|Society for Popular Astronomy
|Global warming and geo-engineering
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|Author:||brian livesey [ Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:34 am ]|
|Post subject:||Global warming and geo-engineering|
The experts tell us that unless carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by 25% by the end of the next decade, the greenhouse runaway effect will likely kick in.
There are, as we know, a number of proposed ways to reduce/stabilise global warming. One way is carbon capture, which means pumping CO2 into the ground from its point of production. For the UK, carbon capture was put on hold when Chancellor Osbourne scrapped a £1billion carbon capture programme.
A second way to reduce CO2 emissions is to use bio-energy, including burning wood to produce electricity. There are two problems here. Firstly, the UK already imports wood pellets from the USA for some power stations. Unfortunately, the bulk carriers that bring the pellets here from across the Atlantic, burn up 5 tonnes or so of engine oil per mile. The second problem is that burning wood doesn't actually result in a net decrease in CO2. A tree consists almost entirely of CO2 ( allowing for the water in wood ). When a tree is burned it releases the CO2 back into the atmosphere, as also does a rotting tree.
Mirrors in space, beaming sunlight onto mirrors in deserts, is an alternative method for producing carbon-free electricity.
Releasing sulphate into the stratosphere to reflect sunlight back into space has been suggested as a way to cool the Earth. Finally, seeding clouds with misted water spray to thicken and brighten them, reflecting sunlight back into space, has been proposed.
Whichever methods are adopted, and if the scientific predictions are correct, there's little time left to implement them.
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