EGU21-9673, updated on 04 Mar 2021
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Solar Radiation Modification: a multi-century commitment

Susanne Baur1,2, Alexander Nauels1,3, and Carl-Friedrich Schleussner1,4
Susanne Baur et al.
  • 1Climate Analytics gGmbH, Berlin, Germany
  • 2Department of Geography, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  • 3Climate & Energy College, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
  • 4Integrative Research Institute on Transformations of Human-Environment Systems (IRI THESys), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany

A growing body of literature investigates the effects of Solar Radiation Modification (SRM) on global and regional climates. Previous studies on SRM have mainly focused on potentials and side effects of deployment without addressing plausible avenues of a subsequent phase-out. This would require large-scale carbon dioxide removal (CDR). Here, we look at SRM deployment lengths to keep global temperature increase to 1.5°C under three emissions scenarios that follow current climate policies until 2100 and are continued with varying assumptions about the magnitude of net-negative CDR (-11.5, -10 and -5 GtCO2yr-1). Our results show that there would be a lock-in of around 245 - 315 years of continuous SRM engagement. During peak deployment in 2125 around 2.80 Wm-2 would have to be compensated by SRM, a number at the upper end of currently estimated maximum SRM potential in climate model environments. In total, around 976 - 1344 GtCO2would need to be removed from the atmosphere via CDR. We find only minor effects of SRM on carbon fluxes a few decades after cessation. Our study shows that even if SRM is combined with high CDR, SRM would come with very long legacies of deployment, implying centuries of costs, cumulative risks and all negative side effects of SRM and CDR combined. 

How to cite: Baur, S., Nauels, A., and Schleussner, C.-F.: Solar Radiation Modification: a multi-century commitment, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9673,, 2021.


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