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The injection of sulfur dioxide is considered as an option for solar radiation management. We have calculated the effects of SO2 injections up to 100 Tg(S)/y. Our calculations show that the forcing efficiency of the injection decays exponentially. This result implies that SO2 injections in the order of 6 times Mt. Pinatubo eruptions per year are required to keep temperatures constant at that anticipated for 2020, whilst maintaining business as usual emission conditions.
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Articles | Volume 15, issue 16
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 9129–9141, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-15-9129-2015

Special issue: The Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project (GeoMIP):...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 9129–9141, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-15-9129-2015

Research article 18 Aug 2015

Research article | 18 Aug 2015

What is the limit of climate engineering by stratospheric injection of SO2?

U. Niemeier and C. Timmreck

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Cited articles

Aquila, V., Garfinkel, C. I., Newman, P., Oman, L. D., and Waugh, D. W.: Modifications of the quasi-biennial oscillation by a geoengineering perturbation of the stratospheric aerosol layer, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 1738–1744, https://doi.org/10.1002/2013GL058818, 2014.
Bekki, S., Pyle, J. A., Zhong, W., Haigh, R. T. J. D., and Pyle, D. M.: The role of microphysical and chemical processes in prolonging the climate forcing of the Toba eruption, Geophys. Res. Lett., 23, 2669–2672, 1996.
Brasseur, G. and Solomon, S.: Aeronomy of the Middle Atmosphere, Springer, 3300 AA Dordrecht, the Netherlands, 2005.
Budyko, M. I.: Climatic changes, American Geophysical Society, Washington, D.C., https://doi.org/10.1029/SP010, 1977.
Cirisan, A., Spichtinger, P., Luo, B. P., Weisenstein, D. K., Wernli, H., Lohmann, U., and Peter, T.: Microphysical and radiative changes in cirrus clouds by geoengineering the stratosphere, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 118, 4533–4548, https://doi.org/10.1002/jgrd.50388, 2013.
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Short summary
The injection of sulfur dioxide is considered as an option for solar radiation management. We have calculated the effects of SO2 injections up to 100 Tg(S)/y. Our calculations show that the forcing efficiency of the injection decays exponentially. This result implies that SO2 injections in the order of 6 times Mt. Pinatubo eruptions per year are required to keep temperatures constant at that anticipated for 2020, whilst maintaining business as usual emission conditions.
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