Chúng ta có thể thiết kế con đường thoát khỏi cuộc khủng hoảng khí hậu không?

trên cao nguyên Iceland lộng gió, nhóm kỹ sư và giám đốc điều hành quốc tế vận hành cỗ máy cải tiến thiết kế để thay đổi thành phần của bầu khí quyển Trái đất

If all goes as planned, the enormous vacuum will soon be sucking up vast quantities of air, stripping out carbon dioxide and then locking away those greenhouse gases (khí nhà kính) deep underground in ancient stone — greenhouse gases that would otherwise continue heating up the globe.

Just a few years ago, technologies like these, that attempt to re-engineer the natural environment, were on the scientific fringe. They were too expensive, too impractical (phi thực tế), too sci-fi. But with the dangers from climate change worsening, and the world failing to meet its goals of slashing greenhouse gas emissions, they are quickly moving to the mainstream among both scientists and investors, despite questions about their effectiveness and safety (hiệu quả và an toàn).

Researchers are studying ways to block some of the sun’s radiation. They are testing whether adding iron to the ocean could carry carbon dioxide to the sea floor (đáy biển). They are hatching plans to build giant parasols in space. And with massive facilities like the one in Iceland, they are seeking to reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air.

That is just one one-millionth of annual global emissions (lượng khí thải toàn cầu hàng năm). But unlike trees, which can be cut down or catch fire, Climeworks promises to store that carbon dioxide forever.

Inside a series of bunkerlike buildings, dozens of huge fans suck air into bins that contain chemical pellets that absorb carbon dioxide, then release the gas when they are heated up. The carbon dioxide is then mixed with water and pumped more than a mile below the surface, where extreme pressure turns it into a solid in a matter of years, a process known as “mineralization.” In effect, the gas becomes part of the rock.

In South Texas, it is planning to build 30 of the plants on the King Ranch, funded in part by $1.2 billion the Biden administration last year awarded to direct air capture projects.

Climeworks also has aggressive expansion plans. It secured a portion of the White House funds for a direct air capture plant in Louisiana, is working with a group of Kenyan entrepreneurs to build a large facility outside Nairobi and has plans to construct plants in Canada and other countries in Europe.

Viewed this way, today’s attempts to slow down or even reverse the warming can be seen as efforts to undo the changes that have already taken place. Whether or not humans can succeed in this most ambitious feat is unclear. It is among the most consequential problems our species has faced (vấn đề hậu quả mà loài người chúng ta phải đối mặt).

Yet as people begin to deliberately tinker with the climate in new ways, there are profound questions that are only beginning to be contemplated. If the current extreme weather and temperature rise came about inadvertently, as the unintentional consequence of human development, what might happen when we begin actively trying to control the planet’s atmosphere?

source: nytimes,

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