Sunday, August 18, 2019
Did you know that the levels of carbon dioxide in EarthÃ¢â¬â¢s atmosphere are almost 50ppm (parts per million) more than what they should be? Organizations such as 350 try to fix this, but can they do it all on their own? Carbon dioxide is one of the many greenhouse gases that controls how EarthÃ¢â¬â¢s temperature rises by absorbing solar radiation and allows life on Earth to exist. Carbon dioxide might appear as beneficial, but right now it is the leading cause of global warming. The process in which decreasing the amounts of carbon dioxide in the air includes geoengineering which means, purposely changing the environmental processes to affect EarthÃ¢â¬â¢s climate. Some examples of geoengineering at its finest are enhanced weathering, ocean fertilization, and carbon dioxide scrubbers (also called CO2 scrubbers). The first way to reduce the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere is to use enhanced weathering. When certain types of minerals dissolve in rainwater, carbon dioxide is taken from the air. We can use enhanced weathering by digging up other rocks that are able to covalently bond with carbon dioxide by storing it in the soil or ocean such as calcite (CaCO3) and forsterite (Mg2SiO4). In the chemical compounds for calcite and forsterite, there are the elements calcium and magnesium. That contributes to enhanced weathering because for every molecule of calcium or magnesium taken away by these compounds, one molecule of carbon dioxide is removed. Another way of executing enhanced weathering would be carbonate looping. Carbonate looping is the process of converting calcium carbonate into calcium oxide. To do this, you would take rocks that contain calcium carbonate and expose them to CO2, so that those rocks would react by storing the carbon dioxid... ...dioxide scrubber in action is created by a team of American scientists led by Klaus Lackner. Basically, the machine contains an ion exchange resin which the CO2 sticks to, while the clean air is released. They claim that it can suck in one ton of carbon dioxide in a day. It has not been made available yet, but is thought of to be an economic solution to making carbon dioxide scrubbers. In conclusion, we can decrease the levels of carbon dioxide in EarthÃ¢â¬â¢s atmosphere by using the geoengineering processes of enhanced weathering, ocean fertilization, and using CO2 scrubbers. If we do not acknowledge the fact that levels of greenhouses gases like carbon dioxide and methane are higher than they need to be, global warming has the potential of damaging the Earth and possibly us. We all have the chance to save the world from global warming. Will you take that opportunity?