Articles | Volume 13, issue 1
Earth Syst. Dynam., 13, 219–230, 2022
Earth Syst. Dynam., 13, 219–230, 2022
Research article
31 Jan 2022
Research article | 31 Jan 2022

Exploration of a novel geoengineering solution: lighting up tropical forests at night

Xueyuan Gao et al.

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Cited articles

Abatayo, A. Lou, Bosetti, V., Casari, M., Ghidoni, R., and Tavoni, M.: Solar geoengineering may lead to excessive cooling and high strategic uncertainty, P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 117, 13393–13398,, 2020. 
Aguirre-Gutiérrez, J., Malhi, Y., Lewis, S. L., Fauset, S., Adu-Bredu, S., Affum-Baffoe, K., Baker, T. R., Gvozdevaite, A., Hubau, W., Moore, S., Peprah, T., Ziemińska, K., Phillips, O. L., and Oliveras, I.: Long-term droughts may drive drier tropical forests towards increased functional, taxonomic and phylogenetic homogeneity, Nat. Commun., 11, 3–18,, 2020. 
Boisvenue, C. and Running, S. W.: Impacts of climate change on natural forest productivity - Evidence since the middle of the 20th century, Global Change Biol., 12, 862–882,, 2006. 
Borchert, R., Renner, S. S., Calle, Z., Havarrete, D., Tye, A., Gautier, L., Spichiger, R., and Von Hildebrand, P.: Photoperiodic induction of synchronous flowering near the Equator, Nature, 433, 627–629,, 2005. 
Chatterjee, S. and Huang, K. W.: Unrealistic energy and materials requirement for direct air capture in deep mitigation pathways, Nat. Commun., 11, 4–9,, 2020. 
Short summary
Numerical experiments with a coupled Earth system model show that large-scale nighttime artificial lighting in tropical forests will significantly increase carbon sink, local temperature, and precipitation, and it requires less energy than direct air carbon capture for capturing 1 t of carbon, suggesting that it could be a powerful climate mitigation option. Side effects include CO2 outgassing after the termination of the nighttime lighting and impacts on local wildlife.
Final-revised paper