Nature News has a new piece on geo-engineering up which fails to mention, even once, that virtually all proposed geo-engineering schemes will do nothing to mitigate “the other CO2 problem”: ocean acidification.
This is especially perplexing given the rather higher profile that acidification has been enjoying, especially of late. Just this June, a huge number of national science academies (70)- including the NAS and Royal Society- released a joint statement on the severity of the ocean acidification threat, pushing for large CO2 emissions cuts by 2050, and further cuts thereafter.
It’s perhaps even more strange because one of the other, less well known consequences of geo-engineering received quite a bit of attention in the Nature piece: weakening/disruption of the hydrological cycle. Now this is certainly a problem with geo-engineering worth talking about, and calling attention to Susan Solomon’s new paper in Science Express on it is decidedly helpful, but mentioning it while ignoring ocean acidification is a bit like talking about smoking and emphysema while avoiding any discussion of lung cancer. And after all, it’s not as though there are no recent relevant papers discussing ocean acidification in the context of geo-engineering.
Let’s hope this was just an isolated slip up and not indicative of a widespread backslide to the media’s previous stance of ignoring the problem altogether.
[LATE UPDATE: The author of the piece has responded that it was a space constraint issue.]