Here’s the second of a series of blog articles:
• Adam Marblestone, Climate technology primer (2/3): CO2 removal.
The first covered the basics of climate science as related to global warming. This one moves on to consider technologies for removing carbon dioxide from the air.
I hope you keep the following warning in mind as you read on:
I’m focused here on trying to understand the narrowly technical aspects, not on the political aspects, despite those being crucial. This is meant to be a review of the technical literature, not a political statement. I worried that writing a blog purely on the topic of technological intervention in the climate, without attempting or claiming to do justice to the social issues raised, would implicitly suggest that I advocate a narrowly technocratic or unilateral approach, which is not my intention. By focusing on technology, I don’t mean to detract from the importance of the social and policy aspects.
The technological issues are worth studying on their own, since they constrain what’s possible. For example: to draw down as much CO2 as human civilization is emitting now, with trees their peak growth phase and their carbon stored permanently, could be done by covering the whole USA with such trees.