The suddenly urgent quest to remove carbon dioxide from the air (Chris Mooney, The Washington Post, Feb.26, 2016)
Today we review an article that looks at the pros and cons of directly removing carbon from the air, in addition to the various plans to reduce emissions, which will be needed if the world is going to meet the goals (but not action plans) agreed to at the recent COP21 climate conference in Paris. Four approaches are described: Direct air capture, Bioenergy combined with carbon capture and storage, Afforestation and Enhanced weathering. While each can extract some carbon, the question remains if that is enough to meet the challenge which, in simple terms, means comparing the CO2 emissions of 17 tons/year/person (in the USA) with the extraction of a ton/day promised by technology. No question that something is needed in addition to the very modest targets that many countries are planning to reduce emissions at source. No surprise either that pricing carbon use is seen as essential.
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