Climatic impacts of stratospheric geoengineering with sulfate, black carbon and titania injection
Haywood, James M.
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
European Geosciences Union (EGU) / Copernicus Publications
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
In this paper, we examine the potential climatic effects of geoengineering by sulfate, black carbon and titania injection against a baseline RCP8.5 scenario. We use the HadGEM2-CCS model to simulate scenarios in which the top-of-the-atmosphere radiative imbalance due to rising greenhouse gas concentrations is offset by sufficient aerosol injection throughout the 2020–2100 period. We find that the global-mean temperature is effectively maintained at historical levels for the entirety of the period for all 3 aerosol-injection scenarios, though there are a wide range of side-effects which are discussed in detail. The most prominent conclusion is that although the BC injection rate necessary to produce an equivalent global mean temperature-response is much lower, the severity of stratospheric temperature changes (> +70 °C) and precipitation impacts effectively exclude BC from being a viable option for geoengineering. Additionally, while it has been suggested that titania would be an effective particle because of its high scattering efficiency, it also efficiently absorbs solar ultraviolet radiation producing a significant stratospheric warming (> +20 °C). As injection rates for titania are close to those for sulfate, there appears little benefit of using titania when compared to injection of sulfur dioxide, which has the added benefit of being well modelled through extensive research that has been carried out on naturally occurring explosive volcanic eruptions.
The authors would like to thank Valentina Aquila for supplying AVHRR and SAGE data, and to Peter Cox, Angus Ferraro, David Keith and Alan Robock for helpful discussions. A. C. Jones was supported by a Met Office/NERC CASE (ref. 580 009 183) PhD studentship; J. M. Haywood and A. Jones were supported by the Joint UK DECC/Defra Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme (GA01101).
Vol. 15, pp. 30043 - 30079