Can we reverse global warming? A new international commission is looking for an answer to this question. They want to identify the advantages and disadvantages of technologies that could cool the Earth if they were used on a large scale. Consider facilities to remove carbon dioxide from the air, techniques to make clouds whiter or to dim the sun.
Due to the use of fossil fuels, the Earth is now 1.1 degrees warmer. Climate change already has severe consequences for people and the environment. So countries in Paris agreed to keep global warming below two degrees. Leading climate scientists this week told Expect That this will not work.
Exceeding this critical limit has dire and potentially irreversible consequences. So the hope is for techniques to bring the temperature down again later in the century.
new international commissionClimate Override Committee† Politicians, scientists and diplomats will verify these technologies. “The best thing so far is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said panel member Lawrence Tubiana. “But it’s not happening fast enough, so we have to decide on other options. I see that as a kind of insurance policy.”
Some options look like Science Fiction† Such as dimming the sun by bringing large amounts of dust particles into the stratosphere by aircraft. This could have an effect similar to a large volcanic eruption, causing the Earth’s temperature to temporarily decrease. The search is underway in America. Tubiana believes that it is now important to have a discussion about the use of such climate manipulations: “We cannot allow technical adventurers to test technologies that might be dangerous for everyone.”
One technology that will be needed anyway, according to the UN Climate Committee IPCC, is carbon dioxide capture. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that around 2050, about 5 billion tons of carbon dioxide will have to be removed from the air each year to keep global warming below 2 degrees.
Iceland’s largest CO2 vacuum cleaner currently filters 4,000 tons of CO2 from the air. This is what the world releases in 3 seconds. “The costs are huge right now,” says Topania. It requires a lot of energy. If costs don’t come down, that’s not a solution.
The BBC has already taken a look at the Orca CO2 vacuum cleaner:
The newly established committee that conducts research is an initiative of the French Climate Organization. The goal is to prepare an advisory report that the international community can discuss at the United Nations next year. The commission was also criticized. Some climate activists fear that emphasizing a techno repair For the climate distracts from the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, experts note that many technologies remain unproven.
“Theoretically we press a button and the carbon dioxide disappears from the air,” said Kevin Anderson, a climate researcher and energy expert at Britain’s Tidal Centre. “But in practice, there are all the unexpected obstacles. The truth is that we don’t have these technologies yet at the required scale. We will never be able to achieve this in five or ten years. In fact, we are betting that our children and grandchildren will develop these technologies. To remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but that’s misleading.”
Committee member Tubiana understands these concerns. But she says the time for easy choices is over. “Maybe we just need these technologies. The costs are too high. We hope to see it much cheaper to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
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