Paul Lachine

La tentación de la geoingeniería

NEW BRUNSWICK – Seamos claros: el calentamiento global generado por el hombre es real. Como resultado de todo el dióxido de carbono, metano, hollín y otras sustancias que los seres humanos eyectamos a la atmósfera todos los años, las temperaturas promedio globales han venido subiendo en el último medio siglo.

Si bien algunos países del norte se deleitan con la perspectiva de extraer minerales de un Océano Ártico libre de hielo y de utilizar el Paso del Noroeste, el calentamiento global no es bueno para la mayor parte del planeta. Después de todo, implica un continuo aumento del nivel del mar, tormentas más fuertes e inundaciones más frecuentes, sequías más intensas y más duraderas, mayores episodios de estrés por calor, acidificación de los océanos (que destruye los corales y otras formas de vida marina) y la migración hacia el norte de mosquitos de la malaria y escarabajos del pino. Es más, las amenazas fundamentales al suministro de alimentos y agua -especialmente alimentos en los trópicos y agua en los subtrópicos- se harán realidad si seguimos comportándonos como hasta ahora.

A diferencia de las cuestiones que rodean al cambio climático y sus consecuencias, que pueden ser respondidas en su totalidad por los científicos, lo que queramos hacer al respecto depende de nuestros valores -es decir, de qué nos parece importante-. Las opciones, individualmente o en conjunto, son: 1) nada (la respuesta actual); 2) mitigación (reducir las emisiones de gases de tipo invernadero); 3) intento de adaptación a los cambios climáticos en curso; y 4) geoingeniería.

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