What Is Geoengineering?

  • Climate geoengineering refers to large-scale schemes for intervention in the earth's oceans, soils and atmosphere with the aim of reducing the adverse effects of climate change.
  • Geoengineering aims to tackle climate change by removing CO2 from the air or limiting the sunlight reaching the planet.
  • The first category of scheme- those designed to remove CO2 from the air- include machines (sometimes called "artificial trees") that pull the gas from the atmosphere using plastic polymers.
  • Other proposals seek to increase the amount of CO2 absorbed by the oceans – for example by adding large quantities of lime to the water.
  • Other related schemes-sometimes but not always described as geo-engineering- involve harnessing the capacity of trees and plants to absorb CO2 from the air.
  • In the second category- schemes designed to reduce the amount of sunlight reaching Earth and proposals include using unmanned ships to increase above-ocean cloud cover by spraying sea water into the air and many other.
  • Other schemes include designing machines that suck CO2 directly out of the air.

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