Green plants and sunshine?
That would be the most natural and green response to the CO2
excess, but serious difficulties exist.
Plants absorb CO2
and release O2
when the biomass grows and absorbs the C. At steady state, a constant amount of vegetals absorbs no net CO2
. That is, the dying plants release in some molecular combination the C they absorbed during growth.
One must follow the C to grasp the balance of CO2
. Vegetals are a "carbon well" in that they store C. To remove CO2
from the atmosphere, we would need to increase the amount of vegetals, or perhaps prevent the release of C molecules when the vegetals have grown, say by using their methane instead of natural gas, and by burying the rests.
The amount of CO2
injected by humans in the atmosphere is huge. We have burnt a significant proportion of coal, oil, gas deposits that were created during the Carboniferous period, when more continental area was tropical and coated with tall forests, and this took eons. I don't imagine forests on Antarctica, nor replacing crops in Europe.
I'd be happy to read a credible plan to remove the excess CO2
. Even actions as simple as:
"Connect a pipe to the CO2
exhaust of a power plant, inject it at deep silicates for stable storage"
stopped every time CO2
emissions got a bit cheaper.
We would need to remove the excess CO2
, but I fear it won't happen. Not even will we stop the emissions. The best we can hope is to limit further emissions, that is, limit a little bit the damage.
My message to the engineers and inventors: don't rely on politicians for that. They only want the status quo, the huge bribes and taxes they get from fossil energies, and the cheap fossil fuels that boost the economy and increase the taxes. Very few governments push towards green alternatives presently (not even Germany builds wind turbines) and they will favor fossil fuels again as soon as their price drops. Individuals like Elon Musk have done more for the climate than all politicians together.