• Impacts of stratospheric aerosol geoengineering strategy on Caribbean coral reefs

      Zhang, Z; Jones, A.; Crabbe, M. James C. (Emerald, 2017-07-24)
      Purpose: Currently, negotiation on global carbon emissions reduction is very difficult due to lack of international willingness. In response, geoengineering (climate engineering) strategy is proposed to artificially cool the planet. Meanwhile, as the harbor around one-third of all described marine species, coral reefs are the most sensitive ecosystem on the planet to climate change. However, until now, there is no any quantitative assessment on impacts of geoengineering on coral reefs. In this study, we model impacts of stratospheric aerosol geoengineering on coral reefs. Design/methodology/approach: We will use the HadGEM2-ES climate model to model and evaluate impacts of stratospheric aerosol geoengineering on coral reefs. Findings: This study shows that a) stratospheric aerosol geoengineering could significantly mitigate future coral bleaching throughout the Caribbean Sea; b) Changes in downward solar irradiation, sea level rise and sea surface temperature caused by geoengineering implementation should have very little impacts on coral reefs; c) although geoengineering would prolong the return period of future hurricanes, this may still be too short to ensure coral recruitment and survival after hurricane damage.