Article ID: CBB285814777

Visions of Climate Control: Solar Radiation Management in Climate Simulations (May 2016)


Various geoengineering technologies that would deliberately alter the climate system have been proposed as a way to alleviate risks of global warming. Technologies that would shield incoming sunlight to cool the planet, so called solar radiation management (SRM), are particularly controversial. Considering insights from social studies of simulation modeling and research on expectations in science and technology, I argue that climate modeling has a central role in producing visions of SRM. I draw upon an empirical analysis of scientific research on SRM to examine how a creative play with technological ideas becomes possible through climate modeling. This enables scientists to project and study environmental impacts of speculative SRM methods in virtual experiments and to develop and refine ideas for adjusting sunlight. Hence, while climate models are used to improve scientific understandings of climate system behavior and to anticipate possible environmental impacts of SRM, they also become inventive tools, allowing scientists to envision novel ways of climate control and optimization. Given the importance of simulation studies to knowledge production on SRM, I critically reflect on the challenges that arise when visions about an engineered climate future are first and foremost produced in climate simulations.

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Article Marion Hourdequin; (2019)
Geoengineering Justice: The Role of Recognition (/isis/citation/CBB958061777/)

Article Lloyd, Elisabeth A.; (2012)
The Role of “Complex” Empiricism in the Debates about Satellite Data and Climate Models (/isis/citation/CBB001221697/)

Article Edwards, Paul N.; (2011)
History of Climate Modeling (/isis/citation/CBB001221290/)

Article Parker, Wendy S.; (2014)
Simulation and Understanding in the Study of Weather and Climate (/isis/citation/CBB001421044/)

Book Matthias Heymann; Gabriele Gramelsberger; Martin Mahony; (2017)
Cultures of prediction in atmospheric and climate science: Epistemic and cultural shifts in computer-based modelling and simulation (/isis/citation/CBB844996573/)

Article Thomas R. Anderson; Ed Hawkins; Philip D. Jones; (2016)
CO2, the Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming: From the Pioneering Work of Arrhenius and Callendar to Today's Earth System Models (/isis/citation/CBB797925933/)

Article Janina Wellmann; (2017)
Animating Embryos: The in toto Representation of Life (/isis/citation/CBB109948939/)

Article Baker, Kevin T.; (2017)
Simulation and “Seduction” at the Policy Interface (/isis/citation/CBB450364367/)

Article Cymene Howe; (2019)
Sensing Asymmetries in Other-than-human Forms (/isis/citation/CBB119852260/)

Article Bruce Tranter; Libby Lester; (2015)
Climate Patriots? Concern Over Climate Change and Other Environmental Issues in Australia (/isis/citation/CBB974055589/)

Article Mahony, Martin; (2014)
The Predictive State: Science, Territory and the Future of the Indian Climate (/isis/citation/CBB001421169/)

Article Saleh, Firas; (2019)
Climate Change and Infrastructure Resilience (/isis/citation/CBB583515275/)

Article Lisa Garforth; (2019)
Environmental Futures, Now and Then: Crisis, Systems Modeling, and Speculative Fiction (/isis/citation/CBB582046293/)

Book Robert P. Marzec; (2015)
Militarizing the Environment: Climate Change and the Security State (/isis/citation/CBB217700694/)

Article Ann-Kristin Bergquist; Shawn A. Cole; John Ehrenfeld; Andrew A. King; Auden Schendler; (Spring 2019)
Understanding and Overcoming Roadblocks to Environmental Sustainability: Past Roads and Future Prospects (/isis/citation/CBB088808302/)

Article Morgan, Ruth A.; (2013)
Histories for an Uncertain Future: Environmental History and Climate Change (/isis/citation/CBB001201446/)

Article Moghariya, Dineshkumar P.; Smardon, Richard C.; (2014)
Rural Perspectives of Climate Change: A Study from Saurastra and Kutch of Western India (/isis/citation/CBB001420110/)

Authors & Contributors
Heymann, Matthias
Mahony, Martin
Morgan, Ruth A.
Edwards, Paul N.
Lloyd, Elisabeth Anne
Moghariya, Dineshkumar P.
Public Understanding of Science
Perspectives on Science
Science, Technology and Human Values
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Australian Historical Studies
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change
University of Minnesota Press
Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group
Climate change
Models and modeling in science
Computer Simulation
Climate and climatology
Foucault, Michel
Time Periods
21st century
20th century
20th century, late
19th century
18th century
Himalayan Mountains (Nepal)
United States
Club of Rome

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment