Arctic SO2
injections, J. Geophys. Res., 113, D16101, doi:10.1029/
2008JD010050.

Royal Society, 2009. Geoengineering: the climate science, governance
and uncertainty. Report 10/09, ISBN: 978-0.85403-773-5., 82pp.

Salter, S., Sortino, G. & Latham, J. 2009. Sea-going hardware for the
cloud albedo method of reversing global warming. Phil. Trans.
R. Soc. A 366. (doi:10.1098/rsta.2008.0136)

Steven, B., and G. Feingold, 2009, Untangling aerosol effects on clouds
and precipitation in a buffered system. Nature, 461,
doi:10.1038.

Wang, H-L and G. Feingold, 2009, Modeling Mesoscale Cellular Structures
and Drizzle in Marine Stratocumulus. Part II: The Microphysics
and Dynamics of the Boundary Region between Open and Closed
Cells. Journal of the atmospheric sciences, vol. 66, no11, pp.
3257-3275
Biography for Philip Rasch



Dr. Philip Rasch serves as the Chief Scientist for Climate Science
at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), a Department of
Energy Office of Science research laboratory. In his advisory role, he
provides leadership and direction to PNNL's Atmospheric Sciences and
Global Change (ASGC) Division. The Division conducts research on the
long-term impact of human activities on climate and natural resources
using a research strategy that starts with measurements and carries
that information into models, with a goal of improving the nation's
ability to predict climate change.
Dr. Rasch provides oversight to more than 90 researchers who lead
and contribute to programs within a number of government agencies and
industry. These programs focus on climate, aerosol and cloud physics;
global and regional scale modeling; integrated assessment of global
change; and complex regional meteorology and chemistry.
Dr. Rasch received a Bachelor Degree in Atmospheric Science and
another in Chemistry from the University of Washington in 1976. He then
moved to Florida State University for a Master of Science in
Meteorology. He went to the National Center for Atmospheric Research
(NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado as an Advanced Study Program (ASP) Graduate
Fellow to complete his PhD (which was also awarded from Florida State
University). Following his PhD, Rasch remained at NCAR, first as ASP
Postdoctoral Fellow, and then as a scientist where he worked in various
positions. He joined PNNL in 2008. Rasch also holds an adjunct position
at the University of Colorado and is an Affiliate Professor in the
Department of Atmospheric Science at the University of Washington.
Dr. Rasch is internationally known for his work in general
circulation, atmospheric chemistry, and climate modeling. He is
particularly interested in the role of aerosols and clouds in the
atmosphere, and has worked on the processes that describe these
components of the atmosphere, the computational details that are needed
to describe them in computer models, and on their impact on climate.
For the last five years, he helped to lead the technical development
team for the next generation of the atmospheric component of the
Community Climate System Model Project, one of the major climate
modeling activities in the United States. He also studies
geoengineering, or the intentional manipulation of the atmosphere to
counteract global warming.
Dr. Rasch was a chair of the International Global Atmospheric
Chemistry Program (IGAC, 20042008), and participates on the steering
and scientific committees of a number of international scientific
bodies. He was named a fellow of the American Association for the
Advancement of Science, recognized for his contributions to climate
modeling and connecting cloud formation, atmospheric chemistry and
climate. He has contributed to scientific assessments for the World
Meteorological Organization, NASA and the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change.

Chairman Baird. Thank you, Dr. Rasch.
Dr. Lackner.

STATEMENTS OF DR. KLAUS LACKNER, DEPARTMENT CHAIR, EARTH AND
ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING, EWING WORZEL PROFESSOR OF
GEOPHYSICS, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Dr. Lackner. Chairman Baird, Mr. Inglis, Members of the
Committee, thank you for inviting me. I am delighted to be
here. It is a great honor.
I was a little bit puzzled though to start with why I would
think of this, what I do, air capture and mineral sequestration
as geoengineering. But then I started on reflection to think
well, we have to stabilize the CO2 in the atmosphere
against 30 billion tons or more in the future of CO2
emissions. That, by anybody's scale, would be considered
geoengineering, and in my view, we will have to stabilize
carbon dioxide in the atmosphere sooner or later, and it
doesn't really matter whether we manage to do it right away or
whether we fail and it takes a longer time and we stabilize at
a higher level. As we reach stabilization, we have to balance
out all emissions. We have to go to a net zero carbon economy,
and I focus on capture and storage_these are capture and
storage options_because I firmly believe that we have to solve
the problem directly and not just mask the symptoms. We may
have to do that for a short time but ultimately one has to
solve the problem, which means managing that all the carbon
which goes out is balanced against something else.
That means in turn we need comprehensive solutions for
carbon capture and storage, and I would put air capture and
mineral sequestration into that larger category. I would argue
that carbon capture and storage has to be more comprehensive
than just power plants, and we have to have the ability to
store carbon anywhere and at the requisite scale because we
have the ability to put out one or two Lake Michigans in terms
of mass of CO2 over the next century. We better find
a way to put all of this away, and this is where in my view
mineral sequestration comes in as an important part.
Let me begin briefly with the air capture and storage, and
I would argue what makes this so nice is it separates the
sources from the sinks. One of the side effects is, you will
actually get a group of players who want to solve the problem
and not just get dragged in because they must solve the
problem. I think that is important, but most importantly, it
allows us to rely on the future on liquid fuels. These fuels
could come from oil, they could come from coal, they could come
ultimately from biomass or from synthetically made processes
which started with CO2 in the first place and
renewable energy, but whatever liquid fuel you had and burned
in an airplane or a car will go into the atmosphere and will
have to be taken back. Ultimately, CO2 capture from
the air allows you to reduce CO2 levels in the air
back down, and that makes it important.
The basic idea of the technology is actually quite simple.
You can do it in a high school experiment. As a matter of fact,
my daughter did just that. Really, the issue is cost and
scaling. You have to build collectors, and what we found out,
they are actually surprisingly small, and you then move them up
to larger and larger scales. What we are working on right now
is an attempt to go to roughly one-ton-a-day units, and I can
show you here what we can do in the laboratory right now. This
actually is sort of a synthetic pine branch, as people talk
about it, as CO2 capture devices. This guy is loaded
with CO2 because he has been in my briefcase all
day, and he picked up the CO2 while we were coming
down here.
Ultimately, we have to get the large scale of one ton a
day. These units as they are mass-produced would be like cars.
You would need 10 million to make a real dent in the
CO2, 10 million of those, maybe 100 million if you
wanted to solve the problem exclusively, but keep in mind, in
order to have 10 million units running, you would need one
million production a year, which is a tiny fraction of the
world car production. Cars and light trucks add to roughly 750
million. Ultimately, it comes down to cost. We are predicting
that once it is mass-produced, it would operate at about 25
cents per each gallon of gasoline, and that is the price for
cleaning up climate and cleaning up after yourself.
Ultimately, let me say a few words about mineral
sequestration. I view that as carbon storage version 2.0. It is
bigger in scope. It can literally deal with all the carbon we
ever have. It is definitely permanent. There is no question. It
doesn't require monitoring because you did take the geological
weathering cycle and you accelerated it artificially, and once
you have done that, there is no way back. So you can break it
into xenon tube where you mine the rock and then process it,
which turns out is big, but is no bigger than coal-mining
operations we have to produce the coal which produces the
CO2. And ultimately you also have in situ. I am
involved in a project in Iceland where we put CO2
underground for forming carbonates under ground, and the nice
feature there is, you can come back in 25 years and say it
actually is permanently stored. Monitoring beyond that time is
not necessary.
The challenge here in my view is cost. We are roughly five
times more expensive then we should be at this point, in my
view, and I think that is an R&D challenge. If I look at the
other sources of energy, I would argue a factor two is well
within what can be done.
So to me, air capture and mineral sequestration provide a
comprehensive solution. Under that umbrella will be better
specific solutions. It makes no sense to not scrub a power
plant and then go after it from the air. But I believe we
ultimately have a big challenge that the energy infrastructure
of the year 2050 is not yet understood, and I think therefore I
have a can-do attitude, but you can only do by doing and you
can only learn by doing and you have to do the research to make
it happen. Energy is so central to our well-being that I think
we should not take the risk of not knowing what to do in 50
years from now and put a reasonable large-scale research effort
behind this. I thank you for your attention.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Lackner follows:]
Prepared Statement of Klaus Lackner

Air Capture and Mineral Sequestration

Tools for Fighting Climate Change

Summary

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to express my views on air
capture and mineral sequestration, two of the technologies that are
included in this hearing as geoengineering approaches to climate
change.
Together, air capture and mineral sequestration provide a
comprehensive solution to combat climate change. Capturing carbon
dioxide from the air and storing it safely and permanently as solid
mineral carbonate provides a way to maintain access to plentiful and
affordable energy, while stabilizing the carbon dioxide concentration
in the atmosphere. Abandoning fossil fuels would seriously affect
energy security. On the other hand, the continued emission of carbon
dioxide would have harmful consequences for climate, oceans, and
ecosystems. Air capture can extract unwanted carbon from the
atmosphere, and mineral sequestration can provide a virtually unlimited
and safe reservoir for the permanent storage of excess carbon.

Introduction

Stabilizing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air requires
reducing carbon dioxide emissions to nearly zero. Think of pouring
water into a cup; as long as you pour water into the cup, the water
level in the cup goes up. It does not matter whether the maximum level
is one inch below the rim or one and half inches below the rim. In
either case, you will eventually have to stop pouring.
Stopping or nearly stopping carbon dioxide emissions cannot be
achieved with energy efficiency and conservation alone. These steps
will slow the rate of increase but will not prevent us from eventually
reaching the top of the glass, so to speak. Unfortunately, there are
only a few choices for energy resources big enough to satisfy future
world energy demand. Solar, nuclear and fossil energy are the only
resources large enough to let a growing world population achieve a
standard of living that we take for granted in the United States.
Eliminating fossil fuels from the mix could precipitate a major energy
crisis. Thus, it is critical for us to maintain all options by
developing technologies that allow for the use of carbon-based fuels
without leading to the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ For a more detailed discussion see Lackner, K. S. (2010),
Comparative Impacts of Fossil Fuels and Alternative Energy Sources, in
Issues in Environmental Science and Technology: Carbon Capture,
Sequestration and Storage, edited by R. E. Hester, and R.M. Harrison,
pp. 1-40.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
The goal of a perfectly carbon neutral energy economy is only a
slight exaggeration of what is needed; only a small and ever decreasing
per capita rate of emissions is compatible with a constant
concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. For the developed
countries, this means reductions in the carbon intensity of their
energy systems by much more than 90% by some point in this century.
Without such reductions, the world would have to settle for far less
energy, or an uncontrolled rise in the carbon dioxide concentration of
the atmosphere. This is true whether the world succeeds in stabilizing
the carbon dioxide concentration in the air at the currently suggested
level of 450 ppm, or fails and ends up stabilizing at a much higher
level some decades later. In my view, a transition to a carbon neutral
economy is unavoidable. The question is only how fast we will be able
to stabilize the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere, and what pain
and what risk the world will accept in exchange for a less rapid
transition.
Capture of carbon dioxide from the air and mineral carbonate
sequestration are two important tools in stabilizing carbon dioxide
concentrations without giving up on carbon-rich energy sources and
carbon-rich fuels like gasoline, diesel, or jet fuel. While this
committee is considering air capture and mineral sequestration in the
context of geoengineering, these technologies are very different from
other geoengineering approaches like albedo engineering or ocean
fertilization technologies. They involve far less risk, because they do
not attempt to change the dynamics of the climate system, but simply
return it to a previous state. Air capture and mineral sequestration
simply work towards restoring the carbon balance of the planet that has
been disturbed by the massive mobilization of fossil carbon. Their
purpose is to capture the carbon that has been mobilized and to
immobilize it again. Because they function within the existing carbon
cycle, they also have far fewer unintended consequences than many other
geoengineering approaches.
Air capture removes carbon dioxide directly from the air. It
therefore can compensate for any emission, even emissions that happened
in the past. We could theoretically reduce the atmospheric level of
carbon dioxide to the pre-industrial level (280 ppm) while continuing
to use fossil fuels. Mineral sequestration closes the natural
geological carbon cycle and immobilizes carbon dioxide by forming
stable and benign minerals. Both technologies fall into the broader
category of carbon dioxide capture and storage. Among these
technologies, they stand out because they are comprehensive. Air
capture could cope with all carbon dioxide emissions; mineral
sequestration could store all the carbon that is available in fossil
fuels.
Without carbon dioxide capture and storage, the only way to
stabilize the carbon dioxide concentration of the atmosphere is to
abandon coal, oil and natural gas. As previously discussed, this option
is, in my opinion, not viable or practical. Carbon dioxide capture and
storage technology offers a way to maintain access to this plentiful
and cost-effective energy source, while addressing the biggest
environmental downside associated with their use.
In my view, carbon dioxide capture and storage pose two major
challenges: how to catch the ``fugitive'' emissions that are not
amenable to capture at the source of emission and how to deal with the
vast amounts of carbon dioxide that will need to be stored safely and
permanently.
Air capture can address the myriad emissions from small emitters
including cars and airplanes and also deal with the last few percent of
power plant emissions whose escape is expensive to prevent. Other
capture options may be advantageous for particular situations, e.g., in
the flue stack of a power plant, but air capture can assure that all
emissions can be dealt with.
Storage of carbon dioxide is difficult. Since carbon dioxide is a
gas, it will tend to escape from its storage site unless it is
chemically converted to a mineral. Over this century, the mass of the
carbon dioxide that will need to be stored will rival the amount of
water in Lake Michigan. To avoid the escape of the carbon dioxide back
into the atmosphere, it becomes necessary to maintain a physical
barrier between the gas and the atmosphere, and to assure its efficacy
for thousands of years. Given the large volumes involved, this raises
serious questions about the safety and permanence of underground gas
storage. These questions can only be answered by considering the
specifics of each particular site. Quite rightly, the public will
demand a careful risk analysis and detailed accounting, which will
result in a gradual reassessment of the overall capacity of geological
storage. I consider it likely that current estimates are too
optimistic. Nevertheless there will be significant and adequately safe
underground storage of carbon dioxide gas because there are some
excellent storage sites available, and the technology to use them
already exists. However, mineral sequestration may be required to
complete the task of carbon sequestration on a longer time scale.
Mineral sequestration converts the carbon dioxide chemically into a
solid mineral that is common and stable in nature. There is no
possibility of a spontaneous return of the carbon dioxide. Even though
mineral sequestration may be more expensive up front, its long-term
costs may prove to be more affordable.

Air Capture

The ability to capture carbon dioxide from the air is not new.
Every submarine and every spaceship needs to remove carbon dioxide from
the air inside in order to keep the crew healthy. The challenge is not
to capture carbon dioxide from the air, but to do so in an economically
affordable fashion and on a large scale.
I was the first to suggest that capture of carbon dioxide from the
air should be considered as a promising approach to managing carbon
dioxide in the atmosphere and hence to combating climate change.\2\
Capture from the atmosphere has many advantages. First, it separates
carbon dioxide sources from sinks, so it makes it possible to collect
carbon dioxide anywhere in the world. Air mixes so fast and so
thoroughly that capture in the Nevada desert could compensate for
emissions in New York City, in Mali, in Ghana, or anywhere in the
world. In a matter of weeks to months after starting to capture carbon
dioxide in the Northern Hemisphere, the carbon dioxide reduction will
have spread out over the entirety of this hemisphere.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\2\ K.S. Lackner, H.-J. Ziock, and P. Grimes (1999), Carbon Dioxide
Extraction from Air: Is It an Option?, presented at Proceedings of the
24th International Conference on Coal Utilization & Fuel Systems,
Clearwater, Florida, March 8-11, 1999.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Before starting research in this field, I was struck by two
observations that suggested technical feasibility. First, the
concentration of carbon dioxide in the air, although usually considered
very small, is by some measure surprisingly large. To illustrate this
point, consider a windmill, which can be viewed as an apparatus to
reduce the human carbon footprint by delivering electricity without
carbon dioxide emissions. For the same amount of electricity from a
conventional power plant could be made carbon neutral with a carbon
dioxide collector. The frontal area of this collector standing in the
wind could be more than a hundred times smaller than that of a
windmill. This convinced me that the cost of scrubbing the carbon
dioxide out of the air is not in the apparatus that stands in the wind,
but rather it is in the cost of ``scraping'' the carbon dioxide back
off collector surfaces, so they can be used again. Fortunately, the
binding strength of these sorbent surfaces need not be much stronger
than the binding strength of the sorbent materials that would be used
in a flue stack to scrub the carbon dioxide out of the flue gas. This
fact, which follows from basic thermodynamics, is surprising
considering the three hundred times higher initial concentration of
carbon dioxide in the flue gas stream versus in the atmosphere. These
insights_based on fundamental physics and thermodynamics_led me to
start a large effort in air capture research, which has been funded by
Gary Comer, the former owner of Lands End. Much of the work has been
performed at a small research company (Global Research Technologies) of
which I am member, a fact that I feel obligated for reasons of
transparency to disclose. Much of the research effort is now housed at
Columbia University.
This original R&D effort allowed us to go beyond theoretical
arguments of what could be done with some ideal sorbent materials. We
were able to demonstrate our ability to capture carbon dioxide from the
air with real sorbents that require very little energy both in their
regeneration and in the preparation of a concentrated stream of carbon
dioxide ready for sequestration. We discovered a novel process, which
we refer to as a moisture swing absorption system. We create air
scrubbers that load up with carbon dioxide when dry and then release
the carbon dioxide again when exposed to moisture.
We have demonstrated the capabilities of this sorbent in public and
have published our results.\3\ In short, our system requires water and
electricity to collect carbon dioxide. The water can be saline and the
energy consumption of the process is such that only 21% of the carbon
dioxide captured would be released again at a distant power plant that
produces the electricity required in the process.\4\ Nearly 80% of the
captured carbon dioxide counts toward a real reduction of carbon
dioxide in the atmosphere. At this point we have demonstrated the
system on the bench scale, and are moving toward a one-ton-per-day
prototype. Just like a hand-made car will be expensive we expect a
first of a kind version to capture carbon dioxide at approximately $200
per ton. This cost is dominated by manufacturing and maintenance cost
and we see significant and large potential for cost reductions. We have
set ourselves a long term goal of $30/ton of carbon dioxide, or roughly
an addition of 25C per gallon to the price of gasoline. While we are
not the only ones developing air capture technology, we were the first
to get started, and we believe we are the closest to viable solutions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\3\ Lackner, K. S. (2009), Carbon of Dioxide Capture from Ambient
Air, The European Physics Journal: Special Topics, 176(2009), 93-106.
\4\ The 21% is based on the average CO2 emissions in
U.S. electricity generation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Technical air capture, as opposed to growing biomass in fields, in
forests and in algae ponds, can operate with a much smaller footprint.
A ``synthetic tree,'' our mechanical device to capture carbon dioxide
from the air, collects approximately a thousand times as much carbon
dioxide as a natural tree of similar size. It is for this reason that
air capture is of practical interest.
Just as there are proposed side benefits to industry and the
economy from bio-mass management of carbon dioxide, there are several
immediate applications for carbon dioxide captured from the air. First,
there is a small market of eight million tons per year for merchant
carbon dioxide (i.e., carbon dioxide that is shipped by truck to its
customers). Applications range from dry ice production to welding
supply and carbonation of drinks. The price of merchant carbon dioxide
depends on the distance from the nearest source and is often well above
$100/ton. This market could provide a toehold for air capture
technology where it could be tested before carbon regulations address
climate change issues. Oil companies provide another potential market
for air capture. In the United States some forty million tons of carbon
dioxide are consumed annually in enhanced oil recovery.
In the future one can expect a large market for air-captured carbon
dioxide in managing carbon for climate change. Total emissions in the
United States are nearly six billion tons of carbon dioxide per year.
Some fraction_currently nearly half_of all emissions comes from sources
that do not lend themselves to capture at the point source. These
include emissions from automobiles and airplanes. Indeed, practically
all emissions from oil consumption fall into this category. As a
result, air capture is the only practical option to maintain access to
oil-based energy products. Indeed, mitigating the use of liquid
hydrocarbon fuels is an important application for air capture. There is
no good alternative to liquid fuels, e.g., gasoline, diesel or jet
fuel. A pound of fuel contains about one hundred times as much energy
as a pound of battery.
Air capture remains necessary as long as liquid carbon-based fuels
are used in the transportation sector. Regardless of the carbon source
in the fuel, the carbon will end up as carbon dioxide in the air, which
will need to be captured. Rather than storing the carbon dioxide, it is
also possible to recycle its carbon back into fuel, but this way of
closing the carbon cycle requires renewable or other carbon-free energy
inputs. Biomass fuels are a special example of closing the carbon
cycle. Green plants capture carbon dioxide from the air by natural
means and with the help of sunshine convert it into energy rich carbon
compounds. However, the ability of biological systems to collect carbon
dioxide from the air is slow. Thus, large-scale fuel production
requires large swaths of land. Indeed, algae growth is limited by the
innate ability of algae to collect carbon dioxide. And many companies
have realized that they could improve performance by providing carbon
dioxide from other sources. This could be carbon dioxide from a power
plant, but ultimately one can only close the global carbon cycle if
this carbon dioxide comes directly from the air. Air capture would be a
natural complement to algae production of synthetic fuels.
Air capture can work for any emission of carbon dioxide, no matter
where it occurs. Thus, it can provide the capture of last resort. For
most power plants, capture at the site is the most economic approach,
but in a number of older plants, it may be cheaper to collect carbon
dioxide from the air or to install scrubbers that can only partially
remove the carbon dioxide in the flue stack. The remaining fraction
would still be released to the air and could be compensated for by an
equivalent amount of air capture.
Finally, air capture provides one of the few options to drive the
carbon dioxide content of the air back down. In a sense, here you are
capturing carbon dioxide that was released decades ago. This is the
ultimate separation of sources and sinks not only in space but also in
time. This ability to turn the clock back, at least partially, is
important, because it is very difficult to envision a scenario in which
the world manages to stabilize carbon dioxide concentration so that the
total greenhouse gas impact is less than that of 450 ppm of carbon
dioxide. Adding up all greenhouse gases, including for example methane,
the world is only seven years away from breaching this limit.
Managing global carbon dioxide emissions is a huge task, but air
capture could operate at the necessary scale. Right now the technology
is still in its infancy, but one can already see an outline of how it
may work in the future. A collector that can produce one ton of carbon
dioxide per day would easily fit into a standard forty-four-foot
shipping container. While the first few of these containers will likely
cost $200K each, we expect the price to come down to that of a typical
automobile or light truck.
For the sake of argument, let us assume that air capture units stay
at this scale, and that they are mass produced like cars. With ten
million such units operating, air capture would make a significant
contribution to the world's carbon balance. Ten million units would
collect 3.6 billion tons annually or 12% of the world's carbon dioxide
emissions. If these units last ten years, annual production would need
to be 1 million. This is a tiny fraction of the world's annual
production of cars and light trucks (approximately 70 million units).
Thus, reaching relevant scales would certainly be feasible, although it
would require a substantial commitment, and obviously a policy and
regulatory framework that support such an effort.

Mineral Sequestration

Capturing carbon dioxide is just the first step in carbon
management. After one has the carbon dioxide, it must be permanently
stored to prevent it from returning to the atmosphere. Columbia
University has an active research program on mineral sequestration,
involving Juerg Matter, David Goldberg, Alissa Park and Peter Kelemen.
Our group is also working on DOE-sponsored research on monitoring
carbon dioxide in underground reservoirs.
Underground injection, or geological sequestration, is one option
for carbon dioxide storage. It seems straightforward and simple, but it
does not have an unlimited resource base, and it comes with the
requirement of maintaining (virtually indefinitely) a seal to keep a
gas that naturally wants to rise to the surface safely underground. By
contrast, mineral sequestration has a much larger resource base, and it
results in a stable, benign carbonate material that is common in nature
and will last on a geological time scale. For all practical purposes,
the storage of carbon dioxide in mineral carbonates is permanent. It
requires energy to reverse the carbonation reaction. Therefore this
reversal cannot happen spontaneously.
Mineral sequestration taps into a very large, natural material
cycle on Earth. Volcanic processes push carbon dioxide into the
atmosphere, and geological weathering removes it as carbonate. Carbon
dioxide, which in water turns to carbonic acid, reacts with a base to
form a salt. This happens every time it rains. There are plenty of
minerals to neutralize carbonic acid, but this geological weathering
process is very slow. Left to its own devices, nature will take on the
order of a hundred thousand years to reabsorb and fixate the excess
carbon that human activities have mobilized and injected into the
atmosphere. The purpose of mineral sequestration in managing
anthropogenic carbon is to accelerate these natural processes to the
point that they can keep up with human carbon dioxide releases.
There are two fundamentally different approaches to mineral
sequestration. The first is ex situ mineral sequestration.\5\ Here one
envisions a mine where suitable rock, usually serpentine and/or olivine
is mined, crushed and ground up, and then in an industrial, above-
ground processing plant, carbon dioxide is brought together with the
minerals to form solid carbonates that can then be disposed of as mine
tailings. Mining operations would be large, but no larger than current
mining operations. It would take roughly six tons of rock to bind the
carbon dioxide from one ton of coal. An above-ground mine producing
coal in the Powder River Basin typically has to move ten tons of
overburden in order to extract one ton of coal. Therefore, without
wanting to minimize the scale of these operations, it is worth pointing
out that current mining operations to produce coal already operate on
the same scale.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\5\ Lackner, K. S., C. H. Wendt, D. P. Butt, J. E.L. Joyce, and D.
H. Sharp (1995), Carbon Dioxide Disposal in Carbonate Minerals, Energy,
20(11), 1153-1170.
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The cost of ex situ mineral sequestration is directly related to
the time it takes to convert base minerals to carbonates. In effect,
the reactor has to hold an amount of minerals that is consumed during
processing time. Thus, a reactor vessel which requires a day to
complete the process is twenty-four times larger than a reactor vessel
that finishes the job in an hour. Cost effective implementations must
aim for a thirty to sixty minute processing time. There are very few
minerals that are sufficiently reactive to achieve this goal. The only
ones that exist in large quantities are serpentine and olivine. A
recent study performed by the USGS and two of my students has shown
that in United States, the resource base of these minerals is ample and
could cope with U.S. carbon dioxide emissions.\6\
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\6\ For more information, see: http://pubs.usgs.gov/ds/414/.
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Worldwide, these minerals are sufficiently abundant to cope with
all the carbon dioxide that could be produced from the entire fossil
fuel resource.
Somewhat surprisingly the cost of mining and managing the tailings
is quite affordable; estimates are below $10 per ton of carbon
dioxide.\7\ The cost that still needs to be reduced is the cost of the
neutralization or carbonation reaction. In nature the chemical
processes are slow and accelerating them either costs energy (which is
self-defeating as it leads to more carbon dioxide emissions) or money.
Today, total costs are estimated around $100 per ton of carbon dioxide,
which makes costs roughly five times higher than they would need to be
for a competitive process. Overcoming a factor of five in costs sounds
challenging, but most alternative forms of energy still have high costs
or started out with costs that were even further away from what would
be required in a competitive market.
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\7\ To set the scale, $10 per ton of CO2 would add
roughly 1 cent to the cost of the electricity from a 33% efficient coal
fired power plant, it would add 8 cents to the gallon of gasoline.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
The second approach to mineral sequestration is in situ mineral
sequestration. In this case the carbon dioxide is injected underground
just as it is in geological storage, but for in situ mineral
sequestration, the site has been carefully selected so that the carbon
dioxide will react with the local mineral rock and form carbonates
underground. The result will be carbonates that form solids, or in some
case remain dissolved in the pore water deep underground. For this to
be useful, the reactions will have to bind all or most of the carbon
dioxide on a time scale that is suitable for human decision making. If
it takes more than a few decades for the carbon dioxide to bind, the
carbonation process comes too late to affect human decision making.
Nevertheless, a few decades is a lot longer than thirty to sixty
minutes, which is the time limit for an above ground reactor used for
ex situ mineralization. As a result, a larger variety of minerals are
available for in situ mineral sequestration than for ex situ mineral
sequestration. Of particular interest are basalt formations. At
Columbia University we have tested this in our own backyard on the
Palisades along the Hudson River. On a larger scale in the U.S. North
West, the Columbia River Basalts provide an inexhaustible resource base
for in situ mineral sequestration. The Earth Institute is also involved
in an in situ demonstration project in Iceland called the CarbFix
project, as Iceland boasts some of the freshest and therefore most
reactive basalt formations in the world.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\8\ Matter, J. M. et al (2009), Permanent Carbon Dioxide Storage
into Basalt: The CarbFix Pilot Project, Iceland, Energy Procedia, 1(1),
3641-3646.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mineral sequestration could play an important role in carbon
management, if R&D could drive the cost down. First, mineral
sequestration would provide a very different alternative for storing
carbon dioxide that would provide a more permanent and potentially
safer method than geological storage. The uncertainties in geological
storage may well result in a general downgrading of the resource
estimates, leaving only remote and particularly well characterized
storage sites.\9\ For example, underground storage of carbon dioxide in
seismically active areas is almost certainly going to be challenged by
nearby communities due to public safety concerns. Luckily, California
has very large serpentine deposits and could entirely rely on mineral
sequestration.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\9\ Lackner, K. S., and S. Brennan (2009), Envisioning Carbon
Capture and Storage: Expanded Possibilities Due to Air Capture, Leakage
Insurance, and C-14 Monitoring, Climate Change, 96(3), 357-378.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Second, particularly ex situ mineral sequestration may provide a
virtually unlimited supply of carbon dioxide storage capacity and thus
could act as an assurance that access to fossil fuels is not at risk.
Mineral sequestration raises the value of the U.S. coal reserves
because it assures that they could be used if they are needed.
Otherwise, the resource limitations on fossil fuels may not be the
carbon in the ground, but the capacity of the atmosphere to accept the
carbon dioxide. The world resource base in coal, tars, shales, and,
potentially, in methane hydrates is so large that the accumulation of
carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will need to be addressed.
Third, mineral sequestration makes accounting simple and it
provides a high degree of assurance that the carbon storage is, for all
practical purposes, permanent. The environmental footprint is contained
to the site and to the time window in which the mine operates.

Combining Mineral Sequestration and Air Capture

It has been suggested that one could combine mineral sequestration
and air capture into a single process. For example, one could use
olivine or serpentine minerals as soil enhancers and rely on the soils
to remove additional carbon dioxide from the air in a typical
geological weathering reaction. Alternatively, it is possible to spread
these minerals into the ocean, and let the reaction between the ocean
and the carbon dioxide from the air happen spontaneously to neutralize
the additional base.
I do not advocate such an approach, because I see major challenges
with distributing that much material over large distances. For the same
reason, I believe that in ex situ mineralization the serpentine has to
be processed at the serpentine mine. There are several options: the
coal plant could be collocated with the serpentine mine with the coal
would shipped in; the carbon dioxide could be pipelined from a remote
power plant to the serpentine mine; or the carbon dioxide could be
captured from the air directly at the mine site. In no case, would the
heavy serpentine rock have to move over large distances, because the
shipment of large amounts of solid material is too expensive.
Furthermore, I see unnecessary environmental complications with
distributing finely ground rock in the environment. Mineral rocks, when
ground finely, represent environmental and health hazards, which are
better dealt with in the confines of a mining operation rather than in
open fields of enormous extended areas. Finally, these soil enhancers
or ocean fertilizers will, by their very nature, change the ecological
balance in the areas to which they are applied.
One of the major advantages of air capture and mineral
sequestration is that both operations can be performed on a well
contained and relatively small footprint. Thus, one can limit the
environmental impacts to small areas and keep them well contained.

The Research Agenda

One of the major challenges facing mankind is to provide ample
energy without destroying the environment. The energy sector is
exceptional in that the problems we face cannot be solved by simply
promulgating the state of the art worldwide. With state of the art
technology in water and food the world would be assured plenty fresh
water and plenty of food. However, the state art in energy is based on
fossil fuels without carbon management, and its continued growth would
wreak environmental I havoc. While there is reason to believe that
technologies for carbon management can be developed, they have not been
developed yet, and thus it is necessary to create a large and ambitious
research agenda.
Stabilizing carbon and providing energy is a century scale problem.
It is not just about retrofitting existing plants, but it is about
developing a brand new energy infrastructure. The power plant of the
future will be different from conventional plants of today. Success
will require a portfolio from basic research to commercial
applications. Learning by doing will not happen until we actually do
build a new infrastructure.
Most of the immediate research agenda does not fit with the goals
and aspirations of a company in the private sector. Since there is no
market for carbon reduction in the absence of regulation, it is
difficult to appeal to a profit motive. However, since there is no
accepted technology to solve the problem, it is difficult to force new
power plant designs through regulation. Thus, public R&D must make
major contributions to solve the problem of carbon dioxide emission and
demonstrate feasibility.
There are very few resource pools for providing the amount of
energy that the world will need in the second half of the twentieth
century. The only sources big enough are solar energy, nuclear energy
and fossil fuel energy combined with carbon capture and storage. In
developing a sustainable energy platform, the world will need to place
a big bet on all three options and hope that at least one of these bets
pays off. In the unlikely event that all three resources fail to become
sustainable and affordable energy resources, the world will be hit by
an energy crisis of unprecedented proportions. Developing these
alternatives will take a long time and the second half of the twentieth
century is not that far away. The world has been working for more than
fifty years on alternatives to fossil fuels_so far without success.
R&D will need to span the gamut from basic research to testing out
new pilot plants, and from physics to health sciences. Nearly by
necessity, research will span agencies from the National Science
Foundation to the Department of Energy, from National Institute of
Standards and Technology to the Environmental Protection Agency. Energy
is important enough that it should be woven into nearly all aspects of
technology development. Specific to air capture and mineral
sequestration, research needs to focus on better sorbents, reaction
kinetics, carbonate chemistry, and catalysts to speed up reactions. In
applied research, we should consider applications in which carbonate
disposal could become a byproduct of mineral extraction. We need to
find better ways of producing carbonates from serpentines, and develop
advanced capabilities of modeling the weathering of basalts in the
presence of carbon dioxide. Demonstrations of the technology are
necessary if they are ever to be introduced in the market. Altamont
Pass was able to convince the world that wind energy has a future.
Imagine what a large air capture park could do to convince the world
that capturing carbon dioxide from the air is both possible and
practical.

Biography for Klaus Lackner
Klaus Lackner is the Ewing Worzel Professor of Geophysics at
Columbia University, where he is also the Director of the Lenfest
Center for Sustainable Energy, the Chair of the Department of Earth and
Environmental Engineering, and a member of the Earth Institute faculty.
Lackner's current research interests include carbon capture and
sequestration, air capture, energy systems and scaling properties
(including synthetic fuels and wind energy), energy and environmental
policy, lifecycle analysis, and zero emission modeling for coal and
cement plants.
Lackner's scientific career started in the phenomenology of weakly
interacting particles. While searching for quarks, he and George Zweig
developed the chemistry of atoms with fractional nuclear charge. He
participated in matter searches for particles with a non-integer charge
in an experiment conducted at Stanford by Martin Perl and his group.
After joining Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in 1983, Lackner
became involved in hydrodynamic work and fusion-related research. He
was a scientist in the Theoretical Division, but also an active part of
the Laboratory's upper management. He was instrumental in forming the
Zero Emission Coal Alliance and was a lead author in the IPCC Report on
Carbon Capture and Storage. In 2001, Lackner joined Columbia University
and, in 2004, became a member of Global Research Technologies, LLC.
Lackner earned his degrees from Heidelberg University, Germany: the
Vordiplom, (equivalent to a B.S.) in 1975; the Diplom (or M.S.) in
1976; and his Ph.D. in theoretical particle physics, summa cum laude,
in 1978. He was awarded the Clemm-Haas Prize for his outstanding Ph.D.
thesis at Heidelberg University. Lackner held postdoctoral positions at
the California Institute of Technology and the Stanford Linear
Accelerator Center before beginning his professional career, and he
attended Cold Spring Harbor Summer School for Computational
Neuroscience in 1985. Lackner was also awarded the Weapons Recognition
of Excellence Award in 1991 and the National Laboratory Consortium
Award for Technology in 2001.

Chairman Baird. Thank you, Dr. Lackner.
Dr. Jackson.

STATEMENTS OF DR. ROBERT JACKSON, NICHOLAS CHAIR OF GLOBAL
ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE, PROFESSOR, BIOLOGY DEPARTMENT, DUKE
UNIVERSITY

Dr. Jackson. Chairman Baird, Chairman Gordon and others,
thank you for your attention today. Let me begin by stating
that a wealth of evidence already shows our climate is changing
and is a threat to people and organisms. As a scientist and
citizen of our great Nation, I urge you to act quickly to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions. So far today, you have heard
about several approaches for geoengineering the earth's
climate. My task is to discuss biological and land-based
strategies.
My first take-home message is that some geoengineering on
land is already feasible, including restoring or planting
forests, avoiding deforestation and using crops to store carbon
in soils and reflect sunlight. Plants are one of the cheapest
ways to remove carbon from our air. Several limitations in
land-based approaches are worth mentioning. One is that we need
to apply these strategies over millions of acres to play a
meaningful role.
The second is money. Private landowners will need
incentives to apply geoengineering. How much will these
incentives cost and how sustained will the landowners'
responses be?
A third limitation is that geoengineering will surely alter
other resources we value, including water and biodiversity. One
difference for geoengineering on land is that carbon removal
and sunlight reflections both change, never just one or the
other. Geoengineering also alters other factors that affect
temperature. We need a new framework that includes a full
accounting for greenhouse gases and biophysics together. That
long-term framework should include water evaporation, energy
exchange and other factors in addition to carbon dioxide and
sunlight.
Consider this example. Imagine providing incentives for
tree planting on former croplands or pasture. This activity
will remove carbon from air as the trees grow. What about the
same activity viewed from the standpoint of solar radiation
management? Trees tend to be darker than grasses or crops and
to absorb more sunlight. The same plantation that cools the
earth by removing carbon could warm it by reflecting less
light. Your new plantation affects the earth's temperature in
other ways too. Trees typically use more water than other
plants. This increases evaporation, cools land locally, loads
energy into the atmosphere and can produce clouds that absorb
or reflect sunlight and produce rain. Overall, such biophysical
changes can affect climate more than carbon removal does and
sometimes in a conflicting way.
New research is needed on a full accounting system for
greenhouse gases and biophysics, particularly in climate
models. Some gaps in scientific understanding include the ways
the models resolve cloud cover, melt snow, supply water for
plant growth and simulate the planetary boundary layer. The
fusion of real-world data and models is critical for reducing
these uncertainties.
Our lands do more than store carbon and protect climate.
They supply water, detoxify pollutants, support life and
produce food. Geoengineering on land will alter the abundance
of many things we value. We need research on its full
environmental effects.
In the best-case scenario, geoengineering activities can
help the environment. Restoring habitats or avoiding
deforestation will store carbon, slow erosion, improve water
quality and provide habitat for wildlife. In a worst-case
scenario, geoengineering will harm ecosystems, such as
proposals to cover deserts with reflective shields. In most
cases, we will have to choose which services we value most.
Returning to our plantation example, forests store more carbon
than grasslands but also use more water. Yearly stream flow
often drops by half after planting and streams can dry up
completely. Which is worth more: carbon or water? The answer
likely depends on whether you live in a water-rich area, as I
do, or a water-poor one. Unfortunately, you can't have your
cake and drink it too.
A new interdisciplinary research agenda for geoengineering
drafted by a panel of experts is urgently needed. This process
should be open and seek input from any stakeholders. Because no
federal agency has the expertise to lead geoengineering alone,
a coordinated working group is the best solution. I recommend
that the U.S. Global Change Research Program [USGCRP],
comprised of 13 departments and agencies, lead this effort.
In conclusion, although emitting less carbon dioxide and
other greenhouse gases should remain our first priority, we do
have short-term opportunities on land. In general, though, we
need to study the feasibility, cost and environmental co-
effects before applying geoengineering broadly. We need to get
geoengineering right as a tool of last resort. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Jackson follows:]
Prepared Statement of Robert Jackson

Biological and Land-Based Strategies for Geoengineering Earth's Climate

Chairman Baird and other members of the Science and Technology
Committee, thank you for the chance to testify today. I appreciate the
opportunity and your attention.
Let me first state that a wealth of scientific evidence already
shows that climate change is happening and presents a grave threat to
people and other organisms. We need to act quickly. The safest,
cheapest, and most prudent way to slow climate change is to reduce
greenhouse-gas emissions soon. No approach_geoengineering or otherwise_
should lead us from that path.
Unfortunately, the world has so far been unable to reduce
greenhouse-gas emissions in any substantive way. We therefore need to
explore other tools to reduce some of the harmful effects of climate
change. That is why we are discussing what was once purely science
fiction_the remarkable possibility of geoengineering Earth's climate.
For my testimony, you asked me to discuss biological and land-use-
based strategies for geoengineering. Here are four take-home messages
of my testimony:

1) Some biological and land-use strategies for geoengineering
are already feasible, including restoring or planting forests,
avoiding deforestation, and using croplands to reflect sunlight
and store carbon in soils.
2) Biological and land-based geoengineering alters carbon
uptake, sunlight absorption, and other biophysical factors that
affect climate together.
3) Geoengineering for carbon or climate will alter the
abundance of water, biodiversity, and other things we value.
4) A research agenda for geoengineering is urgently needed
that crosses scientific disciplines and coordinates research
across federal departments and agencies.

Let me begin by describing some of the most common biological and
land-use-based strategies for geoengineering and their relative
effectiveness and feasibility.

Biological and Land-Based Options for Geoengineering

As described in the recent Royal Society report, Geoengineering the
Climate, many geoengineering options are possible. One set of
activities focuses on carbon dioxide removal. The other examines how to
manage systems to reflect sunlight and cool the planet, termed solar
radiation management. I will call these approaches ``carbon'' and
``climate'', respectively. For biological and land-based sequestration,
what constitutes ``geoengineering'' instead of ``carbon mitigation'' or
``offsets'' is sometimes unclear. I will try to focus on strategies
that are usually placed in the realm of geoengineering. An example of a
land-use strategy that is not usually considered as geoengineering is
the production of biofuels (in the absence of carbon capture and
storage). I do not have the space to consider biofuels in this brief
discussion.

Biological Carbon Dioxide Removal
Biological and land-based strategies provide a meaningful
opportunity to remove carbon from the atmosphere and to store it on
land. Since 1850, human activities accompanying land-use change have
released at least 150 gigatons (1015 g) of carbon to the
atmosphere, roughly one fifth of the total amount of carbon in the
atmosphere today.
Plants and other photosynthetic organisms (hereafter ``plants'')
provide one of the oldest and most efficient ways to remove carbon
dioxide from our air. For this reason, they provide a feasible,
relatively cheap way to reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in
the Earth's atmosphere_at least in the short term.
Several biological and land-based approaches are possible for
removing carbon dioxide from air. Because carbon is lost when a forest
is cut or disturbed, restoring forests is an important tool for placing
carbon back in lands. Afforestation, or planting trees in places that
were not previously forested (or have not been for many years) is
another way to remove carbon from the atmosphere. Avoided deforestation
is a third tool that improves the carbon balance and is sometimes
considered to be geoengineering. If a policy incentive keeps a
rainforest in Amazonia or Alaska from being cut, carbon that would have
moved to the atmosphere is ``removed'' from the atmosphere.
Restoring and enhancing soil organic matter is another tool for
carbon management and removal. Because agriculture tends to release
soil carbon to the atmosphere, typically soon after land conversion,
incentives to restore native ecosystems or to improve agricultural
management are two ways to remove carbon from the atmosphere. Restoring
or enhancing the amount of organic matter in soil has many benefits,
including improved fertility and crop yield, reduced erosion, and
better water-holding capacity.
Three issues or limitations in biological or land-based
geoengineering are important. One is the scale of the approach needed
to reduce the amount of carbon in our air. For any given project, a
single acre of land can be managed or manipulated to remove carbon.
Nationally, however, we need to implement these strategies over
millions of acres if they are to play a meaningful role in policy
(remembering that we already manage millions of acres). Otherwise,
their net effect will be too small compared to the amounts of carbon
entering the atmosphere through fossil fuel emissions.
A second issue is landowner behavior. Land is a valuable commodity,
and private landowners will need financial incentives to make
geoengineering a reality. How much will these incentives cost, and
under what conditions, financial or otherwise, might they change their
minds?
A third issue is that biological and land-based management will
inevitably alter other resources that we care about, including water
and biodiversity. I will return to this point after exploring solar
radiation management as a second type of geoengineering.

Solar Radiation Management
Managing solar radiation directly is an alternative to removing
carbon dioxide from air. In effect these approaches manipulate
``climate'' directly, or at least temperature. The most common approach
for cooling is reflecting sunlight back into space. You only have to
reflect a small percentage of the sun's rays to counterbalance the
temperature effects of a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Managing solar radiation is thus the basis for many geoengineering
strategies, including stratospheric dust seeding and whitening clouds
over the oceans.
Biological and land-based strategies can also employ solar
radiation management. One approach is to select crops, grasses, and
trees that are ``brighter'' in color, reflecting more sunlight into
space. This strategy can cool plants locally and save water but will
likely reduce plant yields in some cases. The option may be especially
valuable in sunny, dry areas of the world.
Like strategies for carbon removal, solar radiation management will
need to be applied across large areas to be effective, probably
millions of acres, at least. One smaller-scale exception may be when
solar radiation manipulations reduce the energy needed to heat or cool
buildings. Urban forestry, white buildings, and ``green roofs'' are
examples. The energy savings are local but could play a small but
meaningful role in reducing our national energy budget.
A disadvantage of solar radiation management is that it offsets
only the climate effects of increased greenhouse gases but does not
reduce greenhouse gas concentrations. It does nothing for the pressing
problem of ocean acidification, for instance, caused by increased
carbon dioxide dissolving into our oceans. Also, changing the amount of
sunlight alters not just temperature but atmospheric circulation,
rainfall, and many other factors. Less sunlight will almost certainly
mean less rainfall globally and is likely to reduce global productivity
of plants and phytoplankton.

Geoengineering on Land is Carbon and Climate Management

As just discussed, geoengineering strategies are typically lumped
into two categories, those that remove carbon from the atmosphere and
those that manage solar radiation (``carbon'' and ``climate'',
respectively). Unlike some geoengineering strategies, however, every
biological and land-based approach will alter carbon storage and
sunlight absorption. Moreover, sunlight is not the only factor that
changes the temperature and energy balance of an ecosystem.
We need a new framework for geoengineering that includes a full
radiative accounting for greenhouse-gas and biophysical changes
together. That long-term framework should include not just reflected
sunlight but water evaporation, energy exchange, and other important
biophysical factors. Such a framework will then help us make best-
practice recommendations for if, when, and where to promote
geoengineering activities.
To demonstrate the need for better accounting, consider the
following example. Imagine providing landowners with incentives to
plant trees on lands that were previously croplands or pasture. Under a
carbon management framework, this activity will almost certainly remove
carbon dioxide from our air (assuming that planting and management
practices do not increase net greenhouse gas emissions). That is what
trees do_they grow.
What about the same activity viewed from the standpoint of solar
radiation management or ``climate''? Trees tend to be darker than
grasses or other crop species and thus reflect less sunlight (Figure 1;
Jackson et al. 2008). The same plantation that cools the Earth through
carbon removal may warm it by absorbing more sunlight. Planting dark
trees in snowy areas could cause substantial warming, for instance.
Your new plantation in Figure 1 also affects the Earth's
temperature in more ways than just storing carbon and reflecting less
sunlight. Trees typically evaporate more water than the grasses or
other crops they replace do. This increased evaporation (the blue
arrows in Figure 1) cools the land locally. It also loads more energy
into the atmosphere and can alter the production of convective clouds
that absorb or reflect sunlight and produce rain. Trees also alter the
roughness or unevenness of the plant canopy, transmitting more heat
into the atmosphere (the red arrows in Figure 1). Overall, such
biophysical changes can affect local and regional climate much more
than the accompanying carbon sequestration does_and sometimes in a
conflicting way.



New research is needed to provide a full radiative accounting for
greenhouse-gas changes and biophysics together. Some examples of gaps
in scientific understanding include the ways that climate models do
(and don't) resolve cloud cover, melt snow, supply water for plants to
grow, and simulate the planetary boundary layer. The fusion of
observations and models is critical for reducing these uncertainties.

Geoengineering for Carbon or Climate Will Alter Other Valuable
Resources

As just described, our lands do many things for us. They store
carbon and protect our climate. They also supply and purify water,
detoxify pollutants, support a treasure of biodiversity, and produce
the food we need to survive. Geoengineering strategies to remove carbon
from our air or to reflect sunlight will inevitably change the
abundance of these resources. We need immediate research on the full
environmental effects of geoengineering.
In a best-case scenario, managing lands to store carbon or reflect
sunlight will provide additional ecosystem benefits. An example of this
win-win scenario is restoring degraded lands. Restoring forests or
native grasslands on lands that have been over-used will not just store
carbon in plants and the soil; it will slow erosion, improve water
quality, and provide habitat for many species. Similarly, avoiding
deforestation in the tropics keeps carbon out of the atmosphere,
preserves biodiversity, and provides abundant water for streams and for
the atmosphere to be recycled in local storms.
In a worst-case scenario, blindly managing lands to store carbon or
reflect sunlight will harm ecosystem goods and services. Covering
hundreds or thousands of square miles of deserts with reflective
surfaces, as has been proposed, may indeed cool the planet. It would
also harm many other ecosystem services we value.
The more common reality will lie somewhere in between. One example
of a trade-off in services that I have studied is carbon storage and
water supply. Continuing the analogy in Figure 1, most trees store
carbon for decades after planting. Because they grow quickly, however,
trees also use more water than the native grasslands or shrublands they
replace (Figure 2; Jackson et al. 2005). These losses are substantial.
Yearly streamflow typically drops in half soon after planting. In about
one in ten cases the streams dry up completely.



In many real-world scenarios, we will have to choose which
ecosystem services we value most. In the specific case of our
plantation, which currency should we value more_carbon or water? The
answer probably depends on whether you live in a relatively water-rich
area or a water-poor one. Unfortunately, you can't always have your
cake and drink it, too.
Research into the environmental co-effects of geoengineering is
critical for successful policy and for avoiding surprises. In the final
section of this testimony, I present a few ideas for designing and
coordinating geoengineering research.

Which U.S. Agency Should Lead Geoengineering Research?

Because of the range of geoengineering activities and their
environmental consequences, no single agency has the expertise needed
to lead all geoengineering research. A more feasible approach would
build on a model that is sometimes used successfully_a coordinated,
interagency working group. One example of such a group is the U.S.
Global Change Research Program comprised of thirteen departments and
agencies.
Choosing a single U.S. agency to lead the research effort is
appealing administratively but would duplicate efforts. The
Environmental Protection Agency might be one home for geoengineering
research, particularly if the EPA is to regulate carbon dioxide
emissions. The Department of Agriculture, including its Forest Service
and Agricultural Research Service, has a long history of expertise in
managing our forests and agricultural lands. The Department of Energy
leads federal agencies in life-cycle and energy analysis on the global
carbon cycle. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
coordinates satellite-based research needed to understand global
processes and feedbacks. Many other agencies, including the National
Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, and the Department of the Interior, play important
roles in research.
Geoengineering research is most likely to succeed if research
agencies agree on a joint research agenda. The agencies should
therefore immediately convene a multi-disciplinary panel of experts to
outline an agenda for geoengineering research. This process must be
open and should seek input from the broader research community and from
stakeholders outside that community.

Conclusions

To discuss the possibility of engineering the Earth's climate is to
acknowledge that we have failed to slow greenhouse gas emissions and
climate change. Emitting less carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases
should remain our first goal.
Because our climate is already changing, we need to explore every
tool to reduce the harmful effects of those changes. Geoengineering is
one such tool. We have some valuable, short-term opportunities at hand,
including restoring ecosystems and avoiding deforestation. Overall,
though, we need to study the feasibility, cost, and environmental co-
effects of geoengineering broadly before applying it across the United
States and the world. We need to get geoengineering right_as a tool of
last resort.

References

Royal Society 2009 Geoengineering the climate: science, governance, and
uncertainty. RS Policy document 10/09, The Royal Society,
London.

Jackson, RB, JT Randerson, JG Canadell, RG Anderson, R Avissar, DD
Baldocchi, GB Bonan, K Caldeira, NS Diffenbaugh, CB Field, BA
Hungate, EG Jobbagy, LM Kueppers, MD Nosetto, DE Pataki. 2008.
Protecting climate with forests. Environmental Research Letters
3: 044006, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/3/4/044006.

Jackson RB, EG Jobbagy, R Avissar, S Baidya Roy, D Barrett, CW Cook, KA
Farley, DC le Maitre, BA McCarl, B Murray 2005 Trading water
for carbon with biological carbon sequestration. Science
310:1944-1947.

Biography for Robert Jackson
Robert B. Jackson is the Nicholas Professor of Global Environmental
Change at Duke University and a professor in the Biology Department.
His research examines how people affect the earth, including studies of
the global carbon and water cycles and climate change.
Jackson received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Rice
University (1983). He worked four years for the Dow Chemical Company
before obtaining M.S. degrees in Ecology (1990) and Statistics (1992)
and a Ph.D. in Ecology (1992) at Utah State University. He was a
Department of Energy Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow for Global
Change at Stanford University and an assistant professor at the
University of Texas before joining the Duke faculty in 1999. He is
currently Director of Duke's Center on Global Change. In his quest for
solutions to global warming, he also directs the Department of Energy-
funded National Institute for Climate Change Research for the
southeastern United States and co-directs the Climate Change Policy
Partnership, working with energy and utility corporations to find
practical strategies to combat climate change.
Jackson has received numerous awards, including a 1999 Presidential
Early Career Award in Science and Engineering from the National Science
Foundation (honored at the White House), a Fellow in the American
Geophysical Union, and inclusion in the top 0.5% of most-cited
scientific researchers (http://www.isihighlycited.com/). His trade book
on global change, The Earth Remains Forever, was published in October
of 2002. He has also written two children's books, Animal Mischief and
Weekend Mischief, both published by Boyds Mills Press, the trade arm of
Highlights Magazine. Jackson's research has been covered in various
newspapers and magazines, such as the Boston Globe, Washington Post,
U.S.A. Today, New York Times, Scientific American, Economist, and
BusinessWeek, and on national public radio. He conceived and organized
the Janus Fellowship, an annual undergraduate award to encourage the
study of an environmental problem from diverse perspectives; 1999's
first recipient traveled down the Nile River to examine water use and
water policy in Egypt.

Discussion

Chairman Baird. Thank you, gentlemen. I commend you for
keeping your comments in the time period. That enabled us to
hear all of your initial testimony. We have about probably
seven or eight minutes until we need to leave. Then what we
will do is, we will proceed with questions. I will probably ask
the first one and I imagine we will have to break after that.

Economic Costs of Geoengineering

I think your points are well taken about that we need to
prepare for this, but it also well taken that we don't want to
have people believe oh, hey, we don't have to do anything to
reduce, and you have spoken a lot about carbon. Obviously there
are many other greenhouse gases of great concern, some much
more potent in their efficacy and greenhouse warming. The cost
issue seems to me to be so prohibitive relative to all the
other things we could do more promptly to reduce carbon. If you
look at conservation, for example, if you look at development
of alternative energies, if you look at the CCS cost curve, and
I know carbon sequestration is different than what you are
talking about, but it would seem to me that your technology may
be fairly more expensive than carbon capture and sequestration.
Educate me. Is it or is it not more expensive, and if so, why
or why not?
Dr. Keith. I think it is crucial to distinguish these two
completely different kinds of things. Carbon removal is
inherently expensive. We can disagree about exactly how much
but it is expensive. Putting sulfates in the stratosphere is
potentially so cheap that costs are irrelevant. In the same
sense as when you think about security strategy, the actual
cost of nuclear warheads is not a big driver in security
strategy. Costs are so cheap that the richest people on the
planet could perhaps afford to buy an Ice Age and that
individual small states could act alone. So essentially that
doesn't mean you should do it but it means that this will be a
risk__
Chairman Baird. How cheap is that? Educate us on that.
Dr. Keith. Pardon?
Chairman Baird. You are saying it is so cheap. What is it
that makes it so cheap?

Atmospheric Sulfate Injections

Dr. Keith. The underlying physical fact that makes it so
cheap is that a couple of grams of sulfur in the stratosphere
offsets a ton of CO2 in the atmosphere, not in terms
of all the environmental effects, but in terms of the crude
radiative forcing. So I am working with one of the leading
contractors of high-altitude aircraft in the United States,
Aurora Flight Sciences. We are in the middle of a contract they
have with us looking at the cost of doing this, and the costs
are, as we thought, small.
Chairman Baird. Would you add it to the fuel or would it__
Dr. Keith. No, no, no, that doesn't work at all. That is in
the blogosphere. No, you build custom aircraft that would fly
at about 65,000, 75,000 feet. They would put the appropriate
sulfur or whatever it is in the atmosphere. And the costs of
doing that really work out to be low enough that costs don't
matter. We are talking about a cost offset the entire effect of
doubled CO2. That is an order of just billions a
year, so that is 100 to 1,000 times cheaper than the cost__
Chairman Baird. When you say offset the entire effects of
CO2__
Dr. Keith. In terms of gross rate of forcing. As I have
said and we all have said, it can't solve all the problems.
Chairman Baird. Only on the radiative side?
Dr. Keith. Yes.
Chairman Baird. This would have_my guess, I may be wrong_
would have no impact on ocean acidification.
Dr. Keith. None at all.
Chairman Baird. And I think it is really important to
understand that.
Dr. Keith. Absolutely. So this is inherently imperfect. It
can't compensate for CO2 in the air completely but
it can provide an extraordinarily fast-acting thing, and this
business of it being cheap I think is pretty much a fact, and
it is not necessarily a good thing. The downside is, it allows
unilateral action.
Chairman Baird. How long does it last up there?
Dr. Keith. The lifetimes are years, a couple years.
Chairman Baird. And then it, what, precipitates out or__
Dr. Keith. Yeah, that is correct.
Chairman Baird. No toxic side effects that we know of?
Dr. Keith. The thing we always wonder about is the unknown
unknown, so if you are thinking about, say, the acidification,
it is clear that is not a problem in several studies that
showed that. But of course, the concern here is with so little
research there may be some unknown unknown that comes out of
left field that bites us.

Land-Based Geoengineering

Dr. Jackson. There may be. There are issues that have come
up in the literature including interactions with the ozone
layer, the water cycle and things like that, and I agree with
David: more research is necessary. In my group, we do work on
both geologic sequestration, CCS sequestration and land-based,
and I would say it is useful to remember the land-based
strategies are much cheaper than carbon capture and storage
strategies. The issue with land-based strategies is that on a
50- to 100-year time frame, the bucket is not big enough to
solve this problem. So my answer would be, there are some
shorter term options that we can do some good and we can also
do some harm, but there are relatively low-cost options that we
can use to help us get started. Long term, we need these
bigger-picture solutions like others here have talked about.
Chairman Baird. Dr. Lackner?

Carbon Air Capture and Mineral Sequestration

Dr. Lackner. Let me make a case for the more expensive
carbon capture and storage options, which all of them are. My
point in a way is that air capture is probably more expensive
than any other capture, but not much more expensive so they are
all in the same ballpark. Yes, it is correct that it is cheaper
to put some conservation in place, to drive efficiency up and
all of this. But consider I came from New York this morning and
I could have said, it is much cheaper to walk so maybe I should
buy myself some running shoes and get going. But in the end I
broke down and said the distance is so large, I will buy myself
an airplane ticket and fly down here. And so I would argue the
same is true here too. We can make a difference by efficiency,
by conservation and doing all of these things, but in the end,
if you want to keep the level in the atmosphere constant at any
number, once you got to that number you really have to drive
emissions close to zero, and keep in mind with the rest of the
world growing, basically you have to come down by factors of 20
to 30 in order to hold things in a semblance of stability and
that requires more drastic solutions. They in the end will cost
a little more, and you are closing the carbon loop by adding
another third to it.
Chairman Baird. Thank you. We are going to recess at this
point. My belief is, we have most likely at least an hour of
votes, so we will resume the hearing at 11:30 and with the
indulgence of our guests and our panelists, I apologize for the
interruptions but we don't get to set that part of the
schedule. Thanks. We will see you in an hour.
[Recess.]

Public Opinion and Education

Chairman Baird. I thank you for your indulgence on this
hour break. I will recognize Mr. Inglis in a minute. I will
share with you, though, this idea of placing particles in the
upper atmosphere. Are any of you familiar with the conspiracy
theory known as chemtrails? Have you heard of this? It is a
rather interesting phenomenon. I was at a town hall and a
person opined that the shape of contrails was looking different
than it used to, and why was that? I gave my best understanding
of atmospheric temperature and humidity and whatnot, but the
theory which is apparently pretty prevalent on the Net is that
the government is putting psychotropic drugs of some sort into
the jet fuel and that is causing a difference in appearance of
jet fuel and allowing them to secretly disseminate these
foreign substances through the atmosphere via our commercial
jet airline fleet. Thanks to Dr. Keith, I know that is true.
The blogs will have your name, Dr. Keith. I am just kidding.
But it does_on a more serious note, it does highlight that
if we are going to do this, we are going to have to be very
clear with the public about what we are doing and how we are
doing it and why we are doing it and unintended consequences,
because legitimate scientific research must not get tied up
into these kind of things. Dr. Keith?
Dr. Keith. I think it is really crucial to do it in a
transparent way. One of the reasons I think we need a small
government program now is to inject some transparency because
right now we have got a hodgepodge, including private money,
and that increases the risk that people are very fired up about
this. I have voice mails from people who told me I am going to
burn in a lake of fire and I don't love my kids and I am a
murderer.
Chairman Baird. You too?
Dr. Keith. Oh, yeah.
Chairman Baird. We must be on the same mailing list.
Dr. Keith. So I think that it is_the only cure for that is
transparency.
Chairman Baird. Mr. Inglis.

Political, Scientific, and Economic Challenges

Mr. Inglis. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
It strikes me what we are talking about here is something
that is very difficult to do because there is no profit to be
made in it, and if you think about it, the other way of cutting
off the CO2 has a real profit motive in it, and the
way that you can really get things done in a free-enterprise
society like ours is to give people an opportunity to make
money. They will move quickly if they can make a buck. What you
are talking about here, I think just involves government
expenditures because I don't know of any customer who would buy
these things. So it means if you are doing appropriations to
support this with, A, some real questions about the science of
it, and B, selling people on the idea of using their tax money
to spend money on something that they can't see any tangible
result from. It is a little bit like putting padding in a car
to avoid injuries with DUI or something. I mean, maybe what you
should do is stop the people from being DUI rather than putting
padding in the car. And I am also aware that the Committee had
an opportunity to be in Greenland and we heard about an earlier
idea several decades ago of putting coal dust out on the
glaciers in order to help heat up the glaciers. Gee, I am glad
we didn't do that. And we heard too, though, about the good
thing of getting lead out of gasoline and the result is that
real improvement in the situation in the glaciers. So it meant
sort of a picture. I mean, one, we are thinking about putting
out coal dust. In the other, we are just removing a noxious
substance, and the result was really good.
So you have to be real certain of the science and then you
have to figure out how you sell a constituency on it, and the
thing I am looking for always when dealing with climate change
is some way of getting a two-fer or a three-fer, and this is a
one-fer. I mean, you just get one thing, CO2 out of
the air and you have a problem finding a constituency, you have
real questions about the science. If you think about it, if you
can incentivize people to really go after reducing emissions
and make money at it, then you can create jobs, you can improve
the national security of the United States, especially by
breaking the addiction to Middle Eastern oil and you can clean
up the air. It is a three-fer and it is driven by profit
motive. Wow, what a deal. Because, you know, this thing, if we
had done this by appropriations, we would be dragging behind
our cars in a trailer, you know, with two technicians figuring
out how to get an e-mail across but because this was profit
motive, look at this incredible thing. They made a bazillion
dollars making these things. So that is what we are after,
right? And so I realize I am really panning the idea here, so
does anybody want to defend it since I have totally panned it?
Who wants to go? Dr. Rasch, you still look like you want to
tell me.
Dr. Rasch. Sure, I am happy to respond. I guess the first
thing to say is that I think probably all of us agree with you
on 99 percent of what you said. I think the first thing to say
is that the only reason that we are considering doing
geoengineering_it is going to cost money that we wish we didn't
have to spend_is because the consequences of not doing anything
might be more costly. That is the first thing. Then the second
thing to just mention is that of course we also want to find a
way of changing our energy technology so that we are not
emitting the CO2 or other greenhouse gases, and the
best way is to do it the way that you are talking about. We are
a bit concerned that it is going to take a while both to
convert the technology to reduce or zero out emissions, and
also even if we were to do that, it is going to take a while
for the planet to come to some equilibrium with respect to the
emissions that we have already made and those that are coming.
There are also difficulties with respect to continuing
emissions for things like transportation sectors, which were
also mentioned earlier this morning. So we don't really like
the idea of doing geoengineering, but we can't see any way
around it. We see that we may need to do geoengineering.
Mr. Inglis. I see that my time is up. I hope we may come
back to it but, you know, it reminds me of the Malthusian
predictions too about the manure in New York City. It really
undercuts, I think, our efforts to do something about climate
change to have Malthusian predictions. I mean, the reality is
that Henry Ford created the car and made a bazillion dollars on
it and the result was, we didn't have horse manure piling up to
second-story levels in New York City or however deep is was
supposed to get. And so I really think that when those of that
are out there trying to say let us take responsible action or
sort of hear the chorus of a Malthusian prediction, then it
really undercuts our effort of trying to get people to buy into
this and say gee, we can make a buck, we can improve the
national security of the United States, and if you care about
it, you don't have to care about it but if you care about it,
we can clean up the air too. That is how to sell change.
The other thing is, it is really hard to sell. I can tell
you in the 4th District of South Carolina, it would be
extremely hard to sell. I yield back.
Chairman Baird. Apparently Dr. Keith would like to speak
about euphemistic Malthusian predictions, which may be a
euphemism for horse pucky, but Dr. Keith?
Dr. Keith. I think profit motive and entrepreneurialism are
just fantastic and I think it is vital that we actually talk
about this in a positive way. We have solved an enormous number
of pollution problems over the last 100 years. We made huge
progress on cleaning up air and water and there was a lot of
innovation that came about. I run a little company that is
trying to innovate, and we don't think we should make that
money, in the long run, by government appropriations. We think
what we need is a clean, transparent law where government
doesn't pick winners but does restrict the amount of CO2
going in the atmosphere, and we want to and intend to compete
and win in that world.
Chairman Baird. Mr. Rohrabacher.

Skepticism of Climate Change

Mr. Rohrabacher. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. You
know, I come to this. I actually waded through the snow coming
here, and noticing how miserable I would be without global
warming would be even worse. Actually the snow we have had and
the temperatures we have had in the last nine years totally are
contrary to what we were told in this Committee for about 10
years, all the predictions of the people who came here to talk
to us about global warming. I know they have changed it now to
climate change because the climate doesn't seem to be doing
what they said it would do, but in this Committee, testimony
after testimony about what was going to be happening. We were
going to reach this turning point. It was going to get hotter
and hotter until it would reach some point and then it would
really get hotter, and it has been just the opposite. We come
into this hearing today_just in the last month we have heard
not only the revelations that came out of these hacked
communications which indicate a lack of scientific credibility
behind certain issues that have been brought up in the global
warming debate but we also have found that there was in the
IPCC report itself that the Himalayan glaciers that were
predicted, that prediction was not based on any scientific
research. Just last week it was indicated that and found out
that the guesstimate on the Amazon rain forestation, the
elimination of the rain forest in the Amazon had no scientific
research and basis, and we also heard just recently a statement
from the Russian Academy of Sciences that the information they
had provided the IPCC was cherry-picked before it was put into
the computer model to have an outcome that was not a scientific
outcome but an outcome that was predetermined by the people who
were putting the project together. These things would cause us
reason to doubt the premise which your request for the spending
of billions of dollars to remediate a problem is based on.
For the record, Mr. Chairman, I would like to place in the
record, out of_there are thousands of such scientists, and you
know them, who disagree with this theory that your proposals
are based upon but I would like to put a list of at least 100
of those thousands of scientists who are prominent scientists
who agree with the case for alarm regarding climate change is
grossly exaggerated. Surface temperature changes over the past
century have been episodic and modest. There has been no net
global warming for over a decade. The computer models
forecasting rapid temperature change abjectly fail to explain
recent climate behavior. And finally, characterization of the
scientific facts regarding climate change and the degree of
certainty informing the scientific debate is simply incorrect.
I would like to place for the record the list of 100 prominent
scientists who agree with those statements.
Chairman Baird. If it doesn't exceed the requisite page
limit__
Mr. Rohrabacher. Well, we will squeeze them down into a
little__
Chairman Baird. Because that is an issue.
Mr. Rohrabacher. _one page if you would like, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Baird. If you want to submit one page, then
without objection.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Otherwise we would be wasting all of that
carbon the paper.
Chairman Baird. Well, it has happened before that we have
sought to do that on our side with objections__
[The information follows:]








Mr. Rohrabacher. So now to the questions based on some of
the reading that I obviously have had on this. What percentage
of the atmosphere is CO2? I have asked that
question, by the way, of numerous people, and after hearing all
of the various proposals about the importance of
CO2, most novices think it is 10 percent or 20
percent of the atmosphere. What percentage is it?
Dr. Jackson. Three hundred and ninety parts per million.
Mr. Rohrabacher. It is .0395 something. It is less that one
tenth of 1 percent of the atmosphere. As a matter of fact, it
is less than one half of one tenth percent of the atmosphere.
Is that correct?
Dr. Keith. Yes, and maybe it is useful to think about where
the knowledge that that could cause a problem came from. It
came from the Air Force geophysics lab in the 1950s. So one
thing that you lose in all the hype, and IPCC has overhyped,
and all the hype on both sides is the stability of the core
science. So the original modeling that showed that
surprisingly_it is surprising that that small amount of
CO2 could have a big effect on climate. That
modeling was first done accurately by the U.S. Air Force and it
wasn't__
Mr. Rohrabacher. The point is not accurate. There are many
scientists who disagree that that small amount of CO2
has anything to do with the changes in the climate, especially_
now, is it your contention that this tiny, miniscule amount,
and of course, mankind's investment into that is only 10 to 20
percent of that. Eighty percent of it comes from natural
sources. That makes it even more miniscule. That that is a more
important factor to the change in our climate than solar
activity? The biggest source of power in our universe but this
little tiny thing is more important than that?
Dr. Lackner. I would say yes, and I don't come at it as a
climate scientist. I would be happy to stand away from this. I
am a harmless physicist when it comes to this. But Joseph
Fourier understood this in 1812. And really nothing much has
happened new since Svante Arrhehius in 1900, and yes, if you
were to take the CO2 out, the United States would be
very much colder than it is today. It is a simple greenhouse
gas, and what we are talking about are fine details of what
happens if you make small changes to that admittedly small
number. Nevertheless, it is important. If you take it out, you
also have no photosynthesis. Your ocean would be a hydroxide
solution. So there are lots of things which make this
important. Nobody argues about argon, which is comparable in
content, because it is inert. It doesn't do anything.
Mr. Rohrabacher. At that time in the early__
Dr. Rasch. Those 100 scientists that you mentioned would
not disagree with anything that Dr. Lackner just said.
Mr. Rohrabacher. But let me try__
Dr. Lackner. Let me try to__
Mr. Rohrabacher. Let me ask you this specifically. Has
there been a time when the CO2 in this planet's
history, when the CO2 level was much greater but
that we had abundant plant life, oceans that flourished.
Dr. Keith. Absolutely. So 50 million years ago there was
1,000 or 2,000 parts per million CO2 in the air,
several times what it is now, and there were alligators in the
high Arctic and there is nothing wrong with that whatsoever.
The problem is about pace of change. It took 10 million years
for CO2 levels to come down from where they were,
and we are planning to put them back up to that level in one
human lifetime. That is 100,000 times faster. There is nothing
inherently wrong with a warmer climate, but that argument is
fallacious because it neglects the issue of rate of change.
When things came 100,000 times faster, you have a problem.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Well, except, of course, if the earth has
several volcanoes that erupt, right, and that might do as much
change as what we do in a full year or two. Isn't that right?
Dr. Rasch. If you get a big enough volcano, it can have a
catastrophic effect on the atmosphere.
Mr. Rohrabacher. So volcanic activity really has something
to do with this as well that may even override what human
beings do.
Dr. Lackner. It certainly will override a year or two. The
point which convinced me to work on it, because I had to go
through the same sort of questions 10, 15 years ago when the
climate science was far less certain, and whether it is worth
spending time on these issues. What convinced me is we can have
a long and learned debate what precisely is the right number to
stop at, but once we reach that number, we have to stop
emitting, because to a very good approximation, this is like
pouring water in a cup. As long as I keep pouring, it goes up,
and so we could have an argument whether 450 is the point to
stop and there are some people who are of a different opinion
than I am on that, but__
Mr. Rohrabacher. A lot of scientists, for example, suggest
that the baseline that you are using to claim that there is a
temperature change going on starts in 1850, and we all know
that 1850 represented the bottom of a 500-year decline in
temperatures, which is what they call I think the Little Ice
Age or something, which the scientists that I am talking about
point to that and say there has not been any change, even
though we have this supposed increase in CO2.
Dr. Jackson. It discourages me a bit, I must confess, to
still be debating things like whether greenhouse gases are
increasing and whether the earth is warming. The earth's
temperature is warming. In 1998_the only reason that there is
some discussion about the warming slowing is the 1998 weather
was off the charts in terms of warmth. It was unprecedented in
terms of warmth, and it was so high that the bouncing around
since then, it may have slowed a little bit. My suspicion is
that in five years it will be back to the same__
Mr. Rohrabacher. So you are saying that this 1850 argument,
that using that as the baseline really isn't accurate because
we have actually grown a lot more than what would have normally
been throughout the 1,000-year, 2,000-year history of humans.
Dr. Jackson. I am just saying that it is not an 1850
discussion, it is a million years and longer discussion through
different methods. I am just saying that the knowledge base is
quite strong. I guess I would also like to add that when we
think about changing the earth's climate, I would like_as a
climate and environmental scientist, I would also like to
remind people that there are millions of other species that we
share this planet with, and for 50 million years those species
were free to migrate and move. That is no longer the case, so
we have to think about human adaptation and human cost but also
the ability of the other species that we share the planet with
to move in the kind of lifetime that David Keith was talking
about__
Mr. Rohrabacher. Well, the CO2 argument_and I
certainly agree that we have a footprint but it is not just a
carbon footprint, and thank you very much. I see my time is up.
Thank you for indulging me, Mr. Chairman.

The Scientific Basis of Climate Change

Chairman Baird. I thank the gentlemen for their responses
and want to commend you. Some of the arguments that Mr.
Rohrabacher has made have been offered previously to panels of
climate scientists without response, and I commend you for the
response.
I want to drill down a little bit on one of these issues,
and Dana and I are very good friends and we disagree on the
conclusion here, but there is a premise that seems to be that
if something appears to be a small quantity, that it then
assumes it cannot have a large effect. My understanding is,
ricin in microscopic quantities can be dreadfully fatal. I take
a little tiny pill each day called Lipitor, which relative to
my body mass is pretty darn small, and it seems to extend my
life. If I were to put a thin, thin, thin film of plastic over
your mouth, you would die. If I hold it under the sun, it will
warm you up a lot. A thin film of plastic which relative to
thickness of atmosphere is far smaller than the parts per
million we are talking about, and yet it could_you know, nobody
would dispute you lay a piece of plastic on the ground, sun
comes through it, things get hot. So this fundamental core
argument that because CO2 is a small percentage of
our total atmosphere it cannot have dramatic effects is_we can
illustrate countless examples in nature where apparently tiny
quantities have dramatic impact. So I think we would do well to
reject that as a line of argument.
But beyond that, my understanding of the recent temperature
data from this year suggests this past year was a pretty warm
year in spite of the fact_I think proponents of climate change
make an egregious mistake when there is a tornado somewhere or
a hot day somewhere and they say oh, look, it must be climate
change. The opponents are guilty of the same problem. And my
understanding is the pattern of temperature last year was
actually pretty warm year. Is that your understanding? And my
understanding also is that IPCC and NASA itself have looked at
the solar radiation issue and largely refuted the notion that
solar radiation increases. I mean, they modeled it elsewhere
and they said solar radiation increases are not believed to be
responsible for the apparent temperature increase. Is that your
understanding? The record will show that these four
distinguished gentlemen all say yes on that.
I think there is a need to_you know, the temptation is to
say well, there is one thing or a few things that point maybe
in the opposite direction or questions of doubt, and there is
no question in my mind that if doubt is distorted on either
side of an argument, that_as a scientist and someone who has
introduced legislation to promote ethical scientific conduct,
that is a problem. But a few bad examples don't seem to me to
overwhelm the abundant evidence that I think you gentlemen are
citing.

Chemical & Geological Carbon Uptake

So back to the issue at hand of geoengineering. Let us talk
about solar radiation management a little bit. I want to talk
about that and also about the carbon uptake. We will start with
carbon uptake. The white pine tree that you gave us, give us
some costs, both carbon costs, you know, and what does it cost
to produce that in terms of carbon and cost to manufacture? You
mentioned, I think, 25 cents a gallon.
Dr. Lackner. Well, this is once we are in a mass
manufacturing mode. We are still in a research phase so we have
developed this material which is an anion exchange resin. If it
is dry, it absorbs CO2 out of the air. If it is wet,
it gives it back. So around that we built a cycle which allows
us to collect the CO2, compress it, and we will pay
energy for that, and so the main energy consumption is the
compression. Figure that we roughly give 20 percent of the
CO2 we collected back because some distant power
plant is generating electricity in order to feed that system,
so that is the order of magnitude of what you have to give
back. The cost of the electricity is small and would be well
within that 25 cents.
Chairman Baird. So you are able to_once that thing draws
the carbon out of the air, you are able to then draw the carbon
off of that?
Dr. Lackner. Exactly. So this is like a sponge to soak it
up and then I squeeze the sponge out and then I can do with the
CO2 whatever is necessary. I can put it to mineral
sequestration, I can use geological sequestration or you could
just happen to want some CO2 for a fizzy drink. I
can sell you that CO2 for that purpose. Clearly, I
have no carbon impact if I do that.
Chairman Baird. But if we burp, we screw up the cycle.
Dr. Lackner. Yeah, you would have kept the cycle going. But
for a small company, again, that actually gives you the profit
motive because in the beginning those are the markets and quite
clearly in the beginning I am not down to $30 of ton of
CO2. We estimate that the next round where we go to
a one-ton-a-day unit, we are at about $200 a ton on the first
try.
Chairman Baird. How about the carbon costs of producing the
material?
Dr. Lackner. The carbon cost of that is nearly negligible
to the total, because in a matter of a week or two this machine
will have collected its own weight in CO2 multiple
times over. Roughly speaking, without doing a careful lifecycle
analysis, you have collected a few times your own weight, in
the CO2 emitted that you have produced. Furthermore,
the material is a polymer so at the end of the day it becomes
fuel to close the cycle.
Chairman Baird. And my understanding is, we are getting_
there was an article in Science a couple weeks ago about how we
are making some new developments in terms of molecules that may
be able to_and catalysts that may be able to more efficiently
strip carbon out as well. Is that__
Dr. Lackner. Yes. There are a variety of options. We
believe what we did here, we discovered actually a brand new
way of doing it and we will pursue this further and try to
drive the costs down, and one of the things we can do is just
make the material finer. Therefore, we use less of it, and
therefore the cost is coming down. That is why I am optimistic
that mass production_I don't just have to appeal to the world's
learning curves for other things when you say things get
cheaper if you make more, but I can point my finger to things
here and here and here. I can make it much cheaper.

Alternatives to Fossil Fuels

Chairman Baird. And one last point on this and then I will
recognize Mr. Inglis. My understanding is that a portion of the
energy demand, it will be very possible to meet it through
renewable energies, particularly in off-peak times.
Dr. Lackner. Certainly, and__
Chairman Baird. So we are not having to burn more coal, for
example, to power our carbon cleansing mechanism. We can use
renewables to do that?
Dr. Lackner. You could certainly do that, and we actually
have developed ways where we can wait for the electricity
demand when you don't need it so that we can fit in that way.
But overall, I would argue you can also get away from fossil
fuels, and the dream of the hydrogen economy is to use
renewable energy to make hydrogen as a fuel. If I can give you
CO2 and hydrogen, you can make any fuel you like
with technologies we have developed in the 1920s. So it seems
to me this opens the door both ways to carbon sequestration if
you want to go that route, and if renewable electricity or, for
that matter, nuclear electricity, becomes cheap enough to make
it worthwhile. You can get independent of oil by making your
own synthetic fuels.
Chairman Baird. Thank you.
Mr. Inglis.

The Successes of Protera LLC and the Need for Innovation

Mr. Inglis. So Dr. Keith, thank you for that answer for Mr.
Rohrabacher. I think it is a very helpful explanation because
if it is a pace of 100,000 times faster, that really helps
people to understand why it is that it is a problem, and that
is the kind of thing that really builds our credibility as we
try to address the issue, and I am with Chairman Baird, I thank
you for answering the question because quite often those
questions do go_or those assertions go unchallenged and so very
cogent explanation there. It is 100,000 times faster. I think
we can all understand that, that is fast.
So right now I have to sort of celebrate something
happening in our district that is relevant to this. Protera,
which is an electric bus company, is announcing that they are
coming to Greenville, South Carolina, at Clemson University's
Center of Automotive Research, where they are going to begin
building these buses. The bus has a number of advances. It is
made out of balsa wood that is infused with resins that make it
as strong as steel. It has got a fiberglass case on it that is
very light. It is about a third shorter but carries as many
people as an average bus, a city bus, because it doesn't have
big diesel engines in the back, and it runs on 3,000 pounds of
batteries, heavy batteries. It is a lot of batteries. They are
quick charge and quick discharge, 6-minute charge, which means_
the physicists here can explain to us that that means they
discharge quickly too, right? But they figure that by going
around from stop to stop, and stop and have an extended stop,
maybe a minute and a half, they can actually recharge the
battery enough to get to several more stops. And so around the
city that uses such a bus, there won't be any emissions from
the diesel. The electric bus goes faster than a diesel because
you can go lickety split. I drove one right up the hill here
several months ago, and we beat a city bus off the line, and
all you do is put the accelerator down and that thing moves. It
doesn't have the grinding of the diesel and it doesn't have the
smoke coming out the back. And it has regenerative braking too
so when you let off the accelerator, the thing slows down as it
is recapturing that energy. What an exciting thing. These
people have decided that the economics work right now, and I
wish I were there now to celebrate this with them but I did a
recording yesterday to celebrate it, and what I pointed out is,
if we get action on climate change, those economics will look
even better, so the amazing thing is that they have something
that works right now but imagine them in the catbird seat if we
do actually insist on accountability and say incumbent fuels,
consider all of your externalities, force a recognition of all
the negative externalities and suddenly Protera is going to be_
wow, everybody is going to be asking for one of those buses or
many of those buses and we are going to have jobs in South
Carolina. We are going to have an improved national security
because we are going to be saying to the Middle East, we just
don't need you like we used to. And we will clean up the air.
Now, of course, that assumes a clean way of producing
electricity, but if you insist there on internalizing the
externals associated with the cheap coal, then we will fix that
one too. We will be building IGCC machines in Greenville, South
Carolina, at General Electric, creating a lot of jobs there. We
will be creating windmills. They are building wind turbines at
General Electric in Greenville. And so we will be building
nuclear power plants with a whole high concentration of
engineers in the upstate of South Carolina.
Now, you see I have a parochial interest in this. I want to
make a lot of people very wealthy out of figuring out a way to
fix this problem, and we can create jobs in the process. We are
going to say to the Middle East, we just don't need you as
much, and we are going to clean up the air. So what an exciting
thing. So I just had to celebrate this Protera announcement,
Mr. Chairman. Can I hear a cheer for Protera?
Chairman Baird. Go, Protera. All I care about is you
driving buses.
Mr. Inglis. Yes, I shouldn't have admitted that. I don't
have a CDL.
Dr. Jackson. May I comment briefly? I think that is a
wonderful example, and one way or another, one of the things
that we clearly need is some sort of carbon price, and the
reason I think for having a carbon price down the road is that
you don't pick winners and losers in terms of technology. You
let the private sector and markets drive the innovation and the
energy savings and all the technologies including perhaps
things like capturing CO2 from the air but we must
have a carbon price and we must figure out a way to do it
smartly and efficiently to protect our jobs and business but
that is what we need to drive exactly the kind of innovation
that you are talking about. That is fantastic.
Mr. Inglis. And can I pass one on to you? How about this?
Art Laffer, one of Reagan's economic advisors, is a neighbor of
Al Gore's in Tennessee. They agree on a 15-page bill that I
have introduced. It reduces payroll taxes and an equal amount
shifts those taxes to emissions. So it is a revenue-neutral
bill. It is also border adjustable tax so it is removed on
exports, and it is imposed on imports.
Dr. Keith. That is beautiful. May I comment on the need for
innovation?
Mr. Inglis. Yes.
Dr. Keith. I think private money can do great, and both
Klaus and I are, in a friendly way, competing, and we both have
private money to work on air capture. And in the long run
prices are absolutely necessary to allow clean competition but
we also have to find ways, and government has a role. It is not
easy to figure out exactly how to do it right in incentivizing
innovation because we just are not putting enough energy into
energy innovation. The U.S. electric power industry puts as
much money into R&D as a fraction of gross sales as the pet
food industry does. I didn't make that number up. We checked
that number. It is a very small amount, and we need to find a
way to make this economy more innovative, and private money is
necessary but we need ways for government to encourage
innovation both through specifics of tax policies and direct
funding for basic R&D. I think that is crucial.
Mr. Inglis. You know, I found that out actually visiting
the utility that is subject to a Public Service Commission.
They are sort of proud of the fact they didn't have an R&D
department, and the reason is that they can't figure out how to
pass those costs along through the PSC, and so they took it as
a point of pride that they weren't charging the consumer with
those. So it is a real chicken and egg kind of thing. You have
to figure out how to_but if you establish a clear price and you
insist on accountability, which I believe, by the way, is a
very conservative concept. I mean, I am a conservative
Republican and I am here to tell you that if you allow people
to be not accountable for what they do, well, then you get
market distortions. But if you insist on accountability, then
those incumbent technologies lose to new technologies.
Dr. Lackner. Let me 100 percent agree with you on that
point. We do need some way of holding people accountable for
the carbon. My view is, this has to be somehow built into the
price, ideally, as high upstream as you possibly can. And then
we move on and say all these various options can compete. Your
electricity-driven bus I think is a great idea. I am 100
percent behind that. It is a little harder for my sports car to
have all of those batteries in it, and so maybe the 100 times
higher concentration in the liquid fuel, which could be
synthetic, is another option, but let the market figure that
out, and what I am driving towards is that we shouldn't close
options off. Air capture is an option. Electricity is another
option. Which of the two will win? I tell my students, I can't
tell you today. The markets will have to figure this out and it
is too close to call with 50 years ahead trying to work this
out, but we do need the market to sort this out.

Increasing Structural Albedo

Chairman Baird. Thanks, Mr. Inglis.
I want to ask two more quick questions and then, Mr.
Inglis, we may finish at that point. It seems to me that the
most basic form of_you folks have been very informative here
and it makes sense to me that we ought to look at this much
more than we are. The most basic form of geoengineering that I
have heard about is paint your roof white, which actually is
very little cost and dramatic benefit. Is that your
understanding, that if we could move, you know, towards lighter
colored shingles_in fact, I understand people are making
photovoltaic shingles now. What are your thoughts on that?
Dr. Keith. Huge local benefits, such huge potential
benefits__
Chairman Baird. In this city__
Dr. Keith. _cooling loads and city-level loads, but I think
it is pretty clear that as a method of changing he global
climate, it is both too small of a matter and actually not
cheap. But locally to help cities and to help reduce cooling
loads, it can be very effective.
Chairman Baird. And dramatic_not dramatic but noticeable
impact on cooling loads especially.
Dr. Rasch. If I could respond, it doesn't have much effect
on the brightness of the planet but it does have a big effect
on the energy.
Chairman Baird. So we are not going to change planetary
albedo by painting our roofs white, but the city of Washington,
D.C., could substantially reduce its load, and that means less
air conditioning, that means less carbon burning for the air
conditioning.
Dr. Rasch. Yes, absolutely.

Alternative Fuels and Conservation Priorities

Chairman Baird. In terms of research dollars, one of my
concerns_I was just at the World Economic Forum and there is a
lot of discussion about CCS, carbon capture and sequestration.
We are building an enormous base infrastructure right now. We
already have one in coal but we are building_China,
particularly, and other nations, are continuing to expand on
the bet basically that we are going to have some sort of CCS
that is economically viable. And the projections we have heard
in this committee previously suggest there is a real question
about that, and on top of that, if you are adding more carbon,
the efficacy of reducing the existing carbon that you are just
trying to keep up with an ever-fleeing target. It would seem to
me that we would be much better to do a couple of things, to
make a large investment right away in conservation because that
is your quickest and most immediate return on investment. Then
put money into disruptive technologies like distributed
photovoltaics or wind or like Dr. Daniel Nocera is doing at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT], some form of
better hydrogen and fuel cell rather than letting the money go
into these big coal plants that just commit us to a coal path
and then make all your clever devices, Dr. Lackner, not
reducing down to 350, which we are already above 350 parts per
million but trying to keep up with this fleeing target. What
are your thoughts on this? If we throw so much money into new
coal capacity versus_what does that do to us?
Dr. Lackner. I think we should do what you just said
because it is important to go after the low-hanging fruit, but
I come back to where I started, particularly if you talk about
what other countries are getting into, you are talking in the
end about a world of 10 billion people who strive to have a
style of living we take for granted, and I think we should do
everything we can to allow that to happen. Now you need an
awful lot of energy, probably four or five times as much energy
as we are using today. So I started to ask myself the question,
where could all that energy possibly come from? There are very
few resources which are big enough to do that. I would argue
one of them is solar energy. There is no question we have
enough sunshine and we should have a big, big program there.
Secondly, I think nuclear energy with all its problems is a
second one which is actually large enough to solve this problem
and can play as a truly big player. Thirdly, you have fossil
fuels. We may be running out of oil. We are not so likely
running out of gas and we are certainly not running out of coal
in the foreseeable future. So in my view, we have some 200
years there to keep banking on that fuel, provided you have
carbon capture and storage in place. So that has to be part of
the bundle because otherwise you simply couldn't dare to use
all of this carbon. So in my view, standing back a little,
there are three major resources and we better place three big
bets, making sure that at least one of them pays out. And I am
optimistic that each one of the three has a fair chance of
getting through, but if we were to fail on all three, we would
have an energy crisis of unprecedented proportion no matter how
well we do in terms of conservation or improved efficiency.
Those can help but they cannot solve the problem, and I would
argue the other energy sources we are talking about on that
scale are too small. So those three I would view as in a
special category, and we have to pay attention that they work.
And then the market has to figure out whether it is 30, 35, 40
or whether it is one winner takes all in 50 years. I cannot
predict that. But we better not close the door on any one of
those.
Dr. Jackson. May I add wind to that list as well? I agree
with all of that. I can't pass up an opportunity to say thank
you for emphasizing the need for conservation and renewables.
Those are things that we can do now. When we are discussing
geoengineering, we are talking about things that work at best
10, 20 years and perhaps and hopefully never if we don't get to
that point, but it is increasingly likely that we will get to
it because of the increasing use of fossil fuels. So anything
that we can do now, and there are many things we can do now to
improve efficiency and provide incentives for renewables like
wind and solar, I wholeheartedly support, and the market is the
best way to do that. On top of that, though, when we build a
coal plant, that coal plant is on the ground for 40 or 50 years
perhaps, so I do believe, as strongly as I feel about
conservation and renewables, that we have to pursue at least
economic and feasibility analyses of CCS. Perhaps carbon
capture and storage directly from the atmosphere is another
example. These are not_it is not an either/or situation. In my
view, these are backup plans because we are not doing the job
we should be doing as quickly as we should be doing it.

Coal and Carbon Capture and Sequestration

Dr. Keith. CCS has become a bit of an orphan child, so I
think we should do everything we can to stop building any new
coal plants without CCS. I would be happy to see a ban. But I
think it is tempting to say, and I agree very much with the
idea that solar and nuclear and coal with capture are the big
players in the long run, wind to a lesser extent. But I think
it is important to be clear about the politics of CCS right
now. It is an orphan child. The NGOs at best are lukewarm and
the coal companies' preferred strategy, in many ways, would be
to have it be R&D forever so they don't get regulated. And so
it is sort of caught in between the two. Yet nevertheless, it
looks to those of us who spent a lot of time on it that you
could actually build gigawatt-scale power using coal with
capture today, and the costs of doing that would be much lower
than, say, the cost of solar today, much meaning factors of
several.
Chairman Baird. With respect, there is substantial dispute
of that.
Dr. Keith. I actually don't know any serious dispute. I
have served on the IPCC panels.
Chairman Baird. About the cost curve?
Dr. Keith. Here is a simple way to say it. The feed-in
tariffs that we need to make solar happen are of order 30, 40
plus cents a kilowatt hour in places where we are really doing
it. I helped to get in Alberta, where I come from, one of the
first_probably what will be the first megaton-a-year scale
plant happen. I helped to recommend and was involved in the
contracting for that. Those costs are substantially lower. So
they will be done in three years for a million-ton-a-year
effort and that is baseload power. It is ugly. Nobody likes it.
It is not sexy. It is something that sort of nobody wants but
it is something you can actually do and provides low CO2
electricity at a cost that is reasonable, and I think we would
be very foolish to throw it out.
Chairman Baird. I will not stipulate to that, having heard
Mr. Heller's comments in Davos last week.
Dr. Jackson. I am not sure I agree completely with that
either.
Dr. Lackner. It is indeed a complicated story, but if you
look back to the sulfur discussions, the sulfur dioxide
discussions in the 1980s, the estimate right before it happened
where typically an order of magnitude larger. I think in the
absence of economic incentives, prices tend to escalate and so
I would argue there is a complicated story. If you want my
intuitive feeling, and it is no more than that, these costs
will come down to somewhere around $30 a ton in power plants.
Chairman Baird. I also wanted to say, to say that it is an
orphan child, the energy bill that passed the House had $100
billion over time into CCS. That is a hell of an orphan. You
were saying, Dr. Rasch, the best you could get was $1 billion.
Was it even a billion? It was a million.
Dr. Rasch. A billion dollars for climate, and we are
currently at a million dollars per year for geoengineering.
Chairman Baird. A million for geoengineering, so we are_
order of magnitude.
Dr. Rasch. Many orders of magnitude.
Chairman Baird. Three orders of magnitude.
Dr. Lackner. Five.
Chairman Baird. Five orders. Yes, right, five orders of
magnitude. And so I don't think it is an orphan child by any
means, and I think as an orphan child, it is a darn expensive
child when you are putting $100 billion in. So if you are going
to say that yes, the cost of CCS may come down, well, what if
you put $100 billion in alternative technologies?
And one last note on this and I will get to Mr. Inglis. The
coal cost is not just the carbon cost. Five thousand miners a
year die in China. It is a centralized system with a very
inefficient transmission. We lose a tremendous amount of power
across the transmission. There are all the other eminent domain
issues, whether it is pipelines to transport the carbon or
transporting the energy through those lines. I am very much,
personally, much more of a distributed energy person with
backups of the kind of thing you are doing, but I worry greatly
about the big investment in coal, and $100 billion is a lot of
darn money that could go somewhere else.
Mr. Inglis.
Mr. Inglis. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Economically Viable Energy Sources

Just briefly. I don't know, Dr. Rasch, whether_you
referenced $1 billion for a year in climate research. Our
numbers show it is $2.5 billion.
Dr. Rasch. I tried to cite the location for the information
that I used to assess that, but I could be off by a factor of
two. You can also correct me if I am not looking at the right
numbers. I am glad to be educated on that.
Mr. Inglis. Which is a fair amount of money. The thing I
just go back to is, what we see in this Committee quite often
is some things that work and we know they work. For example,
wave energy works. It has obviously got to work. I mean, you
can do it all kinds of waves. The question is whether it works
economically, and the way to get things_I believe a basic rule
of government is to basic research. I mean, it is an important
function we do. But then once it gets into the applied range,
what you are looking for is just economics at work, and when
those economics start working, things happen quickly. So the
internet came from defense research that then saw real
opportunities in the private sector, and wow, what an
opportunity it was.
By the way, I might point out this 15-page bill, do another
commercial for it. It starts out at $15 a ton, gets to $100 a
ton over 30 years. But we can go steeper than that if you want
to. Just give me a tax cut somewhere else. In other words, how
low do you want to go on taxes? How low do you want to go on
reducing those FICA taxes? I will go all the way down and then
we will shift them on to something else. So the idea of the
curve is, it gives a period of time for innovation and it
starts going more steeply. But the process is_I just want to
point out, the bill, as I said, that Art Laffer, Ronald
Reagan's economic advisor, and Al Gore both support this. It is
15 pages compared to the 1,200-page cap-and-trade monstrosity.
And so_which is a tax increase, decimates American
manufacturing and is a trading scheme that Wall Street brokers
would blush about. And so we have to find something simpler and
something that people can say oh, I see, we are just going to_
you are going to give me money in my pocket so I can go buy
these wonderful shingles that Chairman Baird was just talking.
We are getting ready to need to replace shingles on our house
in several years. I want to replace them with solar-collecting
shingles. But I need some money in my pocket, so reduce my FICA
taxes and I got some money now to innovate. If you just give me
a tax, I am stuck, I don't have money to innovate. And the cap-
and-trade folks who go around saying oh, it is not going to
increase energy cost, well, then why do it? I mean, it is
disingenuous. Of course it is going to increase energy cost.
Otherwise you wouldn't be doing it.
But in my case, what I am saying is, I have money for you
in your pocket. Then we are going to increase energy cost but I
admit that energy costs will go up under what Art Laffer, Al
Gore and I are talking about. But we have got a tax cut. If Art
Laffer is on the scene, you can be assured that it starts with
a tax cut. And so you have money in your pocket. It is just a
small fair tax. It is one sector fair tax.
Anyway, enough of my commercial, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.
Chairman Baird. I am actually a supporter of the commercial
product.

Closing

I want to thank our witnesses. We could go on for a great
length here but you have been very generous with your time and
your expertise, and it has been most informative to us. As is
customary, the record will remain open for two weeks for
additional statements for the Members and for answers to any
follow-up questions the Committee may ask of the witnesses. And
with that, the witnesses are excused with our great gratitude
and appreciation for your work.
[Whereupon, at 12:25 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]
Appendix 1:

----------


Answers to Post-Hearing Questions




Answers to Post-Hearing Questions
Responses by David Keith, Canada Research Chair in Energy and the
Environment, Director, ISEEE Energy and Environmental Systems
Group, University of Calgary

Questions submitted by Chairman Brian Baird

Q1. Why does the rate of change of carbon dioxide concentration
suggest climate risk?

A1. Several independent lines of evidence suggest that carbon dioxide
concentrations reached about 1000 parts per million (ppm) during the
beginning of the Eocene about 55 million years ago, these carbon
dioxide levels then declined to about one third of that value over a
few tens of millions of years. The Eocene climate was far warmer than
today's. Crocodilians walked the shores of Axel Heiberg Island in the
present-day Canadian Arctic. While there is lots of scientific
uncertainty about the precise amount of climate change that will arise
from increasing carbon dioxide levels, there is no doubt that carbon
dioxide levels are currently being driven by combustion of fossil fuels
and that were we to continue increasing our combustion of fuels at the
current rate we would drive concentrations to roughly 1000 ppm by the
end of the century.
This increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide over a century would
be, therefore, roughly as large as the declining carbon dioxide over
the few tens of millions of years that followed the Eocene thermal
maximum, that is a human driven rate of change perhaps 100,000 times
larger than the average rate in nature.
There is nothing wrong with the Eocene climate; there is no
inherent reason we should prefer our crocodiles in the Florida Keys
rather than on Axel Heiberg Island. The climate risks come from the
rate of change, not because the current climate is some magic optimum
for life. Our infrastructures, our crops, the very locations of our
coastal cities have evolved for the current climate. The slow
adaptation that has anchored us to the current climate puts us at risk
if climate changes fast. The climate has varied for billions of years,
and would keep changing without us, but on our current high-emissions
path, the rate of climate change over the next century will likely be
many times faster than humanity has experienced in the past millennia.
While it is beyond the ability of science to predict the exact
consequences of this increase in carbon dioxide, both our understanding
of the physics of carbon dioxide and climate developed over the last
century and with our understanding of the geological record suggest
that the resulting climate changes will be dramatic. While the
consequences of climate change may be somewhat worse or somewhat less
severe than our models that predict, there is simply no scientific line
of argument that concludes that we should expect no climate response to
this increase in carbon dioxide.

Q2. Is it possible to somewhat confine the impacts of atmospheric
geoengineering strategies?

A2. The climate throughout the whole world is coupled together by winds
and ocean currents that move heat and moisture between distant
locations. This means that the whole world's climate is strongly
coupled together as an interacting system. This strong coupling is not
a one-to-one link. Its possible for one area of the world to cool, or
to be cooled by some external influence such as geoengineering, while
other parts warm. Nevertheless, in general and on average, any
manipulation of solar radiation that substantially alters the climate
over a large area, such as that of India or the continental United
States, will necessarily involve the alteration of climate over much
larger areas. Future research might find some particular locations or
methods that reduced this coupling, but I suspect that the physics of
the atmosphere makes it practically impossible to control climate of
different parts the world in a completely independent fashion.
So, to answer the specific question, geoengineering that focused on
cooling the Arctic and thus increasing the extent of Arctic sea ice,
could not be completely localized, and would necessarily have
influences that would be felt over much of the northern hemisphere.
That said, it's completely possible that geoengineering could be
used both help cool the Arctic and help reduce the severity of climate
change over the areas covered by the South Asian monsoon. It is not
correct to assert that these two objectives are necessarily in
opposition.

Q3. Will adding sulfur in the stratosphere increased acidification the
ocean?

A3. Sulfur added to the stratosphere will be returned to the earth as
sulfuric acid in rain. However the amounts of sulfur now being
contemplated are sufficiently low that there are no serious concerns
about acidification of surface waters.
Combustion of fossil fuels, most importantly coal, currently adds
about 50 million tons of sulfur to the atmosphere each year. The
resulting air pollution impairs the health and shortens the life of
millions around the world, and also increases the acidity of surface
waters, a phenomenon called ``acid rain''. The worst environmental
effects come from concentrated sources that overwhelm the buffering
capacity of local lakes causing them to become acidified. Because of
the way the oceans are chemically buffered, this addition of sulfur is
not a substantial contributor to ocean acidification which is primarily
caused by carbon dioxide.
Most discussion of sulfate geoengineering proposes adding a few
million tons a year of sulfur to the stratosphere. At first glance, one
might assume that the impact of this geoengineering on acidification of
surface waters would thus be about a tenth as bad as the current impact
of sulfur from fossil fuel combustion. However because the sulfur
injection in the stratosphere would be deposited much more evenly
around the world the rate of acid deposition would be far lower (e.g.,
100 times lower) than the concentrated acidic deposition that causes
acidification of lakes by overwhelming their natural buffering
capacity. The overall impact of these sulfur emissions on acidity of
surface waters are therefore thought to be vanishingly small.
While it seems unlikely that addition of sulfur in the stratosphere
will be a significant contributor to acidification of surface waters,
it's important to remember that there a host of other potential
environmental problems that might arise from the injection of sulfur
into the stratosphere, and that these can only be evaluated by a
research program which enables scientists to quantify these risks.

Q4. How much funding for geoengineering is appropriate?

A4. I think it's important to start with a relatively small amount of
funding for Solar Radiation Management, and then to gradually increase
the funding as the community of active scientists and engineers grows.
I would suggest starting with about $5 million per year and then
ramping the funding up towards $25 million per year over about five
years.
I suggest starting small because research programs (however
important) can fail if too much money is spent too quickly. This seems
to me a particular concern here because the topic is (justifiably)
controversial and there is a relatively small community of serious
scientists who seem currently inclined to work on the topic. Under
these circumstances a sudden ``crash'' research program with a lot of
funding would inevitably find some research which was ill considered
and controversial raising a chance at the entire program would be
killed. It's important to learn to walk before one runs.
The agencies best positioned to begin funding research are likely
the NSF and DOE's office of science, but many other agencies including,
for example, NOAA, NASA and EPA clearly have capabilities that will be
important as a research program grows.
I don't believe, however, that agency funding alone will be
sufficient for the program to thrive. There is a vital need for a
crosscutting role which articulates the broad objectives of the
research program, minimizes duplication, and provides a forum for
within which interested parties, including nongovernmental civil
society groups such as representatives of major environmental and
industry organizations can advise on the programs scope and progress. I
suspect that the Office of Science and Technology Policy will be best
positioned fill this role. I suspect that the presence of broadly
representative advisory panel would serve as a place for parties to air
their differing views about the merits of this research area and that
that would in turn increase the chance of establishing a stable and
sustainable research program that serves the public interest.
Finally I want to emphasize the need to begin research program
quickly. Research programs are starting in Europe and in private hands
as are international efforts to ban all such research through existing
treaties. The absence of a U.S. federal research program means that the
U.S. government is unable to play an effective role in shaping the
direction of research on solar radiation management in the public
interest.

Q4. How to coordinate SRM and CDR?

A4. As I said in my opening testimony: SRM and CDR each provide a means
to manage climate risks; but they are wholly distinct with respect to
(a) the science and technology required to develop, test and deploy
them; (b) their costs and environmental risks; and, (c) the challenges
they pose for public policy and regulation.
Because these technologies have little in common, I suggest that we
will have a better chance to craft sensible policy if we treat them
separately.
As research programs, I don't believe they require more
coordination with each other than either of them do with other areas of
climate related research such as research into low carbon energy
systems or adaptation to climate change. All of these (and others) need
to be woven into a coherent national strategy for managing climate
risk. But I see no special reason for tight coordination between SRM
and CDR research. I don't believe one should attempt to avoid use of
the word geoengineering, as attempts to avoid controversy by avoiding
use of controversial terms are rarely, if ever, well advised; but in
crafting a research program should one should treat SRM and CDR
independently and used the word geoengineering primarily in association
with SRM.
Answers to Post-Hearing Questions
Dr. Philip Rasch, Chief Scientist for Climate Science, Laboratory
Fellow, Atmospheric Sciences & Global Change Division, Pacific
Northwest National Laboratory

Questions submitted by Chairman Brian Baird

Q1. In your testimony you suggested employed field and modeling
studies to examine the aerosol indirect effect, which is critical to
understanding the marine cloud whitening strategy, and climate change
more generally. Please describe what is lacking in our understanding as
it applies to geoengineering?

A1. As a reminder, the term ``aerosol indirect effect'' refers to the
response of clouds to the presence of aerosols. Aerosols affect clouds
in many ways. They can act to ``whiten'' clouds or make them more
extensive, or more persistent, all of which will make the clouds more
reflective to sunlight, and thus cool the planet. But aerosols can also
act to trigger precipitation, depleting the cloud of condensed water,
reducing cloud amount, and reducing the cloud lifetime, making the
clouds ``less white''. These processes can act simultaneously, with
some effects essentially counteracting others. This makes the effect of
aerosols on clouds very uncertain (this is thoroughly discussed in the
Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report).
Science currently believes that on balance that aerosols tend to make
clouds whiter, and that increasing aerosols will tend to cool the
planet.
Key points regarding this feature of the climate system as it
applies to geoengineering include:

1. The ``cloud whitening'' geoengineering strategy depends
upon the ``more aerosolsT more/brighter cloudsT cooler planet''
effect to work. We need to be sure that this aspect of the
aerosol indirect effect is the dominant one for this
geoengineering strategy to work.

2. Equally important, the aerosol indirect effect is critical
to our understanding of climate change in the past, and in the
future. Scientists believe that aerosols have increased
dramatically over the last 150 years. If our understanding is
correct, then the aerosols will have tended to cool the planet,
partially compensating for the warming arising from increasing
greenhouse gas concentrations. We believe that in the future
the warming from more and more greenhouse gases will eventually
``win out'' over the cooling from aerosols, especially if we
continue to clean up our emissions of aerosols. But in the past
we think both effects played a role. Our lack of precision in
knowing how much aerosols acted to cool the planet in the past
also interferes with our ability to identify how much the
greenhouse gases warmed the planet in the past and will warm
the planet in the future.

The same research on the aerosol indirect effect that will help us
evaluate the positive and negative consequences of geoengineering will
help us understand how much aerosols have been compensating for the
warming arising from greenhouse gases. Our lack of understanding
confounds our ability to interpret the past temperature record, and to
predict the changes that will occur in the future.

What kinds of studies would be most useful for exploring the aerosol
indirect effect?

One very good way of understanding the aerosol indirect effect is
to try to deliberately change a cloud system for a short time period.
One would try to measure the cloud properties in an ``unperturbed
environment'' and then do the same kind of measurement for the same
type of clouds after deliberately and carefully trying to change the
clouds to see whether our models can predict the changes that we see in
the cloud system. The desired perturbation would be introduced for a
relatively short period of time, over a small area. Mankind changes
clouds all the time through pollution, but we don't do it in a way that
makes it easy to measure, or to identify the response of the clouds.
The best way to do this is in the context of a scientific field
experiment. The field experiment should be designed to deliberately
change the local cloud system for a short time. It would introduce a
local change far smaller than the kinds of changes to aerosol amounts
introduced by, for example, emissions from a large city, or a large
forest fire, and thus the field experiment would be expected to have
much less effect on climate than those already produced by many other
situations.
Our models suggest that the cloud systems most susceptible to the
``cloud whitening effect'' are those called ``marine stratocumulus''.
These cloud systems are also very important climatically, so it would
be an obvious cloud system to study first. Marine Stratocumulus clouds
were recently studied in the VOCALS field experiment. The difference
between VOCALS and a study designed to understand the aerosol indirect
effect would be that the study would attempt to deliberately change the
cloud system for a short time.

Q2. In your testimony you explain that lab and fieldwork are critical
to assure that the physical processes that are critical to climate are
understood. What scale would ultimately be needed to field test these
SRM technologies to develop the technology and to test its effects?

A2. I advocate conducting scientific research to understand approaches
to and implications of geoengineering, particularly as they relate to a
deeper understanding of the dynamic processes and interactions of
aerosols and cloud systems. Lab and Field tests are required at a
variety of scales to explore the relevant issues. I describe a sequence
of studies in the next few paragraphs.

1. At the smallest time and space scales it is important to
see whether we can produce the sea salt particles that are
suggested to be used to seed the clouds. The first steps would
involve production of the particles on a laboratory bench scale
for a few seconds.

2. If engineers were able to produce the particles for a few
seconds then the next stage would be to study how those
particles interact with each other and their environment after
they are produced. Do the particles bump into each other and
stick to each other growing big enough to sediment out from
gravity? Do they mix rapidly with surrounding air or stay
confined near the surface like the particles from a fog
machine? Some of these tests could be done in a big warehouse,
others off the end of a pier for a few minutes, to a few hours.

3. If the previous tests are positive then larger scale field
tests become informative that require studies of over areas of
the ocean the size of a few tens of city blocks for a few hours
to answer questions like the following. How rapidly would the
salt particles mix into the surrounding air? How long would
they last? Does it matter whether they are produced during the
day or at night? Do they go into the clouds as our models
suggest? Does it matter what kind of a cloud environment the
particles are near? (our models suggest that it would matter).
How many particles survive after they are produced. How rapidly
do they mix with their surroundings? All of these studies would
take place for such a small area and over such a small amount
of time that they would be indiscernible a few kilometers away,
or a few hours after they were stopped.

4. The next set of field tests would reach the scale where the
sea salt particles might actually influence cloud system for a
short period of time. Stage 1 (involving a single small
research aircraft nearby a single emitter of salt particles)
would be to see whether scientists could produce a ``ship
track'' like the ones that are seen regularly in satellite
pictures as a result of ship pollution, and to try to construct
experiments where the effects of the sea salt particle
emissions could produce a measurable effect on the cloud. Stage
2 studies on a larger scale (maybe a box a hundred kilometers
on a side, involving 2-3 aircraft and a ship to make
measurements above multiple sources of sea salt particles)
would look at: a) how many particles are needed to brighten a
particular kind of cloud; b) the influence of the seeding on
surrounding clouds; c) how many sources that emit particles are
required to influence a particular type of cloud over a small
region (say a square a few tens of kilometers on a side). One
would then be in a position to use that kind of a perturbation
to answer the question of whether our models are able to
predict the evolution of a cloud and its response to a
perturbation. Various strategies could be employed by turning
the sea salt particle source on and off for a few hours, or by
seeding patches of clouds adjacent to unseeded regions, and
contrasting the behavior of the cloud in both regions to
explore how the salt particles influence that particular cloud
type. This kind of field experiment should be performed at a
variety of locations to see whether scientists are able to
predict the response of models to such a perturbation for
different situations.

Larger scale studies: All of the previous field tests would be
designed to introduce a local change that is far smaller than the kinds
of changes to aerosol amounts introduced by, for example, emissions
from a large city, or a large forest fire, and the emissions would take
place for only a brief time. Because the sea salt particles, and the
clouds themselves persist for only a few hours to a few days the field
experiment effects would disappear rapidly, and one would not be able
to detect the effects of the experiment itself a few days after sea
salt emissions were terminated.
If the previous studies indicated that it were possible to
introduce measurable and predictable changes in clouds, then more
intrusive studies on the climate system would need to be considered.
The next level of field experiments could have possible (temporary)
effects on the climate system, and such studies would require a much
more intensive level of scrutiny, governance and planning. These type
of field experiments would attempt to introduce significant changes in
clouds for a sufficiently long time over a broad enough region that
they would temporarily cool an small area of the ocean surface, and
possibly introduce small shifts in winds or precipitation patterns.
While the study is taking place, it could have an equivalent effect to
that introduced by the pollution from a city on clouds. It would still
have a much smaller impact on climate than many major features like
ENSO, but it could be large enough to actually be detectable days or
weeks after the field experiment had taken place. It will take a
dedicated and coherent research program to understand how one would
design such field experiments to maximize the possibility of detecting
temporary changes in surface temperature, winds and precipitation. One
wants to make changes that are large enough to be detectable, but small
enough that they will disappear soon after the field experiment is
over. It is difficult to outline a complete and appropriate strategy at
this scale without more research.
Field experiments at scales larger than this, for longer time
periods would have more and more impact on the climate, and thus
require more and more caution.

Q3. Is it possible to somewhat confine the impacts of atmospheric-
based geoengineering strategies, marine cloud whitening or
stratospheric injections, to protect geographically-specific areas?

A3. The Earth system is interconnected in many ways, and all
geoengineering strategies will probably affect all parts of the planet,
but the effects will be felt most strongly near the area where the
sunlight shading is strongest. The marine cloud whitening strategy
should have a much more ``localized influence'' than the stratospheric
aerosol strategy because the aerosols near the surface and the clouds
they affect have a much shorter lifetime than the stratospheric
aerosols. Climate models suggest that the cloud whitening strategy will
maximize the cooling in local regions, although the effects will
gradually spread away from a local area as the planet adjusts to the
local cooling and that cooling effect is transmitted to other areas by
the winds and ocean currents. This aspect of geoengineering research
requires more study.

For example could SRM be localized specifically for the protection of
polar ice?

It may in principle be possible to apply either the cloud whitening
strategy, or the stratospheric aerosol strategy to protect polar ice.
Computer model studies by Caldeira and colleagues suggest that if it
were possible to shade the Arctic by reducing sunlight reaching the
Arctic surface by 10-20% then polar ice could be preserved to the
current ice extent and thickness, but Robock and colleagues have shown
that stratospheric aerosols introduced over the Arctic will spread to
lower latitudes and influences features there also. It may also be
possible to use the cloud whitening strategy to maintain sea ice extent
and thickness, because there are many low clouds in the Arctic during
the summertime. There are a number of relevant studies that could be
made to explore these issues:

1. It would be useful to understand how stratospheric aerosols
introduced in the polar regions evolve. This would include
knowing how rapidly the aerosols propagate to lower latitudes,
and how rapidly they are removed from the stratosphere by
sedimentation and mixing. Both computer models and field
experiments should be used in these kinds of studies.

2. It would be useful to explore how susceptible low-level
polar clouds are to whitening by using aerosol particles. Most
of the focus to date has been on whitening clouds at
subtropical latitudes and little or no studies have been done
in polar regions. Literature reviews, computer models studies,
and fieldwork would help in identifying the efficacy of
whitening polar clouds.

3. It is worthwhile noting that very little work has yet to be
done in studying the influence of geoengineering on ocean
features (boundary currents, deep water formation and features
like ENSO) or ecosystems. The changes to these features will
occur only if geoengineering techniques are applied for months
or years, so they may not be critical for the very earliest
studies but these features are very important to the planet,
and work should be done to understand the impact of
geoengineering on them.

If it is unclear whether or not localized geoengineering is possible,
what types of research could help inform the
answer?

More work can be done in each of the areas mentioned above with
computer modeling. As technology becomes available to produce the
particles needed to explore a given geoengineering strategy it would
make sense to develop small scale field programs to verify the behavior
predicted by the computer models. As discussed above, the initial field
studies would not be designed to understand the consequences of
geoengineering to the planet, but only to explore our understanding of
the effect on components of the climate system at the process level by
answering such questions as: 1) how rapidly do stratospheric aerosol
particles grow? 2) how quickly are they flushed out of the
stratosphere? 3) can we produce stratospheric aerosols in sufficient
numbers that they might shield the planet? 4) how do sea salt particles
mix near the ocean surface in polar regions? 5) Is there special
chemistry taking place on those sea salt particles that influences for
example ozone concentrations in the Arctic? 6) do the sea salt
particles act to effectively whiten Arctic clouds in summer? These are
just examples of the questions that need to be considered.

Q4. In your testimony, you stated that geoengineering research
receives about $1M per year in funding, and roughly $200,000 of that is
from federal sources. What initial funding levels would you recommend
for a federal program authorizing atmospheric sulfate injection and
marine cloud whitening research?

A4. I think a minimal funding level of $5-10M/year from federal sources
for scientific research would help progress in geoengineering research,
and also provide reassurance to society that the research is being done
in an objective and unbiased manner. This level would allow some
exploratory work to take place with strategies that have already been
thought of. The work could involve computer modeling studies, and some
support for lab and bench studies to explore the technology needed to
produce aerosol particles for either the stratospheric aerosol, or the
cloud whitening to be done. That funding level might also allow some
support for as yet unidentified strategies to be fleshed out.
As our understanding of a particular approach increases more money
would be required. A single ambitious field study for cloud whitening
would involving multiple aircraft, a ship for a month, support for
satellite studies and scientific research would require $20-30M to see
whether one could actually produce a measurable effect on the
reflectivity of the planet locally. More money would be needed for
planning the field experiment and analyzing the results.
It would probably take another factor of 10 in funding if one were
to then start considering measuring the consequences to the planet (by
for example looking for the impact on ecosystems, or on ocean features)
for geoengineering that might actually have a measurable effect on the
planet.

Which agencies and or national labs would be best equipped to initiate
such modeling and laboratory and field-based
research?

NASA, DOE, NOAA, and NSF all have a mandate to study various
relevant components of the earth system and climate change science. I
believe firmly that each of these agencies can and should participate
in research in stratospheric aerosol and cloud whitening strategies.
Here is a quick list of some of the relevant labs by agency and their
particular expertise. Each of these agencies also funds university and
other research entities and they should also play a part.



These Agencies also have a great deal of relevant expertise in CDR,
but I did not testify on that topic and will not make recommendations
on how research in that area should be conducted.

Q5. The science and technology committee has held three geoengineering
hearings and each witness at each hearing has emphasized the deep
distinctions between the two types of geoengineering: solar radiation
management) SRM) and carbon dioxide removal (CDR). If legislation were
developed to facilitate geoengineering research, how should these
distinctions be dealt with or accommodated? For example should CDR
research initiatives be sited amongst existing activities at federal
agencies while SRM research is authorized separately under the umbrella
of ``geoengineering research?''

A5. I agree that CDR and SRM techniques should be treated separately,
both at the funding level, and in terms of their oversight, and
research goals. I see no reason why CDR research could not be
accommodated within the existing activities involving managements of
CO2 and the Carbon Cycle. I do believe that SRM should be
authorized separately.
Answers to Post-Hearing Questions
Dr. Klaus Lackner, Department Chair, Earth and Environmental
Engineering, Ewing Worzel Professor of Geophysics, Columbia
University

Questions submitted by Chairman Brian Baird

Q1. The mineral sequestration technologies you describe are certainly
distinct from the technologies being researched through existing CCS
programs at the Department of Energy, such as the Clean Coal Power
Initiative (CCPI). In your testimony, however, you described mineral
sequestration as ``Carbon Storage 2.0.''

a. Should mineral sequestration research be sited among the
existing CCS activities within the federal agencies?

b. Alternatively, should mineral sequestration research
activities be undertaken in a newly established, separate
research program?

c. Which federal agency(s) would be best suited to carry out
mineral sequestration research activities?

A1. Mineral sequestration is a particular form of CCS, so it could well
be sited among existing CCS programs. However, most funded CCS
technologies are further down the development path. Mineral
sequestration and other more innovative technologies would benefit from
an institutional home that looks at a longer development horizon. A
stronger role of basic sciences and the USGS would be very welcome.

Q2. The Science and Technology Committee has held three geoengineering
hearings, and each witness at each hearing has emphasized the deep
distinctions between the two types of geoengineering: solar radiation
management (SRM) and carbon dioxide removal (CDR).

a. If legislation were developed to facilitate geoengineering
research, how should these distinctions be dealt with or
accommodated?

b. For example, should CDR research initiatives be sited among
existing activities at federal agencies, while SRM research is
authorized separately under the umbrella of ``geoengineering
research?''

A2. Solar radiation management and most carbon dioxide removal have
very little in common. Specifically, the technical capture of carbon
dioxide from the air is certainly a form of CCS and naturally fits
under this umbrella. It is very different from technologies that aim to
modify natural geodynamic systems.
Answers to Post-Hearing Questions
Dr. Robert Jackson, Nicholas Chair of Global Environmental Change,
Professor, Biology Department, Duke University

Questions submitted by Chairman Brian Baird

Q1. You noted in your testimony that reflective materials over deserts
would be an undesirable geoengineering strategy because of its harmful
effects on ecosystems. Please elaborate upon this statement.

A1. This suggestion strikes me as a poor idea, environmentally and
scientifically. Deserts are unique ecosystems with a diverse array of
life. They are not a wasteland to be covered over and forgotten.
Based on the best science available, I believe that placing
reflective shields over deserts (and other comparable manipulative
strategies) is likely to be both unsustainable and harmful to native
species and ecosystems. Take as one example the suggestion to use a
reflective polyethylene-aluminum surface. This shield would alter
almost every fundamental aspect of the native habitat, from the amount
of sunlight received (by definition) to the way that rainfall reaches
the ground. Implemented over the millions of acres required to make a
difference to climate, such a shield could also alter cloud cover,
weather, and many other important factors.
Examined from a different perspective, consider the recent public
opposition to solar-thermal power facilities in California, Nevada, and
other states. If siting relatively limited power facilities in desert
ecosystems is difficult, how likely is the public to accept such a
disruptive shield for thousands of square miles in the United States?
Taxpayers in the United States deserve better solutions than proposals
such as this one.

Q2. You described in your testimony the interrelated, and sometimes
conflicting, impacts on atmospheric carbon concentration and surface
albedo caused by large-scale afforestation. While new forests sequester
atmospheric carbon through photosynthesis, the dark growth can also
decrease the local reflectivity, causing more sunlight to be absorbed.
One article written by scientists at Lawrence Livermore National
Lab,\1\ among others, suggests that because of this relationship,
tropical afforestation would be very beneficial, but afforestation in
temperate regions would be marginally useful.
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\1\ Bala, Govindasamy et al.``Combined Climate and carbon-cycle
effects of large-scale deforestation.'' PNAS, Volume 104, no. 16. April
17, 2007. Archived online at: http://www.pnas.org/content/104/16/
6550.abstract as of April 27, 2010.

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a. Do you agree with this assessment?

b. What geographic areas are, in general, most appropriate for
afforestation, and what types should be avoided?

A2. My response below is a summary based on the information in Jackson
et al. 2008 (Jackson RB, JT Randerson, JG Canadell, RG Anderson, R
Avissar, DD Baldocchi, GB Bonan, K Caldeira, NS Diffenbaugh, CB Field,
BA Hungate, EG Jobbagy, LM Kueppers, MD Nosetto, DE Pataki 2008
Protecting Climate with Forests. Environmental Research Letters
3:044006).
Based on decades of research in carbon sequestration and
biophysics, we (the authors of the above paper) suggest that avoided
deforestation, forest restoration, and afforestation in the tropics
provide the greatest value for slowing climate change. Tropical forests
combine rapid rates of carbon storage with biophysical effects that are
beneficial in many settings, including greater convective rainfall.
Forestry projects in warm-temperate regions, such as the southeastern
US, can also help reduce warming, but large uncertainties remain for
the net climate effects of forestry projects in temperate regions.
Forestry projects in boreal systems are less likely to provide climate
cooling because of the strong snow-cover feedback. Thus, incentives for
reforesting boreal systems should be preceded by thorough analyses of
the true cooling potential before being included in climate policies.
Policies could also be crafted to provide incentives for beneficial
management practices. For instance, urban forestry provides the
opportunity to reduce energy use directly; in temperate regions
deciduous trees block sunlight in summer, reducing the energy needed to
cool buildings, but they allow sunlight to warm buildings in winter. In
addition to choosing appropriate deciduous species, foresters could
also select trees that are `brighter', such as poplars, with albedos
relatively close to those of the grasses or crops they replace.
Additionally, forest planting and restoration can be used to reclaim
damaged lands, reducing erosion and stabilizing streambanks.
It is important to remember that trade-offs and unintended
consequences are possible when forests are included in climate
policies. The choice of tree species matters. Eucalypts, for instance,
grow quickly and have a fairly bright albedo, but they are fireprone,
can be invasive, and typically use more water than native vegetation.
Because forestry projects can appropriate scarce water resources, they
may be poor choices in drier regions. Applying fertilizers in forest
sequestration projects helps trees grow more quickly but also increases
the emissions of nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas. Finally and
perhaps most importantly, forests provide a wide range of important
services, including preserving biodiversity, wildlife habitat, and
freshwater supply. To the greatest extent possible, policies designed
for climate change mitigation should not jeopardize other key ecosystem
services.

Q3. In your testimony you recommended that the U.S. Global Change
Research Program lead domestic geoengineering research efforts.

a. Is one or more of the existing interagency working groups
within the USGCRP equipped to absorb geoengineering research?
Or should one or more new working groups be created within the
USGCRP to work on geoengineering?

A3. Aspects of the science of geoengineering cut across many of the
working groups within USGCRP, including atmospheric composition, global
carbon cycle, ecosystems, human contributions and responses, and land
use and land cover change. For that reason, a new crosscutting working
group may be needed. Complicating matters further, coordination with
the U.S. Climate Change Technology Program (CCTP) on the technology of
geoengineering will be equally important.

Q4. The Science and Technology Committee has held three geoengineering
hearings, and each witness at each hearing has emphasized the deep
distinctions between the two types of geoengineering: solar radiation
management (SRM) and carbon dioxide removal (CDR).

a. If legislation were developed to facilitate geoengineering
research, how should these distinctions be dealt with or
accommodated?

b. For example, should CDR research initiatives be sited among
existing activities at federal agencies, while SRM research is
authorized separately under the umbrella of ``geoengineering
research?''

A4. The federal government's first priority for geoengineering research
should be to provide incentives for carbon dioxide removal. The sooner
we invest in, and make progress on, reducing greenhouse gas emissions
today and promote ways to restore the atmosphere through carbon-
removing technologies in the future, the less likely we are ever to
need much riskier global sunshades. Our goal should be to cure climate
change outright, not in treating a few of its symptoms.
In a new paper in Issues in Science and Technology (Jackson and
Salzman 2010 Pursuing Geoengineering for Atmospheric Restoration), I
coin the term ``atmospheric restoration'' as a guiding principle for
prioritizing geoengineering efforts. The goal of atmospheric
restoration is to return the atmosphere to a less degraded or damaged
state and ultimately to its pre-industrial condition. Our climate is
already changing, and we need to explore at least some kinds of carbon-
removal technologies because energy efficiency and renewables cannot
take carbon dioxide out of the air once it's there.
In response to your last question about where to place research
initiatives, I have already stated that coordination through the USGCRP
(and CCTP) is needed. If a different option is needed, some CDR
activities could be sited within the Department of Energy. However,
ocean fertilization is just one example of a CDR strategy that does not
fit well in DOE and would be better placed in a different department or
agency.
I do not believe that a separate umbrella of ``geoengineering
research'' should be authorized specifically for SRM activities. Such a
stand-alone structure would give SRM greater visibility (and priority)
than it deserves compared to CDR. It would also be counter-productive
scientifically. Splitting CDR and SRM research may be desirable
administratively; I simply take exception to the suggestion that CDM
belongs in current agencies but SRM doesn't and deserves its own
structure.
Appendix 2:

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Additional Material for the Record








GEOENGINEERING III: DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH GOVERNANCE

----------


THURSDAY, MARCH 18, 2010

House of Representatives,
Committee on Science and Technology,
Washington, DC.

The Committee met, pursuant to call, at 12:06 p.m., in Room
2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Bart Gordon
[Chairman of the Committee] presiding.


hearing charter

COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

``Geoengineering III: Domestic and

International Research Governance''

thursday, march 18, 2010
12:00 p.m.
2318 rayburn house office building

Purpose

On Thursday, March 18, 2010, the House Committee on Science and
Technology will hold a hearing entitled ``Geoengineering III: Domestic
and International Research Governance.'' The purpose of this hearing is
to explore the governance needs, both domestic and international, to
initiate geoengineering research programs. Specifically, discussion
will focus on governance to guide potential geoengineering research
projects and which U.S. agencies and institutions have the capacity or
authorities to conduct such research.

Witnesses

Panel I

The Honorable Phil Willis, MP is the Chair of the
Science and Technology Committee in the United Kingdom House of
Commons.\1\
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\1\ Chairman Willis will testify via satellite.

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Panel II

Dr. Frank Rusco is the Director of Natural Resources
and Environment at the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Dr. Scott Barrett is the Lenfest Professor of Natural
Resource Economics at the School of International and Public
Affairs and the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

Dr. Jane Long is the Deputy Principal Associate
Director at Large and a Fellow for the Center for Global
Strategic Research at Lawrence Livermore National Lab.

Dr. Granger Morgan is the Department Head of
Engineering and Public Policy and Lord Chair Professor in
Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

Background

Geoengineering can be described as the deliberate large-scale
modification of the earth's climate systems for the purposes of
counteracting climate change. Geoengineering has recently gained
recognition as a potential tool in our response to climate change.
However, the science is new and largely untested and the international
implications of research and demonstration are complex and often novel
in nature. For these reasons, a pressing need for governance of
geoengineering research has emerged. Geoengineering can be
controversial because of the potential for environmental harm and
adverse socio-political impacts, uncertainty regarding the
effectiveness and cost of the technologies, the scale that may be
needed to demonstrate the technology, and concern that the prospect of
geoengineering may weaken current climate change mitigation efforts.\2\
These issues highlight the potential barriers to research as well as
the need for governance of these emerging technologies. Experts are
calling for a governance model or set of models that will allow the
field to develop in an adaptive manner that facilitates development and
exploration of effective technologies that are environmentally and
socially acceptable while being relevant for both domestic and
international policy solutions.
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\2\ The Royal Society (2009). Geoengineering the Climate: Science,
Governance and Uncertainty. Edited by J. Sheperd et al., New York.
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There is broad consensus among geoengineering experts that
expansive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions must be made to limit
the effects of climate change. However, political inertia and trends in
greenhouse gas emissions indicate that traditional mitigation efforts
may not provide an adequate response to mitigate the effects of climate
change.\3\ Tools other than emissions reductions may be therefore
needed. Proponents claim that geoengineering technologies, compared to
traditional mitigation techniques, offer faster-acting, politically
palatable, and cost-effective solutions. Only through research and
testing can these assertions be validated or refuted. That said,
greenhouse gas mitigation strategies alone may ultimately prove
insufficient and the lead times that will be needed for sufficient
geoengineering research, should it become necessary for deployment, may
be years long.
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\3\ Lenton and Vaughan (2008). A review of climate geoengineering
options. Tyndal Centre for Climate Change Research, UEA.
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Today's hearing is the third in a series of hearings that is
intended to provide a forum for an open discussion of the merits and
disadvantages of geoengineering research. These hearings are not
intended to be an endorsement of geoengineering deployment.

Collaboration with the U.K. Science and Technology Committee

The U.S. and the U.K. Science and Technology Committees have
successfully built upon each other's efforts to advance the
international and domestic dialogues on the need for international
collaboration on regulation, oversight, environmental monitoring, and
funding of geoengineering research. In April of 2009, Chairman Gordon
met with the Science and Technology Committee \4\ of the U.K. House of
Commons, chaired by the Honorable Phil Willis, MP. The chairmen agreed
that their committees should identify a subject for collaboration. The
U.K. Committee had recently published a report, Engineering, Turning
Ideas into Reality, recommending that the government develop a
publicly-funded program of geoengineering research. Given the
international implications of geoengineering research and the
authorities and interests of each committee, geoengineering emerged as
an appropriate subject for collaboration by the chairmen.
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\4\ Formerly the U.K. Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills
Committee.
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The chairmen coordinated the research and both committees have been
in close communication throughout. The U.K. Committee established its
terms of reference for its inquiry into the regulation of
geoengineering, issued a call for evidence in November 2009, and is
issuing a Committee report on the topic in March 2010. This report will
be submitted as written testimony on behalf of Chairman Willis at
today's hearing. The official agreement between the U.S. and U.K.
Committees, outlining the terms of work and collaborative agreement,
will be included in the final hearing record.
In the first session of the 111th Congress the U.S. Science and
Technology Committee began a formal inquiry into the potential for
geoengineering to be a tool of last resort in a much broader program of
climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. To initiate this,
Chairman Gordon requested information on geoengineering from the
Government Accountability Office (GAO) on September 21, 2009. Dr. Frank
Rusco, Director of Natural Resources and Environment at GAO will
present the draft response to this request as his written testimony at
today's hearing. The Committee formally introduced the topic of
geoengineering research in Congress on November 5, 2009 with a Science
and Technology Full Committee hearing, ``Geoengineering: Assessing the
Implications of Large-Scale Climate Intervention.'' On February 4, 2010
the Energy and Environment Subcommittee held the second hearing in the
series, ``Geoengineering II: The Scientific Basis and Engineering
Challenges.'' Together with today's hearing, this series of hearings
serves as the foundation for an inclusive and transparent dialogue on
geoengineering at the Congressional level.

Definition of Geoengineering

Geoengineering technologies aim to intervene in the climate system
through large-scale and deliberate modifications of the earth's energy
balance in order to reduce temperatures and counteract the effects of
climate change.\5\ Most proposed geoengineering technologies fall into
two categories: Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) and Solar Radiation
Management (SRM). The objective of SRM methods is to reflect a portion
of the sun's radiation back into space, thereby reducing the amount of
solar radiation trapped in the earth's atmosphere and stabilizing its
energy balance. CDR methods propose to reduce excess CO2
concentrations by capturing, storing or consuming carbon directly from
air, as compared to direct capture from power plant flue gas and
storage as a gas. CDR proposals typically include such methods as
carbon sequestration in biomass and soils, modified forestry
management, ocean fertilization, modified ocean circulation, non-
traditional carbon capture, sequestration, distribution of mined
minerals over agricultural soils, among others.\6\
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\5\ The Royal Society (2009).
\6\ See the draft CRS report (2010) that is attached to this
charter for descriptions of CDR and SRM technologies.
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The above definition of geoengineering may need to be modified
going forward to create a more productive discourse on our response to
climate change. CDR technologies remove excess amounts of CO2
from the air, thus presenting different hazards and risks than SRM
technologies. In fact, many CDR technologies could be categorized with
traditional carbon mitigation strategies, especially if they were
undertaken at a small scale. For example, a mid-scale program for
avoided reforestation does not carry the same risks as large-scale
atmospheric sulfuric injections. In fact, such a program's risks and
challenges may not be greatly divergent from some traditional carbon
management proposals, such as carbon credits. CDR technologies may not
invoke the need for international governance instruments either. SRM
approaches, on the other hand, call for the introduction of
technologies into the environment; therefore, presenting novel
challenges to governance and larger hurdles for basic research and risk
assessment. Some experts suggest that the term ``geoengineering''
encompass fewer of the more benign technologies discussed above. Coming
to a resolution on appropriate terminology for this field may be a key
step to increasing public understanding of geoengineering and assist
the field in moving forward.

Domestic Research

Although formal research in Federal agencies has been largely
limited to a small number of National Science Foundation (NSF) grants
to study closely-scoped issues related to geoengineering,\7\ it is
clear that a number of Federal agencies have jurisdiction over one or
more areas imbedded in geoengineering research. It is as yet unclear
how Federal geoengineering research programs could be organized or
allocated among Federal research bodies, as well as how non-
governmental research consortia might contribute. The location of
existing expertise in pertinent scientific and engineering fields, and
the ability to execute comprehensive plans for interdisciplinary,
inter-agency coordination would be key considerations in structuring
domestic research in this area. Furthermore, it should be recognized
that many of the developments and research activities needed for a
formal geoengineering research program are also desirable for non-
geoengineering purposes, such as general climate science research.
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\7\ For example, researchers at Rutgers University received a grant
in 2008 to model stratospheric injections and sun shading.
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The following are examples of how existing research capacities in
Federal agencies could be engaged in geoengineering research from the
basic science and engineering behind the technology, to quantifying its
effectiveness, and to understanding the risk of such hazards as
environmental impacts.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports basic foundational
research that may assist in the identification of the most promising
geoengineering technologies. The Biological and Environmental Research
program (BER) at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science
houses key expertise related to various elements of atmospheric and
land-based geoengineering strategies. Satellite capabilities sited
within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) could help
identify potential locations for land-based carbon management, inform
atmospheric geoengineering approaches, and monitor large-scale land use
changes. Climate modeling tools at NOAA, the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) and DOE's Office of Science could potentially be used to
monitor large-scale demonstration projects. Such resources could also
be used in a basic research setting for reverse climate modeling
activities to project the potential impacts of decreased solar
radiation and atmospheric carbon levels. High-end computing
capabilities within the Office of Science at DOE, e.g., facilities
located at Oak Ridge National Lab, may be suited to provide such highly
detailed climate projections.
For all CDR geoengineering strategies, a robust carbon accounting
and verification program would be needed to ensure program
effectiveness. Existing expertise in programs at EPA, the National
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Ameriflux and
Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) programs within the BER program
at DOE could contribute to such a program. In addition, monitoring and
verification tools such as NOAA's Carbon Tracker and the Advanced
Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) at NASA could also be
useful. More advanced and comprehensive tools may be needed, however.
More specifically, the Forest Service and National Resource
Conservation Service at the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the
United States Geological Survey (USGS) at the Department of Interior,
and DOE's BER program could contribute expertise and management
experience to land-based carbon reduction strategies such as
afforestation, avoided deforestation, and biochar. NOAA's expertise in
oceanography at offices such as the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
Laboratory (GFDL) could contribute to ocean fertilization research.
DOE's Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and the National Energy Technology
Laboratory (NETL) could leverage their capacity from such initiatives
as FutureGen and the Clean Coal Power Initiative for air capture and
non-traditional carbon sequestration research activities. And the
Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) at DOE could inform the
geological materials side of non-traditional carbon sequestration.
The U.S. State Department would coordinate activities and
agreements with foreign ministries for some geoengineering
technologies. State Department involvement would depend, as noted, upon
which activities are determined to impede upon existing international
agreements or be associated with trans-boundary impacts. In addition,
the involvement of more cabinet-level departments and Federal agencies
may be useful for effective development of geoengineering research
given the potential for associated agricultural, economic,
international security, and governance effects.

Criteria for Governance Development

Criteria to consider regarding the impacts of geoengineering
technologies include: whether they are international or trans-boundary
in scope; whether they dispense hazardous material into the environment
or create hazardous conditions; and whether they directly intervene in
the status of the ecosystem.
Governance needs for geoengineering research will likely differ
based on the technology type, the stage of research, the target
environment (e.g., the high seas, space, land, atmosphere), and where
potential impacts may occur. As noted above, SRM and CDR technologies
may have differing regulatory needs. CDR technologies that are similar
in scope to most of those proposed today could be governed by existing
U.S. laws and institutions. An exception to this would possibly be
enhanced weathering in oceans and ocean fertilization techniques (both
are CDR technologies), which may require international governance
structures due to the potential for trans-boundary ecosystem impacts.
SRM technologies, on the other hand, are more likely to require
international governance for research. For example, two proposed SRM
technologies, marine cloud whitening and atmospheric injections of
sulfur particles would likely take place in an area governed by the
international community, disperse trans-nationally, and have trans-
national effects. Other SRM technologies such as land surface albedo
modification may have lesser need for international governance.\8\
Different governance needs will also become apparent as research
develops from modeling, to assessments, and finally to field trials.
Built-in flexibility and feedback mechanisms throughout the research
process will assist in the effective development and governance of
these emerging technologies. Lastly, different environments for
research and demonstration are likely to require different governance
strategies. Activities that take place in or affect the high seas or
space versus the lower atmosphere, terrestrial, and near-shore areas
will fall under different jurisdictions with different legal
authorities.
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\8\ For example, the deployment of genetically engineered plants
with increased albedo could invoke treaties such as the Convention on
Biological Diversity of 1992.

Governance Options

Possible options for governance are outlined below. Please refer to
the attached draft Congressional Research Service (CRS) report \9\ and
The Royal Society's study \10\ for further information.
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\9\ CRS (2010).
\10\ The Royal Society (2009).

No Regulation
Governments could fully refrain from all governance of
geoengineering, allowing the field to develop at will under existing
frameworks. Advocates of this approach see private efforts as the best
avenue to pursue research and development. Advocates of the ``no
regulation'' approach may see government involvement as a stamp of
approval for potentially unfavorable technologies. It is important to
note that this approach essentially results in an unregulated research
environment for largely new and unproven technologies, whose impacts
are uncertain and may be unevenly distributed, even from small
demonstration projects.

International Treaties and Agreements
At this time, no international treaties or institutions exist with
sufficient mandate to regulate the full suite of current geoengineering
technologies.\11\ Although no existing international agreements or
treaties govern geoengineering research by name, existing institutions
could theoretically be modified to incorporate this field. For example,
the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) may serve as a
potential governing body for geoengineering. Another suggestion is that
the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) could establish a
technical framework to determine where the research should be focused
and what technologies are scientifically justified.
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\11\ See the draft CRS report (2010) that is attached to this
charter for descriptions of CDR and SRM technologies.
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Treaties for geoengineering research governance may be
inappropriate at this time as the field encompasses many emerging
technologies. In such a situation, treaty discussions could lead to a
moratorium on research because nations often negotiate based on what
their capacity for research, development, deployment and assessment is
today, which in most cases is limited. Proponents of a moratorium argue
that the potential risks of these technologies are just too great.
Alternatively, some suggest that a research moratorium would be ill-
advised because it would prematurely inhibit the generation of
scientific knowledge and fail to discourage potentially dangerous
experimentation by less responsible parties. It could limit society's
ability to gather the information necessary to make informed judgments
about the feasibility or acceptability of the proposed technologies. A
moratorium could also deter responsible parties while failing to
dissuade potentially dangerous experimentation by less responsible
parties.

International Research Consortia
Given how little is understood about the scientific, technical, and
social components of proposed geoengineering technologies, crafting
appropriate governance through new or existing treaties may be
difficult. International research consortia such as the World Climate
Research Program (WCRP) could be used effectively to safely advance the
science while building a community of responsible researchers. This
would essentially provide a middle ground between the no regulation and
international treaty options. Past experiences show that international
research consortia (e.g., the Human Genome Project and the European
Organization for Nuclear Research) can succeed at prioritizing research
for emerging technologies, developing effective and objective
assessment frameworks, providing independent oversight of evolving
governance needs, and developing voluntary codes of practice to govern
emerging technologies.

Conclusions

Some geoengineering technologies appear to be technically feasible;
however, there is high uncertainty regarding their effectiveness,
costs, environmental effects, and socio-political impacts. Appropriate
governance structures that allow for an iterative exchange between
continued public dialogue and further research are needed to determine
if such technologies are both capable of producing desired results and
socially acceptable. Climate change is a global problem that impacts
people and ecosystems at the local scale. If traditional mitigation
efforts are not effective on their own,\12\ we will need alternatives
at the ready. In the next decade the debate over geoengineering will
intensify. Research will lead to increasingly plausible and
economically feasible ways to alter with the environment. At the same
time, political and social pressure will grow--both to put plans into
action (whether multi- or unilaterally), and to limit the development
of geoengineering research. These issues led the U.K. and U.S. Science
and Technology Committees to jointly consider the role for potential
governance structures to guide research in the near term and to oversee
potential demonstration projects in the long term.
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\12\ Lenton and Vaughan. (2008).
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Chairman Gordon. Good morning and welcome to this hearing
on and discussion with domestic and international research
governance of geoengineering. And let me give a little preface,
particularly to our guest, Chairman Willis. We are going to be
having votes around our time, 12:30 or 1:00. You know what that
is like, when the bells go off, so it is our hope to move
forward with your first part of this hearing, and as we go
along, we will have a little better understanding.
Our changing climate has been the topic of sometimes heated
discussion by some of our committee's hearings. It is
understandable. As with any field of science, climate service,
or climate science, will continue to evolve over time to
provide an ever-greater level of accuracy for findings and
forecasts.
However, in my opinion, one thing is now clear. The
overwhelming preponderance of data indicates that global
climate is changing, that humans are at least partially
responsible, and that we can best mitigate the damage by
reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon
dioxide.
Additionally, I am concerned that the impacts of climate
change could outpace the world's political, economic, and
physical ability to avoid them through greenhouse gas
reductions alone. Therefore, we must know what other tools we
have at our disposal. Certain proposals for deliberate
modification of the climate, otherwise known as geoengineering,
represent one option. But we cannot know until we have done the
research on the full range of impacts of global engineering.
It will take substantial time and research to determine
whether these new technologies can develop appropriately,
whether there is an appropriate governance structures, and to
test them, to see what potential benefits and hazards may be
posed.
As the Chairman of the committee of jurisdiction, my
interest is to provide a forum for open and honest discussion
of geoengineering, just as we will have on nuclear power, on
carbon capture and sequestration, other energy sources, as well
as other types of mitigation.
And today, we are here to discuss the matters of domestic
and international governance of geoengineering research
programs. With that, I would like to thank our excellent
witness, Chairman Willis, for appearing before this committee,
and I yield to the distinguished Ranking Member, Mr. Hall, for
his opening remarks.
[The prepared statement of Chairman Gordon follows:]
Prepared Statement of Chairman Bart Gordon
Good Afternoon. I want to welcome everyone to today's hearing to
discuss the Domestic and International Research Governance of
Geoengineering.
Our changing climate has been the topic of sometimes heated
discussion at some of our Committee's hearings.
It is understandable--As with any field of science, climate science
will continue to evolve over time to provide an even greater level of
accuracy in its findings and forecasts.
However, in my opinion one thing is clear now--the overwhelming
preponderance of data indicates that the global climate Is changing,
that humans are at least partially responsible, and that we can best
mitigate the damage by reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases such
as Carbon Dioxide.
Additionally, I am concerned that the impacts of climate change
could outpace the world's political, economic, and physical ability to
avoid them through greenhouse gas reductions alone.
Therefore, we must know what other tools we have at our disposal,
and if certain proposals for deliberate modification of the climate,
otherwise known as geoengineering, represent an option.
But we cannot know until we have done the research on the full
range of impacts of geoengineering.
It will take substantial time to research these new technologies,
to develop appropriate governance structures, and to test them to see
what potential benefits and hazards they may pose.
As the Chairman of the Committee of jurisdiction my interest is in
providing a forum for an open and honest discussion of geoengineering,
just as we will do for nuclear engineering, carbon caption
sequestration, and other complex engineering subjects.
Today we are here to discuss matters of domestic and international
governance for geoengineering research programs.

Mr. Hall. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and but for my respect
for you, I would have a lot longer opening remark here, but I
would just say that I believe this is the third hearing our
committee has held on geoengineering.
As I have expressed on previous occasions, I have
significant reservations about pursuing this line of research.
With that, in the interest of time and courtesy to our very
distinguished guest, I will just put this in the record.
You can read it later, if you would like to.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hall follows:]
Prepared Statement of Representative Ralph M. Hall
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I believe this is the third hearing our
Committee has held on geoengineering. As I have expressed on previous
occasions, I have significant reservations about pursuing this line of
research.
The debate about climate change is far from over. This statement is
even more true today given the several admissions by the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change, or IPCC, since the end of last year, regarding mistakes,
miscalculations and the use of non-peer reviewed science in the 4th
Assessment Report. Despite many assurances that the base science has
not been compromised, our faith in the scientific community when it
comes to climate change research has been severely shaken. We are now
facing an onslaught of regulations that could severely harm our economy
based upon this science that has now come into question.
Today's hearing focuses on domestic and international research
governance of geoengineering. Although I think it is premature to be
wading into this aspect of geoengineering--we have yet to agree on
whether or not we should pursue this--there are several hurdles that
would need to be overcome in order to implement any type of governance
structure. On the domestic side, there is no way to truly verify the
science without conducting experiments. Like every other test that
could potentially effect the environment, an Environmental Impact
Assessment would have to be conducted in order to comply with current
law.
Since a geoengineering experiment is supposed to affect the
environment, I am not sure that such an Assessment could successfully
meet current standards under the National Environmental Protection Act
(NEPA), as this law has been interpreted over time to ensure that any
impact on the environment is minimized or eliminated.
Internationally, I find it hard to believe that there would be any
kind of consensus on this issue.
And, as we witnessed with the Copenhagen conference last December,
when a larger consensus breaks down, a small group of nations may try
to work out a deal amongst themselves. If world leaders decide to come
together and seriously discuss geoengineering, it could force a
situation where some nations feel justified embarking on their own
program. Geoengineering could have global repercussions, so it is
especially troubling that one or more nations could band together to
produce an outcome that could have global implications, such as
attempting to mimic a volcanic eruption.
So, Mr. Chairman, while I am interested in the testimony of our
witnesses today, I must state that I am skeptical of this research and
wary of the potential diplomatic minefield we may be stumbling into if
we pursue this. I look forward to hearing from our distinguished
witnesses.

[The prepared statement of Mr. Costello follows:]
Prepared Statement of Representative Jerry F. Costello
Good Afternoon. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding today's
hearing to discuss the governance of potential geoengineering research
projects in the U.S. and abroad.
Global climate change is an international issue that will require
an international response. For this reason, I am pleased to welcome our
colleagues from the United Kingdom with whom this Committee has worked
to explore the potential of geoengineering as a means of reducing
greenhouse gas emissions.
Geoengineering could have a global impact on our atmosphere,
oceans, and land. Because these techniques have the potential to change
the chemical make-up of the earth, international cooperation and
governance of the research will be necessary. In particular, it will be
important to have the involvement of as many international partners as
possible. I would like to hear how all countries, including less
developed countries that have been reluctant to work on climate change
mitigation in the past, may engage in geoengineering research. Further,
I would like to know what international organizations would best be
suited to take the lead in governing this research.
In addition, geoengineering remains in its earliest stages of
research and development, but there are significant concerns about the
safety and reliability of geoengineering. I would like to know how the
international community may address these safety risks should
geoengineering research move forward.
I welcome our two panels of witnesses, and I look forward to their
testimony.

Chairman Gordon. Without objection. Thank you, Mr. Hall.
And now, it is my pleasure to introduce our witness at this
time. Member of Parliament Phil Willis is the Chairman of the
United Kingdom's House of Commons Science and Technology
Committee.
Chairman Willis has represented the constituency of
Harrogate and Knaresborough in the Parliament since 1997.
Before his election to the House of Commons, Chairman Willis
served as a distinguished educator in U.K. schools for over 35
years, 20 of those years as head teacher at a large
comprehensive school.
During his tenure in Parliament, Chairman Willis has been a
champion for inclusive childhood education, vocational
training, and affordable university tuition. I am honored to
have or embarked upon these joint activities with your
committee during each or our last terms.
We thank you for your commitment to this inquiry and
appearing before us today.
And let me remind everyone here today, this is a very
historic and unique hearing that we are having. To the best of
my knowledge, it is the first time that two committees, similar
committees, in this case, the Science and Technology Committee
within Congress and the U.K., have agreed to have a joint
hearing, or I guess I should say parallel hearings on a topic
from which there will be brought back information, not as a
legislative proposal, but rather, as a potential
recommendation.
So, again, this is historic, and Chairman Willis, I
appreciate you being a part of this. Your written testimony
will be included in the record, and now, we welcome you to
begin your oral testimony.
Let us see. Mr.--Chairman Willis, do you hear us now? Hold
your hand up if you can hear us. Well, we know we have a time
delay, but not that much? Larry, what do you think? Let us--
once again, Chairman Willis, can you--raise your hand if you
can hear me.
Well, again, do we have Larry around, or has he escaped? I
can understand him trying to get away. I see Chairman Willis'
lips, but I can't read them. So, let me suggest to the staff--
are we having a parallel telephone conversation with them, or
internet conversation? Okay.
Well, I am going to try one more time. Mr. Willis, if you
could hear me, raise your hand. I don't see it. So, why don't I
suggest that our other--our Panel II come forward, and
whatever--I wish there was a way that we could--we don't have
any kind of parallel communication?
Okay, Larry, what do you think? Okay. Chairman Willis, can
you hear me? Raise your hand if you can.
Chairman Willis. I certainly can.
Chairman Gordon. Oh, good. Good.
Chairman Willis. Barely hear you.
Chairman Gordon. Well, you may have missed the well-
deserved glorious introduction that I had given you earlier, as
well as the statement of the uniqueness and historic aspect of
this hearing. There is another historic matter going on right
now, and that is a healthcare debate in Congress.
Our phone lines are being jammed, we had 40,000 yesterday,
so it is making all communication difficult, but as we pointed
out earlier, if we could get to the Moon, we should be able to
complete this hearing.
And so, with that, I welcome you to begin.

STATEMENT OF HON. PHIL WILLIS, MP, CHAIRMAN, SCIENCE AND
TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE, UNITED KINGDOM HOUSE OF COMMONS

Chairman Willis. Well, first of all, thank you very much
indeed, Chairman Gordon. I was making the comment that if we
can't get this to work, then geoengineering is a long way off
the agenda.
But may I commence by saying how honored I am to appear
before the U.S. House of Representatives Science and Technology
Committee. And this, as I am probably--I am sure you said in
Washington, is a first for our Committees, and I trust that the
level of cooperation between our Committees can be continued
after our general election, which occurs in, probably, May of
this year.
This inquiry really began right in April 2009, when we
visited Washington, D.C., and your Chairman, Bart Gordon, and
we discussed the possibility of a joint inquiry. My fellow
Committee Members and I are delighted that we have managed,
within the constraints of procedure, to undertake something
that approached a joint inquiry.
I state in the record that our staff have found your staff
to be absolutely superb to work with, highly professional,
exceedingly helpful, and knowledgeable. And we, as a committee,
have thoroughly enjoyed the process of dovetailing our inquiry
on geoengineering specifically to fit into your larger inquiry
into the wider issues of geoengineering. I would very much hope
that this relationship between our two committees is something
that can outlast my, and indeed your, tenure.
Today, we published in London our report, The Regulation of
Geoengineering, and geoengineering is a topic that, as a
committee, we have been interested in for a while. We were, I
believe, the very first legislature to examine geoengineering,
which we did as part of a larger report on engineering itself.
In that report, we urged the U.K. government to consider
the full range of policy options for managing climate change,
and that includes various geoengineering options as potential
Plan Bs, in the event that Plan A, mitigation and adaption, was
not sufficient.
We divided geoengineering into technologies that reduce
solar radiation, SDM or SRM, as I think you call it, that is,
to keep the Earth cooler by reflecting more of the Sun's
energy, and carbon sequestration, that is, taking carbon out of
the atmosphere to reduce the greenhouse effect.
We cautioned against mass roll-outs without extensive
research, and suggested that our U.K. Research Council fund
research on modeling the effects of geoengineering and to start
a public debate on the use of geoengineering techniques, both
of which, I am pleased to say, are now underway.
Following that inquiry, the Royal Society produced a report
on geoengineering, an excellent report that details the
scientific and technological issues and options, and I believe
that you took evidence from Professor John Shepherd, who was
Chairman of the Royal Society's geoengineering panel.
One of the key recommendations from the Royal Society's
report was that the regulation of geoengineering required
careful consideration. We decided, as part of a dovetailing
exercise with your committee, to take on that challenge and
move the debate on the regulation of geoengineering a little
further.
The first question in our terms of reference for this
inquiry was, is there a need for international regulation of
geoengineering research and deployment? And if so, what
international regulation mechanisms need to be deployed? We
discovered two things. First, such geoengineering techniques
are already subject to regulation. In fact, there is a lot of
regulation in this field. For example, ocean fertilization is
being managed by the London Convention on Ocean Dumping under
the London Protocol, and existing international regulatory
arrangements, such as the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate
Change, could relatively easily incorporate some geoengineering
techniques, particularly carbon dioxide removal technologies.
Second, with regard to remaining techniques, such as
stratospheric aerosols or space mirrors, it is not clear that
existing treaties could be adequately altered to encompass
them, and they would need looking at afresh.
Additionally, particularly for technologies such as
injecting aerosols into the stratosphere, the costs are
relatively low, which means that a rich country might be able
to engage in this kind of activity unilaterally. And the
effects are not predictable, and cannot be contained with
national boundaries. We should be keen, therefore, to avoid a
situation where one nation, deliberately or otherwise, alters
the climate of another nation without prior agreement.
We concluded that, and I quote: ``The science of
geoengineering is not sufficiently advanced to make the
technology predictable, but this, in itself, is not grounds for
refusing to develop a regulatory framework. There are good
scientific reasons for allowing investigative research to
proceed effectively to devise and implement some regulatory
frameworks, particularly for those techniques that a single
country or small group of countries could test or deploy and
impact the whole climate.''
We also concluded that there is a need to develop a
regulatory framework for geoengineering. Whether our existing
international regulatory regimes, which need to develop a focus
on geoengineering, or some regulatory systems that need to be
designed and implemented for those solar radiation management
techniques that currently fall outside any international
framework.
Having decided that there is a need for regulatory regimes
for geoengineering, we considered what principles might govern
them. So, a group of academics from universities at Oxford,
University College London and Cardiff, came up with a set of
five principles, of which we are very supportive.
And these principles are: First, that geoengineering should
be regulated as a public good, and we need to define what a
public good is. Second, that public participation in
geoengineering and decision-making is absolutely essential. If
we don't take people with us, we may well lose the argument.
Third, that disclosure of geoengineering research and open
publication of results is absolutely essential if we are going
to take the scientific community with us, and particularly, if
we are going to take the public with us. Fourth, independent
assessment of impacts. Peer review in this area is crucially
important. And finally, governance before deployment, that we
make sure that we have a framework before, in fact, there is
major deployment.
May I conclude with a few specifics that might be of
interest to your inquiry?
Following careful consideration of a wide range of views on
geoengineering, we concluded the following. First, regarding
research that uses computers to model the impact of
geoengineering technologies, we wholeheartedly support that
work, so long as it adheres to principle three on the
disclosure and open publication of results.
We thought that even a short-term ban on solar radiation
management research would be a mistake, largely, because it
would be unenforceable, and therefore, having bans would not
work.
Third, it seems sensible that if small-scale testing of
solar radiation management geoengineering is going to take
place, it should adhere to the full set of principles that I
just outlined, and there should be negligible or predictable
environmental impact as far as is possible, and that there
should be no trans-boundary effects.
Fourth, it would be prudent for researchers exploring the
impact of geoengineering techniques to make a special effort to
include international expertise, and particularly, scientists
from the developing world, which is most vulnerable to climate
change.
And finally, we concluded that, and I quote: ``Any testing
that has impacts on the climate,'' that is large scale enough
to have a real impact on the wider climate, must be subject to
an international regulatory framework.
May I finish my comments, Mr. Chairman, by making some
broader observations? We found this to be a hugely complex
area. International agreements are not always easy for
noncontroversial issues, but climate change, which is a
controversial issue, because of the impact that mitigation
efforts might have on our economies, has proven very difficult
to get international agreement on, as we saw recently at
Copenhagen.
I cannot see how geoengineering could be any easier, but
that should not be a reason to back off. If the climate warms
dangerously, and we can't fix the problem by reducing carbon
emissions or adapting to the changing climate, geoengineering
might be our only chance.
It would be irresponsible of us not to get the ball rolling
on regulation. And to that end, we considered the only
appropriate forum for managing something like geoengineering
would be the United Nations. Geoengineering covers such a wide
range of technologies that more than one international body
would be required to work on international agreements. And we
suggested that the U.K. government_and it is something it might
be able to do in partnership with the U.S. government_should
one, press hard for a suitable international body to commission
a review of how geoengineering regulation might work in
practice, and two, we should press hard for the establishment
of an international consortium to explore the safest and most
effective geoengineering options.
Thank you very much indeed, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Chairman Willis follows:]
Prepared Statement of Phil Willis

INTRODUCTION

This inquiry really began life in April 2009, when we visited
Washington DC and met with your Chairman, Bart Gordon. We discussed
then the possibility of a joint inquiry. My fellow committee members
and I are delighted that we have managed--within the restraints of
procedure--to undertake something that approached a `joint' inquiry.
May I state for the record that our staff have found your staff to
be terrific to work with, professional, helpful and knowledgeable.
And we as a committee have thoroughly enjoyed the process of
dovetailing our inquiry on geoengineering specifically to fit neatly
into your larger inquiry into geoengineering issues more broadly. I
very much hope that this relationship between the two committees is
something that outlast mine and Bart's tenures.

BACKGROUND

Today we published our Report, the Regulation of Geoengineering.\1\
Geoengineering is a topic that as a committee we have been interested
in for a while. We were, I believe, the very first legislature to
examine geoengineering, which we did as part of a larger report on
engineering. In that report we urged the U.K. Government to consider
the full range of policy options for managing climate change, and that
includes various geoengineering options as potential ``plan B'', in the
event of ``plan A''--mitigation and adaptation--not being sufficient.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Science and Technology Committee, The Fifth Report of
Session 2009-10, The Regulation of Geoengineering, HC 221
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
We divided geoengineering into technologies that reduce solar
insolation (that is, keep the earth cooler by reflecting more of the
sun's energy) and carbon sequestration (that is, taking carbon out of
the atmosphere to reduce the greenhouse effect).
We cautioned against mass rollout without extensive research and
suggested that our U.K. research councils fund research on modelling
the effects of geoengineering and start a public debate on the use of
geoengineering techniques--both of which are now underway.
Following that inquiry, the Royal Society produced a report on
geoengineering--a fine report that detailed the scientific and
technological issues and options--and I believe that you took evidence
from Professor John Shepherd, who was chairman of the Royal's
geoengineering panel.
One of the key recommendations from the Royal's report was that the
regulation of geoengineering required careful consideration. We
decided--as part of a dovetailing exercise with your committee to take
on that challenge and move the debate on the regulation of
geoengineering a little further.

A NEED FOR REGULATION?

The first question in our terms of reference for this inquiry was:
is there a need for international regulation of geoengineering research
and deployment and if so, what international regulatory mechanisms need
to be developed? We discovered two things.
First, some geoengineering techniques are already subject to
regulation. For example, ocean fertilisation is being managed by the
London Convention on ocean dumping under the London Protocol. And
existing international regulatory arrangements such as the UN Framework
Convention on Climate Change could relatively easily incorporate some
geoengineering techniques such as carbon dioxide removal technologies.
Second, as regards the remaining techniques--such as stratospheric
aerosols or space mirrors--it is not clear that any existing treaties
could be adequately altered to encompass them. Additionally,
particularly for technologies such as injecting aerosols into the
stratosphere, the costs are relatively low--which means that a rich
country might be able to engage in this kind of activity unilaterally-
and the effects are not predictable and cannot be contained with
national boundaries--we should be keen to avoid a situation where one
nation deliberately or otherwise alters the climate of another nation
without prior agreement.
We concluded that ``the science of geoengineering is not
sufficiently advanced to make the technology predictable, but this of
itself is not grounds for refusing to develop regulatory frameworks.
There are good scientific reasons for allowing investigative research
and better reasons for seeking to devise and implement some regulatory
frameworks, particularly for those techniques that a single country or
small group of countries could test or deploy and impact the whole
climate.''
We also concluded that there is a need to develop regulatory
frameworks for geoengineering. There are existing international
regulatory regimes, which need to develop a focus on geoengineering.
And some regulatory systems need to be designed and implemented for
those solar radiation management techniques that currently fall outside
any international regulatory framework.

PRINCIPLES FOR GEOENGINEERING REGULATIONS

Having decided that there is a need for regulatory regimes for
geoengineering we considered what principles might govern them. A group
of academics from Oxford, University College London and Cardiff came up
with a set of five principles of which we are very supportive. These
principles are:

- geoengineering to be regulated as public good

- public participation in geoengineering decision-making

- disclosure of geoengineering research and open publication
of results independent assessment of impacts, and

- governance before deployment.

We made a series of recommendations on the basis of these excellent
suggestions.
1. Geoengineering should be for the public good. That is a given.
And therefore any regulations should support this position. However, we
suggested that for the sake of clarity,``public good'' should be
defined; after all, there are many different ``publics''--some would
benefit from global warming and they might not be too pleased with
geoengineering deployment. We also noted that striving to make
geoengineering for the ``public good'' might risk intellectual property
rights, and that would be a shame. No IP means no industrial and
private sector input; and without industrial input, a lot of these
technologies might never get off the ground.
2. We are in favour of public consultation, but a bit cautious
about ``public participation in . . . decision-making''. For example,
could people who were adversely affected by geoengineering--even if the
majority of people benefited--veto or alter geoengineering tests?
3. Our support for the notion of full disclosure of geoengineering
research and the open publication of results is unqualified. In fact,
we went further and suggested that an international database of
geoengineering research to encourage and facilitate disclosure might be
useful.
4. The called for ``independent assessment of impacts'' is very
important. Independent assessment is a key scientific concept--it takes
the task of assessing the effectiveness of an intervention away from
its inventors. That is a good thing. However, we do think that the term
`impacts' covers a range of issues. For example, deployment of
geoengineering might occur only when temperatures go past a dangerous
point of warming, say 3.5 degrees centigrade, so our definition of
impact would need honing. Another issue it raises is compensation for
people that suffer because of geoengineering. This legal aspect of
geoengineering is unavoidable and central to the reasons why good
regulation is necessary.
5. The last of the principles, ``governance before deployment'',
again, we support without qualification. We suggested that our
government commission research and press for research to be carried out
through international bodies on the legal, social and ethical
implications of geoengineering.

SPECIFICS

May I conclude with a few specifics that may be of interest to your
inquiry? Following careful consideration of a wide range of views on
geoengineering, we concluded the following:

- regarding research that uses computers to model the impact
of geoengineering technologies, we support that work-so long as
it adheres to principle 3 on the disclosure and open
publication of results;

- we thought that even a short-term ban on all solar radiation
management research would be a mistake, at least in part
because it would be unenforceable;

- it seems sensible that if small-scale testing of solar
radiation management geoengineering is going to take place it
should adhere to the full set of principles that I just
outlined, that there should be negligible or predicable
environmental impact as far as is possible, and that there
should be no trans-boundary effects;

- it would be prudent for researchers exploring the impact of
geoengineering techniques to make a special effort to include
international expertise, and particularly scientists from the
developing world which is most vulnerable to climate change;
and

- finally, we concluded that ``any testing that impacts on the
climate''-that is, that is large-scale enough to have a real
impact on the wider climate-''must be subject to an
international regulatory framework''.

CLOSING

May I finish my comments, Chairman, by making some broader
observations. We found this to be a very complex area. International
agreements are not always easy for non-controversial issues. Climate
change, which is a controversial issue because of the impact that
mitigation efforts might have on our economies, has proven very
difficult to get international agreement on. I cannot see how
geoengineering would be any easier.
But that should not be a reason to back off. If the climate warms
dangerously, and we can't fix the problem by reducing carbon emissions
or adapting to the changing climate, geoengineering might be our only
chance. It would be irresponsible for us not to get the ball rolling on
regulations.
To that end, we considered that the only appropriate forum for
managing something like geoengineering would be the U.N. Geoengineering
covers such a wide range of technologies that more than one
international body would be required to work on international
agreements. We suggested that the U.K. government--and this is
something it might be able to do in partnership with the U.S.
government--should (1) press hard for a suitable international body to
commission a review of how geoengineering regulations might work in
practice; and (2) press hard for the establishment of an international
consortium to explore the safest and most effective geoengineering
options.

Biography for Phil Willis
Phil Willis was born in Burnley, Lancashire. At school he excelled
in sport and at one time was a trialist for Burnley FC. He went to
study History and Music at the City of Leeds and Carnegie College,
qualifying as a teacher in 1963 from the University of Leeds Institute
of Education. Later in his career he was seconded to Birmingham
University where he gained a B.Phil. degree with distinction in 1978.
Phil's teaching career was mostly spent in Leeds where he rose
rapidly from Assistant Master at Middleton Secondary Boys' School in
1963 to become Deputy Headteacher at West Leeds Boys' Grammar School in
1974, Perhaps his most rewarding period was spent at Primrose Hill High
School in the Chapletown district of Leeds where for seven years he was
involved in multi-cultural education and outreach youth work.
In 1978 he became head of Ormesby School in Middlesbrough where he
helped pioneer the integration of children with physical disabilities
into mainstream education. In 1983 he returned to Leeds as Head of one
of the city's largest comprehensive schools, John Smeaton Community
High School. Situated in one of the more deprived areas of Leeds, he
continued his mission, for 'inclusive' education.
He became nationally recognised for the inclusion of children with
severe learning difficulties and others with sensory impairments into
mainstream education. Prior to his election to Westminster he was
involved with another pioneering development--`The family of Schools'
initiative--which brought together all agencies concerned with
developing first class opportunities for children from disadvantaged
backgrounds.
Phil joined the Liberal party in 1985 and was elected to Harrogate
Borough Council in 1988. He became leader of the Council in 1990 and
following his election to North Yorkshire County Council in 1993 became
Deputy Group Leader.
His period as Leader of Harrogate Council coincided with an
unprecedented rise in Liberal Democrat representation and he is
credited with many of the economic generating initiatives which have
made the area one of the top earners in the country. His most notable
success was turning the famous Harrogate Conference Centre from a loss
making `white elephant' into a 1m a year success story.
At Westminster, he was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for
Education and Skills in 1999 retaining the post until 2005, when he was
appointed Chairman of the House of Commons Science and Technology
Select Committee. In May 2007 he was also appointed Chair of the Joint
Committee on the Draft Human Tissue and Embryos Bill. In November 2007
the Science and Technology Select Committee was disbanded and the House
of Commons Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Select
Committee was formed; Phil Willis was elected chairman soon after.
In the summer 2009 departmental reshuffle the department for
Innovation, Universities and Skills was disbanded, along with its
corresponding Select Committee. Following a hard-fought campaign from
Phil and leading members of the Science community, the Science and
Technology Select Committee was re-created on October 1st, with Phil
elected as Chairman.
Married with two children, Phil is a keen supporter of Leeds United
and spends much of his spare time in Ireland where he retains an
interest in his family's farm in Donegal

Also submitted for the record by Chairman Willis:

United Kingdom House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.
The Regulation of Geoengineering. Fifth Report of Session 2009-10.
London: The Stationery Office Limited. 10 March 2010.
This report, totaling 119 pages, is available in its entirety
archived online as of June 21, 2010 at http://
democrats.science.house.gov/Media/file/Commdocs/hearings/2010/Fu11/
18mar/
UKR-Regulation-of-Geoengineering-
report.pdf. The full report should be considered Chairman Willis' full
submission for the hearing record.

Attached here are:

I. Table of Contents

II. Executive Summary

III. Introduction























Discussion

Chairman Gordon. Well, thank you, Chairman Willis, for that
very good presentation.
We received your report, I think, 130 pages, today, which
we are starting to go through.

International Research Database

I certainly concur with you that geoengineering is
controversial, both on the left and the right. It is, and I
concur that it is something that we hope that will never take
place, but it would be irresponsible for us not to start at
least looking at the foundation for potential research.
I think any implementation is decades out, but you have to
start somewhere. And so, we very much appreciate your
participation, and that of your excellent staff.
Now, we will at this point move to the first round of
questions, and the Chair will recognize himself for five
minutes. As you mentioned in your testimony, you felt that an
international database would be a very good way to have a tool
for transparency and public understanding.
Do you have any suggestions on how that database might be
developed or how it would work?
Chairman Willis. Well, first of all, Mr. Chairman, there
are no extensive examples of international databases. I mean,
here in the United Kingdom, we have a database which deals
particularly with clinical trials, and the use of clinical
trials. And in fact, the World Health Organization [WHO] also
has a voluntary database on clinical trials. So, that is an
example.
And the National Center for Biotechnology, or GenBank,
which is, of course, held in the United States, has an
excellent international global database for looking
particularly at gene therapies and the like.
So, I think there are examples there. But really, it is
hugely important that in terms of actually creating a database,
that that is done in terms of international collaboration, that
we include particularly Third World countries as well in that,
because they are the most affected by climate changes, as we
know.
So, I think it is important to, first of all, find
somewhere where, in fact, we would have the repository, and
there would have to be international agreement on that. I think
secondly, we would want to know what would go in the database.
And we felt that there were a number of things, first of all,
in terms of simply listing current research.
I think it is quite possible, indeed, to pull together the
research that is going on around the world. As you know, Mr.
Chairman, there is some extensive research going on in the
United States. There is research going on in Australia, in
Canada, and elsewhere in the world.
I think secondly, we need to ensure that we state that
research is out. If we are looking at particularly modeling
from, for instance, aerosols in stratosphere, it is important
that we get the results of that midterm. We don't wait for it
to be completed.
I think thirdly, that we make sure that the database looks
at the aims of research, that when research projects are being
launched, that it is clear what the aims are, so that other
scientists around the world can, in fact, collaborate and work
with that, can actually replicate its experiments.
And I think fourthly, it is important that wherever
research is taking place, that within the database comes the
order of risk. That we know that a lot of these technologies
are usually low risk and therefore, you know, can easily be
lodged in a database without, in fact, having to have huge
explorations or it causing controversy.
Where, in fact, you are, for instance, seeding the oceans,
if in fact, you are going to put aerosols into the
stratosphere, which might have an effect somewhere else, then
clearly, those elements of risk have got to be assessed and put
into the database. All that would be hugely influential in
actually guiding future geoengineering regulation.

The Future of Geoengineering Research in the U.K.

Chairman Gordon. Thank you, and how do you foresee the
future of geoengineering research in the United Kingdom? What
direction will it go, if at all? Are national or European
Commission geoengineering research programs likely to be a
reality? Is the United Kingdom's Defense Department looking at
geoengineering possibilities also?
Chairman Willis. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think
what is interesting here is, if you would have asked me that
question 18 months ago, I would have said no, no, no, and no to
all those points, because I think 18 months to two years ago,
geoengineering was not on the agenda.
I can recall having a Committee session in the U.K.
Parliament with the Minister responsible for climate change, to
ask if, in fact, there was any research being commissioned in
this particular area, and the answer was no. We have Plan A,
which is about mitigation, and we don't, in fact, plan to go
down the road of geoengineering.
Eighteen months later, the government has commissioned
research, to its credit. And in fact, the National Environment
Research Council [NERC] is also conducting research. A number
of leading universities in the U.K. are conducting research in
terms of regulation, and as I have said to you, the Royal
Society has conducted a major inquiry looking at the different
types of geoengineering, and in fact, they have just announced
that they are going to set up a major inquiry looking at the
regulation of geoengineering.
In Europe as well, while there is nothing in the current
framework program in terms of research projects for
geoengineering, we understand that the European Research
Council is, in fact, considering bids to actually look at,
particularly, the modeling of geoengineering in terms of
certain aspects.
So, this is on the rise, and I think it is good that that
is happening, and it is good that we are not turning our minds
away from the future need which might arise to use
geoengineering technologies.
And I agree totally with you, Mr. Chairman, that this is an
issue of last resort and must not, in fact, deflect us from our
major task of making sure that we put less CO2 into
the air, and where it is there, that we look, in fact, to
sequestrate it.

Additional Opportunities for International Collaboration

Chairman Gordon. And one last question. As we have
discussed before, when you look at the major problems facing
our world and globe, whether it is climate change, whether it
is energy sustainability, or energy independence, or just
sustainability of the planet, I think we are going to need
cooperation with multinational efforts, both intellectually and
financially.
And I wanted to get your thoughts, again, in the future,
what additional topics might be taken up? I know you had talked
about synthetic biology at one time. Any other suggestions on
those type of global issues that we might work on in the
future?
Chairman Willis. Well, Mr. Chairman, I think there is no
doubt that the great challenges are not challenges simply for
the United States or the United Kingdom, or indeed, for China
or India, the emerging economies.
They are global challenges. The great challenges of water
security, food security, energy, as well, of course, as issues
like terrorism and other matters, all of which science has a
major role to play, require global solutions.
And I think that there is a fairly exhaustive list. I mean,
for instance, the whole of the oceans. I can remember being in
the United States not long ago, at Woods Hole Laboratory, you
know, looking at the effect of the oceans on the climate. I
think that that is an area for international and global
cooperation.
The issue of space, and the use of space, again, requires
global activities. You and I talked, when you were last in
London, about the whole issue of nanotechnologies, the way in
which nanotechnologies are going to need very, very careful
global cooperation if, in fact, we are going to make the most
use of those technologies.
The issue of sustainable agriculture: there is no way, by
2050, we are going to be able to feed the world's population,
given current agrarian policies. And therefore, the need for
international cooperation there is enormous.
And if I may finally say, both your economy and our economy
in the U.K. have suffered massively because of the economic
downturn. And if there is one area where there is a need for
far greater cooperation, certainly between our two nations, in
terms of the social science of economics. My goodness, that is
one area we ought to look at.
Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Chairman. My time has expired.
In the United States, we have Americans and we have Texas
Americans, and now I recognize my Ranking Member and good
friend from Texas, Mr. Hall.

Public Opinion of Geoengineering

Mr. Hall. Now, being from Texas, we are happy to have
international discussions from time to time, and about 10 or 15
years ago, we had a similar discussion on asteroids here,
urging England, Germany, France, and others to come together to
share the cost of tracing and tracking.
And it didn't work out, because I guess there was not
enough there, but we learned during that time that an asteroid
missed the Earth only about 15 minutes, I think in 1986 or '88,
so there is a lot to learn together. And I admire the Chairman
for making a trip over there. His trip there spawned this
historical meeting, where you come before us, Chairman Willis,
to testify. I have enjoyed hearing your testimony.
I will ask you just a question or so, as kind a question as
I know how to ask. I don't really--I am not terribly
enthusiastic about this, but I am excited about your appearance
here and the Chairman's vision.
As you may have noticed from our newspapers, public opinion
on the concept of geoengineering here in the United States
covers the whole spectrum. It just goes everywhere here. Did
you find yourself in a similar situation in England initially?
Chairman Willis. Well, Representative Hall, welcome to you
and it is good to talk to you. Or is it Mr. Hall I should
officially address you as? But there is no doubt that when we
did, and we did, I said, a piece of investigation about
geoengineering 18 months ago, as part of a bigger inquiry, that
there were many people, and particularly some of the green
NGOs, nongovernment organizations, who contacted us to say that
this was really a distraction. It was distracting us from the
main issue, which was about climate change, which was about
removing CO2, and which was about stopping the
temperature of the Earth rising.
And it is interesting that that has slightly changed, and
there is now an acceptance that this is a long-term technology,
something which clearly needs to be put into the basket of
tricks. But equally, it is important that it does not, in fact,
actually take U.K. pounds, in your case, U.S. dollars, away
from the main thrust, which is about creating sort of green
technologies for transport, you know, for energy, and indeed,
making sure that we don't continue to create the problem.
But I can tell you, Mr. Hall, that there are a significant
number of people in the United Kingdom who actually regard this
as a rather strange set of technologies, and ones that, quite
frankly, we have better things to spend our time on.

The U.K. Inquiry Process

Mr. Hall. Did you start with public hearings? How did you
initiate it? Did you start with public hearings to discuss the
issue?
Chairman Willis. Well, we--what we do with all our
inquiries is, we announce a set of terms of reference for our
inquiry, and of course, we engage the public immediately at
that time.
We then try to seek out witnesses, as you did, including
Professor Shepherd, from across the globe, in order to be able
to feed into us, into our inquiry. And then to assemble a
report, and make a number of key recommendations, including of
course, interviewing the government, the government ministers,
to see what government policy is.
And of course, we did not have any government policy in
this particular area, because government did not have a policy
towards geoengineering, and it is interesting that whilst they
still don't have a major commitment to geoengineering as a
mitigation technology, nevertheless, the governments have, I
think to their credit, actually engaged with the science, and
to at least examine whether the science is or could be could be
effective and predictable.
Mr. Hall. I thank you for that, and I am near the end of my
inquiry. Appreciate you being here. It is historic. I know his
trip over there, visiting with you, spawned this meeting, and I
think it is very helpful. Perhaps we can reciprocate with you
somewhere down the line.
Thank you, sir, and I yield back my time.
Chairman Gordon. Ms. Fudge is recognized. Or Governor
Garamendi is recognized for five minutes.
Mr. Garamendi. The inquiry--the information from the United
Kingdom is excellent, and I don't have any questions right now.
Thank you.
Chairman Gordon. And I see Ms. Dahlkemper, and Ms.
Dahlkemper is recognized.
Ms. Dahlkemper. I thank you, Mr. Chairman. This is a very
interesting hearing, and I certainly appreciate the Chairman
being here with us today, but I also do not have any questions
at this time.
I am sure, as we go forward with this cooperation, we will
have many more questions. So, thank you, and I yield back.
Chairman Gordon. Well, Chairman Willis, as I said earlier,
we are on the precipice of votes here. We received your report
last night. We have been in constant contact with your staff,
and been very pleased with that.
We are going to digest that now, and hopefully, we will
have a chance to be back in touch with you, but we want to
thank you for the excellent body of work that you have
presented us with.
Chairman Willis. Thank you indeed, Mr. Gordon, and it has
been a pleasure not only to present to your committee, but on
the two opportunities we have been able to meet over the past
year, you have treated us with huge courtesy, and we hope that
this will be the sign of things to come, certainly after our
general election here in May.
Chairman Gordon. Thank you. And we are going to move to a
second panel, of which we are going to keep you tuned in, and
so, if you would like to continue to hear that, you are
welcome, until, again, we are required to leave for votes.
And so, I would ask the second panel to come forward. We
are now told that it is going to be about 1:00 before the votes
get started, so--okay.
So, we are ready now for our second panel. It is my
pleasure to introduce our witnesses. First, Dr. Frank Rusco is
the Director of Natural Resources and Environment at the
Government Accountability Office, GAO.
Dr. Scott Barrett is the Lenfest Professor of Natural
Resource Economics at the School of International and Public
Affairs and the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
Dr. Jane Long is the Deputy Principal Associate Director at
Large at Lawrence Livermore National Lab [LLNL].
And Dr. Granger Morgan is Professor and Head of the
Department of Engineering and Public Policy, as well as the
Lord Chair Professor in the Engineering at the Carnegie Mellon
University.
As witnesses should know, you have five minutes for your
spoken testimony. Your written testimony has been included in
the record, and when you complete your spoken testimony, we
will then have questions. Each member will have five minutes to
ask those questions.
So, Dr. Rusco, we will begin with you.

STATEMENTS OF DR. FRANK RUSCO, DIRECTOR OF NATURAL RESOURCES
AND ENVIRONMENT, GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE

Dr. Rusco. Chairman Gordon, Ranking Member Hall, and
Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to
speak before you today on the important issue of domestic and
international governance of geoengineering.
Geoengineering has recently become an area of intensified
interest, in part, because of challenges in reaching
international agreement to limit the growth of, and eventually
reduce, global greenhouse gas emissions.
In this context, if severe or relatively sudden climate
change occurs at some future date, attempts to reverse or slow
such trends through deployment of geoengineering technologies,
either by reflecting some of the sun's rays that help heat the
Earth, or by removing and sequestering ambient carbon dioxide,
may become relatively more attractive, especially in nations or
regions that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of
climate change.
Three facts point to the importance of getting in front of
the issue of domestic and international governance of
geoengineering research and deployment. First, the severity of
the effects of large scale geoengineering, efforts are
uncertain, and would likely be distributed unevenly,
potentially creating relative winners and losers.
As a result of the unknown severity and potential
unevenness of outcomes, geoengineering research or deployment
at a scale large enough to actually influence the global
climate would carry with it the potential to be economically
and politically destabilizing.
Second, climate change modeling exercises or small scale
physical experiments for certain geoengineering approaches,
such as stratospheric aerosol injection, may be inadequate to
evaluate the efficacy or extent and distribution of unintended
effects of geoengineering deployed if at full scale. Put
simply, to adequately assess the efficacy and distribution of
effects of geoengineering, it may be necessary to actually
deploy these technologies on a large scale and for a long
period of time.
Research on this scale would, itself, have uncertain and
likely uneven effects around the globe, would potentially
create winners and losers, and could lead to conflict over how
to mitigate or adapt to any adverse effects.
Third, some geoengineering technologies could be
implemented at low enough cost that they could be undertaken by
nations or other actors unilaterally, or in coalitions. Simply
put, if a nation or group perceives it in their interest to
deploy such a technology that will have global but uncertain
and unevenly distributed effects, it may well be possible for
them to do so without broad international consensus or
assistance.
In our ongoing work in this area, we have found that some
federal agencies have funded research and small demonstration
projects of technology related to geoengineering. However,
federal agencies have not been directed to, nor does there
exist, a coordinated federal geoengineering research strategy.
Further, some existing federal laws could apply to
geoengineering research and deployment. However, some federal
agencies have not yet assessed their authority to regulate
geoengineering, and those agencies that have done so have
identified regulatory gaps.
For example, under the Marine Protection, Research, and
Sanctuaries Act of 1972, certain persons would be prohibited
from dumping material for ocean fertilization into the ocean
without a permit from EPA. EPA officials told us that the ocean
dumping permitting process is sufficient to regulate certain
ocean fertilization activities. However, they noted a domestic
company could conduct ocean fertilization outside of EPA's
regulatory jurisdiction if, for example, the company's
fertilization activities took place outside U.S. territorial
waters from a foreign registered ship that embarked from a
foreign port.
With regard to international governance, legal experts we
spoke with identified a number of existing international
agreements that are potentially relevant to specific
geoengineering technologies. However, these agreements were not
drafted with geoengineering in mind, and the signatories and
parties to these agreements have typically not determined
whether and how they apply to geoengineering.
Further, these agreements have generally not been signed by
all countries, nor have all signatories ratified or acceded to
the agreements, thereby giving them the force of law.
While GAO cannot advise Congress at this time on specific
needs for domestic or international governance of
geoengineering research or deployment, we found broad consensus
among both legal and scientific experts we spoke with that any
geoengineering research of a large enough scale to have trans-
boundary effects should be addressed in a transparent and
international manner.
However, there was a variety of views on the precise
structure of such regulation or governance. For example,
scientific experts recommended that research governance be
established in consultation with the scientific community, in
order to not unduly restrict research.
Similarly, we found a broad consensus that additional
geoengineering research is warranted, but no consensus on the
desirable extent of such research. We look forward to
continuing our work in this area for the Committee, and hope to
be able to make specific recommendations for Federal actions in
future reports.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my statement. I would be happy
to answer any questions you or the Committee may have.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Rusco follows:]
Prepared Statement of Frank Rusco





































Biography for Frank Rusco
Frank Rusco is a Director in GAO's Natural Resources and
Environment team, working on a broad spectrum of energy and related
issues. He has worked at GAO for almost 11 years, at first, working as
an economist in the Center for Economics. In addition to providing
economics analysis, he also managed numerous teams working on energy
topics, including electricity restructuring, and crude oil and
petroleum products markets, as well as related natural resources work
on oil and gas royalty collection and policy. Prior to coming to GAO,
he was an assistant professor in the Department of Economics for the
University of Hong Kong. He has published articles on energy,
transportation, environmental economics and related topics. He received
both his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Washington
in Seattle and his B.A. degree in music performance from the University
of Nevada, Reno.

Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Dr. Rusco, and Dr. Morgan is
recognized.

STATEMENTS OF DR. GRANGER MORGAN, PROFESSOR AND DEPARTMENT
HEAD, DEPARTMENT OF ENGINEERING AND PUBLIC POLICY, AND LORD
CHAIR PROFESSOR IN ENGINEERING, CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY

Dr. Morgan. Mr. Chairman and distinguished Members, thank
you for the opportunity to appear today to discuss issues
related to research and governance in geoengineering.
I am Granger Morgan, head of the Department of Engineering
and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. Our department
is the home of a large National Science Foundation-supported
distributed center on climate decision research.
Some of our center's research has addressed the subject of
solar radiation management, or SRM, that would involve adding
fine reflective particles to the stratosphere. We have also
supported research on technology for directly scrubbing carbon
dioxide out of the atmosphere.
As part of our work on SRM, we have organized and run two
workshops to engage leading climate scientists and foreign
policy experts in discussions of the issues of global
governance of SRM, and we have published a paper on this topic
in the Journal of Foreign Affairs that I have appended to my
written testimony.
I want to emphasize that I am not arguing that the U.S. or
anybody else should engage in SRM. The U.S. and other large
emitting countries need to get much more serious about reducing
emissions and lowering the concentration of atmospheric carbon
dioxide. I believe that can be done at an affordable cost.
However, we also need to understand, to undertake a serious
program of research on SRM. In a piece attached to my written
testimony, my colleagues and I argued, in Nature this January,
that the risk of not understanding whether and how well SRM
might work, what it would cost, and what its intended and
unintended consequences might be, are today greater than the
risks associated with undertaking such research.
Initial research on SRM should be supported via the
National Science Foundation at a level of a few million dollars
per year. NSF should be the initial funding agency for two
reasons. One, NSF does a good job of supporting open,
investigator-initiated research, and we need a lot of bright
people thinking about this topic from different perspectives
before developing any serious program or field studies.
Two, in additional to natural science and engineering, NSF
supports research in the social and behavioral sciences, and
those perspectives on the subject are urgently needed. However,
we will not be able to learn everything we need to learn with
laboratory and computer studies, and once it is clear what
sorts of field studies are needed, then NASA and/or NOAA should
become involved. I believe that DOE should stay focused on the
problems of de-carbonizing the energy system and reducing
atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide.
All research on SRM should be open and transparent. Hence,
SRM research should not be undertaken by DoD or the
intelligence communities. Private, for-profit funding of SRM
research should be actively discouraged, since it holds the
potential to create a special interest that might push to move
beyond research into deployment.
I turn now to the global governance of SRM research. I
believe that there should be constraints on modest, low level
field studies, done in an open and transparent manner, designed
to better understand what is and what is not possible, what it
might cost, and what possible unintended consequences might
result.
That said, I think it likely that pressure will grow for
some more formal international oversight of SRM, and for that
reason, I think one of the first objectives in a U.S. research
program should be to give the phrase ``modest low-level field
testing'' a more precise definition.
[The information follows:]



My first slide shows one way to frame this issue. In that
diagram, X, Y, and Z define the limits of an allowed zone. They
refer, respectively, to the upper bounds on the amount of
radiative forcing that an experiment might impose, the duration
of that forcing, and the possible impacts on ozone depletion.
[The information follows:]



As my second slide shows, early research should ask what
should the allowed zone, how should the allowed zone be
defined, and should it use different axes? What should be the
shape of that zone? What should be the values of X, Y, Z, and
so on, and then, in joint discussion with foreign policy
experts, what forms of international agreement and enforcement,
if any, would be most appropriate, and what scientific input
would they require?
Now, all my remarks are focused on SRM. There are a number
of technologies for directly scrubbing carbon dioxide from the
Earth's atmosphere and sequestering it underground. These are
very important. The Department of Energy should support
research and development, and test such technologies, starting
at a level of several tens of millions of dollars per year.
Research and development by private, for-profit firms in this
area should be very actively encouraged.
Mr. Chairman, thank you.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Morgan follows:]
Prepared Statement of Granger Morgan
Mr. Chairman, distinguished members, thank you for the opportunity
to appear today to discuss research and governance related to the issue
of geoengineering.
I am Granger Morgan, Professor and Head of the Department of
Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. I hold a
Ph.D. in applied physics and have worked on a range of the technical
and policy aspects of climate change for roughly 30 years.
When we were awarded a large NSF grant to create The Center for
Integrated Study of the Human Dimensions of Global Change, in 1995, one
of the early things we did was to conduct a review of the state of
knowledge in geoengineering. My colleagues Hadi Dowlatabadi and David
Keith published several papers as a result, including:

David W. Keith, ``Geoengineering the Climate: History
and Prospect,'' Annual Review of Energy and the Environment,
25, pp. 245-284, 2000.

David W. Keith and Hadi Dowlatabadi, ``A Serious Look
at Geoengineering, Eos, Transactions American Geophysical
Union, 73, pp. 289-293, 1992.

After this initial work we moved on to other topics, and I did not
think seriously about geoengineering again until about three years ago.
At that time the foreign policy community was largely unaware of the
possibility that humans might be able to rapidly increase earth's
albedo (the fraction of sunlight reflected back into space) by roughly
one percent and in so doing offset the warming caused by carbon dioxide
and other greenhouse gases. The Royal Society had recently termed such
activity SRM, or ``solar radiation management.''
In reflecting on the dismayingly slow pace of progress the world
was making in cutting emissions of carbon dioxide, I began to be
concerned that there is a growing risk that large effects from climate
change might occur somewhere in the world that could induce a nation or
group of nations to unilaterally modify the albedo of the planet in
order to offset rising temperature. If someone were to do that, it
could impose large effects on the entire planet.
In order to start a conversation with the foreign policy community
I enlisted four colleagues (two like me with backgrounds in physics and
planetary science backgrounds and two with backgrounds in political
science and foreign policy). We organized a workshop at the Council on
Foreign Relations (CFR) here in Washington, DC on May 5, 2008. We had
excellent attendance from senior folks in both the science and foreign
policy communities.
The five of us subsequently published a paper in the journal
Foreign Affairs that summarized our thinking at that time:

David G. Victor, M. Granger Morgan, Jay Apt, John
Steinbruner, and Katharine Ricke, ``The Geoengineering
Option,'' Foreign Affairs, 88(2), 64-76, March/April 2009.
(Attachment 2)

Because the CFR workshop involved only North Americans, and because
this is a global issue, I subsequently organized a second more
international workshop, again with the objective of stimulating
discussion between the scientific and foreign policy communities. This
second workshop was hosted by the Government of Portugal on April 20-
21, 2009. Participants in this second workshop came from North America,
from across the E.U., and from China, India and Russia.
SRM has five key attributes:

1. It is fast (i.e. cooling could be initiated in
months not decades).

2. It is likely to be relatively inexpensive (i.e. as
much as 100 to 1000 times cheaper than achieving the
same temperature reduction through a systematic
reduction of global emissions of carbon dioxide).

3. It will be imperfect (i.e. it will do nothing to
offset the effects of rising carbon dioxide levels on
ocean acidification and the associated destruction of
coral reefs and ocean ecosystems; it will dry. out the
hydrological cycle--and while recent studies indicate
it will move temperature and precipitation back closer
to what they were before climate change, it will not do
so perfectly and there will be differences in how well
it will work in different parts of the world); it will
not offset impacts from elevated concentrations of
carbon dioxide on terrestrial ecosystems.

4. Once started, if SRM is ever stopped, and carbon
dioxide emissions have continued to rise, the resulting
rapid increase in temperature would result in
catastrophic ecological effects.

5. Unlike emission reduction which requires
cooperation by all large emitters, a single nation
(indeed, perhaps even a single very wealthy private
party) could undertake SRM and effect the entire
planet.

Up until now there has been very little serious research conducted
on strategies to modify rapidly the albedo of the planet (i.e. on SRM):
Historically, most folks in the climate science community have been
reluctant to work in this area for two reasons:


they did not want to deflect scarce funding and
attention from the very important task of improving our
understanding of the climate system;

they were worried that if we better understand SRM
and how to do it, that might deflect attention away from
reducing emissions, and might also increase the probability
that someone would actually engage in SRM.

I want to emphasize in the strongest possible terms that I am not
arguing that the U.S. or anyone else should engage in SRM. We need to
get much more serious about achieving a dramatic reduction in emissions
of carbon dioxide.
However, because I believe that we are getting closer to the time
when someone might be tempted to unilaterally engage in SRM in order to
address local or regional problems caused by climate change, or a
situation in which the world faces a sudden and unexpected climate
emergency that places large number of people at risk, I think we have
passed a tipping point. In my view, the risks of not understanding
better whether and how SRM might work, what its intended and unintended
consequences might be, and what it might cost, are today greater than
the risks associated with doing such research. My colleagues and I have
spelled out these arguments in two recent publications:


David W. Keith, Edward Parson and M. Granger Morgan,
``Research on Global Sun Block Needed Now,'' Nature, 463(28),
426-427, January 2010. (Attachment 3)

M. Granger Morgan, ``Why Geoengineering?,''
Technology Review, 14-15, January/February 2010.

With this background, I turn now to two questions which I
understand this Committee is especially interested: who should fund
research and what approach should be taken to issues of governance.
Up until now my remarks have been exclusively about SRM. There are
a number of technologies for directly scrubbing carbon dioxide the
earth's atmosphere and sequestering it deep underground. In my view,
these are very important, and deserve considerably expanded research
support, but do not pose significant issues of global governance. While
slow, this approach is particularly attractive because it gets to the
root of the problem by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere. Thus, unlike SRM it also addresses ecosystem risks such as
ocean acidification.
I believe that the Department of Energy should support research to
develop and test technology to directly scrub carbon dioxide from the
atmosphere at a level starting at several tens of millions of dollars
per year. I do not believe that more than modest support is warranted
for other strategies to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
As with power plants with carbon capture (CCS), once carbon dioxide
has been captured it must be disposed of. At the moment, the best
alternative is to do this via deep geologic sequestration. There are
significant regulatory challenges for such sequestration. At Carnegie
Mellon, we anchor the CCSReg project that is developing recommendations
on the form that such regulation should take. Details are available on
the web at www.CCSReg.org and are summarized in Attachment 4.
With respect to SRM, I believe that initial research support should
be provided via NSF beginning at a level of a few million dollars per
year. Indeed, both the policy and scientific work that I and my
colleagues and Ph.D. student (Katharine Rieke) have been doing in this
area have been conducted with support from NSF.
I argue that NSF should be the initial funding agency for two
reasons:

1. NSF does a good job of supporting open investigator
initiated research and we need a lot of bright people thinking
about this topic from different perspectives in an open and
transparent way before we get very far down the road of
developing any serious programs of field research.

2. In addition to natural science and engineering, NSF
supports research in the social and behavioral sciences.
Perspectives and research strategies from those fields needs to
be brought to bear on SRM as soon as possible.

We will not be able to learn everything we need to learn with
laboratory and computer studies. Once it becomes clear that we need to
be doing some larger scale field studies, then it would be appropriate
to engage NASA and or NOAA. In addition to small scale field studies,
it may also be possible to learn through more intensive studies of the
``natural SRM experiments'' that occur from time-to-time when volcanoes
inject large amounts into the stratosphere. NSF, NASA or NOAA would all
be able to prepare instrumentation and research plans to study such
events, and should be encouraged to do so.
I would argue against involving DoE. They need to stay focused on
the problems of decarbonizing the energy system.
While private funding should be encouraged for research and
development of technologies to scrub carbon dioxide out of the
atmosphere, steps should be taken to strongly discourage private
funding for SRM since that holds the potential to create a special
interest that might push to move past research to active deployment.
I believe that any research in SRM should be open and transparent.
For this reason, and for reasons of international perceptions, 1 argue
strongly that research on SRM should not be undertaken by DOD or by the
intelligence communities.
Finally, I turn to the issue of global governance and SRM--the
subject of the two workshops I described above. People do lots of
things in the stratosphere today, most of which are pretty benign. So
long as it is public, transparent, and modest in scale, and informally
coordinated within the scientific community (e.g. by a group of leading
national academies, the international council of scientific unions
(ICSU), or some similar group) I believe there should be no constraints
on modest low-level field testing, done in an open and transparent
manner, designed to better understand what is and is not possible, what
it might cost, and what possible unintended consequences might result.
That said, I think it likely that pressure will grow for some more
formal international oversight. For that reason I think one of the
first objectives in a U.S. research program should be to give the
phrase ``modest low-level field testing'' a more precise definition.
Figure 1 illustrates one way to think about this issue. In this diagram
X, Y and Z define the limits to an ``allowed zone.'' They refer
respectively to upper bounds on the amount of radiative forcing that an
experiment could impose, the duration of that forcing, and the possible
impact on ozone depletion (the surface of particles can provide
reaction sites at which ozone destruction could occur).
Initial research should explore whether these three axis are the
right ones, or whether there should be other or additional dimensions.



The ``allowed space'' might not be a simple cube. For example, as
Figure 2 suggests, if the scientific community thought it was important
to test a small number of particles that because of special properties
would be very long lived, but would have de minimus effect on planetary
forcing or ozone depletion, a more complex ``allowed space'' might be
called for.



I am not prepared to argue that there should be a formal treaty any
time soon that addresses these issues. However, I think there is a good
chance that pressure will grow for some form of international agreement
(perhaps just an agreement among major states that others can choose to
sign on to). For this reason we should start now to lay the scientific
foundation for defining such an ``allowed space.'' If work has not been
done before hand it might be very hard to introduce a reasoned
scientific argument if political momentum grows for serious
limitations--perhaps even an outright ban or ``taboo.'' For this reason
I think we should continue to promote discussion between the scientific
and foreign policy communities about what form(s) of international
agreement and enforcement (if any) would be most appropriate and what
sorts of scientific foundation they would require.

Attachments:
1. Short vita for M. Granger Morgan.
2. Copy of the paper ``The Geoengineering Option'' from Foreign
Affairs, 2009.
3. Copy of the opinion piece ``Research on Global Sun Block Needed
Now'' from Nature, 2010.
4. Summary of regulatory recommendations for deep geological
sequestration of carbon dioxide from the CCSReg project.




































Biography for Granger Morgan
M. Granger Morgan is Professor and Head of the Department of
Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University where he is
also University and Lord Chair Professor in Engineering. In addition,
he holds academic appointments in the Department of Electrical and
Computer Engineering and in the H. John Heinz III College. His research
addresses problems in science, technology and public policy with a
particular focus on energy, environmental systems, climate change and
risk analysis. Much of his work has involved the development and
demonstration of methods to characterize and treat uncertainty in
quantitative policy analysis. At Carnegie Mellon, Morgan directs the
NSF Climate Decision Making Center and co-directs, with Lester Lave,
the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center. Morgan serves as Chair
of the Scientific and Technical Council for the International Risk
Governance Council. In the recent past, he served as Chair of the
Science Advisory Board of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and
as Chair of the Advisory Council of the Electric Power Research
Institute. He is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a
Fellow of the AAAS, the IEEE, and the Society for Risk Analysis. He
holds a BA from Harvard College (1963) where he concentrated in
Physics, an MS in Astronomy and Space Science from Cornell (1965) and a
Ph.D. from the Department of Applied Physics and Information Sciences
at the University of California at San Diego (1969).

Chairman Gordon. Thank you. And Dr. Long is recognized. And
we need to use your--there you go.

STATEMENTS OF DR. JANE LONG, DEPUTY PRINCIPAL ASSOCIATE
DIRECTOR AT LARGE AND FELLOW, CENTER FOR GLOBAL STRATEGIC
RESEARCH, LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LAB

Dr. Long. Thank you. Okay, I hope the timer starts now. Mr.
Chairman and Members of the Committee, thank you for this
opportunity to talk to you.
My name is Jane Long. I am Principal Associate Director at
Large at Lawrence Livermore, and I am currently acting as the
Co-Chair of the National Commission on Energy Policies Task
Force on Geoengineering. Today, my comments represent my own
views, and not the views of either my laboratory or the NCEP
Task Force, which has just begun its work.
I am going to talk about geoengineering, about three
classes of geoengineering that were identified by the American
Meteorological Society: climate remediation, or taking carbon
dioxide out of the air; climate intervention, which is an
actual act to change the nature of the climate; and the third
category, which is a catch-all category. Most of my remarks
will focus on the second category, because you are interested
in governance, and this is where the governance issues largely
occur.
My only remark about the category of climate remediation in
my oral remarks today would be that there are fewer governance
issues associated with it, that the research, as Dr. Morgan has
pointed out, falls closely allied to CCS, carbon capture and
storage research currently being pursued by the Department of
Energy, and that this program should be expanded to include
this. From a governance perspective, there is a question about
whether the technology should be a public good, or we should
tap into the forces of the market, and I think that that
question depends on whether we end up having a price for
carbon. If we have a price for carbon, this technology could
easily be innovated in the private sector. If not, it is more
like picking up the garbage, and should be a public good.
Let me turn my attention now to climate intervention. I
really endorse the U.K. principles that were heard this
morning. I think they are extremely important, and I would like
to endorse those, and say that those are at the top of my list.
First of all, I think that the climate technology should be
a public good, and we should say, up front, that we are not
planning for deployment. If we start our research program by
saying we are planning for deployment, we will feel a lot of
pressure and a lot of pushback on whether people are against
it. A lot of people who are against the idea of geoengineering
are clearly for research, and we should not involve those at
this point.
There are four questions that we need to get after in the
national research governance format. One is what constitutes an
appropriate level of governance for specific types of research?
The second is, what are the guiding principles that should be
used to sanction the research? And then, given these
principles, what process should be used to sanction the
research? And then, how will the governance process engage
society?
Dr. Morgan has presented a concept for determining that
level of research which should proceed with what I will call
only ``normal governance''. I endorse that, and recommend that
you convene a National Academy of Science panel now to help
define what that bright line is, below which research can
proceed with impunity. This is critically important, because we
need to get started on research, and a lot of research is not
problematic, and getting a definition of what we can go ahead
with would be very important.
Then, we need to work on principles. I would like to add a
few principles to those you heard this morning, and that is:
beneficence should be a principle. We should have, we heard
transparency, we heard public good, we heard public
participation, we heard independent assessment of impacts, and
we heard governance before deployment.
But I would like to add to that, we need to have some
assessment that the benefits of the project, the potential
benefits of the project, clearly outweigh any risks that are
there. And some aspect of justice, ensuring a reasonable, non-
exploitive, well considered procedures, and that the risks are
fairly distributed.
In the research program, I think that the justice
perspective is one that should be quite clear. We should not be
taking advantage of people or peoples in doing research, but
beginning to ask the question in the research program that will
help us as we move towards possible deployment.
The review process then has to go forward, and let me just
make one clear point about that. We don't know how to govern
this research and do the review, but we have other models, and
what I would recommend now is that we start a program with mock
governance and mock review boards, that can try different
principles and different procedures and see how they work, much
as the institutional reviews for human subjects research try
different ways to proceed, and then assess how well they have
done.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment today, and I will,
the rest of my remarks are my written testimony. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Long follows:]
Prepared Statement of Jane Long
Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, thank you for this
opportunity to add my comments about geoengineering to the record. This
is a difficult and complex topic and your willingness to organize these
sessions is both courageous and admirable. I hope I can add a little to
the dialogue.
My academic background is geohydrology; I have worked in
environmental and resource problems for over 35 years. My experience
includes nuclear waste storage, geothermal energy, oil and gas
reservoirs, environmental remediation, sustainable mining, climate
science, energy efficiency, energy systems and policy, adaptation and
recent attention to geoengineering. I have worked at two national
laboratories, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and Lawrence Livermore
National Lab and have been a dean of engineering and science at
University of Nevada, Reno. I am a Senior Fellow of the California
Council on Science and Technology (CCST) and an Associate of the
National Academy of Sciences. In my current position, I am a fellow in
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's Center for Global Strategic
Research and Associate Director at Large for the laboratory. I work in
developing strategies for a new, climate friendly energy system and
currently chair the CCST's California's Energy Future committee which
is charged with examining how California could meet 80% reductions in
greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. I am also a member of the State of
California's Climate Change Adaptation Advisory Council. I currently
serve as co-chair of the National Commission on Energy Policy's (NCEP)
Task Force on Geoengineering. I work to understand and advance a full
spectrum of management choices in the face of climate change:
mitigation, adaption and now geoengineering.
My comments today reflect the perspective of my experience. They
are my own opinions and do not reflect positions taken by my laboratory
(Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) or the NCEP task force on
geoengineering I co-chair.

Introduction

Our climate is changing in response to massive emission of
greenhouse gases. First, we have to stop causing this problem. We have
to change our energy system, food system, transportation system,
industries and land use patterns. Even with mandatory concerted effort,
such massive change will take decades. During these same decades we
will continue to burn fossil fuels and add to the greenhouse gases we
have already emitted. This atmospheric perturbation will last for
centuries and will continue to warm our planet. We have created, and
will continue to create unavoidable risk of disruptions to our way of
life which may force us to spend more on protection (resistance),
change our way of life to accommodate the change (resilience), or
perhaps even to abandon parts of the Earth that are no longer habitable
by virtue of being under water or having too little fresh water
(retreat).
Because the carbon dioxide we have already emitted will be with us
for centuries, the problem of climate change cannot be ``solved'' in
the same sense that other pollution problems--such as ozone depletion--
have been solved by phasing out emissions over time. Climate change is
like a chronic disease that must be managed with an arsenal of tools
for many years while we struggle with a long term cure. In this future,
if climate sensitivity (the magnitude of temperature change resulting
from a doubling of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere)
turns out to be larger than we hope or mitigation proceeds too slowly,
we cannot rule out the possibility that climate change will come upon
us faster and harder than we--or the ecosystems we depend on--can
manage. No one knows what will happen, but we face an uncertain future
where catastrophic changes are within the realm of the possible.
In the face of this existential threat, prudence dictates we try to
create more options to help manage the problem and learn whether these
are good options or bad options. I believe this is the most fundamental
of ethical issues associated with our climate condition. We must
continue to strive to correct the problem. This is why scientists today
have become interested in a group of technologies commonly called
geoengineering that are aimed at ameliorating the harmful effects of
climate change directly and intentionally. Intentional modification of
the climate carries risks and responsibilities that are entirely new to
mankind. (We accept unintended but certain harm to climate from energy
production much more easily that we accept unintended harm through
intentional climate modification.) As we consider geoengineering, we
have to recognize that society has not been able to quickly or easily
respond to the climate change challenge. Consequently, the
geoengineering option isn't just a matter of developing new science and
technologies. It is also a matter of developing new social and
political capacities and skills.
As much as I think we should research geoengineering possibilities,
I think we should remain deeply concerned by the prospect of
geoengineering. We will not be able to perfectly predict the
consequences of geoengineering. Some effects may be irreversible and
unequally distributed with harm to some even if there is benefit to
many. Geoengineering could be a cause for conflict and a challenge for
representative government. Geoengineering might be necessary in the
future, but as we proceed to investigate this topic, we will need
extremely good judgment and a very large dose of hubris.
Three different classes of geoengineering have been identified
(American Meteorological Society, http://www.ametsoc.org/POLICY/
2009geoengineering
climate-amsstatement.html). The first is actively removing
greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. This has been called ``Climate
remediation'' or carbon dioxide removal (CDR) or ``carbon management''.
Climate remediation is similar in concept to cleaning up contamination
in our water or soil. The first problem is to stop polluting
(mitigation) and the second is to remove the contaminants (remediation)
and put them somewhere_for example filter CO2 out of the air
and pump it underground.
The second set of technologies has been called ``Climate
intervention'' where we act to modify the energy balance of the
atmosphere in order to restore the climate closer to a prior state.
Climate intervention has also been called solar radiation management
(SRM) or sun-block technology and some consider the technologies to be
a radical form of adaptation. If we cannot find a way to live with the
altered climate, we intervene to roll back the change.
The third is a catch-all category that includes technologies to
manage heat flows in the ocean or actions to prevent massive release of
methane in the melting Arctic. These technologies are less well
understood and developed, but the classification recognizes that not
all the ideas are in and, as well, we may wish to address some very
specific global or sub-global scale emergencies caused by climate
change.
I do not view any of these methods as stand-alone solutions, but
some or all of these could be integrated in a comprehensive climate
change strategy that starts with mitigation. A comprehensive climate
change strategy might include:

A steady, but aggressive transformation of the global
energy system to eliminate emissions with concurrent
elimination of air pollution in a few decades (mitigation)
Carbon removal over perhaps 50 to 100 years to return
to the ``safe zone'' of greenhouse gas concentrations (climate
remediation)
Time limited climate intervention to counteract prior
emissions and reductions in air pollution, tapering off until
greenhouse gases fall to a ``safe'' level (climate
intervention).
Specific focused actions to reverse regional climate
impacts such as preventing methane burps or melting Arctic ice
(technologies from the ``catch-all'' category)

My remarks below do not discuss the technologies themselves in any
depth as that has been done by others nor are they comprehensive. I
will discuss some of the implications for research and experimentation.
Where possible I will comment on existing US research programs and
their capacity or suitability to expand into geoengineering research.
As well, I will try to point to specific research topics that I have
not seen in the geoengineering discourse up to now which are critical
for any future geoengineering capability. I will bring out specific
issues related to governance and international relations and some
possible approaches for dealing with these. Discussion of governance
and international relationships will focus mainly on climate
intervention methods which are in general a more difficult societal and
research problem. I will also some important research needed in climate
science which is also critical for geoengineering.

Climate remediation technologies

Climate remediation technologies are with some exceptions
relatively safe and non controversial. They address the root cause of
the problem, but these methods are slow to act. It would take years if
not decades to reduce the concentration of CO2 in the
atmosphere through air capture and sequestration. These technologies
are expensive when compared to the option of not emitting CO2
in the first place. It costs less to capture concentrated streams of
CO2 in flue gas or to use non-emitting sources of energy in
lieu of burning fossil fuel, so many carbon removal technologies are
likely to remain uneconomical until we have exhausted the opportunities
for mitigation. However, research into these ideas is important because
at some point we may decide that the atmospheric concentrations must be
brought down below stabilized levels. If we don't want to wait many
hundreds of years for this to happen through natural processes, we may
have to actively remove greenhouse gases. As we begin to understand
more about the costs of adapting to unavoidable climate change,
remediation technologies may become a cost effective option. Developing
carbon removal technology that is reliable, safe, scalable and
inexpensive should be the goal of a research program.
Some of the more promising technologies in carbon removal are
closely related to carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies. CCS
offers the most, if not only promise for preventing greenhouse gas
emissions from fossil fuel-fired electricity generation. For CCS, we
contemplate separating out CO2 after combustion of coal and
then pumping it deep underground into abandoned oil or gas fields or
saline aquifers. The technologies for removing CO2 from air
(air capture) and flue gas are similar.
In general, CCS is expected to be much less expensive than air
capture, but air capture does have some possible advantages over CCS.
It may be possible to site air capture facilities near a stranded
source of energy (remote geothermal or wind power for example, or in
the middle of the ocean) and also near geologic formations that are
capable of holding the separated gases. This arrangement might obviate
some of the infrastructure costs associated with capturing CO2
at a power plant and having to choose between locating the power plant
near the geologic storage reservoir and transmitting the power to the
load, or conversely locating the power plant near load and conveying
the CO2 to the storage facility. Further the cost of capture
is likely to decline. In the long-run these considerations may become
dominant.
After capturing the CO2, it has to be put somewhere
isolated from the atmosphere. Currently, we are considering geologic
disposal: pumping the CO2 deep underground. There are
important policy and legal issues associated with geologic storage. The
implementer must obtain rights to the underground pore space and be
able to assign liability for accidents and leakage etc. These same
issues exist for storage of CO2 in a CCS project and the US
CCS project currently deals with them. However, Keeling (R. Keeling,
Triage in the greenhouse, Nature Geoscience, 2, 820-822, 2009) has
suggested that the amount of CO2 we may need to remove from
the atmosphere is such that we will have to consider disposal in the
deep ocean as a form of environmental triage. Ocean dumping would
clearly involve much more serious governance issues, similar to climate
intervention which are discussed below.
Because of the similarities with CCS, it makes some sense to
augment current research by DOE's Fossil Energy program in CCS to
include separation technology related to air capture of CO2.
There are technical synergies in the chemical engineering of these
processes and the researchers are in some cases the same. The research
is complementary. The governance issues related to geologic storage are
exactly the same.
A second governance issue has to do with intellectual property
(IP). If there is no significant price for carbon, and carbon removal
becomes a function of the government (like picking up the garbage) we
might consider making any air capture technology we develop freely
available throughout the world as it is in our interest to have anyone
who is able and willing help clean up the atmosphere. If however, there
is a price for carbon, then IP could help to motivate innovation to
gain a competitive edge which is also in the interest of society.
Unfortunately, we don't have a price for carbon now, and we are not
sure whether we will, so the choice is difficult.
Beyond air capture, the Royal Society report on Geoengineering (J.
Shepherd et al., Geoengineering the Climate: Science, Governance and
Uncertainty, The Royal Society, London, 2009 http://royalsociety.org/
geoengineeringclimate/) lists a number of other carbon removal
technologies. Among these, augmentation of natural geologic weathering
processes and biological methods would fit well within either NSF's
science programs or in DOE's Office of Science program. For the near
term, research will involve the kind of modeling studies and field
experiments that are already a mainstay of these programs. NSF is
focused on university researchers and is extremely competitive which
means that high risk ideas will likely not be funded. In the DOE
program, there is more focus on mission, high risk research, and
national laboratory researchers. There should be room for both. The US
Geological Survey will certainly have highly applicable expertise.
A climate remediation program should also provide money to
investigate issues such as the possibility of putting out coal mine and
peat fires that continually burn underground and emit large amounts of
CO2 and other greenhouse gasses. With the demise of the US
Bureau of Mines, there is no clear place for this research, but might
be best done through the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
Biological methods of remediation might include genetically modified
organisms (GMO) that would raise governance issues. Early stage
research would likely be covered under existing review and governance
mechanisms in place by NIH or NSF for other GMO research. Any large
scale experimentation would also raise governance issues similar to
those associated with climate interventions which are discussed below.
Similarly, ocean iron fertilization methods have governance issues
similar to climate intervention methods and may also be governed by
existing treaties such as the London Convention or the Law of the Sea.

Climate intervention

Climate model simulations have shown that it is possible to change
the global heat balance and reduce temperatures on a global basis very
quickly with aerosol injection in the stratosphere for example. We also
have experience with natural analogues in the form of volcanic
eruptions which emit massive amounts of sulfates that cause colder
temperatures for months afterwards. So we have a pretty good idea that
some methods could be effective at reducing global temperatures.
Climate intervention techniques include a variety of controversial
methods aimed at changing the heat balance of the atmosphere by either
reducing the amount of radiation reaching the Earth or reflecting more
into outer space. The common features of these technologies are that
they are inexpensive (especially compared to mitigation), they are fast
acting, and they are risky. Some could lower temperatures within months
of implementation, but they do not ``solve'' the problem in that they
do nothing to reduce the excess greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. So,
if we reflect more sunlight and don't reduce CO2 in the
atmosphere, the oceans will continue to acidify, severely stressing the
ocean ecosystems that support life on Earth. And if we keep adding
CO2 the atmosphere we will eventually overwhelm our capacity
to do anything about it with geoengineering intervention. So, climate
intervention cannot be a stand-alone solution. It is at best only a
part of an overall strategy to reduce atmospheric concentrations of
greenhouse gases and adapt to the unavoidable climate change coming
down the pike. Climate interventions are unlikely to be deployed until
or unless we become convinced that the risks of climate change plus
climate intervention are less than the risks of climate change alone.
There are ideas for putting reflectors in space and increasing the
reflectance of the oceans, land or atmosphere (see the Royal Society
Report on Geoengineering). Some propose global interventions such as
injection of aerosols (sulfate particles or engineered particles) in
the stratosphere and the Novim report spells out the required technical
research in some detail (J.J. Blackstock et al., Climate Engineering
Responses to Climate Emergencies, Novim, Santa Barbara, CA 2009 http://
arxiv.org/pdf/0907.5140). Others propose more regional or local
interventions, such as injecting aerosols in the Arctic atmosphere only
in the summer to prevent the ice from melting (On the possible use of
geoengineering to moderate specific climate change impacts, M.
MacCracken, Env. Res. Letters, 4/2009, 045107). Even more local and
perhaps the most benign is the idea of painting rooftops and roadways
white to reflect heat.
The more global and effective these methods, the more they harbor
the possibility of unintended negative consequences which may be
unequally distributed over the planet and extremely difficult to
predict. We can expect few if any unintended consequences from painting
roofs white, the benefit will be real and a cost-effective part of our
arsenal. However, this action alone is not enough of an intervention to
hold back runaway climate change. On the other hand, we could reverse
several degrees of temperature rise by injecting relatively small
amounts of aerosols in the stratosphere (because a few pounds of
aerosols will offset the warming of a few tons of CO2), but
it may be difficult to predict exactly how the weather patterns will
change as a result. Although the net outcome may be positive, certain
regions may experience deleterious conditions. It will be very
difficult to determine whether these deleterious conditions arise
simply from climate variability or are due to the intentional
intervention. In general, methods with high potential benefits also
have higher risks of unintended negative consequences.
Climate intervention might be part of an overall climate strategy
in ways and with difficulties that we have only begun to contemplate.
Climate model simulations have shown that if we were to suddenly stop a
global intervention, then the global mean temperature will quickly
return to the trajectory it was following before the intervention. This
means that temperatures could increase very rapidly upon cessation of
the intervention which would likely to be devastating. Climate
intervention may only provide temporary respite, and ironically would
be difficult to stop. However, we already emit millions of tons of
aerosols now in the form of air pollution which is masking an unknown
amount of global warming, perhaps as much as 5 or 10 degrees C. So, as
we clean up this air pollution to protect human health or stop emitting
air pollution as we shut down coal-fired electricity generation in
mitigation efforts, we will also cause a significant increase in short-
term warming. (Long term warming remains largely a function of the
concentration of CO2.) We may want to offset this additional
warming by injecting some aerosols in the stratosphere where they are
even more effective at reflecting radiation. This plan might cause much
less acid rain and improve human health impacts compared to the power
plant and automobile emissions while continuing to mask undesirable
warming. It is possible that the ``drug'' of aerosol injection could be
a type of ``methadone'' as we withdraw from fossil fuels.
Beyond technical problems, international strife is possible. State
or non-state actors may think it is in their interest to deploy
geoengineering without international consensus. Could a country
suffering from climate change see a benefit to the technology and not
have sufficient concern with disrupting the rainfall in other
countries? Any indication that a nation is doing research solely to
protect their national interests will be met with appropriate suspicion
and hostility. On the other hand, the possibility of reaching of global
consensus to deploy these technologies seems utterly impossible. Who
gets to determine what intervention we deploy or even what the goal of
the intervention should be?
Climate intervention techniques offer tremendous potential benefits
to life on Earth, at the same time they are hugely vulnerable to
mismanagement and may have severe and unacceptable unintended
consequences and risks. For all these reasons, practically no one
thinks we should deploy these technologies now if ever and, we should
remain skeptical and appropriately fearful of deploying these
technologies at any point in time. But many, including me, think we
should gain knowledge about them in a research program simply to inform
better decisions later and to be sure we have explored all options in
light of the enormity of the threat. It would be especially better to
know more about what could go wrong and what not to do.

In light of these concerns, how should a research program proceed?
The nature of research into climate intervention may call for a
focus on public management rather than private sector motivation. There
is much at stake_literally the future of the planet. There are distinct
problems with letting companies with vested financial interests in
intervention technology have a say in the intervention choices we make.
For example, when California decided it no longer had to dig up old
leaking gas tanks because the bacteria in the soil were able to
remediate the contamination if just left alone (intrinsic remediation),
the industry that served to dig up leaking gas tanks fought the ruling.
Not digging up the tanks was in the interest of society, but the
industry was concerned with its financial future. We do not want to
place the deliberations about how to modify the climate in a profit
making discourse. The role of the private sector and public-private
partnerships should be carefully constructed to avoid these problems.
The United States Government should make it absolutely clear we are
not planning for deployment of climate intervention technology. Many
serious people worry that geoengineering will form a distraction from
mitigation. Many are worried because they do not see the societal
capacity to make mitigation decisions commensurate with the scale of
the climate problem. Others find the very thought of geoengineering
abhorrent and unacceptable. However, many people who are against
deployment are
in favor of research. By making it clear we are not planning to
deploy we can take some of the political pressure off the research
program and allow more room for honest evaluation.
A very good example of how this might work can be found in the
Swedish nuclear waste program. In 1980, Sweden voted to end nuclear
power generation in their country in the early part of the 21St
century. Then, they began a program to build a repository to dispose of
nuclear waste. Opposition to the nuclear waste program was not saddled
by the question of the future of nuclear power. The program proceeded
in an orderly manner and with extensive public interaction and
consultation focused narrowly on solving the nuclear waste problem.
They jointly developed a clear a priori statement of the requirements
for an appropriate site before the site was chosen. Today, Sweden has
chosen a repository site which is supported by the local population and
is scientifically the best possible site in Sweden. (In contrast, the
goal of the American policy was to show that we could store waste in
order to have nuclear power, the repository site was chosen by Congress
without public consultation. Astonishingly, the site criteria were
established after the site was chosen. In the end we do not have a
successful nuclear waste storage program. See J. C.S. Long and R.
Ewing, Yucca Mountain: Earth-Science Issues at a Geologic Repository
for High-Level Nuclear Waste, Annual Review of Earth and Planetary
Sciences, Vol. 32: 363-401 May 2004) Likewise for geoengineering, a
perception that the purpose of the research program is to plan
deployment would saddle the research program with needless controversy.
We should be careful to state we are not planning deployment.
Second, as in the Swedish nuclear waste program, we should embed
public engagement in the research program from the very beginning. I
will discuss science and public engagement from three perspectives:
national governance, international interactions, and the requirement
for adaptive management.

National research governance:
In constructing a national research program, we have to be
concerned with these questions:

1. What constitutes appropriate levels of governance for
specific types of research?

2. What are the guiding principles and values that will be
used to sanction research?

3. Given these principles, what process will be used to
sanction proposed research?

4. How will the governance process engage society?

Types of research
One of the truly difficult problems in climate intervention
research has been pointed out by Robock et at (Science 29 Jan 2010, Vol
327, p 530). Namely, it is not possible to fully understand how a
specific technology will work on a global scale, over extended periods
of time without actual deployment. But we certainly would not want to
deploy an intervention without understanding how it works first. We
cannot plunge into deployment, so how should research proceed?
The first key point is that there are many types of research that
require no new governance. For example computer modeling studies that
simulate proposed interventions are clearly completely benign. On the
other hand, a proposal for full- or even sub-scale deployment with non-
trivial effects would clearly require a very high level of scrutiny.
So, the first task is to determine the scale and intensity of
experimentation below which research can proceed with impunity. What
amount of perturbation, reversibility, duration, impact, etc falls
squarely within the existing bounds of normal research? I will call
this the ``bright line,'' even though in practice the line is likely to
be fuzzy and the characterization of this line is likely to be
difficult to express quantitatively. Never-the-less, if research falls
under the bright line, essentially no new governance is required.
There is no single bright line for all proposed climate
intervention research; the nature of the ``bright line'' is technology
dependent. Although the types of questions might be similar, the
specific questions we would ask about aerosol injection in the
stratosphere are completely different than the questions we would ask
about putting small bubbles on the surface of the ocean. So, when a
technology is sufficiently mature to be seriously considered for
expanded research, it will become necessary to understand the bright
line for that technology. The process and deliberation used by the
National Academy of Sciences/ National Research Council (NAS/NRC) is
ideal for determining this bright line. They assemble a panel of
experts, take testimony, and opine on complex scientific and social
issues. Two of the technologies currently under discussion, aerosol
injection in the atmosphere and cloud brightening, have probably
reached this level. An NAS/NRC panel should be convened now to
determine what research projects in these two technologies can proceed
with ``normal'' governance.
More difficult is the area of research above the bright line. The
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) mandates federal agencies to
prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for any major federal
action that significantly affects the quality of the human environment
or to conduct an Environmental Assessment when the effects of the
proposed action are uncertain. These and other environmental laws and
regulations may directly affect above the line research. Beyond these
environmental laws, governance principles and procedures are yet to be
developed.
Nanotechnology has attributes in common with climate intervention
research. There is great promise but risks that are hard to quantify.
How will nano-particles behave in the environment? Will they disrupt
natural processes in a way we cannot predict? One approach has been to
fund research on the toxicology of nano-particles to find out what
might wrong. At least part of a climate intervention research program
should be dedicated solely to understanding the potential negative
impacts and what might go wrong.

Principles
For research that rises above the bright line, there is a lot to be
learned from examining other research governance principles and
practices. Human subjects research is particularly apropos. The
Nuremburg trials after WWII revealed horrendous medical experiments on
human subjects by Nazi ``doctors''. America's shameful history of
research on syphilis in the 1960s and 1970s which horribly mistreated
the Tuskegee airman and subjected them to unimaginable suffering is
another salient reminder of how dangerous experiments may be when
detached from appropriate moral and ethical guidelines. These
experiences led to a commission charged with providing guidance for
future research governance. The Belmont report written by this
commission lays out principles which must be met in order to sanction
proposed research where humans are the subject of the research. (From
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belmont-Report: The
Belmont Report is a report created by the former United States
Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (which was renamed to
Health and Human Services) entitled ``Ethical Principles and Guidelines
for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research,'' authored by Dan
Harms, and is an important historical document in the field of medical
ethics. ) The principles are quite basic and we can easily see how they
might translate to principles that might apply to ``Earth subject''
research.
The three fundamental principles of the Belmont report are:

1. respect for persons: protecting the autonomy of all people
and treating them with courtesy and respect and allowing for
informed consent;

2. beneficence: maximizing benefits for the research project
while minimizing risks to the research subjects; and

3. justice: ensuring reasonable, non-exploitative, and well-
considered procedures are administered fairly (the fair
distribution of costs and benefits to potential research
participants.)

These principles stimulate a good discussion of possible governance
principles for geoengineering. For the first principle, there are
really two parts, respect and informed consent. The respect part
probably translates to ``Respect for all persons of the planet.''
Geoengineering research should not be frivolous, or dismissive of human
life. As well, life other than human is also an issue, so perhaps this
principle translates to ``respect for life on Earth''. Does the
proposed research exhibit respect for life on Earth?
The informed consent principle is perhaps the most important and
most vigorously evaluated principle in human subjects research review.
Proposals are rejected based on obfuscation of the research methods.
For example, a proposal for research on child molestation was recently
rejected. The proposer told parents he would be playing a game of Simon
Says with the children. What the proposer failed to tell the parents
was that he would ask the children to do things like ``suck my thumb''.
The proposal was denied based on lack of informed consent. The message
here is that the researcher obscured the procedure in order to get
consent from the parents. What is the moral equivalent of informed
consent for geoengineering research? I think it is at least in part
that the proposal methods, plans, analysis and even engineering should
be open and transparent. We might ask researchers for specific actions
to make their work transparent and collaborative. Say posting on a
specific website, or advertisements in new media. Beyond this, it is
not possible to get the informed consent of all life on Earth or even
all countries. The question will be who is informed and who has to
consent? How will the public and the democratic process be involved?
These are matters for public deliberation.
The beneficence principle applies essentially without change. It is
perhaps the most straightforwardly applicable of the three. The
benefits of the research should outweigh the risk of unintentional harm
to life on Earth. The research must be aimed at accomplishing a benefit
and must not intentionally do harm. To demonstrate this, proposers
should take actions such as modeling their results, evaluating natural
analogues, assessing potential impacts, and other due-diligence
measures that, in the end, must be evaluated by judgment in review.
Again, the question is, who reviews? Who gets to sanction the research?
We can examine the review process used for human subjects and other
controversial research and learn more about what we should do for
climate intervention research.
The third principle, justice, requires somewhat different
articulation for geoengineering, but the basic ideas apply. The intent
of this principle is to avoid experiments that take unfair advantage of
a class of vulnerable people (prisoners or children for example) for
the benefit of others. In the case of Earth subject research, the issue
might be this: does the proposed activity sacrifice the interests of
one group of people for the benefit of everyone else? I would think
that at the research level, the answer to this question should be
categorically ``no'', the research does not gain information about a
proposed method at the expense of vulnerable populations. Proposers
could be required to show how and why they expect their research to be
fair. The problem will become more difficult as research reaches
subscale or full scale deployment. If some parts of the Earth are
harmed by the intervention, will there be compensation, how much and
from whom? How will causation be established? Worse, is it fair to
deprive some countries of the right to choose the temperature? These
questions themselves must be topics for research and public
deliberation.
There are of course major differences between the ethics governing
medical research on human subjects and Earth subject research. One of
the most interesting is that the need for research governance is
diminished over time for medical research. Eventually, if the research
is successful, protocols with statistical results to support them are
obtained. The research results can be used to set standards of practice
and the ethics become ethics of normal medical practice. The need for
research review declines with time. In the case of geoengineering the
research aspects are likely to continue indefinitely, and may become
more acute with time. We cannot do double-blind studies. We cannot have
a statistical sample of Earths. At some level, geoengineering, will
always be research and always require research-ethics type governance.
And the worst case from a risk perspective is actual implementation.
Whereas in medical research, the need for governance subsides over
time, for geoengineering, governance will get more and more pronounced
over time, until or unless the idea is abandoned.

Review Process

In human subjects research, Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) are
vested with the authority to review and sanction research. These boards
review the research protocols and procedures to insure they meet
ethical standards. If the IRB approves the research, then the
institution is free to allow the research to be conducted. If the IRB
disapproves, the institution may not conduct the research as proposed.
The IRB cannot decide that the research will be done, only that it may
be done. IF the IRB disapproves, the institution must comply with the
ruling and cannot allow the research to continue.
There are perhaps three salient features of the IRBs that control
the outcomes. First, they are part of the research institution. They
are not an external body. However, once appointed, they are
independent. Second, their rulings are not based on specific
regulations. They are based on principles which are derived mainly from
the Belmont report. Third, the board membership is defined by federal
code: http://www.accessdata.fda.Rov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfCFR/
CFRSearch.cfm?fr=56.107. This guidance specifies that each IRB must
have at least five people, members must include those qualified to
review the research and members from the community. So, it is the
principles and the board appointments that insure the quality of the
IRB decisions.
It is notable that IRB's from around the country meet regularly
together and present prior cases without revealing their ultimate
decisions until after the cases are discussed. Then the board that
presented the case reveals the decision they actually made. In this
way, the boards gain insight and skill at making difficult rulings. The
point is, their rulings are not prescriptive, they are based on
judgment and good judgment requires learning.
The IRB's have public members in order to protect public interests.
Even so, dissatisfaction with this process arises from a sense that
IRBs end up rubber-stamping research protocols, do not deliberate
conflict of interest issues, and do not engage in any real public
dialogue about values. Consequently, researchers and social scientists
are experimenting with new models to engage the public in human
subjects research.
Given the problems with governance of human subjects research, it
would be wise to develop a program that seeks to propose and test
research governance and engagement models. One of the best ways to
learn about what works is to go through exercises in mock governance.
For example, an institution or project could try out a governance
process in a ``moot court'' type trial such as this:

A draft set of guiding principles for research is
given to blue and red teams. They might start with the
principles outlined above for example. Both teams should
include scientists, but also might include members of the
public or social scientists.

Blue teams would prepare mock (or real!) research
proposals for geoengineering field tests and gives these to the
red teams. For example, a team may propose an Arctic sulfate
injection or mid ocean for cloud whitening trial.

Red teams prepare critiques of the blue team
proposals. The job of the red team is to try to find the
weaknesses in the blue team proposal and bring these to light.

Both teams present the research and critique
respectively to a mock review board at the meeting following
the draft guidelines/principles. We might choose the people for
the mock board as a mix of scientific backgrounds and a strong
mix of public interest members as well as ethicists or
philosophers_ie far beyond the IRB membership as specified in
the federal statute.

The mock board uses the draft principles to evaluate
the proposals. They could issue a mock ruling to sanction the
research, turn the proposal down, or perhaps recommend
additional measures for due diligence.

Everyone discusses the process_did the principles
cover the important issues? _was the process appropriate? How
might the process go wrong? The goal should be to identify all
salient lessons learned.

Do this again changing the process as appropriate.

Another set of exercises are being tried in the field of
nanotechnology research to incorporate the values of society. David
Gustin, for example, describes experiments in ``anticipatory
governance'' (Gustin, Innovation policy: not just a jumbo shrimp,
Nature, Vol 454/21, August 2008). There are three parts to this
process. The first part is designed to educate the public about the
nature of the research and to bring public deliberation of values into
the open. The second part is to have scientists and the public
collaborate on imagining how the future might unfold given new
technology and social trends. Gustin calls this ``anticipatory
knowledge''. Discussions then give voice to public concerns about the
future. Finally, the public engagement and anticipatory knowledge are
integrated with the research. For example, social scientists and
humanists have become ``embedded'' in nanotechnology research labs.
They help the scientists reorient their work in more socially
acceptable directions. This could also be a very good model for
geoengineering. It would be possible to create a geoengineering forum
where publics could be informed and express concerns. Exercises that
highlight the possible futures with and without geoengineering would
help all to understand how we should focus. Finally, keeping social
scientists are part of any scientific research team may help with both
guiding the research towards more socially acceptable directions and
also help scientists with communication and outreach.
There is no absolute clear answer to the question how to govern
geoengineering research. The fact is that we need research and
experimentation to understand how to govern this research, ie research
and experimentation on how to govern research with public engagement.
It is likely that research governance models will be different for
different types of technologies and there will not be a one-size-fits-
all governance model. As technologies reach the stage of research that
approaches the ``bright line'', specific governance models should be
explored and evaluated.

International governance:
Geoengineering research has the potential to cause international
conflict. Tensions could easily rise if countries perceive that the
research is being conducted solely for national interests. If
geoengineering research programs became part of defense research
programs, it would certainly convey the message that the goal was to
advance national interests. Consequently, research programs should
explicitly only develop technology that will have international
benefits. Research should not be managed by national defense programs
(J. J. Blackstock and J. C. S. Long, The politics of Geoengineering,
Science, Vol 327, p. 527, 29 Jane 2010.)
Secrecy also has the potential to create tension and conflict. It
is important that geoengineering research be conducted in the open with
results published in the open literature. Especially in the early
stages, a pattern of trust and consultation will be critical to a
future that might well require agreement and collaboration. Inclusion
of international scientists in a national research program or the
establishment of international research programs would have
tremendous benefits in both expanding the knowledge base and as an
investment in future collaboration.
In starting down a research path, we must remember that critical
decisions about deployment may be needed someday and that these
decisions should not be made unilaterally. We should be extremely
careful not to increase tensions or misperceptions that would make
these decisions even harder. On the other hand, there is less and less
confidence that all affected nations would ever be able to come to an
agreement and sign a treaty to support a single set of actions. Such a
treaty may still be our goal, but there are other strategies that can
help us to make good choices together. I am fond of a quotation from
the famous French sociologist, Emil Durkheim in which he noted: ``Where
mores are strong, laws are unnecessary. Where mores are weak, laws are
unenforceable.'' In that spirit, we may hope that good cooperative
relationships in geoengineering research and research governance may
help to develop common norms of behavior and it may be these norms that
provide the capacity to make good collaborative decisions in the
future.

Adaptive management
Climate is a complex, non-linear system with many moving parts.
When we set about to intentionally intervene in climate outcomes, there
will always be uncertainty about whether our chosen actions will result
in the desired outcomes. An essential feature of any climate
intervention will be the need to provide for adaptive management, also
known as ``learning by doing''. If we are to use adaptive management in
a climate intervention it means that we

1. Choose to make an intervention,

2. Predict the results of the intervention,

3. Monitor the results of the intervention,

4. Compare the observations to the predictions,

5. Decide if we are going in the right direction and

6. Make a new set of decisions about what to do.

(See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adaptive-management.).
In the real world it is very hard to actually do adaptive management.
First, it is difficult enough to make a decision to act. To then
change this decision becomes confusing and politically negative.
Consequently, successful adaptive management establishes a structure
for the adaptive modification a priori. So, regular intervals and
formats are established for comparing observations with predictions and
a formal requirement is put in place for deciding whether or not and
when to change directions. When this process is specified up front, it
can avoid the political fallout of changing direction. Part of a
geoengineering research program should examine the potential policy and
institutional frameworks for conducting adaptive management. In
particular it is important to determine a priori how the technical and
political parts of the process will interact. Will the deciding entity
be a board made up of scientists and policy makers and perhaps members
of the public and social scientists?
Or should we structure a hierarchy of decision makers where higher
level boards have decisions about overall direction, but less control
of specifics?
Second, you must have a very good data base of observations. If you
haven't made extensive observations all along, how will you be able to
detect what is changing? This is not just a problem for geoengineering,
but for all of our climate strategies. The observation network we have
for climate related data is far too sparse and in some cases,
inadequately calibrated. We need a major commitment for all our climate
research to collecting and calibrating data relevant to climate change
on a continuous, ubiquitous basis and perpetual basis. This is a sine
qua non recommendation for any climate solution. We cannot rewind the
tape and go back to collect data that we failed to collect over time.
The observation network for climate is inadequate to our needs and this
is an extremely high priority for research dollars.
Third, you must be able to discern whether a change is attributable
to simple climate variability or to the specific intervention. The
science of detection and attribution of human effects on climate has
advanced tremendously in the past decades. But the challenge of
detecting and attributing changes to intentional, fairly short term
interventions has not been met. This must be a focus of research. As it
is strongly related to the existing climate science program, the
expanded work belongs there.
In the simplest terms, the scientific approach to attribution of
human induced climate change_whether through unintentional emissions or
intentional climate intervention_is to use climate models to simulate
climate behavior with and without the human activity in question. If
the results of the simulations including the activity clearly match
observations better than the results without the activity, then
scientists say they have ``fingerprinted'' the activity as causing a
change in the climate. Perhaps the most famous illustration in the
International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports shows two sets of
multiple model simulations of mean global temperature over the
twentieth century, one with and the other without emitted greenhouse
gases. On top of this plot, the actual temperature record lines up
squarely in the middle of the model results that included greenhouse
gas emissions. This plot is a ``fingerprint'' for human induced
warming. Scientists have gone far beyond mean global temperature as a
metric for climate change. Temperature profiles in the atmosphere and
ocean, the patterns of temperature around the globe and even recently
the time of peak stream flow have been used to fingerprint human
induced warming.
Structured climate model intercomparison projects are fundamental
to drawing fingerprinting inferences. No single model of the climate
gets it all right. Each climate model incorporates slightly different
approaches to approximating the complex physics and chemistry that
control climate outcomes. So, we use multiple models all running the
same problems. We can then examine a statistical sample of results and
compare this to data. In a form of ``wisdom of the crowd'', the mean of
all the model results has proven to be a better overall predictor of
climate than any single model.
The science of fingerprinting is becoming more and more
sophisticated. Increasingly, scientists are looking at patterns of
observations rather than a single number like mean temperature.
Patternmatching is a much more robust indicator of causality because it
is much harder to explain alternative causality for a geographic or
time-series pattern than for a single value of a single parameter. A
famous example of this was discerning between global warming caused by
emissions versus caused by a change in solar radiation. Solar radiation
changes could not account for the observed pattern of cooling of the
stratosphere occurring simultaneously with a warming of the
troposphere, but this is exactly what models predicted for emission
forced climate change. There exist ``killer metrics'' like this that
tightly constrain the possible causes of climate observations.
We are making progress on the ``holy grail'' of using present
observations to predict future climate states. Recently, Santer et al
showed that it possible to rank individual models with respect to their
particular skill at predicting different aspects of future climate.
Interestingly, the models fall into groups. The top ten models that get
the mean behavior right are different than the top ten models that get
the variability right. (Santer et al., PNAS 2009, Incorporating model
quality information in climate change detection and attribution
studies, http://www.pnas.org/content/106/35/14778.full?sid=e20c4c31-
5ab1-4f69-b541-5158e62e4baf).
Some think that the ability to detect and attribute intentional
climate intervention will be nearly impossible. The fingerprinting of
human induced climate change has been based on decades of data under
extremely large human induced perturbations. For climate intervention,
we contemplate much smaller perturbations and would like proof positive
of their consequences in a matter of years. Even though this is clearly
a big challenge, it is not hopeless. Neither should we expect a
panacea. We will be able to identify specific observations that certain
models are better at predicting and we will be able to find some
``killer metrics'' that constrain the possible causes of the
observations. In some respects, conclusive results will not be possible
and we will have to learn how to deal with this. Fingerprinting_
detection and attribution of human intervention effects on climate_must
be an important area for research if we are to be able to conduct
adaptive and successful management of geoengineering. As this topic is
closely interconnected to basic climate science, the program to extend
research into intentional intervention should belong in the US Climate
Science Program.
A geoengineering research program should include the development of
technology and capacity for adaptive management.

The ``Catch-All'' Category

Recent studies have shown vast amounts of methane, a powerful
greenhouse gas, are leaking from the Arctic Ocean floor. Billions of
tons of methane are stored in permafrost and will be released as the
frozen lands thaw. Methane is a green house gas that is approximately
25 times more powerful than CO2. Abrupt increases in methane
emissions have been implicated in mass extinctions observed in the
geologic record and could trigger runaway climate change again. (It is
the possibility of such runaway climate change that most clearly
supports the need for geoengineering research.) James Cascio recently
posed an idea for deploying genetically engineered methanotrophic
bacteria (bacteria that eat methane) at the East Siberian Ice Shelf
(http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/3793/). Is this possible? Could
bacteria survive in the Arctic? Could they eat the methane fast enough
to make a difference?
What are the risks? Could release of genetically modified
methanotropic organisms cause problems to the Arctic ecosystems? Is the
idea worth pursuing? This may be an idea with merit -or it may be a
very stupid idea.
Somewhere in the geoengineering research program there should be
funding to freely explore theoretical ideas and perform the modeling
and laboratory studies to determine which concepts are worthy of more
work, and which are completely impractical or too dangerous. This
should be a ``gated'' research program wherein small amounts of funding
are provided to explore many out-of-the-box ideas with thought
experiments, modeling and laboratory experiments as appropriate. At
this stage, none of the research ideas should require more than
traditional governance mechanisms provided by existing research
programs. At the end of this initial funding, the concepts would have
to be reviewed and if they are deemed to have promise, then they would
become eligible for more funding. If the ideas are found to be lacking
in merit, then they would be shelved. Several stages or gates should be
set up with increasingly higher bars so that a large number of ideas
can be generated at the first gate, but these are increasingly winnowed
down as we learn more about their practicality, dangers and
effectiveness.
Beyond this ``bottom-up'' approach, there should be a ``top-down''
research program that examines potential emergencies that could result
from climate change and then attempts to design interventions for these
specific situations. The primary climate interventions currently under
discussion attempt to reduce temperature. Although higher temperatures
that result from climate change will be a severe problem, I would argue
that other impacts of climate change might be more critical. For
example, one of the major impacts of climate change will be increased
water stress_we will need more water because it is hotter and there
will be less water because there will be more droughts. Water shortage
will lead to problems with food security. A choice to control
temperatures with aerosol injection for example might result in reduced
precipitation. Volcanic eruptions such as Pinatubo provide a natural
analogue for such aerosol interventions. Gillett et al. were able to
show that a result of these eruptions caused a reduction in
precipitation (Gillett, N.P., A.J. Weaver, F.W. Zwiers, and M.F.
Wehner, 2004: Detection of volcanic influence on global precipitation,
Geophysical Research Letters, 31, doi: 10.1029/2004GL020044.). So, we
might reduce temperatures with aerosols, but make hydrological
conditions worse. Reducing precipitation would clearly be a bad thing
to do. By looking only at what we know how to do (reduce temperatures)
vs what problem we want to solve (increase water supply), we could be
making conditions worse. Geoengineering research should not only be
structured around ``hammers'' we know about. We should also collect the
most important ``nails'' and see if we can design the right hammer.
Thus, we might try to develop methods that directly attack specific
climate impacts. Can we conceive of a way to control the onset,
intensity or duration of monsoons to ensure successful crops in India?
Can we conceive of a way to stop methane burps, or hold back melting
glaciers? Some part of a geoengineering research program should take
stock of the possible climate emergencies and then look for ideas that
would ameliorate these problems.

Conclusions

The above comments describe a number of measures we might take in
establishing a geoengineering research program. If we are to have a
successful research program we must be careful about public engagement,
principled actions, transparency, international interaction and
adaptive management. We will have to build the capacity to develop
rational options coupled to the capacity to make rational decisions
about deploying them. If we succeed, it may be that these capacities
spill over into other difficult climate problems. We may ask in the
end: Are we building the capacity to do geoengineering or using
geoengineering research to build capacity for any climate solution? If
we are lucky, the answer will be the latter.

Biography for Jane Long




Dr. Long is currently the Principal Associate Director at Large for
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory working on energy and climate.
She is also a Fellow in the LLNL Center for Global Strategic Research.
Her current interests are in managing climate change including
reinvention of the energy system, adaptation and geoengineering. From
2004 to 2007, as Associate Director, she led the Energy and Environment
Directorate for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The Energy
and Environment Directorate included programs in Earth System Science
and Engineering, Nuclear System Science and Engineering, National
Atmospheric Release Advisory Center, and the Center for Accelerator
Mass Spectrometry. In addition, the directorate included 12
disciplinary groups ranging from Earth sciences, to energy efficiency
to risk science. From 1997 to 2003 Dr. Long was the Dean of the Mackay
School of Mines. The Mackay School of Mines had departments of
Geological Sciences, Mining Engineering and Chemical Engineering and
Materials Science and Engineering as well as the Nevada Seismological
Laboratory, the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and the Keck Museum.
Dr. Long led the University of Nevada, Reno's initiative for renewable
energy projects and served as the Director of the Great Basin Center
for Geothermal Energy and initiated the Mining Life-Cycle Center. Prior
to this appointment, Dr. Long worked at Lawrence Berkeley National
Laboratory for 20 years. She served as Department Chair for the Energy
Resources Technology Department including geothermal and fossil fuel
research, and the Environmental Research Department. She holds a
bachelor's degree in engineering from Brown University and Masters and
Ph.D. from U. C. Berkeley.
Dr. Long has conducted research in nuclear waste storage,
geothermal reservoirs, petroleum reservoirs and contaminant transport.
For the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Long was chairman of the US
National Committee for Rock Mechanics, the Committee for Fracture
Characterization and Fluid Flow and a committee to recommend a research
program for the Environmental Management Science Program for DOE. She
served on the NAS/NRC Board on Radioactive Waste Management, as well as
several study committees under the aegis of this board, and had been a
member of the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems. In 2001, she
was appointed as a member, subsequently chair of the State of Nevada
Renewable Energy Task Force. She is an Associate of the National
Academies of Science, member of the Stanford University College of
Earth Sciences Advisory Board, the Energy and Environment and National
Security Visiting Committee for Brookhaven National Laboratory, the
Intercampus Advisory Board for the UC Energy Institute, the chairman
for the mitigation advisory committee of the NAS Koshland Science
Museum's Climate Change exhibition, and member of the Governor's Task
Force on California's Adaptation to Climate Change sponsored by the
Pacific Council. Dr. Long currently co-chairs the ``California's Energy
Future'' study being conducted by the California Council on Science and
Technology (CCST) and was recently elected as a Senior Fellow of CCST.
She is a member of the National Commission on Energy Policy's Task
force on Geoengineering. She has been a member of the UC Berkeley
Department of Nuclear Engineering Advisory Board, the Colorado School
of Mines Department of Geophysics Advisory Board, and the American
Geological Institute Foundation Board.

Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Dr. Long, and Dr. Barrett is
recognized.

STATEMENTS OF DR. SCOTT BARRETT, LENFEST PROFESSOR OF NATURAL
RESOURCE ECONOMICS, SCHOOL OF INTERNATIONAL AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS
AND THE EARTH INSTITUTE AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Dr. Barrett. Thank you very much, Chairman Gordon, and
thank you other Members for this opportunity.
Climate change is a real risk, and we have to do five
things to limit that risk. First, we need to reduce global
emissions of greenhouse gases. Second, we need to invest in
research and development to develop new technologies to allow
us to reduce emissions at lower cost in the future. Third, we
need to prepare to adapt, and to assist more vulnerable
countries to adapt. Fourth, we need to develop technologies
that can remove carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere.
And finally, we need to contemplate the possibility of
using geoengineering, which I will define as being a technology
that can address global warming without affecting the
concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Solar
radiation management [SRM] might be a shorthand for what I just
said.
I think it is helpful to look at this problem from two
different perspectives. One is from that of the perspective of
the world as a whole, and the other is the perspective of
individual countries.
Let us start with the perspective of the world as a whole.
I think there are four different options for thinking about
deployment of geoengineering. The first one would be we just
ban it, and there are a lot of people, I think, their first
instincts would be that we should ban it. But then, you have to
imagine going forward.
Suppose we are in the situation where we start to see the
worst fears of abrupt, catastrophic climate change appearing.
At that point, the only thing we could do that would have any
impact, would have an immediate impact, would be to use
geoengineering. So, I believe that a ban on geoengineering,
although I understand the instinct, I believe it would not be a
credible policy, or even a responsible policy.
The second thing we could do would be to rely entirely on
geoengineering, a quick fix and an easy way of dealing with
this problem. That would also be irresponsible, because this is
a risk problem, and that would be putting all our eggs in one
basket. Also, of course, the geoengineering that we are
discussing won't address other problems, such as ocean
acidification.
The third thing we might do is start using geoengineering,
actually fairly soon, in conjunction with, say, emission
reductions or other policies. And the fourth thing that we
might do would be to develop the technology, and to keep it in
reserve, should the moment arise in the future where we do face
this scenario of abrupt and catastrophic climate change.
I have looked at all four options, and I think a case can
be made for the last two. I think a case may not be made for
the first two.
So, let us look at this issue now from the perspective of
individual countries, and I think two scenarios are relevant.
One is the scenario of gradual climate change. This is kind of
the slow unfolding of climate change over time. And what we
know about this scenario is that it produces winners and
losers.
Now, the losers_and I have done some back of the envelope
calculations_the losers may find it in their interests to want
to use geoengineering to offset the effects of what I will call
global warming. The problem is that if that kind of climate
change creates winners and losers, the use of geoengineering
will also create winners and losers. So, this is a situation in
which there will be, I would say international tensions and
possibly conflict.
I actually think, though, that when you have a situation
like this, there are incentives there for the conflict to be
resolved, and I am going to come back to that a little bit
later. I don't worry about geoengineering wars.
The second scenario that I think is relevant would be
abrupt and catastrophic climate change. In that scenario,
opinion around the world is going to be very uniform, and a lot
of countries are going to want to contemplate the use of this
technology. So, I think in that scenario, clearly, you don't
have a problem of international conflict.
In both cases, though, I think we need to contemplate the
development now of rules, because rules will reduce
uncertainty, and uncertainty is something we want to manage
these risks. And in particular, I think we need rules for the
possible use of geoengineering, as well as for research and
development into geoengineering.
And the essential thing to understand about this is that we
also need rules, we need international arrangements to reduce
emissions, but the incentives for countries to reduce emissions
individually are relatively modest, even though collectively,
we would be much better off if all countries took action. So,
we have a colossal free-riding problem.
But geoengineering is exactly the opposite. It would be
something a country could do its own, and the costs, as we
understand them today, are sufficiently low that it may be in
one country's interest, or a small coalition of countries'
interests, to actually use it.
So, for the one issue, reducing emissions, you want to
encourage countries to act. On geoengineering, you want to do
the opposite. You want to restrain countries from acting, when
that action would be opposed and may possibly harm other
countries.
Now, what kind of rules would we need to address
geoengineering? I can think of seven that would be relevant
right now. The first is that we need to understand that
geoengineering is only one of, as I said, five things we need
to do to reduce the risks associated with climate change, and I
think that geoengineering should be embodied within an
agreement like the Framework Convention on Climate Change, so
we can balance all those risks.
Second, we should make that agreement open for all
countries to participate, since all countries would be
affected. Third, the focus of the agreement should be on what
countries can agree on, and not what they cannot agree on.
Fourth, there should be a requirement that states must declare,
announce that they will use geoengineering. There should be
prior information about that. Fifth, there should be an
obligation for countries to cooperate, to resolve any
conflicts. And finally, we should be seeking a seeking a
consensus. And then, finally, on research and development, we
should have transparency, and I would also encourage
international cooperation.
I think the final point to make is that we need not only to
understand the technology, but also, to build trust. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Barrett follows:]
Prepared Statement of Scott Barrett
There are two ways to look at the policy challenges posed by the
threat of global climate change. The first is ``top down,'' from the
perspective of the world as a whole. Looked at in this way, the
fundamental challenge is to reduce risk. The second is ``bottom up,''
from the perspective of each of nearly 200 countries. Looked at in this
way, the fundamental challenge is to realign incentives. Ultimately,
the aim of policy should be to realign incentives so that states will
make choices, either on their own or in concert with others, that serve
the same purpose as the first perspective_choices that reduce global
risks.
Reducing global risks requires that we do five things. First, we
need to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases. Second, we need to
invest in research and development and demonstration of new
technologies so that we can reduce global emissions substantially, and
at lower cost, in the future. Third, we need to adapt, and help
vulnerable countries to adapt. Fourth, we need to invest in
technologies that can directly remove greenhouse gases from the
atmosphere. Finally, we need to consider the possible role that
geoengineering can play in reducing global risks.
The important point is that geoengineering's role should be looked
at in the context of all the other things we need to do, just as these
other things should now be looked at in the context of us possibly
choosing to use geoengineering.

Defining geoengineering

The term ``geoengineering'' lacks a common definition. I take it to
mean actions taken deliberately to alter the temperature without
changing the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases. More
formally, the temperature is determined by the amount of incoming
shortwave radiation and outgoing longwave radiation. Actions to limit
concentrations of greenhouse gases seek to increase the amount of
longwave radiation emitted by the Earth. Geoengineering options, as
defined here, limit the amount of shortwave radiation absorbed by the
Earth.
Some people define the term more broadly, to include interventions
that remove greenhouse gases directly from the atmosphere. This
approach to reducing risks is very important. It was the fourth of the
five things I said we need to do to reduce risks. But it is very
different from technologies that reduce incoming shortwave radiation,
which is why I think it is better to distinguish between these
approaches. Industrial air capture, assuming that it can be scaled to
nearly any level, would be a true backstop technology. It is a nearly
perfect substitute for reducing emissions. Changes in shortwave
radiation_as defined here, ``geoengineering'' techniques_are an
imperfect substitute for efforts to reduce emissions.
There are four basic ways to change incoming shortwave radiation_by
increasing the amount of solar radiation reflected from space, from the
stratosphere, from low-level clouds that blanket the skies over parts
of the ocean, and from the Earth's surface. There are significant
differences as between these approaches. There are interesting
questions as to whether one approach may be better than the others,
whether combinations of approaches may be better still, and whether new
approaches, as yet unimagined, may be even better. In my testimony, I
shall ignore all these distinctions and consider ``geoengineering'' as
a generic intervention.

Geoengineering and related risks

From the perspective of risk, reducing emissions is a conservative
policy. It means not putting something into the atmosphere that is not
currently in the atmosphere. Energy conservation is an especially
conservative policy for reducing climate change risks.
Adaptation lowers the damages from climate change. It would
therefore reduce the benefit of cutting emissions. In other words,
adaptation is a substitute for reducing emissions. It is often asserted
that these approaches are complementary. What people mean by this,
however, is that we will need to do both of these things. This is true;
we should reduce emissions now and we will need to adapt in the future
and make investments today that will help us to adapt in the future.
But it is also true that the more we reduce emissions now, the less we
will need to adapt in the future; and the more able we are to adapt to
climate change in the future, the less we need to reduce emissions now.
R&D and demonstration is a complement to emission reductions. As we
invest more in these activities, the costs of reducing emissions will
fall. As we do more R&D, we will therefore want to reduce emissions by
more; and the more we want to reduce emissions, the more we will want
to spend on R&D.
Air capture is a substitute for reducing emissions, but it could be
a more flexible option. Emission reductions, by definition, cannot
exceed the ``business as usual'' level. Air capture, by contrast, can
potentially remove more greenhouse gases from the atmosphere than we
add to it. Only air capture can produce ``negative'' emissions.
Geoengineering is also a substitute for reducing emissions. It
would be used to reduce climate change damages. One reason often
mentioned for not considering geoengineering is the fear that, if it
were believed that geoengineering would work, less effort would be
devoted to reducing emissions. But if we knew that geoengineering would
work, and if the costs of geoengineering were low relative to the cost
of reducing emissions, then it would make sense to reduce emissions by
less.
As noted before, however, geoengineering is an imperfect substitute
for reducing emissions. For example, geoengineering would not address
the problem of ocean acidification. Also, we don't know if
geoengineering will work, or how effective it will be, or what its full
side effects will be. We may contemplate using geoengineering to reduce
climate change risks, but using geoengineering would introduce new
risks. It would mean trying to reduce the risks of one planetary
experiment (adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere) by carrying out
another planetary experiment (reducing shortwave radiation). As
compared with reducing emissions by promoting energy conservation,
geoengineering is a radical approach to reducing climate change risks.
We need to be careful how we think about this. We can reduce
emissions somewhat by means of energy conservation, even using existing
technologies. To reduce emissions dramatically, however, will require
other approaches. It is difficult to see how emissions could be reduced
dramatically without expanding the use of nuclear power. This may mean
spread of this technology to countries_many of them nondemocratic_that
currently lack any experience in using it, increasing the risk of
proliferation. It would certainly mean the need to dispose of more
nuclear waste. Abatement of emissions can thus also involve risks.
I mentioned before that ``air capture'' is a near perfect
substitute for reducing emissions. But if the carbon dioxide removed
from the atmosphere were stored in geologic deposits, it might leak out
or affect water supplies. If it were put into the deep ocean, it may
harm ecosystems the importance of which we barely understand. It would
also, after a very long time, be returned to the atmosphere. This
technology also involves risks.
The main point I am trying to make here is that we face risk-risk
tradeoffs. Geoengineering would introduce new risks even as it reduced
others. But the same is true, more or less, of other approaches to
reducing climate change risk. Adaptation maybe an exception (we don't
yet know this; there may be some kinds of adaptation that introduce new
risks), but adaptation, like geoengineering, is an imperfect substitute
for reducing emissions.
I can imagine some people thinking that we can address the
challenge entirely through energy conservation and by substituting
renewable energy for fossil fuels. Some people might think that we can
do this while also closing down all our existing nuclear power plants.
It might even be believed that we could do this without having to
remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it underground.
All these choices are certainly feasible. But they will also be costly.
The question is whether people are willing to bear this cost in order
to reduce the associated risks.
Even if we make all these choices, risks will remain. The threat of
climate change has now advanced to the stage where every choice we make
requires risk-risk tradeoffs. Many people believe that it is imperative
that we limit mean global temperature change to 2 degrees Celsius.
Indeed, some people believe that we ought to limit temperature change
to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. Due to ``climate sensitivity'' and
long delays in thermal responses, however, there is a chance we may
overshoot these targets, even if we reduced global emissions to zero
immediately. People who believe we must stay within these temperature
limits should be especially open to the idea of using geoengineering.
Alternatively, if they perceive that geoengineering is the greater
threat, then they should reconsider the imperative of staying within
these temperature change bounds.

Policy options for deployment

There are four main options.
First, we could ban geoengineering. One reason for doing so would
be that use of geoengineering poses unacceptable risks. Another reason
would be that, if use of geoengineering were banned, efforts to reduce
emissions would be shored up.
One problem with this proposal is that, as already mentioned, our
other options also pose risks. We need to be rational and consistent in
how these risks are balanced.
Another problem is that a ban lacks credibility. Suppose that our
worst fears about the future start to come true, and we are confronting
a situation of ``runaway climate change.'' At that point, adaptation
would help very little. Air capture would reduce concentrations only
over a period of decades, and because of thermal lags it would take
decades more before these reductions translated into significant
temperature change. Meanwhile, the climate changes set in motion could,
and probably would, be irreversible. The only intervention that could
prevent ``catastrophe'' would be geoengineering. If we had banned its
use before this time, we would want to change our minds. We would
change our minds.
In a referendum thirty years ago, voters in Sweden supported a
phase-out of nuclear power. Today, the government says that new
reactors are needed to address the threat of climate change. Polls
indicate that the public supports this change. Bans can be, and often
are, reversed.
Second, we could make geoengineering the cornerstone of our climate
policy, and not bother to reduce emissions or do the other things I
said we needed to do. One reason would be that this would spare us from
having to incur costs in the short
term. Another is that we wouldn't need to take action until
uncertainties about climate change were revealed. Geoengineering would
be a ``quick fix.''
A problem with this proposal is that we may find that
geoengineering does not work as expected. It may not reduce temperature
by much, or it may change the spatial distribution of climate. It may,
and probably would, have unexpected side effects. We know it would not
address ocean acidification. But it might also fail to address the
``catastrophe'' we face at that particular time, even if worked
precisely as expected. For example, this catastrophe may be due to
ocean warming, which geoengineering could alter only over a long period
of time. Putting all our eggs, as it were, in the geoengineering basket
would be reckless.
Third, we could use geoengineering soon and in combination with
emission reductions, as suggested by Wigley (2006). By using
geoengineering soon, we could prevent global mean temperature from
increasing, or from increasing by much. By reducing emissions we could
avoid serious climate change in the future. We could limit ocean
acidification. We could also avoid the need to use geoengineering in
the future. As noted before, it is extremely unlikely that we could
limit global mean temperature change to 1.5 degrees Celsius by reducing
emissions only. The goal is likely to be achievable only if we used air
capture or geoengineering or a combination of the two approaches in
addition to reducing emissions. By extension, the same may also be true
for meeting the more modest but still very ambitious goal of limiting
mean global temperature change to 2 degrees Celsius.
Finally, we might hold geoengineering in reserve, and use it only
if and when signs of ``abrupt and catastrophic'' climate change first
emerged. The advantage in this proposal is that we would avoid the
risks associated with geoengineering until the risks of climate change
were revealed to be substantial. The disadvantage is that, when we
finally used geoengineering, we might discover that it does not work as
expected, or that it cannot prevent the changes taking place at that
time.
Overall, the third and fourth options have merit. I cannot see the
case for the first and second options.

Implications for R&D

Having now contemplated when we might one day use geoengineering,
let me now turn to the question of near-term decisions to carry out
R&D.
A ban on R&D would expose the world to serious risks. Suppose we
face a situation of ``abrupt and catastrophic'' climate change, and
decide that we must use geoengineering, but that, because of the ban
put in place previously, we had not done any R&D before this time. Then
we would deploy the technology without knowing whether it would work,
or how it would work, or how we could make it work better and with
fewer side effects.
R&D can involve computer simulations, examination of the data
provided by ``natural, large-scale experiments'' like volcanic
eruptions, and ``small-scale'' experiments. Ultimately, however, large-
scale experiments, undertaken over a sustained period of time, would be
required to learn more about this technology. If
such an experiment were done for the purpose of learning how
geoengineering might be deployed to avoid a future risk of ``abrupt and
catastrophic'' climate change, it would resemble using geoengineering
along with emission reductions to prevent significant climate change.
This makes the distinction between R&D and deployment somewhat blurred.
It also blurs the distinction between the third and fourth options
discussed above.
It might be argued that carrying out R&D would hasten the use of
the technology. That depends on what we discover. We might discover
that it doesn't work, or that it has worrying side effects of which we
were previously unaware (in addition to the worrying side effects of
which we were previously aware). This would make us less inclined ever
to use geoengineering. Alternatively, we might discover that we can
make it work better, and reduce its side effects. This would make us
more inclined to use it_but this knowledge should make us more inclined
to use it.
It is very hard to understand how knowing less about this option
could possibly make us better off.

The geopolitics of geoengineering

Thus far I have considered geoengineering's role in a climate
policy oriented towards reducing global risks. As mentioned in my
introduction, this is one of two important perspectives. The second is
the perspective of the nation state.
It is important that we consider the perspective of different
states and not only our own. Many countries are capable of deploying
geoengineering. Over time, more and more countries will be capable of
deploying geoengineering.

Risks and incentives

Let us now reconsider all the things that can and should be done to
reduce the risks associated with climate change, but do so from the
perspective of individual countries.
Emission reductions are a global public good. Emissions mix in the
atmosphere. The benefits of reducing emissions are thus diffused. A
country that reduces its own emissions receives just a fraction of the
global benefit, while paying the full cost. There is thus a temptation
for countries to ``free ride.'' In the case of climate change this
tendency is particularly powerful because the costs of abating one more
ton increase as the level of emission reductions increases. Put
differently, starting from a situation in which every state is cutting
its emissions, each state has a strong incentive to save costs by
abating less.
Countries are also interconnected through trade. As one country or
small group of countries cuts its emissions, ``comparative advantage''
in greenhouse-intensive goods will shift to other countries, causing
the emissions of these countries to increase. In addition, as some
countries reduce their emissions by reducing their use of fossil fuels,
the price of these fuels traded internationally will fall, causing
other countries to increase their consumption and, hence, their
emissions.
Overall, the incentive for countries to cut back their emissions is
weak (Barrett 2005). This explains why international agreements to
limit emissions worldwide are needed. This also explains why our
efforts to develop effective agreements have failed. It is really
because of this failure that we need to consider geoengineering.
We also need to undertake R&D into new technologies that can help
us to reduce emissions at lower costs. However, the returns to this
investment in R&D depend on the prospects of the knowledge generated
being embodied in new technologies that are used worldwide to reduce
emissions. In other words, the incentives to undertake R&D are derived
from the incentives to reduce emissions. Because the latter incentives
are weak, the former incentives are weak, which explains why the world
has done remarkably little to develop the new technologies needed to
address the threat of climate change fundamentally.
Adaptation is very different. The benefits of adaptation are almost
entirely local. The incentives for countries to adapt are very
powerful.
The problem here is that some countries are incapable of adapting.
Much adaptation will be done via the market mechanism. The rest of it
will mainly involve local public goods (dikes being an obvious
example). The countries that have failed to develop are the countries
that will fail to adapt.
These countries need our assistance, and we and other rich
countries have pledged to offer this assistance, most recently in the
Copenhagen Accord. But the incentives for the assistance to be given
are rather weak. Climate change could widen existing inequalities.
The incentives to undertake air capture are mixed. On the one hand,
air capture can be undertaken unilaterally. In theory, a single country
could use this technology to stabilize atmospheric concentrations, even
if every other country failed to lift a finger to help. Air capture is
thus very unlike the challenge of getting countries to reduce their
emissions. However, inexpensive options for air capture are of limited
scale, while options to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere on a
large scale are expensive (Barrett 2009). The latter options would only
be used if the threat posed by climate change were considered to be
very grave.
Geoengineering is like air capture. It can be undertaken as a
single project. It can be done by a single country acting unilaterally,
or by a few countries acting ``minilaterally.'' It does not require the
same scale of cooperation as reducing emissions. But geoengineering is
very unlike air capture in other ways. It does not address the root
cause of climate change. It does not address the associated problem of
ocean acidification. Most importantly for purposes of this discussion,
geoengineering is cheap (Barrett 2008a). The economic threshold for
deploying geoengineering is a lot lower than the threshold for
deploying air capture at a massive scale.
Because the cost of geoengineering is low, the incentives to deploy
geoengineering unilaterally or minilaterally are strong. In this sense,
geoengineering is akin to adaptation. The difference is that
geoengineering undertaken by one country or by a coalition of the
willing would change the climate for everyone. Depending on the
circumstances, this could be a good thing (recall that the incentives
for rich countries to adapt are powerful, but that their incentives to
help the poor to adapt are weak) or a bad thing. It is because the
incentives for individual countries to use geoengineering may be
strong, and yet other countries may be adversely affected, that
geoengineering poses a challenge for governance.

A scenario of ``gradual'' climate change

Imagine first a situation in which climate change unfolds
gradually. In this scenario, there will be winners and losers over the
next few decades, perhaps even for longer. (Over a long enough period
of time, if climate change were not limited, all countries will lose.)
To be concrete, let us consider estimates of the effects of climate
change on agriculture as developed by William Cline (2007). According
to this work, India's agricultural potential could fall 30 percent for
a 3+ C mean global temperature increase by around 2080. Upon doing some
back-of-the-envelope calculations, I have found that India might suffer
a loss valued at around $70 billion in 2080. Estimates of the costs of
offsetting this amount of warming by geoengineering are generally lower
than this. Hence, it is at least plausible that India might be tempted
to use geoengineering in the future.
To reinforce this point, note that about 70 percent of India's more
than one billion people currently live in rural areas. Over time, this
percentage will fall, but perhaps not by that much. Is it realistic to
expect that a democracy will not act to help a substantial fraction of
its people when doing so is feasible and not very costly?
Note as well that India has already sent an unmanned spacecraft to
the moon. It is currently planning a manned mission to the moon. It is
certainly within India's technical capability to deploy a
geoengineering project.
It is also within its political capability. In early 2009, a joint
German-Indian research team undertook an experiment on ``ocean
fertilization'' in the South Atlantic, despite protests by
environmentalists. India, it should also be remembered, developed
nuclear weapons outside of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and
tested those weapons over the objections of other countries. External
pressure for restraint may not deter India from deploying
geoengineering, should India believe that its national interests are at
stake.
India would also have a moral and quasi-legal case for using
geoengineering. The Framework Convention on Climate Change says that
``developed countries [need] to take immediate action . . . as a first
step towards comprehensive response . . ..'' India might argue that
developed countries failed to fulfill this duty. It might also claim
that it lacked any alternative means of protection. India might
conceivably assert a need to use geoengineering for reasons of ``self-
defense.''
I am not saying that it is inevitable that India would want to
deploy geoengineering. I am only saying that, under plausible
assumptions, the possibility needs to be considered.
Of course, India may not be the first country to contemplate using
geoengineering. May other scenarios can be imagined.
If ``gradual'' climate change produces winners and losers, then the
use of geoengineering to reduce the effects of gradual climate change
will also produce winners and losers. The winners would join India.
They might be willing to provide financial support for India's
geoengineering effort. If a ``coalition of the willing'' were to form,
the economics of ``minilateral'' action would likely strengthen the
likelihood of geoengineering being deployed.
The losers of any such geoengineering effort would have very
different incentives. Cline (2007) finds that, due to gradual climate
change, agricultural capacity in China, Russia, and the United States
would likely increase 6 to 8 percent by around 2080. Under this
scenario, if India, on its own or in concert with others, were to
deploy geoengineering to protect their economies, other countries may
suffer as a consequence.
What might these other countries do? They would certainly voice
their objections. They might threaten to impose sanctions. They might
attempt a countervailing geoengineering effort to warm the Earth. They
might seek to ``disable'' India's geoengineering effort by military
means. This last possibility is especially worrying, given that many of
the states mentioned as being affected, whether positively or
negatively, possess nuclear weapons.
But it is also for this reason that a military strike is most
unlikely. The situation I have described here points to a clash in
rights-the right of one or more states to use geoengineering to avoid
losses from climate change versus the right of other states not to be
harmed by geoengineering. Clashes like this occur all the time. They
rarely, if ever, lead to military conflict.
To give an example, there are no general rules for assigning rights
to trans-boundary water resources. An upstream state will assert its
right to divert the waters of a shared river for its own purposes,
while the downstream state will claim its right to an uninterrupted
flow of this water. Resolution of such disputes invariably demands
mutual concessions. Typically, the parties will seek an ``equitable''
solution, meaning a sharing of rights. The nature of the bargain that
is struck will depend on the context, including the characteristics of
the parties. For example, if the upstream state is poor and the
downstream state rich, the latter state may need to pay the upstream
state not to divert its waters. By contrast, if the upstream state is
rich and the downstream state poor, the former may need to compensate
the latter.
Perhaps, then, India will refrain from using geoengineering, or
scale back its plans, in exchange for other countries offering to help
India improve the productivity of its agriculture (taking the climate
as given). By contrast, if the United States were inclined to use
geoengineering first, it seems more likely that there would be an
expectation that the US should finance investments in other countries,
to blunt the negative impacts on these countries of its use of
geoengineering. In both cases, the need for a state to take into
account the concerns of other states would have a moderating influence.

A scenario of ``abrupt and catastrophic'' climate change

The situation changes when we peer farther into the future. Over
longer periods of time, even gradual climate change will be harmful all
around_melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet, for example, would increase
sea level by about seven meters. It is hard to see how any country
could gain from this degree of sea level rise, even if it unfolded, as
expected, over a period of many centuries.
Abrupt climate change is a greater worry. Warming is expected to be
especially strong in the Arctic region. Should this warming trigger
massive releases of carbon dioxide and methane, a positive feedback
will be unleashed. No country will gain from such a climate shock. A
collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, though unlikely, would also
have very serious consequences. No country will gain from this kind of
change either.
It thus seems likely that the interests of states as regards
geoengineering will tend to converge over time. Tensions that loom
large in a world of gradual climate change will evaporate in the longer
run and will disappear very quickly should the prospect of abrupt,
catastrophic climate change appear imminent.

Outlines of a geoengineering regime

Should there be a regime for using, or not using, geoengineering?
Currently, no such regime exists. There are some agreements and some
aspects of custom that would be relevant to such a decision (Bodansky
1996). But the situation we are contemplating here is unprecedented.
Should a country believe that its national security interests were at
stake, it would make decisions largely unrestrained by international
law. The absence of a regime essentially allows states to act as they
please.
This means that the United States could act as it pleased, more or
less. But it also means that Russia and China, India and Brazil,
Europe, and Japan, and Indonesia and South Africa could all act as they
pleased as well. It is in the interests of each county to agree to
restrain its own choices in exchange for other countries agreeing to
restrain theirs. The governance arrangement needed for geoengineering
is thus one of mutual restraint (Barrett 2007).
As I have stressed throughout this testimony, geoengineering needs
to be considered in the context of all the other things we need to do
to limit climate change risk. For this reason, international governance
arrangements for geoengineering should be developed under the Framework
Convention on Climate Change. Currently, the focus of the Framework
Convention is on limiting atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse
gases. It would be better, in my view, if the agreement were revised to
focus on reducing climate change risk, and on balancing this risk
against the risks associated with addressing climate change. Every good
international agreement is revised and reworked as circumstances
change.
Protocols developed under this convention should address specific
collective action challenges that serve to reduce risks. There should
be many such protocols, even as regards reducing emissions (Barrett
2008b). There should also be a protocol for geoengineering governance.
A geoengineering protocol should be open to be signed and ratified
by every party to the Framework Convention. It is important to
underscore that every country is entitled to participate in the
Framework Convention, and that nearly every country in the world is a
party to this treaty today (the only non-parties are the Holy See and
Andorra). This principle of universality is important. Every country
will be affected by whatever is decided about geoengineering. Every
country should have an opportunity to shape this technology's
governance.
The protocol can be more or less restrictive. As it becomes more
restrictive, fewer states will consent to participate. An agreement
that fails to attract the participation of the geoengineering-capable
states would be of little benefit. It will be in every country's
interests that as many geoengineering-capable states as possible
participate in this agreement. It may not be essential that every
geoengineering-capable state participate, but at the very least the
agreement should establish normative limits that would restrain the
behavior even of non-parties.
As a general approach, negotiations should focus on what countries
can agree on rather than on what they cannot agree on. The treaty
should enter into force only after being ratified by a substantial
number of countries. An additional requirement may be needed to ensure
that the geoengineering-capable states also participate in great
numbers. Note, however, that as the latter condition for entry into
force becomes more restrictive the agreement will essentially hand
every such state the veto. A consequence may be that the agreement
would never enter into force.
What is it that countries can countries agree on? It is likely that
all states will agree that every state ought to be obligated to inform
all other states of any intention to deploy geoengineering. One reason
for this is that deployment would be observable by other states in any
event. As well, deployment must be sustained if it is to affect the
climate. The element of surprise would offer no advantages.
Negotiations will likely focus on a state's rights and
responsibilities_its right to deploy geoengineering to safeguard its
own citizens and its responsibility not to harm other states. It is in
the nature of this technology that the latter outcome could not be
assured. This is likely to have a restraining influence on the decision
to deploy.
Countries may agree that they should cooperate to resolve
conflicts. A country declaring an intention to deploy geoengineering
may agree to hear opposition to its plans (these will be voiced in any
event, but an agreement may help to establish the basis on which
opposition can be expressed). It is unlikely that the geoengineering-
capable states would be willing to have their hands tied completely. It
is also unlikely that they would agree to have their freedom of action
be determined by a vote. Even if they did agree to this in principle,
it would be very hard to conceive of a voting rule that would be
acceptable to all states. It is, however, likely that states would
agree to aim to seek a consensus.
Consensus has powerful advantages. It makes each state take into
account the collective interests of all states, and the individual
interests of every state. It creates a presumption in favor of
unanimity. At the same time, however, it does not give any state the
veto. Every state may retain the right to act, should a consensus not
be possible. But any state contemplating deployment would have to face
the consequences of its actions. These consequences would include
possible counter measures by other states.
Rules for R&D will be influenced by the rules for deployment. An
agreement to cooperate over deployment would reduce any advantages to
undertaking R&D secretively. In justifying its decision to deploy, for
example, a country would need to present evidence that geoengineering
would not harm other states. Undertaking R&D openly, and
collaboratively would favor a shared understanding of this technology's
capabilities and effects. It would promote trust.
The rules I have sketched here are minimal. The main purpose of the
protocol would be to provide a restraining influence, a forum for
resolving conflicts, and a setting in which various risks can be
balanced. Returning to the two scenarios outlined previously, in the
case where some countries might be in favor of geoengineering and some
against, the consensus rule would create a space for negotiating
conflict resolution. In the case where nearly all countries would favor
geoengineering, this arrangement would provide the stamp of approval.

References

Barrett, Scott (2009). ``The Coming Global Climate-Technology
Revolution,''Journal of Economic Perspectives, 23(2): 53-75.

Barrett, Scott (2008a) ``The Incredible Economics of Geoengineering,''
Environmental and Resource Economics, 39: 45-54.

Barrett, Scott (2008b). ``Climate Treaties and the Imperative of
Enforcement,'' Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 24(2): 239-
258.

Barrett, Scott (2007). Why Cooperate?: The Incentive to Supply Global
Public Goods. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Barrett, Scott (2005). Environment and Statecraft: The Strategy of
Environmental Treaty-Making, Oxford: Oxford University Press
(paperback edition).

Bodansky, Daniel (1996). ``May We Engineer the Climate?'' Climatic
Change 33: 309321.

Cline, W. R. (2007). Global Warming and Agriculture: Impact Estimates
by Country, Washington, DC: Peterson Institute for
International Economics.

Wigley, T.M.L. (2006). ``A Combined Mitigation/Geoengineering Approach
to Climate Stabilization.'' Science 314: 452-454.
Biography for Scott Barrett
Scott Barrett is the Lenfest-Earth Institute Professor of Natural
Resource Economics at Columbia University in New York City. He is also
a research fellow with CESifo (Munich), the Beijer Institute
(Stockholm), and the Institute of World Economics (Kiel). Until
recently, he was a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of
Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. He was previously on
the faculty of the London Business School, and has also been a visiting
scholar at Yale. He has advised a number of international organizations
on climate change, including the United Nations, the World Bank, the
OECD, the European Commission, and the International Task Force on
Global Public Goods. He was previously a lead author of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and a member of the Academic
Panel to the Department of Environment in the U.K. He is the author of
Environment and Statecraft: The Strategy of Environmental Treaty-
Making, published in paperback by Oxford University Press in 2005. His
most recent book, Why Cooperate? The Incentive to Supply Global Public
Goods, also published by Oxford University Press, will appear in
paperback, with a new afterword, in May 2010. His research has been
awarded the Resources for the Future Dissertation Prize and the Erik
Kempe Award. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the London School
of Economics.

Discussion

Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Dr. Barrett.
I think the concept of trying to find what we can agree
upon is, unfortunately, unusual around here. We spend too much
time on what we can't agree upon.
I thank all of our witnesses for their testimony. I
understand that Dr. Barrett and Dr. Long are Co-Members of the
Bipartisan Policy Centers Initiative. Well, you and we are all
part of a pioneering effort here. So, we look forward to your
additional information, in this, in the body of evidence, in
this early, pioneering effort.
And I am, now I am going to yield to Mr.--Governor
Garamendi for any question he might have.

Initial Regulations

Mr. Garamendi. Thank you very much. Dr. Barrett, your rules
are a great place to start. What we need is some forum in which
to begin the discussion, and setting out the rules of the game.
And I really urge this committee and Congress, and anybody else
to try to figure out what that forum would be, to set that
down.
Do you have a suggestion on how that might be accomplished?
Dr. Barrett. You need a process to initiate discussion. You
know, it is a great question, and right now, you know, in the
follow-up to Cop