As changing climate sweeps America, will mitigation or geoengineering come?
“So far this year, more than 2.1 million acres have burned in wildfires, more than 113 million people in the United States were in areas under extreme heat advisories last Friday, two-thirds of the country is experiencing drought, and earlier in June, deluges flooded Minnesota and Florida” writes a columnist in the Boston Globe.
The series of climate coincidence happening within the last days is alarming. There have been serious losses and homes have stayed five days enduring power outage. Some have blamed climate change for these extremes and went further to predict more in future.
Climate change from global warming has being a hot environmental topic in science in the past years, and gets attention at times like this and during UN climate change meetings. Global warming is known to be caused by accumulation of greenhouse emissions in the lower atmosphere.
Mitigating these emissions has been the recommended solution to keep the earth from significant rise in its average temperature. Greenhouse emissions, from the shift of the industrial revolution, kept coming as development and ease of processes became paramount.
However, climate change and its realities have made nations understand the importance of mitigation. This understanding has helped in bringing changes to use of energy and control of emissions at several places globally, but scientists are advocating more action to save from ultimate climate change.
The United States as a top emitter from history and presently have several energy programs, but is faulted from within and without about lack of meaningful action in this direction. Aside the government part, there are also skeptical Americans who just don’t believe in climate change and have “good” reasons why they don’t.
Climate change doesn’t bother most people at present, and adaptation to these events is more important to most than – expensive – mitigation of emissions. Adaptation is better structured in developed economies than in developing ones, the parts of the UK are currently scarred by flash flood due to the rain, but the effects would have been more, if at parts of developing economies.
Adaptation remains local priority but mitigation is global and very important; but as mitigation continues to traipse, scientists are looking at engineering the climate to help avert disaster.
Geoengineering is seen as a form of solution to climate change that can be used on demand at a large scale or in bits from now. Geoengineering is divided into solar radiation management and carbon dioxide removal. Both types have several technologies and are important to the safety objective.
Mitigation or geoengineering at scale anytime soon will come at a price for all, because of the economy and that greenhouse emissions that have accumulated in the atmosphere already can cause some damage, caving input to some extents from either of the two.
Mitigation is preferred even though it comes at a huge economic price and faces political & public opposition, but geoengineering puts the total climate system at risk and may become an unseen source for conflicts in future. As Americans get a fresh taste of harsh climate, many will begin to perch their hearts with one, mitigation or geoengineering. This over time will reduce public opposition if government steps-up to push any.
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