, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 350–369

Ecosystem Impacts of Geoengineering: A Review for Developing a Science Plan


    • Scripps Institution of OceanographyUniversity of California, San Diego
  • Philip J. Rasch
    • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Georgina M. Mace
    • Centre for Population BiologyImperial College London
  • Robert B. Jackson
    • Nicholas School of the EnvironmentDuke University
  • John Shepherd
    • Earth System Science, School of Ocean and Earth Sciences, National Oceanography CentreUniversity of Southampton, European Way
  • Peter Liss
    • School of Environmental SciencesUniversity of East Anglia
  • Margaret Leinen
    • Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
  • David Schimel
    • NEON Inc
  • Naomi E. Vaughan
    • Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, School of Environmental SciencesUniversity of East Anglia
  • Anthony C. Janetos
    • Joint Global Change Research Institute Pacific Northwest National Laboratory/University of Maryland
  • Philip W. Boyd
    • NIWA Centre of Chemical & Physical Oceanography, Department of ChemistryUniversity of Otago
  • Richard J. Norby
    • Environmental Sciences DivisionOak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Ken Caldeira
    • Department of Global EcologyCarnegie Institution
  • Joonas Merikanto
    • Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Department of PhysicsUniversity of Helsinki
  • Paulo Artaxo
    • Institute of PhysicsUniversity of São Paulo
  • Jerry Melillo
    • The Ecosystems CenterMarine Biological Laboratory
  • M. Granger Morgan
    • Department of Engineering and Public PolicyCarnegie Mellon University
Review Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s13280-012-0258-5

Cite this article as:
Russell, L.M., Rasch, P.J., Mace, G.M. et al. AMBIO (2012) 41: 350. doi:10.1007/s13280-012-0258-5


Geoengineering methods are intended to reduce climate change, which is already having demonstrable effects on ecosystem structure and functioning in some regions. Two types of geoengineering activities that have been proposed are: carbon dioxide (CO2) removal (CDR), which removes CO2 from the atmosphere, and solar radiation management (SRM, or sunlight reflection methods), which reflects a small percentage of sunlight back into space to offset warming from greenhouse gases (GHGs). Current research suggests that SRM or CDR might diminish the impacts of climate change on ecosystems by reducing changes in temperature and precipitation. However, sudden cessation of SRM would exacerbate the climate effects on ecosystems, and some CDR might interfere with oceanic and terrestrial ecosystem processes. The many risks and uncertainties associated with these new kinds of purposeful perturbations to the Earth system are not well understood and require cautious and comprehensive research.


GeoengineeringEcosystemsClimate changeCarbon dioxide removalSolar radiation management

Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2012