Carbon capture


Apparently 97% of scientists agree that human activity is having an effect upon global climate. I am minded to agree with them yet my understanding of the issues is little more than superficial. In this blog I wanted to talk about how we could manage the problem in future.

Before that though I will go off at a tangent and throw one out there. The premise is that the burning of fossil fuels is raising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and at some point this will cause a runaway greenhouse effect. All fossil fuels are as a result of biological activity that has captured the carbon from the atmosphere through photosynthesis or the subsequent ingestion of plant material. If this is true then at some time in the past all of this carbon must have been in the atmosphere and carbon dioxide levels must have been at much higher levels than they are now. Why was there not a runaway greenhouse effect in the past? Perhaps there was. If anyone can help I would appreciate an answer.

Anyway, back to the blog. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising to critical levels and needs to be managed. Some of this will be done through the reduction in the use of fossil fuels and the increase in the use of alternative energy sources yet this is unlikely to be enough. Some form of carbon capture will need to be invented and developed commercially.

I have no doubt that humans will create the mechanism and will develop the capacity to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases. Hopefully it will be soon enough.

What is perhaps even more interesting is that this may give the species the mechanism to control the environment further. In fifteen hundred years or so the earth is likely to go into another ice age, where global temperatures will drop significantly. This may be the time that we start to release some of the carbon that has been captured to raise the amount of retained heat and so regulate the planet’s temperature.

Carbon capture could act as a thermostatic control for the earth. Fantasy? Perhaps, but don’t abandon hope quite yet.

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