Scientists in Cambridge plan to set up a research centre to develop new ways to repair the Earth’s climate. It will investigate radical approaches such as refreezing the Earth’s poles and removing CO2 from the atmosphere.
The centre is being created because of fears that current approaches will not on their own stop dangerous and irreversible damage to the planet.
The initiative is the first of its kind in the world and could lead to dramatic reductions in carbon emissions.
“What we do over the next 10 years will determine the future of humanity for the next 10,000 years. There is no major centre in the world that would be focused on this one big issue.”
Some of the approaches described by Sir David are often known collectively as geoengineering.
Dr Emily Shuckburgh, a climate scientist at Cambridge University, said the new centre’s mission would be to “solve the climate problem”. “It has to be. And we can’t fail on it,” she said.
The Centre for Climate Repair is part of the university’s Carbon Neutral Futures Initiative, led by Dr Shuckburgh. It will bring together scientists and engineers with social scientists.
“This really is one of the most important challenges of our time, and we know we need to be responding to it with all our efforts,” Dr Shuckburgh told
“If we reduce our emissions all we are doing is making the global climate warmer a bit more slowly. That is no good because it’s already too warm and we have already got too much CO2 in the atmosphere.