• Question: Do you think we will be able to invent something to remove all CO2 from the air?

    Asked by minecraftkid to Akram, David, Gill, Jack, laurenceharwood on 16 Mar 2012. This question was also asked by lollipoplover.
    • Photo: Jack Snape

      Jack Snape answered on 16 Mar 2012:

      There is something called a carbon dioxide scrubber that does this!


      The only problem is, it takes energy to do this … and if you use fossil fuels to produce that energy then there is no point!

      We might use them more with renewables in the future though 🙂

    • Photo: Akram Alomainy

      Akram Alomainy answered on 16 Mar 2012:

      I would love to and i think we are heading there as Jack mentioned below!!

    • Photo: Laurence Harwood

      Laurence Harwood answered on 16 Mar 2012:

      There are lots of ways to absorb carbon dioxide but the problem here is the sheer scale of the task. There are 3,160,000,000,000,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere!! Even if we only wanted to reduce it by a third to get back to pre-industrial revolution levels, where would be store it all? Remember of course that we must not take it all away from the atmosphere as plants need it to photosynthesise. Without photosynthesis, the plants would all die very quickly and no plants would be a lot lot worse than our current global warming situation – even though that is not good.

    • Photo: Gill Menzies

      Gill Menzies answered on 18 Mar 2012:

      Yes – my first reaction is similar to Laurence – we need SOME CO2 in the atmosphere. The problem is that we have an imbalance at present – the upper limit for safe world operation is around 350 parts per million (ppm), but we are currently at about 394 ppm and rising!!! I don’t think there is an invention to “cure” this, but I do think that with changed behaviour and less relaince on fossil fuels, we can redress the balance required …………..eventually!!