Injecting SO2 into the stratosphere

Published research by ACOM scientists Sasha Madronich and Simone Tilmes, CGD scientist Jadwiga Richter, and co-authors Ben Kravitz and Douglas MacMartin, describes a geoengineering experiment conducted with the CESM1(WACCM) atmospheric model. Climate modification by stratospheric SO2 injections, to form sulfate aerosols, may alter the spectral and angular distributions of the solar ultraviolet and visible radiation that reach the Earth’s surface, with potential consequences to environmental photobiology and photochemistry. The geoengineering scenario is accompanied by substantial reductions in ultraviolet radiation. The authors are concerned that deeper studies are needed on how such marked changes in the UV and visible sky would affect humans and ecosystems.

Image:

a) Space Shuttle (Mission STS 43) photograph of the Earth over South America taken on August 8, 1991, showing double layer of Pinatubo aerosol cloud (dark streaks) above high cumulonimbus tops. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pinatubo_dust_layer.jpg

b) The Pinatubo eruption seen on the morning of June 15, 1991 from the Clark Air Base. Due to the typhoon Yunya, the eruption column is almost horizontal. Richard Hoblitt (USGS). https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pinatubo1991_Plume.jpg

Image: 
a) Space Shuttle (Mission STS 43) photograph of the Earth over South America taken on August 8, 1991, showing double layer of Pinatubo aerosol cloud (dark streaks) above high cumulonimbus tops. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pinatubo_dust_layer.jpg  b) The Pinatubo eruption seen on the morning of June 15, 1991 from the Clark Air Base. Due to the typhoon Yunya, the eruption column is almost horizontal. Richard Hoblitt (USGS). https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pinatubo1991_Plume.jpg
Short title: 
ACOM paper investigates geoengineering
Source: 
ACOM
Audience: 
ACOM CGD

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ACOM | Atmospheric Chemistry Observations & Modeling