Usage of asteroid resources for space-based geoengineering

Bewick, Russell and Sanchez Cuartielles, Joan-Pau and McInnes, Colin (2013) Usage of asteroid resources for space-based geoengineering. In: Asteroids. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 581-604. ISBN 978-3-642-39243-6

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Abstract

Currently, climate change is a significant threat to our way of life, with global mean temperatures predicted to increase by 1.1-6.4oC by the end of the century (IPCC 2007). This increase is driven by multiple factors, with the main contributors being the increasing concentrations of Greenhouse Gases (GHG), mainly CO2, CH4 and N2O, in the atmosphere, which is altering the Earth’s current energy balance and therefore the present climate. The current consensus within the scientific community is that the dominant factor in the changing climate of the Earth is the anthropogenic emission of GHG’s, with the probability of this being true termed "very likely" (90% probability) by the IPCC (IPCC 2007). Whilst the main effort within the global community should be to control climate change by reducing our emissions of GHG’s, it is prudent to investigate other methods of managing the climate system. The field of deliberately manipulating the Earth’s climate is called geoengineering, or climate engineering.