CORRESPONDENCE

Climate engineering is not just about the atmosphere

Burnham-on-Crouch, UK.
Contact

Search for this author in:

University of East Anglia, UK.

Search for this author in:

University of Tasmania, Australia.

Search for this author in:

Stephen Andersen calls for governance of climate engineering, suggesting that the Montreal Protocol could take on full responsibility for the task (Nature 551, 415; 2017). However, the protocol’s assessment experts focus solely on stratospheric processes, and in our view would be unlikely to be able to take on regulation of the full range of ambitious geoengineering projects.

The range of proposed techniques includes land- and ocean-based removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, as well as increasing the amount of sunlight reflected from land and ocean surfaces. All these methods are considered as geoengineering by such bodies as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The London Protocol on marine geoengineering already has draft regulations in hand for techniques such as ocean fertilization (see go.nature.com/2ow7ikp). These aim to protect the marine environment and human health, with input from the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP; see go.nature.com/2bksdnn).

Nature 553, 27 (2018)

doi: 10.1038/d41586-017-09009-3
Nature Briefing

Sign up for the daily Nature Briefing email newsletter

Stay up to date with what matters in science and why, handpicked from Nature and other publications worldwide.

Sign Up