The global warming situation has become so dire that Barack Obama’s chief scientific adviser has raised with the president the possibility of massive-scale technological fixes to alter the climate known as ‘geo-engineering’.

John Holdren, who is a member of the president’s cabinet, said today the drastic measures should not be “off the table” in discussions on how best to tackle climate change. While his office insisted that he was not proposing a dramatic switch in policy, Holdren said geo-engineering could not be ruled out.

“It’s got to be looked at. We don’t have the luxury of taking any approach off the table,” Holdren said in an interview with Associated Press. He made clear these were his personal views.

The suite of mega-technological fixes includes everything from placing mirrors in space that reflect sunlight from the Earth, to fertilising the oceans with iron to encourage the growth of algae that can soak up atmospheric carbon dioxide. Another option is to seed clouds which bounce the sun’s rays back into space so they do not warm the Earth’s surface.

Such global-scale technological solutions to climate change may seem fantastical, but increasing numbers of scientists argue that the technologies should at least be investigated.

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