GAUSS: Geoengineering Assessment across Uncertainty, Scenarios, and Strategies
Our goal is to help support future informed decisions surrounding climate engineering (or solar geoengineering), and stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI) in particular. A hypothetical decision-maker (whether a policy-maker or public more broadly) will want to know answers to questions such as: What are my choices? What will happen if we make any given choice? How confident are we? Making informed choices thus requires viewing SAI not as “one thing” with one best guess of outcomes, but rather requires a more holistic assessment, for a range of possible future scenarios, for different possible strategies on how deployment might be done, and furthermore an assessment that captures uncertainty. This is the goal of GAUSS: assessing geoengineering across these three dimensions. Simulations that span this space will be available to the broader research community for understanding how the impacts depend on these dimensions.
We plan to produce a collection of simulations of stratospheric aerosol intervention in several climate models that span different scenarios for possible implementation (i.e., different amounts of background CO2, different amounts of cooling), different strategies (e.g., different latitudes of injection and different goals), and for different uncertainties (both in several models, and using perturbed physics in a single model). Furthermore, we hope to create an “open-source” framework wherein other researchers can suggest additional simulations and other modelers can add to the database. The details of this remain TBD but we welcome input.
- We will include a “moderate” (SSP2-45) and possibly also a “high” (SSP5-85) emissions scenario; most simulations will be conducted with only the moderate one.
- We will include not only a goal of constant global-mean-temperature (at roughly 1.5C above pre-industrial, i.e., ~2030 conditions), but one that only slows the rate of warming, one that restores to an earlier temperature (0.5C), and a “delayed start”. Our default as of now is to start simulations in 2035 and run them for 35-40 years. (Note that the long-term trajectory is relevant, but not necessary to simulate in an ESM.)
- We will also include some departures from these trajectories (termination, phase-out,…).
- We will include more than one strategy for latitudes of injection and goals. This could include multiple uncoordinated efforts as well.
- We will conduct simulations in CESM2(WACCM6), and some in GISS.
All simulations will use a feedback algorithm so that comparisons can be made in terms of what is needed to achieve given goals rather than comparing similar injection rates.