Geoengineering of the Climate System
CHAPTER 8: Space-Based Geoengineering Solutions
Published:08 May 2014
This chapter provides an overview of space-based geoengineering as a tool to modulate solar insolation and offset the impacts of human-driven climate change. A range of schemes are considered including static and orbiting occulting disks and artificial dust clouds at the interior Sun–Earth Lagrange point, the gravitational balance point between the Sun and Earth. It is demonstrated that, in principle, a dust cloud can be gravitationally anchored at the interior Lagrange point to reduce solar insolation and that orbiting disks can provide a uniform reduction of solar insolation with latitude, potentially offsetting the regional impacts of a static disk. While clearly speculative, the investigation of space-based geoengineering schemes provides insights into the long-term prospects for large-scale, active control of solar insolation.