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Some whats, whys and worries of geoengineering

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In this paper I discuss the nature of geoengineering, some of its attractions, and some reasons for concern. I claim that there is confusion in the use of the term ‘geoengineering’ that is related to larger concerns about the language in which responses to climate change are discussed. I conclude that despite some reasonable grounds for suspicion, research in areas that involve carbon dioxide removal and solar radiation management should go on as part of the general portfolio of climate-related research, competing with the full panoply of other possible responses to climate change.

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More people than I can remember have helped me with this work. I thank Paul Ehrlich, Steve Gardiner, Clare Heyward, Melissa Lane, Lauren Hartzell-Nichols, Harold Mooney, and especially three anonymous referees whose work on this manuscript has been beyond the call of duty.

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Correspondence to Dale Jamieson.

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This article is part of a special issue on “Geoengineering Research and its Limitations” edited by Robert Wood, Stephen Gardiner, and Lauren Hartzell-Nichols.

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Jamieson, D. Some whats, whys and worries of geoengineering. Climatic Change 121, 527–537 (2013).

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