Geoengineering is the process of creating scientifically engineered devices, or modifications to the planet in order to produce an atmospheric effect of protection or repulsion of current climate change. Lackner, 2010 suggested creating a carbon carousel that basically washes the carbon out of the air. This process allows for CO2 particles to be trapped by filters and sorbent materials, washed through a filtering process, and then the CO2 can be reused. The CO2 collected by air capture machines could be used profitably by industry or be piped underground, as is done in experimental carbon capture and storage systems, intended largely for use at coal-fired power plants. Another way geoengineering could help climate change damage is the introduction of glacial walls. This is where the walls built on the ocean-floor would come into play. Once in place, these barriers would “block warm water so you could reduce the melting rate, and also to provide pinning points that the ice shelf could reground on as it thickens,” (Angle, 2018)
The likelihood though that these measures would work are to be determined. Large scale projects such as these would more than likely require government funding, and an agreement that these and other proposed models are safe, will work, and will not harm life on the planet. I like the idea of carbon washing as a method, because it seems to be cost effective, the CO2 could be reused. Many industries use carbon dioxide—to carbonate beverages, freeze chicken wings and make dry ice. The gas is also used for stimulating the growth of indoor crops and as a nonpolluting solvent or refrigerant(Lackner, 2010). In addition to cost, Lackner suggests, critics argue that numerous air capture machines would consume lots of energy, and they note that the filters are made of plastics derived from oil. A more substantial hurdle, in my mind, is that for each ton of CO2 collected, several tons of water would evaporate to the atmosphere, as wet filters dried. But if air capture were implemented on a large scale, it could start to correct climate change(Lackner, 2010) Implementing some form of geoengineering may be the most necessary next step to slow down human driven emissions, and climate change effects.
Angle, Andrew. (2018, February 2). Glacial geoengineering—the key to slowing sea level rise? Columbia University Earth Institute. Module Notes.
Lackner, K. S. (2010). Washing carbon out of the air. Scientific American 302(6), pp. 66–71. Module Notes.
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