Engineering the climate to stave off the worst effects of climate change may one day be considered by world governments. If such a plan is undertaken, understanding the impact on global crop yields would be essential.
In the May 2021 edition of Nature Food, ERI affiliate Ben Kravitz shares his perspective on new research suggesting that sunlight-scattering techniques, such as stratospheric sulfate aerosols that reduce the amount of light reaching Earth’s surface, may not significantly affect total crop yields. The finding stands in contrast to past modeling efforts and highlights outstanding uncertainties in the field.
“Agriculture is one important piece in our understanding of the effects of climate engineering,” Kravitz writes. “Gaining a better picture of the impacts of climate engineering requires looking at numerous effects in addition to food supply, including water security, geopolitics, and environmental justice.”