Can Technology Reverse Climate Change?

Can Technology Reverse Climate Change?

What Role Does Technology Play In Climate Change?

Technology has played an interesting role in climate change throughout history. When coal was first used to generate electricity in homes and factories, it had its first major impact in the 1880s during the Second Industrial Revolution (also known as the Technological Revolution).

This advance was hopeful, but as we have seen, it has consequences. Technological advances in the early 1800s helped power people's homes and businesses, but at the same time brought about more carbon emissions.

Today's technological advances are more environmentally friendly and environmentally friendly than ever before. With new knowledge and discoveries since 1800, society is in a much better position to maximize energy production and consumption in energy-efficient ways.

Before looking to the future and discussing how technology can improve renewable resources, let's first look at how technology has impacted climate change.

How Technology Has Been Both Helpful And Harmful To Climate Change?

We live in the most advanced times of innovation. Unfortunately, early technological advances were largely environmentally friendly. Coal was first used in the 1880s, but on a small scale. However, by 1961, according to the US Department of Energy, it had become the main fossil fuel for power generation.

Thanks to scientists, we have discovered the severe effects of burning fossil fuels. Unfortunately, we still use coal and natural gas to generate electricity. As technology advances, so does the number of technological devices available to consumers. This will increase energy usage. This directly leads to an increase in the amount of fossil fuels burned.

Modern planes, cars, trains, and ships have made it possible for us to travel around the world. However, their technological developments have resulted in higher CO2 emissions, along with the number of people driving and traveling. According to the Biodiversity Center, "U.S. transportation accounts for about one-third of the emissions that adversely affect the U.S. climate."

As you may have noticed, the U.S. population keeps increasing every year. In other words, it only increases the number of drivers and travelers. Advances in new technologies such as electrical transport will help mitigate the effects of transport in CO2 emission modes.

How The Future Of Technology Can Positively Influence Climate Change?

How The Future Of Technology Can Positively Influence Climate Change?

According to the New York Times, "climate change could account for one-tenth of GDP by 2100, more than double the loss of the Great Recession ten years ago." economy. To maintain it, you need to rely on more reproducible technology. to maintain the limits of fossil fuel combustion.

The people behind today's technological advances are beginning to shift their focus to stopping global warming. The Environmental Defense Fund is in control and is devoting the latest technological advances to stopping methane emissions. President Fred Clap of the

EDF introduced a groundbreaking project called MethaneSAT to collect data on methane. According to EDF, "We are building a new satellite specially designed to identify the location and scale of methane emissions from almost everywhere on Earth."

reduced methane emissions and carbon dioxide emissions. By reducing the number of stars while continuing to innovate. With large companies investing money and resources in solar and wind technology, our society can position itself to reduce global warming.

Can We Slow Down The Effect of Global Warming?

Yes, global warming cannot be stopped overnight, or even in the coming decades, but it can be slowed down by reducing human emissions of heat-trapping gasses and soot ("black carbon"). It can limit the scale of global warming.

If all human heat-trapping outgassing ceases today, the Earth's temperature will continue to rise for decades as ocean currents return excess heat stored in the deep sea to the surface.

When this excess heat is radiated into space, the earth's temperature stabilizes.Experts estimate that the additional warming caused by this "hidden" heat does not exceed 0.5 °C (0.9 °F). Without further human influence, natural processes slowly begin to remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, causing the Earth's temperature to gradually drop.

It is true that global warming is unlikely to remain below 1.5 °C (2.7 °F) compared to the pre-industrial temperatures of this century without dramatic action over the next few decades. harmful effects. However, the more the threshold is exceeded, the more serious and widespread the adverse effects will be. In other words, it is never "too late" to take action.

Alternatives have been proposed to delay or reduce global warming, collectively known as "climate engineering" or "geoengineering." Some geoengineering suggestions include injecting reflective particles into the upper atmosphere to scatter sunlight and cool it to the Earth's surface by reflecting it into space. Other proposals envision seeding the ocean with iron to stimulate large-scale phytoplankton blooms of blue-green algae and emit carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. While such methods may work in principle, many climate scientists are hesitant to undertake geoengineering until they better understand the potential side effects. In addition, there are unresolved legal and ethical issues related to geoengineering.

What Is Geoengineering And Why Should We Care?

What Is Geoengineering And Why Should We Care?

Geoengineering is the large-scale operation of a particular process that is central to controlling the Earth's climate to achieve certain benefits. The Earth's climate is controlled by the amount of solar radiation it receives and the fate of its energy within the Earth's system; the amount absorbed by the Earth's surface and the amount reflected or radiated back into space. The reflection of solar radiation is controlled by several mechanisms, including albedo and cloud cover on the earth's surface and the presence of greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. If geoengineering proposals affect the Earth's climate in some meaningful way, they need to deliberately modify the relative impact of one of these control mechanisms.

The geoengineering proposals were first developed in the mid-20th century. Based on technology developed during World War II, such proposals were designed to modify the meteorological system to achieve more favorable climatic conditions on a regional scale. One of the best known techniques is cloud seeding. This is the process of trying to rain on dry farmland by dispersing silver iodide particles or solid carbon dioxide in rain clouds. Cloud seeding is also used in attempts to mitigate tropical storms. In addition, the US military has proposed the use of nuclear weapons as a means of changing the climate of the region and further promoting human settlement in certain parts of the world. However, this proposal has not been tested.

Cloud seeding works on a regional scale and seeks to affect agriculturally favourable meteorological systems. Today's geoengineering proposals are focused on a global scale, especially as evidence of elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations and thus the potential for global warming is accumulating. Two radically different approaches to the problem of global climate change have emerged. The first approach proposes the use of technology that increases the reflectance of incident solar radiation, thereby reducing the heating effect of sunlight on the Earth's surface and lower atmosphere. Changing the Earth's heat balance by reflecting more sunlight into space may offset the rise in temperature, but it cannot stop the rise in CO2 concentrations in the Earth's atmosphere. The second geoengineering approach focuses on this issue and proposes removing CO2 from the atmosphere and storing it in areas that cannot interact with the Earth's atmosphere. This approach is more attractive than the first one because it can counter both rising temperatures and rising carbon dioxide levels. In addition, reducing CO2 in the air can address the problem of ocean acidification. A large amount of atmospheric CO2 is absorbed by the ocean and mixed with seawater to form carbonic acid (H2CO3). As the amount of carbonic acid in the sea increases, the pH of seawater decreases. Such ocean acidification can damage other calcareous organisms such as coral reefs and sea urchins. Lowering the concentration of CO2 slows down the production of carbon dioxide and eventually stops it. This reduces ocean acidification.

For some scientists, the global geoengineering proposal is similar to a science fiction novel. Geoengineering is controversial because it aims to change the climate of the Earth. This phenomenon is not yet fully understood and cannot be changed without risk. Mainstream media reports report that geoengineering is the last resort to stop climate change if all other measures to reduce carbon emissions fail in the coming decades. Some studies argue that rigorous testing should precede the implementation of geoengineering proposals to avoid unintended consequences. Each proposal described below differs from other proposals in potential efficiency, complexity, cost, security considerations, and unknown impacts on Earth, and is thoroughly implemented prior to implementation. It needs to be evaluated. Nevertheless, the proposed scheme has not been specifically tested, even as a small pilot study, and therefore the efficiency, cost, safety, or time frame of the scheme has not been evaluated so far.

5 Technological Solutions That Might Aid In The Resolution Of The Climate Change Dilemma:

Carbon Capture:

Scientists believe that the rise in average global temperature is primarily due to the anthropogenic release of greenhouse gasses. Greenhouse gasses trap atmospheric radiation that would otherwise escape into space.

One of the most important greenhouse gasses is carbon dioxide (CO2), whose concentration has increased by almost 50% since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Innovations used to reduce carbon emissions include carbon capture, utilization, and storage technologies, and the Net Zero Teesside (NZT) project is an interesting example.

NZT aims to capture CO2 produced by industrial processes and power plants and pipeline these emissions to storage sites offshore a few kilometers below the North Sea. This carbon, isolated in a safe place on the ocean floor, no longer contributes to the greenhouse effect and may even be synthesized into new fuels for transportation systems in the future. As the NZT project suggests, the goal is to reduce carbon emissions to zero in many carbon-intensive industries in the northeast by 2030. This can be resolved by the selective decarbonization of a small number of companies.

Feeding Cows Seaweed:

Feeding Cows Seaweed

Another important greenhouse gas is methane, whose emissions have reached record levels from the livestock industry. According to a recent study, between 2000 and 2017, agriculture accounted for about two-thirds of all methane emissions associated with human activity, with most of the remaining one-third being fossil fuels. was. This methane is mainly derived from belching. Cows digest food by fermenting it in the stomach, where sugar is broken down into simpler molecules that are absorbed by the body. Scientists have found that tropical red algae can reduce cattle methane emissions by 80% when added to cattle feed.

However, with nearly 1.5 billion cows around the world, some scientists can reproduce the important ingredients that help belch, but there is currently not enough algae to quell this belching.

Climate Repair:

The University of Cambridge's Center for Climate Repair is looking into a range of options for repairing the harm caused by human pollution. Among their suggestions is to refreeze the poles by brightening the clouds above them, effectively by spraying small droplets of salt into the sky to help the clouds reflect radiation back into space.

Another idea has been to "green" the oceans by fertilizing them in order to increase the growth of plant materials and algae, which might absorb more CO2. However, other research suggests that this might cause massive upheaval to the oceans' ecosystems and that it may not even collect enough CO2 to balance emissions.

Remote Working:

Remote Working

As the coronavirus pandemic has shown, many office jobs can be done well at home and may provide a way to reduce emissions from transportation and office buildings. Commuting is the largest source of CO2 emissions in developed countries.

Technology supporting remote work was quickly adopted as companies tried to control the impact of COVID 19 on workers, and the government was in a hurry to blockade its country and prevent mass mortality. However, telework may only be an effective way to reduce summer emissions.

If you need to heat a building in the winter, you will find that having a large number of people in one building is much more efficient than distributing it to your home. Studies have shown that this can help balance traffic by further reducing emissions.

Greater Use of Data Centers:

Similar logic for heating single-family homes and office buildings can be applied to the calculations. Because computers have significantly increased power consumption, modern data centers are often much more energy efficient than PCs. Instead of running energy-intensive applications on local machines, from complex numbers of cracks to playing video games, people have begun to offset their energy consumption by running those applications in the cloud can do.

Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, leading technology companies specializing in providing cloud computing services, are major consumers of renewable energy. Both Google and Microsoft have launched a cloud gaming platform that does not require players to purchase a console to play the game (which also incurs manufacturing emissions). However, data centers rely on high-quality internet connections, which can themselves generate emissions, and for many people around the world, these connections are simply not available.

The Solution?

Green technology is a broad term that includes different solutions to different environmental problems. Everyone can have a big impact on the environment, but not all are made equal.

There are many ways to make a difference, from increasing recycling and planting trees in the community to reducing plastic usage and flying insects. But as more organizations launch initiatives aimed at reducing climate change through technological advances such as the utilization of solar energy resources with solar design software, the use of electric vehicles, and public transportation etc, technology helps humanity. Obviously, it can be an invaluable tool for fighting this global crisis.

You may not be able to see the effects of climate change right away, but that doesn't mean we can't play our part in fighting it.