"Geoengineering" refers to planetary-scale engineering projects
which attempt to influence global properties. In theory, the term "Geoengineering" could refer to any planet, but it is most frequently use to refer to engineering of the planet Earth. Geoengineering is used to describe projects that involve Teraforming Earth - and making the planet more habitable.
Some related techniques:
reclamation - the world's oceans represent
ecological wildernesses. The main problem is that all
the food sinks to the bottom - where there is no light
and plants cannot grow. Ocean reclamation aims to fix
this problem - by either turning oceans into land, surfacing them over or skinning them for farming purposes, using aquaculture techniques. "Deep" ocean reclamation iis also possible, though it is more challenging and further off into the future.
reclamation - some of the world's equatorial
regions have baked. They badly need irrigating on a large scale.
- Tundra reclamation -
the earth is currently in the middle of an ice age - and much
of its large northern landmasses are frozen wastelands. Tundra reclamation aims at improving this situation.
- Irrigation -
water supplies are of critical importance to plant and
animal health. Constructing reservoirs by building dams
helps supply fresh water. Rainfall can be stimulated via
cloud seeding, or via increasing evaporation.
- Mountain reclamation - some of the planet
is too high off the ground. The air is thin, and plants do
not grow well. Mountains cause clouds to empty themselves -
and create dry areas in their "precipitation shadow".
Unfortunately, mountain reclamation looks as though it will be
difficult and expensive.
Human systems are typically supported by a "grid" which supplies electricity, gas and information. At a pinch, information can be supplied wirelessly - but the electricity and gas grids are pretty fundamental infrastructure whose extent needs to be expanded.
- Earthquake amplification - seismic stimulation can be used to amplify and prolong small earthquakes can help to avoid big ones.
- Cloud control and the weather - attempts
to influence precipitation may help irrigate the planet in
the future, and may have power to help avert extreme
The problems, geoengineering faces are technological,
political and economic. All these aspects will need
addressing before geoengineering can become more widespread.