Geoengineering, as a topic in its own right, is a subject still in its infancy. As evidence and grudging acceptability that man-made climate change are becoming reality, ways of addressing this important issue are only now being discussed by the world's scientists.

Over the past 20 years there have been several seminal studies which have attempted to look at the possible methods and impacts of the science behind geoengineering schemes (e.g. Crutzen, 2006; Latham, 1990, to mention but two of many). However, it was the Royal Society Report (2009) which raised scientific interest in and had significant impact on the field of geoengineering. This report suggested there were two major schemes for Solar Radiation Management (SRM) which merited serious research effort as a stop-gap measure, but with Carbon Dioxide Reduction (CDR) techniques being the long term goal. The subsequent book (Launder & Thompson, 2010) provides a set of review articles on this topic.

The five articles in this special issue of Atmospheric Science Letters examine some of the facets of two SRM proposals, Marine Cloud Brightening and Stratospheric Sulphur Injection. Jones et al. (2011) examine some modelling results from these two schemes, Hommel & Graf (2011) and Niemeier et al. (2011) examine specific details of the aerosol for the sulphur scheme; Braesicke et al. (2011) study some of the atmospheric teleconnection consequences and Krawitz et al. (2011) address the important GeoMIP model intercomparison studies.

The overall aim of this special issue is to promote the study of the consequences and science details of these geoengineering schemes, and hence scientific debate.


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