1. Store CO2 underground Feasibility = 10 Cost = $$ Risk = 4 Plan: In Sasketchewan, petroleum engineers are pumping 5, 000 tons of pressurized, liquefied carbon dioxide into a pipeline that goes 4000 feet below the ground EVERY DAY – this stores the CO2 and forces the oil out of the underground rock. So far they have stored 6 millions tons = burning ½ billion gallons of gasoline
POSSIBILITIES By 2033, they will have stored 25 million tons = 6.8 million cars off the road for 1 year. There are saltwater underground pools that could hold C02 – up to 200,000 gigatons PROBLEMS Hard to capture the CO2 once it is floating in the air. Capturing it, compressing it and transporting takes money and burns more CO2 If it is accidentally depressurized while looking for oil or gas or seeped out of cracks and rocks, it could fill your basement without you smelling it or seeing it, and could kill you.
2. FILTER CO2 FROM THE AIR Feasibility = 4 Cost = $$$ Risk = 4 Build giant WIND SCRUBBERS – filters that would act like flypaper, trapping CO2 molecules as they drifted past in the wind. How? Pump sodium hydroxide or calcium hydroxide through the factors, they would bond with the CO2. Then another process would separate them from the CO2 (which would be stored) and the hydroxide could be reused.
POSSIBILITIES Could be ready in 2 years. Could put it wherever needed so wouldn’t have to transport it. Small scrubber (size of large plasma TV) could pull out 25 tons of CO2 – average each American puts out a year. Big scrubber could pull out 90,000 tons a year. PROBLEMS Once you capture the CO2 it will take energy (burning fossil fuels) to get it unbonded. Would need a lot of scrubbers (ex. All of Arizona)
3. FERTILIZE THE OCEAN Feasibility = 10, Cost = $, Risk = 10 Give me a half- tanker of iron and I will give you an ice age! The plan: Fertilize the water and promote vast blooms of marine plants- phytoplankton. Phytoplankton consume carbon dioxide as they grow, and this growth can be stimulated in certain ocean basins by the addition of iron,
POSSIBILITIES It has been done in small doses in some areas and worked well. Cheapest plan Easiest plan 1 ton of iron = 100,000 pounds of CO2 PROBLEMS What is the ripple effect on the rest of the ocean and food chain? Lots of plankton may use up other nutrients that fish may need – could cause all fish to die Could blow from one area to another
4. TURN CO2 INTO STONE Feasibility = 7, Cost = $$, Risk = 3 Nature turns CO2 into stone but extremely slowly. If we speed the process up by using cheap minerals like serpentine or olivine to cause a chemical reaction that turns CO2 into magnesium carbonate – a cousin of limestone.
POSSIBILITIES Even though you would have to dig up and use a lot of serpentine or olivine, it could be replaced with the rock made out of CO2. It’s already something that happens in nature and it doesn’t harm anything. PROBLEMS It’s expensive, costs $70 to eliminate one ton of CO2. You have to heat the CO2 to high temperatures which requires burning more fossil fuels.
5. ENHANCE CLOUDS TO REFLECT SUNLIGHT Feasibility = 6 Cost = $$ Risk = 7 Filter incoming sunlight, by seeding clouds with tiny salt particle to make more stratocumulus clouds. Wind powered boats would stir up salt spray. This would be unmanned floating yachts sailing backward and forward dragging propellers through the water to generate electricity to make the spray. They would look like smokestacks but act like sails.
POSSIBILITIES Might be able to combat global warming with between 5,000 and 30,000 ships (less than we made in WWII) If it doesn’t work, can’t harm, just turn it off. PROBLEMS Need a few million dollars to see if it would work. Would create stratocumulus clouds but not rain clouds so you wouldn’t want to do it anywhere near areas that have droughts.
6. DEFLECT SUNLIGHT WITH A MIRROR Feasibility = 1, Cost = $$$$, Risk = 5 The plan: Position a space mirror between the sun and Earth to intercept sunlight. Make it out of aluminum threads that are a millionth of an inch in diameter and a thousandth of an inch apart (like a screen) Would filter out some light.
POSSIBILITIES Once in place, it wouldn’t cost any money. It would look like a tiny black spot on the sun from Earth. Shouldn’t affect plant photosynthesis. PROBLEMS Extremely expensive. Would have to make a very large screen or many smaller ones. Might interfere with space travel, satellite orbits, etc.