Six years ago we reported on some imaginative – if costly – space age ideas for tackling climate change
Space-age solutions to planetary problems
We were reminded of these imaginative suggestions for tackling climate change by the visual technology pioneered in our projects piece, combined with the rising airport capacity – and therefore CO2 emissions – mentioned in the cost model.
- Adding nutrients to the sea – CO2 is fixed from surface waters by algae. Some of the carbon they take up sinks into the deep ocean as organic matter and faecal material, where it is consumed by bacteria and other organisms re-releasing the CO2 into the deeper water. Geoengineering could speed up the process by increasing nutrient supply.
- Mirrors in space – positioning sun shields in space to reduce the amount of solar energy reaching the earth.
- Capturing CO2 from air – complicated but could be achieved by several methods, including: large-scale absorption of CO2 on solids, similar to the systems being developed for power stations and absorption into highly alkaline solutions.
Unfortunately, all these ideas share an extremely large price tag, which could be why they’ve been a little slow to come to fruition during the last five years.