While the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions remains a valuable target around the world, a new study suggests that we will need to do more in order to stop global warming before the changes become irreversible.
A new idea is being pushed by several organizations, namely the extraction of CO2 from the atmosphere before the greenhouse effect will raise the global temperature to dangerous levels.
Some think that the ideas below are just a smokescreen used to distract the public from real measures like the limitation of CO2 emissions. The study directly contradicts them as it argues that the methods are in fact viable and they could be used on a large scale.
According to the authors of the project we could reduce the amount of CO2 present in the air by creating artificial wetlands, which should absorb CO2 the while releasing valuable oxygen, killing two birds with one stone. Protecting the existing wetlands should also be a priority, as they count among the most endangered ecosystems on Earth.
It is well-known that global deforestation in the last century is a major contribution to global warming since trees play a major role in the conversion of greenhouse gases to oxygen. The issue here is that researchers know which trees are great for timber, but more research is needed in order to identify the trees that excel at removing C02 from the atmosphere.
Guarding the remaining forests
While planting trees is a noble effort, more needs to be done in order to protect existing forests since prevention is cheaper than treatment. Reforestation after natural disasters is a first step, while limiting the amount of timber turned into firewood would also help.
Better agricultural guidelines
Planting cover crops on barren fields is a sure way to boost oxygen generation and better agricultural guidelines are needed in order to help farmers to grow sustainable cultures.
BECCS or biomass energy with carbon capture and storage involves the use of energy crops that consume large amounts of CO2.The crops would then be burned at specialized plants which will convert the energy into electricity while collecting the released CO2 in artificial underground deposits.
Other methods are also being explored, like the use of carbon mineralization.
It remains to be seen which methods will prove to be most effective in the long run as more countries join the Paris climate agreement.
Nicole Hicks a graduate of UFT. She’s based in Toronto but travels much of the year. Nicole has written for NPR, Motherboard, MSN Money, and the Huffington Post. Nicole is a financial reporter, focusing on technology, national security, and policing.