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Artificially cooling planet through geoengineering a sensitive topic for UN climate panel

BERLIN - It's Plan B in the fight against climate change: cooling the planet by sucking heat-trapping CO2 from the air or reflecting sunlight back into space. Called geoengineering, it's considered mad science by opponents. Supporters say it would be foolish to ignore it, since plan A — slashing carbon emissions from fossil fuels — is moving so slowly. The U.N.'s expert panel on climate change is under pressure from both sides this week as it considers whether geoengineering should be part of the tool-kit that governments use to keep global warming in check.

'Global sunscreen' plan could wreck tropics

An idea by the father of the H-bomb to slow global warming by sowing the stratosphere with light-reflecting particles could wreck the weather system in the tropics, a study said Wednesday. The scheme may benefit northern Europe and parts of Asia, but around the equator rainfall patterns would be disrupted, potentially drying up tropical forests in South America and intensifying droughts in Africa and Southeast Asia. "The risks from this kind of geo-engineering are huge," said Andrew Charlton-Perez, a meteorologist at Britain's University of Reading.

COLUMN-Climate fixes need cautious consideration: Wynn

(The author is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own.) By Gerard Wynn LONDON, March 8 (Reuters) - Recent extreme heat waves reinforce concerns that the slow pace of action against climate change is inadequate, raising interest in new fixes called geoengineering, but this warrants caution. Proposed geoengineering fixes fall broadly between reflecting sunlight and heat back into space, or sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
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