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Mapping Weak Signals

Inspired by: FP7 » Growing interest in geo-engineering options

version: 1 / created: 2010-12-04
id: #1193 / version id: #1193
mode: VIEW

Originally submitted by: Rafael Popper
List of all contributors by versions (mouse over)
Last changed by: Rafael Popper
WI-WE status:
unpublished archived

Source of inspiration

European Commission Framework Programme for RTD (FP7)

Theme/activity of inspiration

Theme 6 - Environment (including Climate Change)

Sub-theme/area of inspiration

Pressures on environment and climate

Optional reference/s to FP7 project/s

Use the following format: Project Acronym (Project Reference No.). Use commas if more than one project is associated to this Wild Card, for example: ALFA-BIRD (213266), SAFAR (213374), LAPCAT-II (211485)
IMPLICC (226567) - http://implicc.zmaw.de

Signal's headline

(max. 9 words)
Growing interest in geo-engineering options

Signal's description

(approx. 150 words)
Please describe the Weak Signal (approx. 150 words)
Growing number of research efforts aimed to increase the level of knowledge about the feasibility and implications of geo-engineering options to limit climate change with, for example: deliberate manipulations of the radiative budget of the Earth. Such an approach may counterbalance the effects of greenhouse gas emissions on global temperature, but may also result in undesirable side effects for crucial parts of the Earth system and humankind.


climate change, geo-engineering,


(max. 250 characters)
Growing number of research efforts aimed to increase the level of knowledge about the feasibility and implications of geo-engineering options to, for example, limit climate change.

Signal's first apperance


Signal's potential evolution

It could lead to...
issue type of issue/development potential impact on society timeframe for the issue to become at least 50% probable
#1 Successful counterbalancing of the effects of continued greenhouse gas emissions on global temperature new/emerging
very beneficial
#2 Significant unexpected and undesirable side effects of geo-engineering new/emerging
very harmful

Under what assumption the Weak Signal might evolve.

Research on geo-engineering continues without seriously considering side effects.


please specify
please select
Level 3: important for the European Union
Level 4: important for the whole world

Filters preventing the signal's monitoring

information/communicational filters (media/editorial interests, language, reasoning)
scientific filters (knowledge/technology access)

Comments on selection:

Lack of relevant information and knowledge frameworks to follow up geo-engineering developments

Key driving forces of this signal

Please use these boxes to provide up to 2 drivers of HIGH importance. Click on HELP to see examples:
Driver 1 Driver 2
Technological/Scientific Advances in geo-engineering technologies
Environmental Climate change concerns

Major risks & opportunities associated to the signal

Please choose the most appropriate timeframe option(s) to which you would like to provide inputs.
Risks Opportunities
before 2015 More research funding in geo-enginering areas
between 2015-2025 Growing cost-benefit concerns about geo-engineering research and technology development efforts

Potential stakeholders' actions

short-term actions
(after 2015)
Policy actors (at the international, European and national levels) Promote geo-engineering standards and regulations
Academic/Research sector More research on unexpected and undesirable impacts of geo-engineering
Media Inform the general public

Signal's relevance for European Grand Challenges

where? please justify:
particularly relevant Europe world
Coexistence and conflicts Concerns about possible military uses of geo-engineering technologies
Ethics and abuse of S&T Geo-engineering will raise concerns about ethical practices
Sustainability and climate change Geo-engineering may potentially resolve the climate change element of this Grand Challenge

Signal's relevance for thematic research areas

please justify:
particularly relevant
Environment (including Climate Change)
Social Sciences and Humanities

Pan-European strategies influencing the signal

please justify:
particularly relevant
Developing and funding world-class research infrastructures
Facilitating and promoting knowledge sharing and transfer
Fostering and facilitating coherent international cooperation in science and technology

Research-friendly strategies potentially improving understanding of the signal

For further information about 'research-friendly strategies' click here
please justify:
particularly relevant
Overcoming sub-criticality and systemic failures
To be subcritical means that the effort in a particular field or subfield lacks resources, equipment or a sufficient number of researchers to achieve a desired goal
Creating a closer link between researchers & policy-makers
(e.g. supporting both thematic and cross-cutting policies, highlighting the strategic purpose of the European Research Area, etc.

Signal's relevance for future R&D and STI policies

Note: RTD = research and technology development; STI = science, technology and innovation
It highlights the need for more RTD on geo-engineeirng and more robust STI policies