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Study Finds Widespread US, UK, and Canadian Public Support for Geoengineering Research

The postponed Spice test plans to pump water droplets 1km above the ground

A recent study published in Environmental Research Letters (discussed in this BBC article) finds that a majority of the US, UK, and Canadian public support more research on geoengineering to combat global warming.  The study specifically examined the public’s perception of solar radiation management (SRM) strategies—such as injecting suflate aerosols into the stratosphere to reflect more incoming solar radiation—and found that 72% of survey respondents were in support of SRM research, while support decreased for implementing SRM technologies immediately.  The authors were surprised to find that a higher percentage of the public was familiar with the terms geoengineering and climate engineering than expected; however, the authors also note that SRM is a new technology and that public opinion is just beginning to form, so future public opinion is subject to changes in the framing and context of SRM and future information on its potential risks and benefits.

Brendon Steele

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