Tag Archive for: CO2

Capturar el CO₂ y convertirlo en un aliado

Capturar el CO₂ generado en la industria o incluso el que está ya presente en la atmósfera es una de las recetas más pujantes en la carrera para descarbonizar la economía. Hoy existen tecnologías para separar este gas y almacenarlo en el subsuelo, pero también para usarlo como materia prima en la producción de bebidas carbonatadas, aspirinas, fertilizantes y combustibles renovables, e incluso en la conservación de alimentos. El desafío ahora es transformar el CO₂ en productos útiles al tiempo que se combate el cambio climático.

El Panel Intergubernamental sobre Cambio Climático (IPCC) estima que en 2050 será necesario retirar de la atmósfera ocho gigatoneladas (8.000 millones de toneladas) anuales de dióxido de carbono. La principal fuente de absorción de CO₂ del planeta son los sumideros naturales –bosques, océanos, suelos–, capaces de eliminar con éxito la mitad de la cantidad que plantea este reto.


T.Goreau: Extended Abstract in Press UN FAO Global Conference on Soil Organic Carbon

Author: Thomas J. Goreau | Published on: May 3, 2017

Today’s CO2 atmosphere concentrations will lead to devastating increases in global temperatures and sea level over the thousands of years that cold deep ocean waters warm up, even if no more fossil fuel CO2 is added. Long-term impacts shown by climate records are much greater than IPCC projections, which are politically mandated to only include short-term initial responses. They ignore 90% or more of the long-term climate impacts that will affect future generations for millions of years unless CO2 is rapidly reduced to pre-industrial levels, giving policy makers a false sense of security. Even complete emissions reductions cannot remove the existing CO2 excess already in the atmosphere, only increased carbon sinks can do so, and only soil has the capacity to store it in time to avert runaway climate change. CO2 can be reduced to safe levels in decades if 1) current carbon farming sequestration practices are applied on a large scale, 2) lifetime of soil carbon storage is increased with biochar, and 3) with large scale restoration of coastal marine wetland peat soils, especially using new electrical stimulation methods. Regenerative Development strategies to reverse climate change by increasing soil and biomass carbon need to be implemented by UNFCCC.

Climate change strategies claiming that 2 degrees C warming or 350 ppm are “acceptable” sentence coral reefs and low lying countries to death. Corals are already at their upper temperature limit (Goreau & Hayes, 1994). The last time global temperatures were 1-2 C warmer than today, sea levels were 6-8 meters higher, equatorial coral reefs died from heat, crocodiles and hippotamuses lived in London, England, yet CO2 was only 270 ppm (Goreau, 1990; Koenigswald, 2006, 2011).

CO2 in the atmosphere (>400ppm) is already way above the pre-industrial (270ppm) levels consistent with modern global temperature and sea level, and millions of years of ice core and deep sea climate records show that current atmospheric CO2 levels will lead, over thousands of years, to steady state global temperatures and sea levels around 17 degrees Celsius and 23 meters higher than modern levels (Goreau 1990, 2014; Rohling et al., 2009).


Plants’ Ability to Slow Climate Change Depends on their Fungi

Author: Hayley Dunning

Plants take in carbon dioxide for growth, and in a greenhouse, raising the levels of carbon dioxide can boost their growth. This boost is known as the ‘CO2 fertilisation effect’.

Our paper is… a huge step forward in climate science that will help make more accurate predictions of the effects of CO2 in the future.

– César Terrer

This effect also works on a global scale, with plants currently absorbing about 30 percent of human CO2 emissions. This helps to remove some extra CO2 from the atmosphere, slowing down the rate of climate change.

However, it was not known whether this effect would continue indefinitely, and plants would continue to take up the same percentage of extra CO2 emissions with rising levels. Experiments across the world that increase CO2 levels beyond current levels have given mixed results, with some showing greatly increased plant growth and associated CO2 uptake, and others showing little to no additional growth and uptake.

Now, new research led by scientists from Imperial College London has revealed that fungi are key to understanding how plants will behave. The study is published today in Science, and includes researchers from Northern Arizona University, Indiana University and the University of Antwerp.