Meet Graciela Raga – one of Mexico’s new SRM researchers

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In March, the Degrees Initiative announced funding for the first two solar radiation modification (SRM) research teams based in Mexico. Led by Dr Graciela Lucia Binimelis de Raga and Dr Julián A. Velascofrom the Institute for Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Change at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), the teams will model how climate change and SRM might impact heatwaves and biodiversity, respectively, across Mexico and Central America. 

Following the announcement, we sat down with Graciela to hear more about her and her work, and what motivated her to get involved in this area of research. From a background in meteorology and cloud physics, the worsening effects of climate change on extreme weather led Graciela to study heatwaves in the region. 

Graciela has been aware of SRM since the early 2000s and has since taught students about the technology in relation to meteorology as well as aerosol and cloud physics. The new project funded by Degrees presents an opportunity for her team to expand knowledge in this field, by modelling and evaluating how SRM and climate change might affect the region. This will develop local expertise to then play an informed role in future governance discussions and decisions on the use or non-use of SRM. 

Graciela highlights that, “I still feel very strongly that we can solve climate change by reducing emissions and reaching net zero…we know how we can solve the problem and we know that there are vested interests that inhibit the progress towards that solution.”  

When it comes to SRM, she notes that “different countries will need to have experts that have studied the problem so that they can provide good advice on how to proceed. It will need people, scientists that have had the experience of working in the field of SRM approaches so they can explain clearly what the benefits and drawbacks would be.” 

Watch the full interview above with our Communications Manager, Lyndsey Croal.

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