Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
4) What do you understand by geoengineering? Critically examine its relevance in current times?(250 words)
Why this question
The latest report by IPCC has brought into focus once again, the need to act fact on climate change, because the window to act is fast closing. Subsequently, there is a focus on climate engineering technology to counter the adverse impacts of anthropogenic climate change. The purpose of this question is to critically examine the potential , application of such technology.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to first explain what geoengineering is and give examples of such technology. Thereafter, we need to bring out the pros and cons of such technology in dealing with climate change. Finally, we need to provide our view as to whether investing in developing such technology makes sense.
Critically examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic, get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any . When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Highlight United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a new report which makes several calls for further investigating climate engineering technology known as geoengineering. The IPCC report, titled “Global Warming of 1.5 °C, an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways”, warns that without investment into geoengineering technology the Earth’s temperature will continue to increase.
- Explain what geoengineering is – Geoengineering is the deliberate and large-scale manipulation of the weather and climate using a variety of technologies.
- Give some examples of such technology to bring out how such technology works. Eg One popular form of geoengineering being explored by IPCC scientists is known as Solar Radiation Management (SRM), a process which involves planes spraying aerosols in the skies designed to reflect sunlight in an effort to combat “anthropogenic global warming.”
- Discuss the pros and cons of using such technology. While the pros are more obvious, in cons one can discuss the disproportionately high investment for uncertain results etc
Conclusion – Give your opinion as to whether investing in developing such technology would make sense and discuss the way forward.