Scientists warn efforts to remove CO2 emissions must be increased

 

Last year the world put nearly 37 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air, and emissions have been rising.

However, a recent report from the National Academy of Sciences states technology to remove CO2 emissions from the environment has improved, even as climate change has worsened.

Rather than a depressing doom and gloom scenario of the world’s inability to avoid dangerous warming, this report gives operational guidance on tackling climate change.



WHAT IS A NEGATIVE EMISSION TECHNOLOGY?

A negative emission technology, or NET, is any technology that removes CO2 directly from the air. The development and use of NETs is instrumental in fighting climate change, as removing CO2 from the air is just as effective as technologies that aim to remove CO2 from the source, such as a power plant. NETs are also often less expensive and disruptive than reducing or preventing emissions at the source.

Scientists caution that CO2 removal is not a replacement for other mitigation strategies or emissions cuts, but rather a piece of the solution.

NETS INCLUDE A COMBINATION OF SIMPLE, TIME-TESTED STRATEGIES AND EMERGING NEW TECHNOLOGIES, SUCH AS: 

— Planting more trees, managing forests better and limiting the amount of land used by people. Plants take carbon dioxide from the air and use it to grow.

— Improving soil conservation so the soil can store more carbon dioxide and produce more food.

— Conserving and restoring coastal plants like marshlands and sea grass beds.

— Leveraging direct air capture, a relatively new technology in which giant fans pull in air and then use a chemical reaction to suck carbon out and inject it underground.

— Exploring a technology that relies on certain types of rock to absorb CO2.

— Burning more biofuel like wood, capturing the CO2 after combustion and either burying it underground or making it into solids that can be spread on dirt.


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