Artificial trees, light-repelling buildings, carbon-eating algae – although these ideas may seem like they come from a world inside a science fiction novel, researchers at The Institution of Mechanical Engineers believe they may be the key to short-term carbon reduction in our atmosphere.
The report, authored by geo-engineering specialists, set forth ideas on what can be done in the next 100 years to curb the global carbon problem, which will buy us enough time to stop our dangerous emissions altogether. Of the several ideas, one of the most practical is that of an artificial forest which could sprout up in the next 10 to 20 years.
The fake forest would see 100,000 tree-like structures which would capture carbon dioxide from the air and store it at a rate thousands of time faster than a real tree would.
This type of geo-engineering concept is of the carbon-capture and storage type, (much like the carbon-eating algae), whereas the other popular form of geo-engineering is to reflect the sunlight back into space to prevent the heat from ever entering our atmosphere. This isn’t a new idea by any means – in fact, the US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu even suggested making roads and roofs white in areas that receive lots of sun.
However, the popularity of these concepts shows that great minds think alike, and that maybe one of these seemingly futuristic concepts could be implemented successfully to slow down the dangers which are being brought on by climate change around the world.