Mel Ulmer was invited to join a special session of the 229th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) this January, chaired by James Lowenthal of Smith College. The panel discussion, which was organized by the AAS Sustainability Committee, focused on the merits and risks of modifying the atmosphere to combat climate change.
The panel was titled “Geoengineering the Atmosphere to Fight Climate Change: Should Astronomers Worry about It?” and its program description states, “Geo-engineering is a set of proposed solutions to global climate change that involve intentionally modifying the Earth’s atmosphere and/or surface. Examples: injecting aerosols, water droplets, or other reflectors into or above the atmosphere to reduce incoming sunlight. Will it work? What if it doesn’t? How much will it cost? What are possible side effects? Is it ethical?”