Cornell University

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Energy Seminar Series Speaker - Douglas MacMartin

Thursday, February 1, 2024 at 12:20pm to 1:10pm

Phillips Hall, 101

Climate Engineering

While efforts to reduce emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases are essential, they will likely be insufficient to avoid significant damages from climate change.  A possible additional option would be sunlight reflection methods (SRM, also known as solar radiation management or solar geoenginering). Adding aerosols to the stratosphere for example would reflect a tiny bit of incoming sunlight, cooling the planet.  I will talk about why we should be researching this, what we know, and what we know about the risks, and open questions that need to be addressed to help inform future decisions surrounding deployment.  My own work focus primarily on the effects of choices such as what latitudes the aerosols are added, and the use of feedback as a tool to manage uncertainty so I will highlight these areas as well.  Research into SRM is both essential and urgent in order to ensure that we can support timely and informed societal decisions.

Douglas MacMartin is an Associate Professor in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University.  His research focuses on sunlight reflection methods (also known as solar geoengineering or climate intervention) with the aim of helping to develop the knowledge base necessary to support informed future societal decisions in this challenging and controversial field.  He has provided briefings to the UN Environment Program and testimony to the US Congress, and was a member of the US National Academies panel that made recommendations on both research and governance in March 2021. He received his Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT in 1992; previous positions include United Technologies Research Center (1994-2000) and the California Institute of Technology (2000-2015).  His research is funded by NSF and by the Cornell Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.

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Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

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Taylor Parente

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Douglas MacMartin

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Cornell University

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