Geoengineering

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.

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References:

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 airScientific American 302(6), pp.   66–71. Module Notes.

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