Research Topic

Ethical, Legal, and Social Implication Aspects of Geoengineering

About this Research Topic

​​​​​​​Innovation is constantly sought in the expanding field of geoengineering. As society finds it less able to mitigate abusive abusers of the environment, scientists and engineers now look to alternative methods of slowing and even reversing climate change. Geoengineering provides the ability to massively intervene in Earth’s climate on scales heretofore only provided by catastrophic natural events.

Two hundred years ago, once such event, the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia, arguably one of the largest in a millennium led to a palpable drop in average global temperatures, crop devastation and the “year without a summer (1816).” Coincidentally, at the same time that nature was wreaking havoc on the environment, Mary Shelly composed the paradigmatic cautionary tale against man interfering with nature. Ironically, two centuries later geoengineering is attempting to do just that, albeit in a more sophisticated and careful manner.

The goal of this ​Research Topic is to examine current and near-future efforts in geoengineering in light of Shelly’s admonitions not to interfere in nature: analyzing the non-trivial ethical, legal and social implications of our attempts to forestall the effects of decades of environmental neglect and misuse with a particular focus on the physical impact that these efforts might have on the planet, including on our arable land, our freshwater systems, and the atmosphere.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

​​​​​​​Innovation is constantly sought in the expanding field of geoengineering. As society finds it less able to mitigate abusive abusers of the environment, scientists and engineers now look to alternative methods of slowing and even reversing climate change. Geoengineering provides the ability to massively intervene in Earth’s climate on scales heretofore only provided by catastrophic natural events.

Two hundred years ago, once such event, the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia, arguably one of the largest in a millennium led to a palpable drop in average global temperatures, crop devastation and the “year without a summer (1816).” Coincidentally, at the same time that nature was wreaking havoc on the environment, Mary Shelly composed the paradigmatic cautionary tale against man interfering with nature. Ironically, two centuries later geoengineering is attempting to do just that, albeit in a more sophisticated and careful manner.

The goal of this ​Research Topic is to examine current and near-future efforts in geoengineering in light of Shelly’s admonitions not to interfere in nature: analyzing the non-trivial ethical, legal and social implications of our attempts to forestall the effects of decades of environmental neglect and misuse with a particular focus on the physical impact that these efforts might have on the planet, including on our arable land, our freshwater systems, and the atmosphere.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

15 December 2017 Manuscript
15 February 2018 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 December 2017 Manuscript
15 February 2018 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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