UCL Earth Sciences


Dr Peter Irvine

Solar geoengineering, climate change, climate impacts, climate policy

Lecturer in Climate Change & Solar Geoengineering


Peter Irvine




LecturerKathleen Lonsdale, 301C

Courses Taught:

GEOL0013 Principles of climate (module organiser and lecturer)

Research Group(s):

Polar Research
CPOM Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling

Email Address:

Telephone Number:


020 3108 9872 (59872)

Research Summary

Solar geoengineering describes a set of proposals to modify the Earth's radiation budget which may offer a means of reducing the impacts of climate change. Through my research, I seek to understand the potential risks and benefits of solar geoengineering and to explore its broader implications.

Meet the Staff: Dr Peter Irvine

Evaluating the modeled climate response to solar geoengineering is the focus of much of my work. I am particularly interested in the terrestrial hydrological response to solar geoengineering though I work on a range of impacts, including sea-level rise and ecosystem impacts. I also work on developing analysis and visualization approaches that contextualize the response to solar geoengineering in relation to climate change.

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9r4EKg_p5dc&t=5s

In my interdisciplinary work I seek to connect the scientific findings on solar geoengineering to the broader questions that this proposal to control the climate raises. I work with ethicists, economists and lawyers to better understand the potential harms and benefits of solar geoengineering and how they could be addressed through compensation. I also work to understand the implications that the technical requirements of solar geoengineering would have on its governance.

In my latest paper in Climate Policy I look at: "Technical characteristics of a solar geoengineering deployment and implications for governance" with Doug Macmartin (lead), Josh Horton and Ben Kravitz.

UCL News: 2020.03: The right dose of geoengineering could reduce climate change risks
Research vlog, 2020.10: The potential, limits and risks of solar geoengineering.  Pete explains his research into solar geoengineering, a set of ideas to cool the Earth by increasing the reflectivity of the planet. He discusses the ways in which solar geoengineering could change the climate and some of the broader implications of this novel climate policy option.