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Independent Professional: Experienced educator and management consultant for engineering educational institutions, researcher, trainer, technical consultant on sustainable technologies, related to cement manufacturing and characterisation, using industrial and agricultural wastes in cement and concrete, durability of concrete and fuel cell power.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Controling Climate Change: Carbon Sequestering

Carbon Sequestering:

The biosphere pumps out 550 gigatonnes of carbon yearly; anthropogenic carbon is only 30 gigatonnes. Ninety-nine per cent of the carbon that is fixed by plants is released back into the atmosphere, within a year or so by consumers like bacteria, nematodes and worms. Any method to remove excess carbon dioxide must do six things:

(i) Move hundreds of megatons of carbon
(ii) Sequester that carbon for thousands of years.
(iii) The method should be repeatable for centuries.
(iv) It should be something that can be implemented immediately using methods already at hand.
(v) It should not cause unacceptable environmental damage.
(vi) It should be economical.

Lenton and Vaughan [1] analyzed 17 schemes for cooling the planet. Roughly half involve changing the reflectivity of the atmosphere or the ground, employing human made pollution, machines to alter clouds or schemes to lighten deserts or city roofs with plastic sheets or white paint. The other half would involve altering earth's carbon cycle to draw in CO2, either by growing massive amounts of new trees, boosting the growth of carbon-sucking algae at sea or creating machines that draw down the atmospheric carbon and store it underground.

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