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Study suggests sucking carbon out of atmosphere only way to Keep Earth habitable

According to a new study, carbon needs to be sucked out of the atmosphere to keep Earth habitable, as previous emissions continue to impact the environment. 

If all greenhouse emissions stopped by 2100, the world will still face a rising sea level of nearly 10ft by 2500 when compared to 1850. This is because of the effect that previous emissions still have on the Earth.

To truly stop the impact of global warming, it is said that severe action would need to have taken place in the 1960s, but given that this time has passed the next best option would be sucking carbon out of the atmosphere.

A study published in the academic journal Scientific Reports noted the lasting damage to permafrost, even without additional emissions, and proposed that carbon be removed from the air in an attempt to halt and slow down rapid climate change.

The effects of climate change persist, even without new emissions, because thawing permafrost releases greenhouse gases that increase the temperature in the atmosphere and this leads to a cycle of global warming.

Read also: International will for Climate Change Is Growing And Australia Is Being Left Behind

However, through a strategy called carbon capture and storage (CCS), it is hoped that carbon can be taken out of the air and stop its lasting effects. To reach the desired carbon state outlined in the study, 33 gigatons will need to be sucked out of the atmosphere each year. For this to become a possibility, a great deal of investment in the technology needs to take place.

Currently, there are 21 commercial-scale carbon-capture projects across the globe, and they essentially collect carbon and store it deep in the ground in former oil and gas fields. Equally, the carbon is sometimes placed in a bioreactor container. To reach the goal of the study there would need to be a radical investment in the technology. In fact, the study states that there is a need to build ‘33,000 big CCS plants and keep them running forever’.

The findings of this study are undoubtedly bleak and paint a grim picture of the coming decades. Nonetheless, the technology exists to stop irreversible climate change – it just needs substantial investment.

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