Geoengineering is often framed as a tool for climate justice. Our study challenges that idea, showing that solar geoengineering would create regional tradeoffs and potentially increases in malaria risk worldwide.

Our study is the first to project the impacts of solar geoengineering - an emergency intervention to reduce the effects of global warming, in theory particularly for vulnerable frontline populations - on an infectious disease. We focus on malaria, which doesn’t increase linearly with temperature (i.e., warmer isn’t necessarily more malaria; cooler isn’t necessarily less).

In any scenario, geoengineering will probably shift malaria risk around continents, creating regional trade-offs in health outcomes within the Global South. But in the kind of extreme warming scenario where geoengineering might be most appealing, we find that deploying geoengineering would increase (or rather, reverse a decline of) malaria population at risk by roughly a billion people.

The study raises fairly major questions given that geoengineering is often framed around life-saving solutions for poor and vulnerable populations. The study was funded by a project called DECIMALS that revolves around projecting impacts of geoengineering on developing countries (and giving them more of a voice in the science - our project is a collaboration with icddr,b in Bangladesh and the Climate Risk Lab at the University of Cape Town), and highlights the need to bring the health sector into those conversations.

Carlson CJ, Colwell R, Hossain MS, Rahman MM, Robock A, Ryan SJ, et al. Nat Commun. 2022;13: 2150.
doi:10.1038/s41467-022-29613-w

 

The UF Architecture senior studio, led by Jeff Carney, participated in the Envision Resilience Challenge again this year. Carolyn Cox of the FCI facilitates the academic programming that includes 7 university teams (URI, RISD, Brown, Northeastern Syracuse, U Florida, and Roger Williams) looking at the Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island to address climate impacts. 14 students from UF Architecture, 6 from UF Historic Preservation led by Linda Stevenson, and 3 from Journalism led by Cynthia Barnett have worked together toward solutions while better understanding diverse disciplinary approaches and team dynamics.

Stay tuned for final products that will be part of the multi-university exhibition held at the Waterfire Arts Center in Providence, RI from June 3-30.

In response to warming winters, mangroves have been expanding and displacing salt marshes at varying degrees of severity in parts of north Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. A paper published in Global Change Biology, led by Michael Osland (USGS) with contributions from 21 coauthors including Mike Allen (NCBS); and Joe Marchionno (UF ESSIE PhD student), reviews the current understanding of impacts of mangrove range expansion on wetland ecosystem services. The authors identify knowledge gaps and research needs related to ecological and societal concerns over mangrove range expansion. While mangrove range expansion can produce beneficial changes to wetland ecosystem services (e.g., improved coastal fish and wildlife habitat), it also can produce detrimental changes to other services (e.g., loss of coastal views, impacts to property values). These service trade-offs are an important consideration for coastal managers due to the scale of their impacts. The paper summarizes the important implications of mangrove expansions given climate change.

Red tide blooms occur naturally in the Gulf of Mexico, but human activity can make them worse once they reach Florida's coast, according to new research led by research scientist Dr. Miles Medina. The peer-reviewed study, published in Science of the Total Environment, links red tide blooms near Charlotte Harbor to nitrogen-enriched flows from the Caloosahatchee River, Lake Okeechobee, and upstream areas.

"Our study is the first to find evidence of what many have long suspected--that nitrogen inputs from the watershed make red tides more intense and make them last longer," said Dr. Medina.

The results indicate that human activity has consistently played a role in red tide intensification during the past decade, suggesting that we can reduce the severity, duration, and impacts of red tides through management of land-based nutrients and discharges.

On Monday, April 4,  the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a landmark scientific report focused on mitigating climate change.

Climate change mitigation refers to actions that slow the rate of climate change by: 

·       reducing or stopping heat-trapping emissions, or
·       removing heat-trapping greenhouse gasses from the air

The Working Group III report provides an updated global assessment of climate change mitigation progress and pledges, and examines the sources of global emissions. It explains developments in emission reduction and mitigation efforts, assessing the impact of national climate pledges in relation to long-term emissions goals.

 The IPCC has published a technical summary and a summary for policymakers in addition to the full report.