An interactive map of the ETC Group and the Boell Foundation shows where geoengineering is being deployed
This interactive geoengineering map, prepared by the ETC Group and the Boell Foundation, is an attempt to denounce the global state of geoengineering, showing the scope of research and experimentation. There is no complete record of climate and meteorological control projects, so this map is necessarily partial.
This document is an update of the map on “The World of Geoengineering”, published in 2012. That map documented almost 300 experiments and projects related to the field of geoengineering. Five years later, we show nearly 800 entries from identified projects. Projects for carbon capture, solar radiation management, climate modification and other approaches are included.
The interactive map is hosted by Geoengineering Monitor.
But what is geoengineering?
Bleaching clouds to reflect sunlight or using a chemical absorbent to trap carbon dioxide and then bury it in tanks underground. Those are some proposals of geoengineering that, in the battle against global warming, seek to use technologies to manipulate the climate. The use of these technologies could occur sooner than we imagine, its consequences as well.
The beginnings of geoengineering, as these techniques are called, are for military use. At one time it was thought of using the climate as a weapon and from there arose the Convention on Environmental Modification for the non-use of this type of techniques in war. But for several years, geoengineering has been taken up by universities like Harvard, oil companies like Exxon and foundations like that of the computer entrepreneur Bill Gates, the richest man on the planet.
The proposed techniques are many and varied. For example, ocean fertilization through the dumping of nutrients to grow phytoplankton that, in theory, will absorb carbon dioxide. Or the movement of bodies of water to obtain food for phytoplankton. Or the mechanical capture of gases. Or combine CO2 with calcifying minerals to obtain a product such as cement and use it in construction.
Another option is the management of solar radiation, which involves the stratospheric injection of aerosols, the whitening of marine clouds to reflect light, or the thinning of cirrus clouds so that heat can escape into space. Or make genetically altered monoculture plantations so that they bounce the sun's rays.
Another type of geoengineering is altering the weather by seeding clouds to change precipitation patterns.