Knowledge for better food systems

Potentially dangerous consequences for biodiversity of geoengineering

Geoengineering to fix climate change could harm biodiversity, according to two modelling studies.

Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage needs a lot of land, while solar geoengineering could, if introduced and then abruptly stopped, cause climate swings too rapid to allow for species to adapt. For a more extended summary, see Carbon Brief’s excellent briefing here. See also the image below for results from one of the papers.

Reference

Heck, V., Gerten, D., Lucht, W. and Popp, A., 2018. Biomass-based negative emissions difficult to reconcile with planetary boundaries. Nature Climate Change, p.1.

Trisos, C.H., Amatulli, G., Gurevitch, J., Robock, A., Xia, L. and Zambri, B., 2018. Potentially dangerous consequences for biodiversity of solar geoengineering implementation and termination. Nature Ecology & Evolution, p.1.

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While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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