As the climate change crisis grows more and more urgent, scientists are racing to develop ambitious ideas that will match the scope of the impending damage.
A group of Swedish and Norwegian scientists just submitted one of theirs.
In an article published to PNAS, the scientist propose developing millions of floating islands that would use photovoltaic cells to convert solar energy into electricity. That electricity would then power the islands’ technology to convert carbon dioxide gases from seawater into methanol fuel.
The report stresses the need for humankind to end CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning, the continues:
“[L]iquid carbon-based energy carriers are often without practical alternatives for vital mobility applications. The recycling of atmospheric CO2 into synthetic fuels, using renewable energy, offers an energy concept with no net CO2 emission.”
It would take millions of individual islands with about 70 making up one facility, but the report’s writers assert that it meets the urgency imposed by climate change, with about 3.2 islands putting enough of a dent in the pollution caused by burning fossil fuels.
Some can imagine getting on board with the idea.
Human energy can be applied in such awesome ways. This is a really cool idea.
Let’s also find a way to deal with the mountains of plastic we generate.
Giant Floating Islands That Turn Atmospheric CO2 into Fuel Could Prevent Climate Change, Scientists Say https://t.co/9jeLWYMXY5
— NOLA JT (@NOLA_JT) June 5, 2019
— RESPECT! (@USAjobs2019) June 5, 2019
Thank you for sharing. I haven’t read about this. Interesting!
— Barbara kling (@kling_barbara) June 5, 2019
Others have questions.
Does not sound very convincing. What effects would such islands have on marine flora and fauna? What does the LCA look like in the manufacturing process? What is the cost-benefit ratio?
— AProPos (@a_pro_pos) June 3, 2019
Can we build them out of plastic bottles?
— Greg Sachse (@GregSachse) June 5, 2019
Methanol? We can do better than that.
— Darren Dawson (@Darren_Dawson) June 5, 2019
What will be its impact on marine ecosystems? Has that been studied and factored in?
— SanjayKumar (@SanjayKr2015) June 5, 2019
Though questions are rampant, one thing is certain: extreme steps must be taken to offset imminent damage from climate change and human recklessness.