Researchers found a way to reduce the effects of greenhouse gas through regional land radiative management (LRMreg). As an alternative approach in climate engineering and climate adaption, this method alters the radiative properties of agricultural land and high population areas to change the average temperature, extreme temperature, and precipitation within the region. For this study, the researchers focused on climate and weather changes in North America, Europe, and Asia.
The use of LRMreg is seen as a better method than using the global solar radiation management (SRMglob) because it does not use sulfate aerosol injection (SAI). SAI is met with contention and controversy because it can lead to the depletion of the ozone layer and contribute to the increase of carbon dioxide (CO2) leading to ocean acidification. Furthermore, this process would decrease monsoon precipitation, and prompt higher temperature at the regional level. However, this approach is for scientists that want to reduce global mean temperature, instead of the extreme regional temperatures. Furthermore, there is concern that this technology would encourage higher CO2 levels rather than adapting ways to mitigate or eliminate them.
Even though the researchers portray LRMreg as the better option, there are still risks associated with this method. For instance, this method could increase the use of herbicide and other chemicals to control crop infestations. Secondly, there is a high chance of second crops freezing which can alter the plant management. Similar to SRMglob, LRMreg can increase CO2 concentration leading to ocean acidification. Despite this, LRMreg presents as an ideal approach because it counteracts the effects of climate change at the regional and local level in densely populated and agricultural regions. Results from their study indicate that LRMreg reduces the effects of extreme hot and dry temperature that would impact human health and crop production. In agricultural production, this approach increases water use efficiency for dry land and crops, and enhances drying techniques during the intercropping period. In urban space, white roofs or reflective paving could reduce the use of air conditioning, which would provide energy savings.
Seneviratne and coauthors, argue that LRMreg is worth the risks because it provides efficiencies to land and urban management. Moreover, the results in their study indicated that the LRMreg could reduce hot extreme temperatures in densely populated and crop-producing regions by 2-3 C°. This could be helpful because cities and agriculture are crucial to the global economy.
Seneviratene, S.I., Phipps, S.J., Pitman, A.J., Hirsch, A.L., Davin, E.L., Donat, M.D., Hirschi M., Lenton, A., Wilhelm, M., Kravitz, B. 2018. Land radiative management as a contributor to regional –scale climate adaption and mitigation. Nature Geoscience 11:88-96.