2017-12-09

Geoengineering as the Harbinger of a Green Tomorrow

The plausible danger due to precipitous increase in carbon dioxide levels in the recent times, looms large across the world. It threatens consuming vast areas of the planet, leaving all of it uninhabitable for living organisms. In fact, it is high time we think about alternatives beyond conventional reforestation or curbing emissions.

Research based on coining cost effective and creative solutions to mitigate such concern have helped in the evolution of climate science and technology that encourage global warming prevention. Environmental awareness manifesting itself through technological inventions is termed as Geoengineering. The proposals include the potential of the mechanisms as well as conceivable drawbacks:

Effective Usage of Carbon Scrubbers

Entrusting this piece of innovation with carbon sequestration can be among the many inventions used in redressing global warming. The capacity of a carbon scrubber is relative to a standard shipping container, one of which can absorb one tonne of CO2 in ion exchange resin each day, proving it essential to deploy millions of such devices for seizing the excess emissions. Therefore, for obvious reasons, this can be part of an alternative, not the exclusive measure for sure.

Applying the Ancient Method of Using Biochar

High in organic carbon, biochar is a form of fine grained charcoal resistant to decomposition. A resultant of pyrolysis in plants creates a recalcitrant soil carbon reserve. This is a carbon negative variant that serves in withdrawing atmospheric CO2 that recalcitrant soil absorbs. The high nutrient seizing ability of such soil helps in reducing fertilizer use, drastically cutting down on leaching, phosphorus runoffs into groundwater as well as reducing the nitrous oxide emissions fall up to 80%. Soil productivity shoots up and the byproducts like oil and gas produced by pyrolysis serve as fuel. Thus, the multifaceted benefit of  biochar essentially serves in global warming prevention while enhancing agricultural productivity at the same time.

Mechanism to Spray Sulphur Aerosols into the Stratosphere

Aircraft or large balloons can be effectively used to spray sulphur particles into the second layer of the atmosphere, thus reducing the absorption of sunlight and readily cooling down temperatures.  This is a simulated version in reference to spraying ash or sulphur during volcanic reactions.

Although, scientific studies show, in case of proportional variations there can be vigorous chemical reactions bearing the potential to wipe off the entire ozonosphere.

Multiplying Iron Fertilisation under the Ocean

Iron being an essential catalyst for photosynthesis, this becomes an integral process that encourages absorption of C0infused externally.  The rate of photosynthesis is motivated in phyto planktons promoting a farcical algae bloom. CO2 has to sink deep down to a level deep enough, so that it does not float up.

Enhancing fertility of trees using Nitrogen

The idea is to use the concept of utilising nitrogen to increase the albedo (proportion of incident light or radiation reflected by a surface) in trees, thus improving fertility, which in a way serves in reflecting considerable amount of solar radiation back into the space. The only loophole happens to be the fact that only certain species have the ability to take advantage of this property of nitrogen- to act as a switch triggering the albedo. This refers to plantations comprising only specific species.

A probable side effect can manifest itself through higher nitrous oxide emissions- a potential green house gas or contamination of groundwater.

Control Measure Using Limestone

Global warming invariably poses a threat on marine life by altering the pH levels of the oceans. Increased acidity stands a chance to wipe out the coral reefs, devastating human existence surrounding it. The situation convinces us to opt for a feasible solution and geo-engineering has come up with the technology to add copious amount of powdered limestone to the sea. Through this procedure acidity levels of the oceans can be checked, while at the same time we enjoy the benefit of increased carbon absorption.

Certain fruits of geo-engineering are still in the artbitrary phase whereas, few have already been subject of effective research. These sustainable solutions augur an optimistic future for the world at large.

Summary
Geoengineering as the Harbinger of a Green Tomorrow
Article Name
Geoengineering as the Harbinger of a Green Tomorrow
Description
Evolutionary ideas born out of geoengineering offer a sustainable solution to curb the devastation augured by global warming and climate change.
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Publisher Name
Global Warming Political Union
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