Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 5 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/1/19

The Existential Crisis of Global Warming -- Is Carbon Capture the Answer?

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     (# of views)   2 comments
Author 500573
Message Arshad M Khan
- Advertisement -

If we care about our earth (and the readers here are most likely to) the story is quite simple: We emit 40 billion tons of carbon annually, and little is being done to reduce it. There is also not much likelihood of any action from our leaders, given the Senate vote on the Green New Deal and President Trump's well-known views on the subject . So how do we get rid of the carbon about to turn earth into a living hell? Deadlines have been clearly laid down by experts.


The October 2018 IPCC report on limiting global warming to 1.5C above preindustrial levels notes human-caused CO2 emissions would have to achieve 'net-zero' by 2050. According to the report, this would necessitate 'far-reaching transitions' not just in how energy is used and produced but also in the use of Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs) such as carbon recapture from the air. We have to stabilize earth or eventually a self-reinforcing feedback loop will lead to uncontrollable warming and a "Hothouse Earth" without any means of reducing earth temperatures.


- Advertisement -

Scientists assessing NETs find that restricting global warming to 1.5C requires large-scale deployment of NETs; in fact, a major national effort. Moreover, any single NET is unlikely to be sustainably adequate, rather multiple NETs each on a more modest scale is the most effective scenario. A comprehensive analysis is therefore both illustrative and illuminating.

Direct air carbon capture and storage (DACCS) is an enticing prospect until one examines the costs. Scientific scenarios project DACCS capacity to remove 10-15 billion tons of CO2 per year by century's end. Optimists up it to 35-40 billion tons solving the CO2 problem in one fell swoop. Not so, say those who have examined costs.


- Advertisement -

A group from the Mercatur Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change and Humboldt University of Berlin and in particular Sabine Fuss have examined costs reporting on different NETs in Environmental Research Letters (ERL, June 2018). They put the cost at $100-300 per ton for DACCS and estimate sustainable removal at 0.5 - 5.0 GtCO2 per year -- a Gt is approximately a billion tons. The upper level would still cost $500 billion to $1.5 billion according to them.


The other major problem with DACCS is the sheer energy required. Removing a million tons a year would consume 300-500 MW according to Jennifer Wilcox of Worcester Polytechnic. The power needs to be clean energy for a coal-fired plant would generate more CO2 than would be extracted.


Climeworks is a company based in Switzerland that has developed a DACCS process. Its pilot plant in Hellisheidi, Iceland, is using geothermal energy to remove CO2 from the air and store it in basalt. They have also announced a commercial scale venture in Zurich, Switzerland.


- Advertisement -

In addition to active air capture as described, there is a passive approach. An Arizona State University professor has developed a resin that when dry absorbs CO2 from the air, relinquishing it when immersed in water. The team envisions artificial trees made from the resin each capable of capturing a daily ton of CO2.

As an addendum to afforestation one might note an investment by Apple on a project by Conservation International to restore and protect 27,000 acres of mangroves in Columbia. This will capture a million tons of CO2 annually as 'blue' carbon stored in coastal marshlands and mangroves can be up to ten times more dense than in forests.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Arshad M Khan Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Arshad M Khan is a former Professor. Educated at King's College London, Oklahoma State University and the University of Chicago, he has a multidisciplinary background that has frequently informed his research. He was elected a Fellow of the (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

a Chilling Documentary, the UN Discusses the Rohingya and an International Judges Tribunal Declares Genocide

Assad Is Not an Idiot

Oh Say Can We Really See ...

Trump Tweets Scorn As Weather Disasters Sweep World

Is the U.S. Losing Its Clout?

Trump Escape, Washington Troubles, and Clorox for Democrats

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

2 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments


Jerry Lobdill

Become a Fan
Author 4979
Follow Me on Twitter
(Member since Feb 17, 2007), 24 fans, 40 articles, 106 quicklinks, 3119 comments, 22 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

In my opinion this is one of the most useful and important articles I have ever read on the most threatening problem mankind has ever encountered.

WE ARE DOOMED IF WE DO NOT STEP UP AND USE EVERY RESOURCE AVAILABLE TO PRESERVE LIFE ON THIS PALE BLUE DOT, THE UNIVERSE'S ONLY KNOWN LIFE-SUPPORTING PLANET.

Each of us here should buy and study the book, DRAWDOWN and start being proactive in convincing our fellow humans to get on board this train and save it from the psychopaths now in command.

If you haven't done so already, please read my article about the potential of bamboo plantations to make a huge contribution to carbon sequestration click here. The main deterrent is international politics. DRAWDOWN discusses many other ways to tackle our existential crisis. Let's get started

Submitted on Friday, May 3, 2019 at 11:53:55 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 
Indent

Arshad M Khan

Become a Fan
Author 500573

(Member since Nov 2, 2014), 5 fans, 125 articles, 1 quicklinks, 106 comments, 2 diaries
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


Reply to Jerry Lobdill:   New Content

Thank you for your comment and for the information about DRAWDOWN. There is one bit of good news: the UK parliament just voted a bill to achieve net-zero by 2050.

Submitted on Friday, May 3, 2019 at 3:32:03 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment