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Environmental Solutions to Climate Change

By Rohit Talwar, Steve Wells, Alexandra Whittington

The problem of global warming can no longer be ignored. What are the greenest options to deal with climate change? Some of the best low-impact solutions are summarized below.

Carbon Sequestration

A number of carbon capture schemes are planned to be operational in the UK and other nations by 2025. These projects could potentially generate hydrogen to heat buildings as part of the reforming of natural gas and would also store the resulting carbon dioxide emissions.

Geoengineering

The intention of geoengineering projects is typically to help mitigate adverse global warming effects by enacting deliberate large-scale interventions in the Earth’s climate system. The two main approaches are to i) reflect solar radiation away from the Earth to offset the impact of greenhouse gases; and ii) to undertake large scale carbon capture and storage to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. The hope is that such technologies can help ensure the stability of the impacts of a fossil fuel-based energy supply during the transition to renewables.

Recycled Energy

Circular economy thinking could be applied to energy generation. Technology advances could enable recovery of waste heat from a full range of domestic appliances and industrial equipment. The heat from air conditioning units, heat pumps, domestic boilers, and thermal energy storage units could be harnessed to produce environmentally friendly energy in a low-cost manner.

 A Hyper-Efficient World

The techno-optimist view is that big data and artificial intelligence technology will help us find long term sustainable solutions to the planet’s energy challenges. By applying these technologies to every aspect of human activity from manufacturing to public services, transport, and households, the hope is that we will find solutions which eliminate fossil fuels, use affordable renewable energy, and optimize capacity and demand.

Water Harvesting from Air

A variety of water harvesting approaches and solutions are under development. Current estimates suggest they could produce up to 10 gallons of drinking water per hour. Although initially targeted at areas with little access to clean drinking water, such solutions could help shrink the ecological footprint in many ways.

 

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Image: https://pixabay.com/images/id-2101549/ by 95c

 

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