Author – Charles Goodwin
Global warming is probably one of the greatest threats faced by humanity and all living creatures. It is happening as you read this and you might even feel the heat, literally. June 2018 was the third hottest month since the year 2010, and the world had five of the hottest years in history.
The ice caps at the Antarctic continues to melt 3 times faster than it did 6 years ago. There’s no denying it, the planet just keeps on getting warmer and scientists warn of heavy catastrophes and calls for solutions and immediate action to be taken.
Research continues across the globe to find ways to mitigate climate change and new eco-friendly weapons are being prepared to fight against global warming. Here are some of them:
Dr. Thomas Crowther, a researcher in ETH Zurich says that trees are the most powerful weapon in the fight against global warming. According to his findings, there are at least 400 gigatons of carbon dioxide trapped in 3,000 billion trees today. He suggests that increasing this capacity by at least 1,000 billion could mean that several hundreds of gigatons of CO2 can be extracted from the atmosphere.
Furthermore, Dr. Crowther even claims that they could have at least 10 years of anthropogenic emissions completely eliminated. How is that? Trees, just like chlorophyll-rich plants, absorb CO2 for photosynthesis and release oxygen, keeping only the carbon. Thus, by just being present, trees can help remove the accumulation of CO2 from the atmosphere.
Researchers dove into the sea and found that seagrass forests on the ocean floor can help fight global warming. Seagrass plants have an excellent capacity to collect and store carbon dioxide in the seabed that is depleted of oxygen. There it decomposes much slower than on land.
The sediments that are free of oxygen, trap carbon in dead plant materials that should remain buried for hundreds of years. For the most part, seagrass meadows are on a steady decline due to human activity. And a re-establishment of these meadows can result in increased carbon storage potential of the ocean.
There are various factors influencing the exact amount of carbon that can be absorbed by a seagrass meadow. Seagrass meadow ecosystems across the world are important carbon sinks that are estimated to capture around 27 million tons of carbon a year.
In the US, around 29% of carbon emissions come from the electricity sector, and most emissions come from fossil fuels such as coal. However, alternative energy sources, from solar and wind energy to biomass fuel and hydroelectricity offer a better way to produce power without using natural gas or fossil fuels. And they produce little to no emissions that can cause global warming.
Fortunately, emerging nations such as South Africa, India and China are taking the lead in utilizing solar and wind power, and are moving away from fossil fuels. You can also make use of solar panels in Cape Town and wind turbines in order to generate electricity.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is fast becoming the core of the technology industry. It aims to create smart machines by programming them with human-like traits like planning, learning, problem-solving, reasoning and perception.
When it comes to climate change adaptation and mitigating its impact, AI and machine learning can help climate researchers and innovators test out their theories about how to reduce air pollution and other climate-friendly innovations. It also makes it more efficient and easier for energy market participants to understand highly complex data from electrical power grids behaviors to reduce climate change impact.
AI also makes it easier for us to design policy incentives by offering a deeper understanding of consumer behavior and decision-making processes. AI can implement quick responses to global warming-related emergencies that require clever use of data and intelligent systems.
Compost is a product of interaction between organic waste and microbes— tiny creatures that digest animal and plant waste and then turn them into useful substances. Compost is the best friend of organic farmers, since it is great at absorbing water, rich in nutrients and loaded with good microbes that help plants resist diseases and bugs without the use of synthetic chemicals.
However, compost can also transform waste before it ever rots. It helps lessen the release of methane, a greenhouse gas that is a by-product of decay. Now, more scientists and researchers are investigating how compost can help store carbon and the findings are looking great!
While industrially farmed soils are completely stripped off of organic matter and cannot hold carbon, organic oils are loaded with compost and those microbes that created it is filled with carbon. And carbon is more stable when trapped underground in an organic matter. If left undisturbed, it can stay there for hundreds of years!