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Workshop On Scientific Mechanism To Reduce Radiation
KINGSTON (JIS) -- The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, hosted a workshop on July 7, to introduce a scientific mechanism of reducing global solar radiation to local and regional scientists. The workshop was held in collaboration with the Caribbean Academy of Sciences, Jamaica, and the international non-profit Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative (SRMGI). It facilitated discussion on the possibility of using solar radiation management (SRM) or solar geo-engineering as a means of mitigating the effects of climate change. Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, in remarks at the opening, commended the UWI for its participation in the initiative. While noting the limitations of research on the impacts of SRM, he said the mechanism is worth exploration for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. “We think it is important that our scientists and the Jamaican and Caribbean people play their role in finding the kind of scientific parameters required to effectively manage the emerging situation,” he said.
The objective of SRM, a fairly new theory, is to deliberately reduce warming of the planet by reflecting an additional small amount of inbound sunlight. Proposed methods include spraying seawater to make marine clouds more reflective or imitating the cooling effect of volcanoes by spraying reflective particles, such as sulphate aerosol into the upper atmosphere.
Meanwhile, Senior Advisor on Energy in the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, Dwight Lewis, hailed the workshop and said he is looking forward to a clear description of the available science of SRM.
He raised questions about the technology and how it might impact Jamaica, its natural environment and economy.
Research Fellow from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany and Project Director of SRMGI, Andy Parker, said SRM should not be considered an alternative to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the use of renewable energy and other mechanisms.
He, however, noted that there is value to having inclusive and widespread discussion about governance of SRM research and its potential impact, particularly on developing countries.
“This is being taken very seriously by some very serious scientists and by a number of institutions who are concerned about the pace of action on climate change,” Mr. Parker said.
The workshop, held at the UWI Physics Lecture Theatre, engaged participants in dialogue on the governance and ethical issues that the theory raises, and on how Jamaica and other developing countries can become involved in research on the theory.