Biodiversity Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (3): 375-382.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2013.08022

• Orginal Article • Previous Article     Next Article

Current situation of geoengineering and its impact on biodiversity

Senlu Yin, Junsheng Li, Xiaopu Wu, Guo Li, Jing Xu*()   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk Assessment, Chinese Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012
  • Received:2013-01-25 Accepted:2013-04-19 Online:2013-06-05
  • Xu Jing

Interests in the process of geoengineering have grown and geoengineering is a focus for the Convention on Biological Diversity now. Geoengineering programs and experiments have been carried out to varying extent globally and are of significance to Chinese interests. This paper originates from a review of a conference discussion and of relevant literatures. It introduces the concept of geoengineering, describes the current status of its development and discusses the potential impacts geoengineering may have on biodiversity. Arguments about geoengineering in the Convention on Biological Diversity are also discussed. Researches show that geoengineering programs mainly affect biodiversity by changing the local or regional climate and environment. Large scale geoengineering programs may be prohibited in future due to uncertainty over their potential impacts on biodiversity. However, the necessity for energy saving and obligations to reduce emissions will drive the progress of geoenginering. The future development of geoengineering is also examined. It is concluded that the techniques involved need to be of a high standard, highly efficient, low in cost and environmentally safe. Precautionary measures should be taken in the implementation of geoenginering related activities, and mechanisms for monitoring their effects should be thoroughly explored.

Key words: Convention on Biological Diversity, Carbon Dioxide Removal, Solar Radiation Management, Compliance negotiations

1 Bala G, Duffy PB, Taylor KE (2008) Impact of geoengineering schemes on the global hydrological cycle.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 105, 7664-7669.
2 Boyd PW, Jickells T, Law CS, Blain S, Boyle EA, Buesseler KO, Coale KH, Cullen JJ, de Baar HJW, Follows M, Harvey M, Lancelot C, Levasseur M, Owens NPJ, Pollard R, Rivkin RB, Sarmiento J, Schoemann V, Smetacek V, Takeda S, Tsuda A, Turner S, Watson AJ (2007) Mesoscale iron enrichment experiments 1993-2005: synthesis and future directions.Science, 315, 612-617.
3 Cao L, Caldeira K (2010) Can ocean iron fertilization mitigate ocean acidification? Climatic Change, 99, 303-311.
4 Crutzen PJ (2006) Albedo enhancement by stratospheric sulfur injections: a contribution to resolve a policy dilemma?Climatic Change, 77, 211-220.
5 ETC Group (2010) Geopiracy: The Case Against Geoengineering..
6 Fang JY (方精云), Chen AP (陈安平) (2001) Dynamic forest biomass carbon pools in China and their significance.Acta Botanica Sinica(植物学报), 43, 967-973. (in Chinese with English abstract)
7 GAO (2011) Technology Assessment: Climate Engineering: Technical Status, Future Directions and Potential Responses. U. S. Government Accountability Office, Washington, DC.
8 Global CCS Institute (2011) The Global Status of CCS: 2011. Canberra, Australia.
9 He XS (何绪生), Geng ZC (耿增超), She D (佘雕), Zhang BJ (张保健), Gao HY (高海英) (2011) Implications of production and agricultural utilization of biochar and its international dynamic.Transactions of the CSAE(农业工程学报), 27, 1-7. (in Chinese with English abstract)
10 Hoffert MI, Caldeira K, Benford G, Criswell DR, Green G, Herzog H, Jain AK, Kheshgi HS, Lackner KS, Lewis JS, Lightfoot HD, Manheimer W, Mankins JC, Mauel ME, Perkins LJ, Schlesinger ME, Volk T, Wigley TML (2002) Advanced technology paths to global climate stability: energy for a greenhouse planet.Science, 298, 981-987.
11 Hu HF (胡会峰), Liu GH (刘国华) (2006) Carbon sequestration of China’s National Natural Forest Protection Project.Acta Ecologica Sinica(生态学报), 26, 291-296. (in Chinese with English abstract)
12 IISD (2012) Summary of the Eleventh Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity..
13 IPCC (2007) Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland.
14 IPCC (2011) IPCC Expert Meeting on Geoengineering..
15 Izrael YA, Zakharov VM, Petrov NN, Ryaboshapko AG, Ivanov VN, Savchenko AV, Andreev YV, Puzov YA, Danelyan BG, Kulyapin VP (2009) Field experiment on studying solar radiation passing through aerosol layers.Russian Meteorology and Hydrology, 34, 265-273.
16 Keith DW (2000) Geoengineering the climate: history and prospect.Annual Review of Energy and Environment, 25, 245-284.
17 Lehmann J, Rillig MC, Thies J, Masiello CA, Hockaday WC, Crowley D (2011) Biochar effects on soil biota: a review.Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 43, 1812-1836.
18 Liu C (刘璨), Meng QH (孟庆华), Li YM (李育明), Lv JZ (吕金芝) (2005) A case study on ecological and socieconomic benefit evaluation of Sichuan Provincial Natural Forest Protective Project.Acta Ecologica Sinica(生态学报), 25, 428-434. (in Chinese with English abstract)
19 Marchetti C (1977) On geoengineering and the CO2 problem.Climatic Change, 1, 59-68.
20 McCusker KE, Battisti DS, Bitz CM (2012) The climate response to stratospheric sulfate injections and implications for addressing climate emergencies.Journal of Climate, 25, 3096-3115.
21 Mitsch WJ, Jørgensen SE (1989) Ecological Engineering: An Introduction to Ecotechnology. Wiley-Interscience, New York.
22 Mu JL (穆景利), Han JB (韩建波), Huo CL (霍传林), Lin XZ (林新珍), Han GC (韩庚辰) (2011) Study progress on ocean iron fertilization.Marine Environmental Science(海洋环境科学), 30, 282-286. (in Chinese with English abstract)
23 Qiu YS (邱永松) (2013) Ocean fertilization and its potential for fishery development in the oligotrophic South China Sea.Journal of Fishery Sciences of China(中国水产科学), 20, 223-233. (in Chinese with English abstract)
24 Rasch PJ, Tilmes S, Turco RP, Robock A, Oman L, Chen CC, Stenchikov GL, Garcia RR (2008) An overview of geoengineering of climate using stratospheric sulphate aerosols.Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences, 366, 4007-4037.
25 Russell LM, Rasch PJ, Mace GM, Jackson RB, Shepherd J, Liss P, Leinen M, Schimel D, Vaughan NE, Janetos AC, Boyd PW, Norby RJ, Caldeira K, merikanto J, Artaxo P, Melillo J, Morgan MG (2012) Ecosystem impacts of geoengineering: a review for developing a science plan.AMBIO, 41, 350-369.
26 Sala OE, Chapin FS III, Armesto JJ, Berlow E, Bloomfield J, Dirzo R, Huber-Sanwald E, Huenneke LF, Jackson RB, Kinzig A, Leemans R, Lodge DM, Mooney HA, Oesterheld M, Poff NL, Sykes MT, Walker BH, Walker M, Wall DH (2000) Global biodiversity scenarios for the year 2100.Science, 287, 1770-1774.
27 SCBD (2009) Scientific Synthesis of the Impacts of Ocean Fertilization on Marine Biodiversity. Montreal, Technical Series No. 45.
28 SCBD (2010) Life in Harmony, into the Future. Decisions Adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at Its Tenth Meeting. Nagoya, Japan.
29 SCBD (2012a) Geoengineering in Relation to the Convention on Biological Diversity: Technical and Regulatory Matters. Montreal, Technical. Series No. 66.
30 SCBD (2012b) XI/20 Climate-related Geoengineering. Report of the Eleventh Meeting of the Convention of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. .
31 The Royal Society (2009) Geoengineering the Climate: Science, Governance and Uncertainty. The Royal Society, London.
32 Tukey JW, Alexander M, Bennett HS, Brady NC, Calhoun JC Jr, Geyer JC, Haagen-Smit AJ, Hackerman N, Hartgering JB, Pimentel D, Revelle R, Roddis LH, Stewart WH, Whittenberger JL (1965) Restoring the Quality of Our Environment. Report of the Environmental Pollution Panel, President’s Science Advisory Committee, Washington, D.C.
33 Vaughan NE, Lenton TM (2011) A review of climate geoengineering proposals.Climatic Change, 109, 745-790.
34 Wu J (吴军), Zhang CY (张称意), Xu HG (徐海根) (2011) Climate change issue in Convention on Biological Diversity: negotiations and focuses.Biodiversity Science(生物多样性), 19, 400-403. (in Chinese with English abstract)
35 Xie ZB (谢祖彬), Liu Q (刘琦), Xu YP (许燕萍), Zhu CW (朱春悟) (2011) Advances and perspectives of biochar research. Soils(土壤), 43, 857-861. (in Chinese with English abstract)
36 Yao ZY (姚展予) (2006) Review of weather modification research in Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences.Journal of Applied Meteorological Science(应用气象学报), 17, 786-795. (in Chinese with English abstract)
37 Zhang AF, Cui LQ, Pan GX, Li LQ, Hussain Q, Zhang XH, Zheng JW, Crowley D (2010) Effect of biochar amendment on yield and methane and nitrous oxide emissions from a rice paddy from Tai Lake plain, China.Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 139, 469-475.
38 Zhang XL (张小力), Song YQ (宋豫秦) (2003) Efficiency of the Three-North Forest Shelterbelt Program.Acta Scientiarum Naturalium Universitatis Pekinensis(北京大学学报自然科学版) 39, 594-600. (in Chinese with English abstract)
[1] Zhao Yang,Wen Yuanyuan. Development of Convention on Biological Diversity’s Global Platform for Business & Biodiversity: Policy suggestion for China [J]. Biodiv Sci, 2019, 27(3): 339-346.
[2] Wenjing Liu, Jing Xu, Yijia Geng, Yu Tian, Senlu Yin. Progress in negotiations on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and suggestions for Chinese government [J]. Biodiv Sci, 2018, 26(12): 1358-1364.
[3] Yang Zhao,Yuanyuan Wen,Lirong Yang,Hongtao Li. Learning from international experience to promote the Global Partnership between Business and Biodiversity (GPBB) in China [J]. Biodiv Sci, 2018, 26(11): 1249-1254.
[4] Yueyu Zou, Yulin Fu, Lirong Yang, Xialin Wan, Ye Wang, Jixin Liu. China and COP 15: a path for responsible environmental power [J]. Biodiv Sci, 2017, 25(11): 1169-1175.
[5] Haiou Liu, Haijun Chen, Lei Liu, Wei Yan, Dayuan Xue. Incorporating gender equality into biodiversity conservation [J]. Biodiv Sci, 2017, 25(11): 1176-1181.
[6] Chunxin Zang,Lei Cai,Xiao Guan,Jing Xu,Junsheng Li. Review the progress of negotiations of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing [J]. Biodiv Sci, 2014, 22(5): 677-681.
[7] Jianyong Wu,Dayuan Xue,Fuwei Zhao,Yanjie Wang. Impacts of the Nagoya Protocol on access to plant genetic resources and benefit sharing in China [J]. Biodiv Sci, 2013, 21(6): 758-764.
[8] Dayuan Xue, Jianyong Wu, Fuwei Zhao. Actions, progress and prospects in implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity during the past 20 years in China [J]. Biodiv Sci, 2012, 20(5): 623-632.
[9] Guo Li, Xiaopu Wu, Zunlan Luo, Junsheng Li. Establishing an indicator system for biodiversity assessment in China [J]. Biodiv Sci, 2011, 19(5): 497-504.
[10] Dayuan Xue. Analysis for the main elements and potential impacts of Nagoya Protocol [J]. Biodiv Sci, 2011, 19(1): 113-119.
[11] Zhihua Zhou, Zhigang Jiang . CITES and genetic resource management in China [J]. Biodiv Sci, 2007, 15(3): 319-328.
[12] QIAN Ying-Qian. Some Issues in Biodiversity [J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1998, 15(05): 1-15.
Full text



[1] Zhigang Jiang,Yong Ma,Yi Wu,Yingxiang Wang,Zuojian Feng,Kaiya Zhou,Shaoying Liu,Zhenhua Luo,Chunwang Li. China’s mammalian diversity[J]. Biodiv Sci, 2015, 23(3): 351 -364 .
[2] Chunming Yuan,Yunfen Geng,Yong Chai,Jiabo Hao,Tao Wu. Response of lianas to edge effects in mid-montane moist evergreen broad- leaved forests in the Ailao Mountains, SW China[J]. Biodiv Sci, 2016, 24(1): 40 -47 .
[3] Cao Jiashu, Miao Ying. Evolutionary principle and conservation strategies of biodiversity[J]. Biodiv Sci, 1997, 05(3): 220 -223 .
[4] CHANG Chen-Hui,WU Fu-Zhong,YANG Wan-Qin,TAN Bo,XIAO Sa,LI Jun,GOU Xiao-Lin. Changes in log quality at different decay stages in an alpine forest[J]. Chin J Plan Ecolo, 2015, 39(1): 14 -22 .
[5] CHANG Sheng-He, YING Jia, ZHANG Ji-Jun, LI Bin, LI Zhen-Sheng. Isolation and Characterization of a BBC1 cDNA from Common Wheat[J]. J Integr Plant Biol, 2003, 45(7): 878 -882 .
[6] Brett J. Ferguson, Arief Indrasumunar, Satomi Hayashi, Meng-Han Lin, Yu-Hsiang Lin, Dugald E. Reid and Peter M. Gresshoff. Molecular Analysis of Legume Nodule Development and Autoregulation[J]. J Integr Plant Biol, 2010, 52(1): 61 -76 .
[7] Guijun Yang, Wenjiang Huang, Jihua Wang, Zhurong Xing. Inversion of Forest Leaf Area Index Calculated from Multi-source and Multi-angle Remote Sensing Data[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2010, 45(05): 566 -578 .
[8] ZHOU Hong-Hua, LI Wei-Hong, AYUP Mubarek, and XU Qian. Xylem hydraulic conductivity and embolism properties of desert riparian forest plants and its response to drought stress[J]. Chin J Plan Ecolo, 2012, 36(1): 19 -29 .
[9] ZHANG Shi-Gong;GAO Ji-Yin and SONG Jing-Zhi. Effects of Betaine on Activities of Membrane Protective Enzymes in Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Seedlings Under NaCl Stress[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1999, 16(04): 429 -432 .
[10] Li Zhong-Ming. Palaeosmunda Emended and Two New Species[J]. J Syst Evol, 1983, 21(2): 153 -160 .