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IPCC states no option left but to suck CO2 out of the air

Posted by BioCoM Executive Account on April 16, 2014 at 11:55 PM


Climate change is an ongoing threat that we face in this day of age. To fight this threat, scientists have proposed the idea to grow crops that suck carbon dioxide from the air, burn them to generate electricity, then bury the resulting CO2. The result is less CO2 in the air, and therefore less climate change. A new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that the time has come to implement this idea. They say “widespread” use of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) will probably be needed to stop the world from warming by 2 °C.

This report has finally given some speculators the urgency of the situation. After 20 years of talk, emissions continue to grow at a rate that increases by the decade. The report is based on a study of over 1000 scenarios of possible energy and climate futures. It puts it out front what scientists believe has to be done to keep global warming below 2 °C.

Alternate energy sources will also play a key role in keeping the warming down. Low-carbon sources, such as dams, nuclear power, solar panels, and wind turbines, currently provide 30 percent of electricity. That must rise to 80 percent by 2050. Burning of fossil fuel must virtually end by 2100, unless the emissions are buried using carbon capture and storage (CCS) says Ottmar Edenhofer, who co-chaired the report.

Other ways propose included increasing the energy efficiency in industry and home heating, and producing more efficient vehicles, which include more compact cites with more high-speed rails. “We already have the technologies,” says Brian Hoskins of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change. “We should stop wringing our hands and just get on with it.”

To keep it below 2 °C, CO2 concentrations must be below 450 parts per million. Currently we are at 400 ppm. The scenarios examined overshot 450 ppm and required recovery through “negative emissions” (BECCS). IPCC says CCS is risky, but we have no other choice at this point. The only problem now is figuring out whether burying CO2 will do more good than harm since some view it as almost as bad as nuclear waste.

Pearce, Fred. "No Option Left but to Suck CO2 out of Air, Says IPCC." New Scientist. Reed Business Information Ltd., 14 Apr. 2014. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.


Categories: Environment News

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