Cooling with Crops: Context and Assessment

This paper is published in Philosophical Transactions A and provides a full explanation of the concept of crop albedo bio-geoengineering, as well as how it compares to other geoengineering proposals. See the full paper, Singarayer and Davies-Barnard 2012.

The intention of this review is to place crop albedo biogeoengineering in the wider picture of climate manipulation. Crop biogeoengineering is considered within the context of the long-term modification of the land surface for agriculture over several thousand years. Biogeoengineering is also critiqued in relation to other geoengineering schemes in terms of mitigation power and adherence to social principles for geoengineering. Although its impact is small and regional, crop biogeoengineering could be a useful and inexpensive component of an ensemble of geoengineering schemes to provide temperature mitigation. The method should not detrimentally affect food security and there may even be positive impacts on crop productivity, although more laboratory and field research is required in this area to understand the underlying mechanisms.