On 11 March 2021, another global milestone for SRM evaluation was reached when the Jamaican DECIMALS team published the first SRM research paper from the Caribbean region. It was also the first paper from a Small Island Developing State.
The team is led by Dr Leonardo Clarke and is based at the University of the West Indies, Mona, with colleagues at the Instituto de Meteorología in Cuba. Their study, published in Atmosphere, concluded that SRM would be able to delay passing 1.5C of global warming – a temperature target advocated by many climate-vulnerable developing countries, including Caribbean states. Limiting temperatures with SRM could come with other risks, however, including potential reductions in regional rainfall and severe impacts if SRM were to be suddenly terminated.
The team also stressed that physical impacts of SRM are only one part of the broader decision on whether to use or reject the technology. The paper concludes: “The decision on whether SRM represents a useful approach to achieving global warming thresholds advocated by Caribbean small island developing states will not only be driven by the impact of SRM on the climate of the Caribbean. We recognise that social, political and ethical factors must also be considered by the region as it weighs the risks”.
Image: Composite photograph from the Caribbean Sea. Credit: NASA (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)