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WIREs Clim Change
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Dual high‐stake emerging technologies: a review of the climate engineering research literature

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The literature on climate engineering, or geoengineering, covers a wide range of potential methods for solar radiation management or carbon dioxide removal that vary in technical aspects, temporal and spatial scales, potential environmental impacts, and legal, ethical, and governance challenges. This paper presents a comprehensive review of social and natural science papers on this topic since 2006 and listed in SCOPUS and Web of Science. It adds to previous literature reviews by combining analyses of bibliometric patterns and of trends in how the technologies are framed in terms of content, motivations, stakes, and recommendations. Most peer‐reviewed climate engineering literature does not weigh the risks and new, additional, benefits of the various technologies, but emphasizes either the potential dangers of climate engineering or the climate change consequences of refraining from considering the research, development, demonstration, and/or deployment of climate engineering technologies. To analyse this polarity, not prevalent in the literature on earlier emerging technologies, we explore the concept of dual high‐stake technologies. As appeals to fear have proven ineffective in spurring public engagement in climate change, we may not expect significant public support for climate engineering technologies whose rationale is not to achieve benefits in addition to avoiding the high stakes of climate change. Furthermore, in designing public engagement exercises, researchers must be careful not to steer discussions by emphasizing one type of stake framing over another. A dual high‐stake, rather than risk–benefit, framing should also be considered in analysing some emerging technologies with similar characteristics, for example, nanotechnology for pollution control. WIREs Clim Change 2015, 6:255–268. doi: 10.1002/wcc.333

Publications in WoS identified by the keywords ‘climate engineering’ and ‘geoengineering’.
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Social science abstracts addressing stakes related to climate change, climate engineering, or both.
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Natural science abstracts addressing stakes related to climate change, climate engineering, or both.
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Abstracts specifically addressing the role of climate engineering in climate action.
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Starting point for the analysis in all natural and social science abstracts (Relative share of number of starting points mentioned).
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Specific climate engineering technologies addressed in natural and social science abstracts (number of abstracts).
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Number of CDR and SRM abstracts specifically addressing SRM and/or CDR.
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Frequency of climate engineering abstracts, 2006–2013; author categorization adjusted from SCOPUS.
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