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Solar geoengineering reduces atmospheric carbon burden

Solar geoengineering is no substitute for cutting emissions, but could nevertheless help reduce the atmospheric carbon burden. In the extreme, if solar geoengineering were used to hold radiative forcing constant under RCP8.5, the carbon burden may be reduced by 100 GTC, equivalent to 12–26% of twenty-first-century emissions at a cost of under US$0.5 per tCO2.

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The authors thank K. Caldeira for discussion and feedback.

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Correspondence to David W. Keith.

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Competing interests

C.L.Z. began work on this analysis while a researcher at Harvard. She now works for the Open Philanthropy Project, which subsequently became a funder of Harvard's Solar Geoengineering Research Project, co-directed by D.W.K. and G.W.

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Keith, D., Wagner, G. & Zabel, C. Solar geoengineering reduces atmospheric carbon burden. Nature Clim Change 7, 617–619 (2017).

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