6035 Geoengineering: The Inescapable Truth of Getting to 350

Sunday, February 19, 2012: 9:00 AM
Room 214 (VCC West Building)
Charles H. Greene , Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
It has been argued that society can avert dangerous and potentially catastrophic climate change by stabilizing atmospheric CO2 concentration at 350 ppm. Because of the ocean's role in serving as the climate system’s memory, the time window is relatively narrow for society to find solutions that avoid dangerous and largely irreversible rises in temperature, sea level, and the incidence of extreme weather events. My presentation will discuss the compelling scientific basis for setting 350 ppm as a goal. It will then examine the role of geoengineering in getting to 350. Finally, I will conclude my presentation by emphasizing that society can only be successful in getting to 350 by century’s end if it supplements aggressive COemission reductions with CO2 removal from the atmosphere and subsequent sequestration.