Geoengineering: Making Earth a Better Place to Live In – Part 2
Posted on: April 16, 2019.

Author: Courtesy: iqsdirectory.com

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The escalating problems in climate change need to be addressed, but there are only a few scientifically plausible answers when it comes to determining a global policy to save the atmosphere from being polluted by carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. However, the longer we delay in acting, fewer will be the options eventually available.

Every idea, fundamental, fantastical, fanatical and flabbergasting, is on the table for consideration until we solve the problem of cooling the planet, and one of them may indeed be the answer, rewarding us with a cooler climate and a more stable planet to call home…

…And, as technology advances, we will move closer to directly involving ourselves in nature’s delicate balance.

“Climate Engineering” can be classified under two broad categories, Solar Radiation Management and Carbon Dioxide Removal. Some theories might seem less far-fetched than others, while almost every theory has some scientific support behind it. The following ideas remain a mix of theoretical or currently under serious study and consideration…

CARBON DIOXIDE REMOVAL

Carbon Capture and Storage with Bio-energy. Biomass, such as trees, release carbon dioxide (CO2) while being burnt to generate bio energy. This CO2 emission  is captured and stored underground by roughly 20 sites around the world that currently use this technology. Though considered to be “a carbon-neutral method” for removing CO2, scientists are concerned that the CO2 released by burning the biomass may not be recaptured by new trees for many years, and not enough land may exist to grow new trees. However, this remains the only technology on this list that has shown any proven results.

Direct Air Capture. Now, why not pull CO2 directly out of the air, instead of pulling it from burning trees? In other words, carbon dioxide is pulled directly from the atmosphere, and stored underground. While certainly the most straightforward method, it’s also quite costly. Three different start-ups are separately building working prototypes, but as of now, that’s as far as the technology has developed.

SOLAR RADIATION MANAGEMENT

Dispersing “Stratospheric Sulphur Aerosol” is an adoption of a naturally occurring phenomena: volcanoes. Scientists have posited releasing sulphur into the stratosphere to reflect the heated sunlight. Commercial aircraft making daily flights double as delivery systems for dispersing sulphur aerosol—or other light reflecting materials—into the air. Research and preliminary testing for this are already underway at Harvard University.

The yet-to-be-tested theory of “Marine Cloud Brightening” is the brainchild of a professor from the University of Edinburgh. Seawater would be sprayed into the atmosphere, producing thicker, more reflective clouds. This technique only uses the natural element of seawater, not manufactured aerosols, though affordability and viability are potential challenges.

Other approaches: “Corralling the Ocean”

Two theories involve favourably manipulating the ocean to help lower temperatures.

One involves filling the seas with massive amounts of iron, resulting in huge blooms of phytoplankton. These blooms carry the potential to absorb carbon from the air. The other involves dumping foam into the ocean’s waters, as foam mimics arctic ice that effectively reflects sunlight. Known challenges here would be the quick dissipation of foam, sheer scale of the oceans that would make any endeavour nearly impossible, and need for constant coverage to prove it useful.

Even if either of the two proposals were possible, many environmentalists feel the oceans are suffering enough in our current climate.

Courtesy: iqsdirectory.com

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