Wednesday, June 27, 2012

African scientists brainstorm on solar geoengineering


Lamine Ndiaye, AAS president declaring the workshop open
As the world's climate continues to warm so are scientists, policy makers and other stakeholders thinking of ways to mitigate the challenges posed.   For Africa, a continent for which climate change represents both a nightmare scenario, and as some say, a remarkable opportunity for scientific evolution, focus has began on geo-engineering.  Today in Dakar, the capital city of Senegal, under the auspices of Africa Academy of Sciences, African scientists, policy makers, members of the academia and other stakeholders are examining the relevance, impact and policy imperatives of solar geoengineering.
The continent cannot afford to be left behind on this issue which is globally gathering attention since the Royal Society of the United Kingdom launched a report titled 'Geo-engineering the climate', a report that observed that though not the answer to climate change, solar geoengineering could be helpful in cooling our world.
As many now acknowledge, scientists and non-scientists alike, global warming is real and its impact is unevenly distributed socially and geographically.  Anthropogenic climate change is now recognized as the world's greatest developmental and environmental challenge.
Given this reality, I think that no discussions on solar geoengineering can be complete without inputs from Africa, a continent whose very existence is threatened by climate change.  Besides, an Africa that is well integrated into the global economy is an Africa that is free from poverty.
Some colleagues and friends are attending the workshop.  I am monitoring the discourse at the workshop and hopefully will do another posting on the issue later.
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