Coral reefs, cloud forests and radical climate interventions in Australia’s Wet Tropics and Great Barrier Reef

Benjamin Sovacool*, Chad M. Baum, Sean Low, Livia Bianca Fritz

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Given the inadequacy of current patterns of climate mitigation, calls for rapid climate protection are beginning to explore and endorse potentially radical options. Based on fieldwork involving original expert interviews (N = 23) and extensive site visits (N = 23) in Australia, this empirical study explores four types of climate interventions spanning climate differing degrees of radicalism: adaptation, solar geoengineering, forestry and ecosystems restoration, and carbon removal. It examines ongoing efforts to engage in selective breeding and assisted adaptation of coral species to be introduced on the Great Barrier Reef, as well as to implement regional solar geoengineering in the form of fogging and marine cloud brightening. It also examines related attempts at both nature-based and engineered forms of carbon removal vis-à-vis ecosystem restoration via forestry conservation and reforestation in the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area, and enhanced weathering and ocean alkalinization. This portfolio of climate interventions challenges existing categorizations and typologies of climate action. Moreover, the study identifies positive synergies and coupling between the options themselves, but also lingering trade-offs and risks needing to be taken into account. It discusses three inductive themes which emerged from the qualitative data: complexity and coupling, risk and multi-scalar effects, and radicality and governance. It elucidates these themes with an attempt to generalize lessons learned for other communities around the world considering climate interventions to protect forests, preserve coral reefs, or implement carbon removal and solar geoengineering.
TidsskriftPLOS Climate
Sider (fra-til)1-32
Antal sider32
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2023


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