--> Communication of Solar Geoengineering Science: Forms, Examples, and Explanation of Skewing – Jesse Reynolds / international & technology environmental policy
The Anthropocene Review (online ahead of print)
Publication year: 2022

Although a judicious use of solar radiation modification (SRM, or solar geoengineering) appears able to reduce climate change, SRM would create risks of its own. How results and conclusions are conveyed is important. This article describes nine cases in which scientific articles and their official press releases communicate results inaccurately: by inappropriately comparing SRM with a reference world of non-elevated greenhouse gas concentrations; focusing on the residual climatic anomalies that SRM would not entirely eliminate; generalizing a predictably harmful assumed implementation regime to all possible SRM; or reporting conclusions that the paper does not substantiate. Notably, each of these cases unduly amplifies SRM’s apparent risks and limitations. Collectively they may skew SRM communication and cause negative impacts on scientific assessments, news reporting, and policy discussions. The article suggests explanations for why SRM scientists and their official communicators sometimes inaccurately convey their results as well as how they and others should respond.