The Fight Against Global Warming Heats Up

As Global Warming becomes an ever greater threat, many of the worlds greatest minds have set their sights on solutions. It is both fascinating and encouraging to see all the different ways we can mitigate our emissions. One such contributor was Professor of aquaculture at James Cook University in Townsville, Rocky De Nys. His project aims to reduce the CO2 emissions from the agriculture industry. Livestock accounts for 18% of our CO2 equivalent emmissions, takes up 30% of the land and 33% of global arable land. Professor De Nys study suggests that substituting as little as 2% of the cows diet with this specific strain of red seaweed could reduce their methane emissions by up to 99%. Methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas having an estimated impact 72x greater than the same amount of CO2.

Another solution with mass appeal is carbon capture ans sequestration. This can come in a variety of ways. One particularly interesting method is being researched at a local power plant, Duke Energys East Bend Station only about 30 miles from Cincinnati. They are running a portion of the exhaust from the power plant through an additional filtration system. This system is a series of clear PVC tubes with algae. The CO2 from the exhaust is consumed by the algae and allows the algae to grow, eventually reaching a large enough size to be harvested. This algae is turned into biofuel and can be used a number of ways around the power plant to mitigate fossil fuel consumption or sold to provide food for livestock.

My favorite of these innovative approaches to alleviate our growing global warming threat is capturing solar wind for energy use. This would occure by placing a satallite at a LeGrange point in the solar system (quite far away in human scale, relatively close in space scale). In a complex process explained in the link, high energy protons being shot off the sun are captured by a giant ‘solar sail,’ turned into energy, and keep the satallite in place. This energy would then need to transmitted using lasers to relay satellites all the way back to earth. Data suggests that a satellite with a solar sail just 2km^2 would generate enough energy to meet the energy demand of the entire earth. All this, without any burning of fossil fuel, without any harmful environmental impact.

Some other solutions include seeding the oceans with iron to spur phytoplankton growth, one of the biggest contributors to removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Using reflective sails on satalites to limit the amount of infrared radiation reaching the planet. There are obviously many I didn’t and can’t mention due to length constraints. The best solution is to simply limit our emmissions, however attacking the problem from multiple angles will give the most effective solution.

 

Dylan Nourse

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4 thoughts on “The Fight Against Global Warming Heats Up

  1. Climate change is a huge issue in 2016 and it makes me sad that our candidates are not talking about the issue at all. With expansions in clean energy comes added jobs in these fields as well. Engineers, plant operators and thousands of other rewarding jobs for American citizens are created with the research and implementation of these clean energy proposals that need to ben enacted. Great post on the different types of energy that can be harvested and how we can combat methane gas from agriculture through diet!

    Grant Moss

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  2. I really liked this blog and agree that this is a huge issue that candidates have not talked enough about! This was a super interesting stance that could help America succeed!
    Lauren Reinhard

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  3. I have read many articles about some of the things you described. My favorite solution to global warming has to be seeding the ocean with iron to spur phytoplankton. Its been awhile since i read the article but i believe it was a relatively small team that did this up in Alaska and they saw major success. Not only did it spur growth which would reduce CO2 but that year they had the greatest number of salmon as well because of all the food and rich waters! Great stuff

    Edwin Doll

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  4. There are still the commercially available and effective technologies such as conservation, bicycles, photo cells and wind farms.

    The most effective means of controlling global warming is simply to buy less stuff.

    MC50

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