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Using Twentieth-Century U.S. Weather Modification Policy to Gain Insight into Global Climate Remediation Governance Issues

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  • 1 National Center for Atmospheric Research, and Environmental Studies Program, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
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Abstract

With atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations increasing and binding agreements to reduce anthropogenic emissions wanting, interest in geoengineering as a climate remediation option to be used in tandem with climate change mitigation is growing. Solar radiation management (SRM), due to its relatively low financial cost and the potential for near-term reduction in average global temperature, is gaining particular attention despite the risks of its use, both identified and unanticipated. This paper considers the structure—the participants, positions, actions, outcomes, information, and positive and negative payoffs—of U.S. weather modification research and governance developed between 1947 and 1980, offering a case study that may be useful in thinking through how to move forward with SRM development and governance should a decision be made to contemplate augmenting mitigation and adaptation with geoengineering.

Corresponding author address: Rachel Hauser, NCAR, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307-3000. E-mail: rhauser@ucar.edu

Abstract

With atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations increasing and binding agreements to reduce anthropogenic emissions wanting, interest in geoengineering as a climate remediation option to be used in tandem with climate change mitigation is growing. Solar radiation management (SRM), due to its relatively low financial cost and the potential for near-term reduction in average global temperature, is gaining particular attention despite the risks of its use, both identified and unanticipated. This paper considers the structure—the participants, positions, actions, outcomes, information, and positive and negative payoffs—of U.S. weather modification research and governance developed between 1947 and 1980, offering a case study that may be useful in thinking through how to move forward with SRM development and governance should a decision be made to contemplate augmenting mitigation and adaptation with geoengineering.

Corresponding author address: Rachel Hauser, NCAR, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307-3000. E-mail: rhauser@ucar.edu
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