"LONDON -- Humans may have to reset the Earth's natural thermostat and develop new technologies like reflecting sunlight back into space if climate talks fail, Britain's top science academy said on Tuesday.
So-called geoengineering was not a quick fix but may be needed to head off planetary catastrophe and so deserved more research as an insurance policy, the Royal Society said in a report, "Geoengineering the climate."
Such technologies were not an alternative to cutting emissions, however, the report stressed.
Political efforts to curb greenhouse gases are in the spotlight three months before a U.N-led meeting meant to clinch a new climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol.
"Nothing should divert us from the priority of reducing global carbon dioxide emissions and ensuring that the December meeting in Copenhagen does lead to real progress," said Royal Society President Martin Rees.
"But if such reductions achieve too little too late there will be surely pressure to contemplate a plan B," he told an audience at the launch of the report in central London."