The devastation that humans have brought on the environment has resulted in climate change, and other global crises. This has led scientists, researchers and world leaders to create strategies that will help us eliminate our carbon footprint, and clean up our environment. Geoengineering solutions are now being created, to be used worldwide by 2030, to remove carbon from the air. Once implemented on a global scale this carbon dioxide removal will significantly reduce the effects of global warming, by counteracting the greenhouse effect and ocean acidification. Some of the ways in which geoengineering can be used for this purpose are:
Afforestation – A global tree planting effort.
Biochar – Burying ‘charred’ biomass to enclose its carbon in the soil.
Ocean Fertilization – Adding nutrients to the ocean to increase primary production, which would then pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Ambient Air Capture – The making of large machines that can remove carbon from the air, and store it elsewhere.
Enhance Weathering – Exposing large quantities of minerals, to react with the carbon dioxide in the air, and store the created compound in the soil or ocean.
Showing that their technology may be more advanced than the rest of the world, Iceland has recently produced a 300-megawatt geothermal power plant. The plant emits approximately one-third the amount of carbon that a traditional coal one does, but captures even more carbon dioxide than it produces. This means that its emissions are negative, because it produces less waste than it cleans from the environment.
The system is made up of a wall of fans that suck in air. They then separate the carbon dioxide, from the other particles, and inject it into water. This liquid is pumped into the ground, where it turns into rock. This simple process, produces useable energy while cleaning the environment. The current cost for purifying a ton of carbon dioxide is U$30. As the amount of carbon dioxide taken from the air increases, so would the costs. This means that the technology is currently financially inaccessible to many countries. The technology’s creators are attempting to modify the system, to lower the associated costs, so that it can be used in other areas of the world. The technology’s adaptation will prove beneficial, as any steps towards decreasing global warming will have a positive effect on the planet. Scientists advise that new technology also takes into consideration planetary needs, and be built in an effort to control the current pollution level in the world.