Unit: Geoengineering

Patrick Callahan
Initial Publication Date: April 29, 2016


There is much unknown about the ramifications of large-scale deployment of geoengineering technologies. Are they merely short-term fixes? What are the long-term implications of butt seeding, etc? After a discussion and analysis of David Keith's Ted Talk, students engage in an activity to investigate the pros and cons of existing geoengineering technologies.

Also see teaching materials.

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Learning Goals

In this lesson, students will:

  • Identify the potential pros of existing geoengineering technologies
  • Understand the possible implications of the use geoengineering for climate change mitigation

Context for Use

See lesson plan (Teaching Materials)

Description and Teaching Materials

See lesson plan >>

Lesson plan for geoengineering class.
GeoengineeringAlbedo_LP_PC+JM.doc (Microsoft Word 115kB Nov27 15)

Geoengineering and Society
Reading for geoengineering class
Geoengineering_the_climate-1_Royal_Society.pdf (Acrobat (PDF) 3.4MB Nov27 15)

Geoengineering David Keith
Geoengineering article by David Keith
Keith_2002_GeoengOxfordEncy[1].pdf (Acrobat (PDF) 185kB Nov27 15)

Teaching Notes and Tips

See lesson plan (Teaching Materials)


After watching the Ted Talk as well as completing the assigned readings, write a response to the following (2 part assignment) and embed as text under Discussion on Courseworks

A) At what temperature increase would you be willing to implement geoengineering? (Hypothesize based on readings thus far and background knowledge)

B) How would you make the case to the public that we have to act? (Reference at least one of the assigned readings)

References and Resources

See lesson plan (Teaching Materials)


Callahan, P. (2012). Unit: Geoengineering