The solution to global warming, Olaf Schuiling says, lies beneath our feet.
For Dr. Schuiling, a retired geochemist, climate salvation would come in the form of olivine, a green-tinted mineral found in abundance around the world. When exposed to the elements, it slowly takes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Olivine has been doing this naturally for billions of years, but Dr. Schuiling wants to speed up the process by spreading it on fields and beaches and using it for dikes, pathways, even sandboxes. Sprinkle enough of the crushed rock around, he says, and it will eventually remove enough CO2 to slow the rise in global temperatures.
“Let the earth help us to save the earth,” said Dr. Schuiling, who has been pursuing the idea single-mindedly for several decades and at 82 is still writing papers on the subject from his cluttered office at the University of Utrecht.
Once considered the stuff of wild-eyed fantasies, such ideas for countering climate change — known as geoengineering solutions, because they intentionally manipulate nature — are now being discussed seriously by scientists. The National Academy of Sciences is expected to issue a report on geoengineering later this year.
That does not mean that such measures, which are considered controversial across the political spectrum, are likely to be adopted anytime soon. But the effects of climate change may become so severe that geoengineering solutions could attract even more serious consideration. Some scientists say significant research should begin now.
Dr. Schuiling’s idea is one of several intended to reduce levels of CO2, the main greenhouse gas, so the atmosphere will trap less heat. Other approaches, potentially faster and more doable but riskier, would create the equivalent of a sunshade around the planet by scattering reflective droplets in the stratosphere or spraying seawater to create more clouds over the oceans. Less sunlight reaching the earth’s surface would mean less heat to be trapped, resulting in a quick lowering of temperatures.
No one can say for sure whether geoengineering of any kind would work. And many of the approaches are seen as highly impractical. Dr. Schuiling’s, for example, would take decades to have even a small impact, and the processes of mining, grinding and transporting the billions of tons of olivine needed would produce enormous carbon emissions of their own.
Beyond the practicalities, many people view the idea of geoengineering as abhorrent — a last-gasp, Frankenstein-like approach to climate change that would distract the world from the goal of eliminating the emissions that are causing the problem in the first place. The climate is a vastly complex system, so manipulating temperatures may also have consequences, like changes in rainfall, that could be catastrophic or benefit one region at the expense of another.
Critics also worry that geoengineering could be used unilaterally by one nation, creating another source of geopolitical worries, or could aggravate tensions between rich and poor nations over who causes and who suffers from climate change. Even conducting research on some of these ideas, they say, risks opening a Pandora’s box.
The Latest on: Climate engineering
[google_news title=”” keyword=”Climate engineering” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Climate engineering
- AT&T and L&T Technology Services Collaborate to Accelerate Solutions to Address Climate Changeon February 22, 2024 at 4:01 pm
Pioneering solutions that pair connectivity with engineering expertise to reduce emissions EDISON ... As part of this collaboration, LTTS will participate in AT&T’s Connected Climate Initiative (CCI), ...
- 'A feat of engineering': A look inside Ohio State's $1.9-billion inpatient hospital toweron February 22, 2024 at 3:08 am
The 26-floor, 1.9 million-square-floor inpatient hospital is the largest capital project in Ohio State University history.
- Warren Wilson to add new climate studies program after discontinuing 5 majors last yearon February 22, 2024 at 2:18 am
Just months after announcing it was discontinuing majors in five fields of study, Warren Wilson College announced it will be introducing a new academic program.
- RIT researchers highlight the changing connectivity of the Amazon rainforest to global climateon February 21, 2024 at 4:00 pm
With the global climate crisis becoming more evident ... all in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, about their research. February 21, 2024 RIT undergraduate student team qualifies for First ...
- Morgan State launches Center for Urban and Climate Science Researchon February 21, 2024 at 2:31 pm
Morgan State University has established a new Center for Urban and Coastal Climate Science Research to uniquely address climate change in Maryland.
- Another Climate Impact Hits the Public’s Radar: A Wetter World Is Mudslide Cityon February 20, 2024 at 8:16 pm
When Viet and his wife bought their house-on-a-hill five years ago, it was a win, their piece of “the Hollywood Riviera,” as real estate agents like to call the area. (A self-employed marketer in his ...
- Leading a different kind of charge: Financial Institutions as climate change activistson February 20, 2024 at 12:00 pm
Financial Institutions as climate change activists Steve Croke, Chief Technology Officer for Financial Services at GlobalLogic, explains how the financial sector has the potential to be an essential ...
- 'What do we do?' Sandwich engineering firm brings expertise to EPA with $10M contracton February 18, 2024 at 2:04 am
The work include finding cyber risk management solutions and identifying contamination mitigation strategies for public drinking water systems.
- These new viruses could help us fight climate changeon February 17, 2024 at 1:30 pm
New research reveals how tiny ocean viruses could play a surprising role in our fight against climate change by capturing carbon.
- Richard Branson and Oppenheimer's grandson urge action to stop AI and climate 'catastrophe'on February 15, 2024 at 9:37 pm
Billionaire Virgin Group founder Richard Branson is among several high-profile names calling on leaders to address existential risks of AI and the climate crisis.
via Bing News