Exploring the Potential and Side Effects of Climate Engineering (EXPECT)

Facing the steadily increasing risk of the human society failing to meet the 2-degree target, scientists have recently started exploring the possibility of manipulating the climate by deliberate measures that go beyond mitigation. In particular, Climate E ngineering (CE), or geoengineering, has been proposed as a possible future option in the event of a climate emergency. In order to meet the main objective, the project will carry out dedicated simulations using the Norwegian Earth System Model, exploring and comparing aspects of three different climate engineering techniques, followed by a careful statistical analysis of the results. An important aspect in clarifying the potential future role of climate engineering is our ability to separate the effect of climate engineering (signal) from natural (and man-made) climate variability (noise). This will be addressed in the project. Also, special attention will be given to the response of biogeochemical interactions, both on land and in the ocean. The purpose of this project is not only to learn more about aspects of climate engineering per se, but also to gain new insight into interactions between forcings, internal variability and response in the climate system. A large emphasis will be put on open publicati on of all results as well as outreach.

The project addresses several topics highlighted in the call, such as internal vs. external influences on climate variability, biogeochemical cycles, and the relationship between human influence and natural variabil ity. The project applies innovative research ideas to a new research topic in Norway, and builds a new team of scientists with pre-existing expertise and a strong international network in an emerging field of climate research.