Geoengineering: a tool for mitigating the human health impacts of climate change

Climate change is closely associated with adverse human health impacts(1). Amongst the raft of options to reduce current and projected impacts is massive scale environmental engineering to reduce the rate of global warming – often referred to as geoengineering. The potential health benefits of such intentional environmental manipulation should be taken seriously as increasing numbers of people stand to be affected by changes in global climate due to warming. Yet geoengineering remains one of the more controversial responses to climate change.

The controversy surrounding geoengineering is understandable. Whereas many climate scientists see it as an opportunity to actively stem the tide of climate change(2), there are many who believe we should tread with caution(3). Others believe we should not be ‘messing’ with nature at all at this scale(4). Yet we have been “messing” with nature for most of human history. And as the most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed, one of the consequences…

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