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Vacuuming carbon from the atmosphere may be most realistic solution to climate change

"The high speed mitigation train needs to leave the station very soon and all of global society would need to get on board," Rajendra Pachauri, IPCC chair, told a press conference in Berlin on Sunday.
By Brooks Hays   |   April 14, 2014 at 7:30 PM   |   Comments

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BERLIN, April 14 (UPI) -- In order to stave off the worst of global warming's consequences, the world's nations must find a way to reduce carbon emissions by 40 to 70 percent by 2050. That's one of many claims made in the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The new report also suggests vacuuming up vast amounts of CO2 from the skies and storing it underground may be the most viable solution for mitigating the greenhouse gas effect in the short term.

It's the third report on climate change released by the IPCC, a group of international climate scientists organized under the auspices of the United Nations. The group's second report, which was released last month, predicted serious environmental and economic catastrophe in the latter half of the 20th century, should calls to slow global warming continue to go unanswered.

This latest report, released on Sunday, weighs the efficacy and plausibility of a variety of climate change policy solutions and mitigation options.

"The high speed mitigation train needs to leave the station very soon and all of global society would need to get on board," Rajendra Pachauri, IPCC chair, told a press conference in Berlin on Sunday.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon urged "all countries to act swiftly and boldly on climate change, to bring ambitious announcements and actions to the climate summit on 23 September 2014, and to make every effort needed to reach a global, ambitious and legal climate agreement in 2015."

The new report considers a number of cooling technologies including carbon extraction.

Steve Rayner, the co-director of the Oxford Geoengineering Program at the University of Oxford in England, thinks the fact that the UN is considering concepts like carbon vacuuming -- which the UN and other climatologists had previously turned their noses up to -- is proof that scientists are losing faith in individuals' abilities to make more environmentally friendly decisions and reduce their carbon footprints.

Still, Rayner points out, there's no guarantee carbon-sucking will work, either. "There has been no comprehensive assessment of the feasibility of taking such technologies to scale in terms of costs, skills and materials requirements, or incentives, regulation and financing," he told NBC News.


[United Nations]
[NBC News]

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