UCL Earth Sciences


Alistair Duffey

“Using solar geoengineering to arrest climate changes in the Arctic"

PhD project title:

Could high latitude geoengineering refreeze the Arctic?


:Alistair Duffey
Project description:

The Arctic is warming faster than any other region on Earth, driven by local positive climate feedbacks, such as the sea-ice albedo feedback. These changes will not remain isolated in the Arctic. The melting of Permafrost will release methane and CO2 that will add to the global burden of greenhouse gases, and the warming and loss of sea-ice may also disrupt mid-latitude weather by changing the dynamics of the jet stream. Solar geoengineering describes a set of proposals to directly alter the Earth’s energy budget, and while most of the analysis of these proposals has focused on global applications, the Arctic is an obvious regional target for application.

My research will evaluate the potential for global and regional applications of solar geoengineering to arrest climate changes in the Arctic, especially to sea-ice loss, and the wider implications of such interventions on the climate, in particular on mid-latitude weather extremes and the modes of variability that drive them. I will make use of the Met Office’s Hadley Centre climate models to simulate the effects of polar applications of stratospheric aerosol geoengineering, marine cloud brightening, and sea-ice albedo modification. I will also draw on the CMIP6 archive of climate simulations and observations to evaluate the impacts of historical volcanic eruptions on the polar regions.