Effects of global warming article

Sucking CO2 from the Air Would Not Halt Effects of Global Warming
October 30, 2013 – 08:24 am

Sans reduced emissions, using extreme geoengineering to remove atmospheric carbon dioxide would not protect the oceans, models show

By Maria Temming | August 12, 2015

Credit: Julian Kopald

As nations repeatedly fail to make major cuts in their greenhouse gas production, scientists and others have begun to wonder if climate change might be halted not by emissions cuts but by technology that removes those gases from the atmosphere. The approach is called geoengineering. Unfortunately, a recent simulation of its effects on the oceans found that even extreme methods would not be able to completely rehabilitate the ocean environment. The work was published in Nature Climate Change on August 3. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.)

The experiments focused on carbon dioxide removal (CDR), the process of extracting excess CO2 directly from the atmosphere. In theory this could help oceans because they become dangerously acidic when they absorb too much atmospheric CO2. One CDR idea is to plant trees that consume large amounts of CO2 and then burn the trees in facilities where the emissions can be captured and stored underground. But no one has ever tested this or similar carbon removal schemes on a large scale.

The next-best thing to large-scale testing is a large-scale simulation. In the new study researchers led by Sabine Mathesius, an environmental scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, used a computer model to investigate CDR’s effectiveness in rehabilitating seawater damaged by CO2 emissions.

A tale of two experiments
Mathesius’s team used their computer simulation in two experiments. In the first they wanted to see if carbon removal could reduce the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration to the level that was typical before the industrial revolution, thus restoring the marine environment its preindustrial state.

Source: www.scientificamerican.com
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