January 1, 2017
The National Global Change Research Plan 2012-2021: A Triennial Update was released by the U.S. Global Change Research Program on January 1. This report updates the current national global change research plan. For the first time, federal researchers recommend investment in geoengineering research. Geoengineering directly intervenes to make global atmospheric changes. One geoengineering proposal mimics the cooling effects of volcanic eruptions by increasing sulfate aerosol emissions from airplanes.
The effects and consequences of geoengineering are not well understood. The plan requests research that would provide a scientific framework to understand potential geoengineering impacts. The report calls for the explicit definition of implementation plans, including scale, scope, and modeling for future geoengineering experiments.
Geoengineering, the report states, while not a solution to the pressing matter of global climate change, could address part of this issue.
Sources: U.S. Global Change Research Program, Science magazine