Social Science Research to Inform Solar Geoengineering

In an article for Science’s Policy Forum, experts from a variety of fields consider how the social sciences can inform the understanding, application, and implications of solar geoengineering.

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Nov. 11, 2021


Joseph E. Aldy, Tyler Felgenhauer, William Pizer, Massimo Tavoni, Mariia Belaia, Mark E. Borsuk, Arunabha Ghosh, Garth Heutel, Daniel Heyen, Joshua Horton, David Keith, Christine Merk, Juan Moreno-Cruz, Jesse L. Reynolds, Katharine Ricke, Wilfried Rickels, Soheil Shayegh, Wake Smith, Simone Tilmes, Gernot Wagner, and Jonathan Wiener


Journal Article in Science

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1 minute

"As the prospect of average global warming exceeding 1.5°C becomes increasingly likely, interest in supplementing mitigation and adaptation with solar geoengineering (SG) responses will almost certainly rise. For example stratospheric aerosol injection to cool the planet could offset some of the warming for a given accumulation of atmospheric greenhouse gases. However, the physical and social science literature on SG remains modest compared with mitigation and adaptation. We outline three research themes for advancing policy-relevant social science related to SG: (i) SG costs, benefits, risks, and uncertainty; (ii) the political economy of SG deployment; and (iii) SG’s role in a climate strategy portfolio."

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Tyler Felgenhauer

Duke University

Mariia Belaia

American University

Mark E. Borsuk

Duke University

Arunabha Ghosh

Council on Energy, Environment and Water

Garth Heutel

National Bureau of Economic Research; Georgia State University

Daniel Heyen

Technische Universität Kaiserslautern; ETH-Zurich

Joshua Horton

Harvard University

David Keith

Harvard University

Christine Merk

Kiel Institute for the World Economy

Juan Moreno-Cruz

University of Waterloo; Balsillie School of International Affairs; CESifo

Jesse L. Reynolds

Independent Consultant

Katharine Ricke

University of California San Diego

Wilfried Rickels

Kiel Institute for the World Economy

Wake Smith

Harvard University; Yale University

Simone Tilmes

National Center for Atmospheric Research

Gernot Wagner

New York University

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