Geo-engineering refers to large-scale schemes designed to tackle the impacts of climate change by removing CO2 from the air or restraining the amount of the sunlight reaching the planet’s surface. Although large-scale geo-engineering is still at the concept stage, experts claim that it may eventually become essential in order to reduce the worst effects of climate change. Despite being one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, Bangladesh still has not been able to incorporate adequate research on how the consequences of climate changes should be dealt with in near future. In this regard, it is good to note that scientists from icddr,b collaborating with the scientists of seven other developing countries have integrated a pioneering research to comprehend how solar radiation management (SRM) geo-engineering can reduce the risks of climate change by reflecting sunlight away from the Earth. As reported by this daily on Tuesday, this project will be the world’s first study to model how cholera and malaria might be affected by the use of SRM geo-engineering.
Experts are of the opinion that new research initiative will develop computer modeling and simulation in order to understand how geo-engineering could have an effect on climate and health. Although malaria is mostly confined to the tropics, recent research has found that the disease transmits best at cooler temperatures. If use of SRM were to overcool the tropics, that might make malaria worse. Alternatively, if SRM can reduce heat-waves and flooding, it could reduce the incidence of cholera outbreaks. Considering this, we envisage that this ground-breaking project will help us learn about how cholera and malaria could be affected by sun-dimming and will start a wider conversation about SRM geo-engineering research and its governance in Bangladesh. Also we hope once the project is
integrated successfully, it will help the country to tackle climate change more efficiently than any time in the past.
However, there is also a need for conducting further research on solar geo-engineering and in this regard support from governments, universities and civil society will be crucial. Research funders in advanced economies should fund collaborations with scientists in developing countries. As solar geo-engineering poses some possible side effects such as disruption of the ozone layer, acid rain and health effects, there is a need for addressing the risks and benefits of solar geo-engineering more widely. A coordinated global research scheme is needed to promote SRM geo-engineering as a tool for reducing the risks of climate change.