back to article The alternative to stopping climate change is untested carbon capture tech

The technology the world needs to reach net zero carbon emissions and limit global warming to 1.5°C is increasingly available, but we're still not necessarily on track to meet our 2050 climate change goals, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reports. The research was a follow-up to the same "Net Zero Roadmap" that the IEA …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Carbon sinks

    Trees & plants pull carbon dioxide out of the air. The carbon becomes part of the plant and oxygen is emitted. That is how photosynthesis works.

    Given that countries like Russia & Canada have extensive forests, wouldn't that serve to balance their carbon equation? Making them a net importer of carbon?

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Carbon sinks

      Those sinks are only temporary. Trees die for various reasons and the carbon is released back into the environment. Planting new forest is useful initially but existing forest somewhat less so.

      1. Lurko

        Re: Carbon sinks

        "Those sinks are only temporary. Trees die for various reasons and the carbon is released back into the environment. "

        Go on then, explain to me what magic created coal and oil then?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Carbon sinks

          The carbon fossilised at any one time was a small proportion of the total amount in circulation. You're looking at deposits which formed over periods of millions of years.

          If you want to quickly remove a small amount of carbon but ensure it stays out of circulation for a long period you could cultivate some quick-growing woody plant, say willow of bamboo, harvest it, char it thoroughly and bury the charcoal. As any archaeologist will tell you elemental carbon in the form of charcoal is extremely persistent in the ground. You still won't take out much that way and everyone will complain about the smoke from the charring process.

          1. cyberdemon Silver badge
            WTF?

            Re: Carbon sinks

            Why char it? How about just burying it? In the absence of Oxygen, there's nothing to turn it into CO2..? Where's the Paris icon when you need her..

            Could we not ban drax, and tell them to just stop burning trees? Let's bury them instead?

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Carbon sinks

              "In absence of oxygen" is the key here. Waterlogged soils, e.e.g peat bogs, can halt decay (but see below) but over the last few centuries these have been drained leading to carbon dioxide being liberated as they decay. Most places you'd bury anything would not be sufficiently waterlogged.

              Even in waterlogged soils preservation can vary. Bog oak and pine is pretty solid. On the other hand any sub-fossil birch I came across in my days as a palaeoecologist was usually in a pretty miserable condition so most of the carbon would have been returned to the atmosphere. I have encountered a fairly solid lump of hazel in a core - just where it wasn't wanted.

              But on the whole, if you want to bury wood and prevent it being oxidised in any reasonable time frame it needs to be reduced to charcoal.

              1. cyberdemon Silver badge

                Re: Carbon sinks

                Could we perhaps design some container to either keep the air out or the water in?

                Expensive perhaps, but maybe less expensive than charring it, where so much of its anticipated benefit would be negated up front?

              2. adam 40 Silver badge

                Re: Carbon sinks

                I totally agree with Dr Syntax.

                If you also gasify the wood byproducts it's win-win. So, for example, convert Drax into a massive charcoal oven, and use the gas byproducts to drive turbines.

                Then you get both electricity generation, and also create fixed carbon in the form of charcoal.

                The next challenge is to bury it somewhere, I favour compressing it into pellets that are denser than water, and dumping it in the ocean, above a deep trench. It literally sinks - a carbon sink (geddit???!??) It'll remain there inert for ever.

                But, you could also put it into landfill as activated charcoal, which has another win of trapping pollutants that might otherwise leach out. Or, bury it in opencast mines, which then get landscaped.

                Another idea I had was to farm kelp at sea, and create charcoal from that, and then dump it.

                1. Roland6 Silver badge
                  Joke

                  Re: Carbon sinks

                  > I favour compressing it into pellets that are denser than water

                  Need to be careful, compress it too much and you make diamonds…

      2. jmch Silver badge

        Re: Carbon sinks

        Planting new trees and plants only works as a carbon store if they are allowed to grow and mature and don't die or burn in the meantime. It means you also need extensive land and water resources. So reforestation has to be done with a sensible planned program.

        Turning plants and trees into housing, furniture, textiles etc can be useful in this regard, especially with fast-growing plants. Eg hemp is super fast growing, can be used for food, fodder, textiles, and woody part can be compressed into building bricks. Some people also find some use for the buds :)

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Carbon sinks

          Food and fodder gets returned really quickly, textiles less so. Structural stuff should last a good while. There are limits to the rate at which photosynthesis will remove carbon, however. it would be trying to replicate a process which took millions of years to create the fossil fuel in a few decades. That's not going to happen.

          1. jmch Silver badge

            Re: Carbon sinks

            "Food and fodder gets returned really quickly, textiles less so. Structural stuff should last a good while. "

            Even if the carbon in structural and textile items would eventually get returned, capturing the carbon for anything between 10-100 years is already helpful now. Anything that can make the hugs changes required more gradual. And yes, food and fodder get returned almost immediately, but it could provide an economic incentive in the case of combined-purpose vegetation.

            "There are limits to the rate at which photosynthesis will remove carbon, however"

            I think what's important to get a handle on is - how much land, equipment and power does one need in order to remove X kg of carbon from the air per year? And how does that compare to the cost and land requirements of planting enough trees and plants to capture the equivalent amount of carbon? I honestly haven't the faintest clue to an answer, but AFAIK current CCS technology is not very good and extremely expensive.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Carbon sinks

              I haven't looked at figures but I've noted in passing comments that simply planting trees isn't going to be adequate. One factor is going to be that it takes some years for a newly planted tree to develop much of a canopy for photosynthesis and mature forest is going to be in more or less steady state with respiration and decay matching photosynthesis. The standing crop represents the CO2 captured in the long time it took to get there. If you look at a substantial tree and take into account the time it took to get to that size it will be a disappointingly small amount of CO2 per year. Less woody materials such as bamboo will be quicker then trees starting from cleared ground although you'd need to harvest them and store them.

              It's also worth noting that carbon stored in roots and humus in pasture represents a greater standing crop than arable crops and grazed grassland is a natural ecosystem with which the planet has lived for a long time. That's worth bearing in mind when deciding whether vegetarianism is helpful dealing with climate change* and also remembering that pasture is more floristically diverse than arable, especially if it's not intensively conducted.

              * I've never been convinced that it represents anything more than switching methane production from the livestock to the vegetarians.

              1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

                Re: Carbon sinks

                Empress trees are fast growing, and are reputed to capture up to 10x the carbon of other species.

                The issue is planting enough quick enough. Hundreds of millions per year. That needs a lot of people, and people are relatively slow. Also expensive, if not volunteering their time. You'll be hard pressed to find millions of volunteers able to commit a significant chunk of their time for months on end.

                Drone planting schemes are a possible solution. Automated, fast and cheap. The tech is already in development.

                1. Roland6 Silver badge

                  Re: Carbon sinks

                  >” Empress trees are fast growing, and are reputed to capture up to 10x the carbon of other species.”

                  Useful but not really helpful information.

                  The problem is trees grow…

                  Locally we’ve just had a run in with housing developers and planning. They are wanting to fell a avenue of mature trees, they have offered to plant new trees: one sapling per mature tree… we pointed out the maths indicates they actually need to plant circa 1700 saplings per mature tree for the new planing to capture the same amount of carbon as the existing trees (obviously over time the saplings can be thinned).

                  So all those “we plant trees to offset carbon emissions” are highly suspect.

    2. Robert 22

      Re: Carbon sinks

      Only helps up to a point. Then you have carbon getting back into the atmosphere via organic matter decaying and forest fires.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Carbon sinks

        Right. But decaying organic matter can hardly be considered a controllable man-made problem. And while forest fires are devastating, I submit they were far more widespread than before humans started mitigating them.

        Bottom line is forests are a carbon sink, extracting more carbon from the air than they emit through their life cycle and eventual decay.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Carbon sinks

          Forests will achieve a steady state. The standing crop represents carbon not floating about as CO2 but long term it's going to be a fixed quantity.

        2. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: Carbon sinks

          Forest fires are a lot worse recently than before humans started mitigating them. That's because you used to get a lot of small fires, which burned away the available fuel at ground level. We now do a pretty good job of preventing these small fires, so when you do get a fire it tends to have much, much more fuel available.

          Also, many places used to have a sensible and pragmatic concept of "fire breaks" in managed forests where you had an access road with a gap between the road and the tree line on each side of at least twice the highest height of the tallest tree so there was no conceivable way that the fire could travel across the fire break, and equipment could be brought in to prevent the fire from jumping across.

          In the worst case in this sort of environment, a large area (up to the fire breaks) burns out. Then people started saying that was wasteful and not good for the animals and it's much better to give them ground cover. The net result is that the "fire break" is now covered with flammable vegetation no such thing, and any fire ends up crossing them at will until they end up burning out of their own accord.

    3. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Carbon sinks

      Good thing there are no massive record setting ongoing forest fires that get worse each year.

      Should we plant more trees? Damn right we should. But that's only PART of the solution.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Carbon sinks

        I wonder how much charcoal the fires leave behind. Unless someone comes along and gathers that for burning it will stay out of circulation for longer than it would have done as timber although obviously it's a small part of what had been the standing crop.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Carbon sinks

          >” I wonder how much charcoal the fires leave behind.”

          Very little, remember charcoal is formed by heating wood to over 400C in an oxygen starved environment.

          What also needs to be taken into account, is the amount (and source) of energy needed to covert x tons of wood in y tons of charcoal.

          1. adam 40 Silver badge

            Re: Carbon sinks

            Usually, one match, and the wood itself provides the energy when you burn it off in air to start the reaction.

            I've made charcoal at home (it was tedious and also made a load of smoke!)

    4. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Carbon sinks

      Yes there are places that “HAVE” forests and similarly there are places which until comparatively recently also had massive forests yet despite all these forests atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have increased massively in the last circa 200 years, because we’ve been digging it out of the ground, burning it and putting it back into the atmosphere…

    5. N0083rp00f

      Re: Carbon sinks

      80% of the O2 produced is by ocean phytoplankton.

      So ocean warming and acidification should be of greater concern since that is where the bulk of O2 is produced.

      As for coal, oil and other such carbon based minerals, they were all produced in a period before fungi. There is no new energy rich carbon reserves being created.

      Maybe looking at helping ocean greenery thrive would make for a better carbon sink. I'm thinking artificial deep ocean reefs based on viable macro algae and go from there.

  2. Filippo Silver badge

    >130 metric tons of CO2 carbon capture capacity – per year – would need to be in the planning stages between now and 2026

    That doesn't sound like much. I'm pretty sure I could do that by myself just by planting trees, if I really put my mind to it. Are you sure you're not missing a zero or six?

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      That doesn't sound like much. I'm pretty sure I could do that by myself just by planting trees, if I really put my mind to it. Are you sure you're not missing a zero or six?

      Probably not. There's lots of money to be made from CCS, providing people don't look at the numbers too closely. Given natural CO2 flux is many gigatonnes, 130t is basically a fart in a jar. But with enough billions thrown at the 'problem', a fart can be captured. It'll have no effect on the climate, but then neither does man-made CO2 given it's a teeny fraction of the natural CO2 sources and sinks.

      But the world has been slowly warming since the depths of the last Ice Age, and this is an absolute crisis! And just as with any artificial crisis, promising a solution is worth at least $100bn a year to the UN, and billions more to assorted other climate scammers.

      1. Lurko

        "But the world has been slowly warming since the depths of the last Ice Age, and this is an absolute crisis! And just as with any artificial crisis, promising a solution is worth at least $100bn a year to the UN, and billions more to assorted other climate scammers."

        The relatively rapid warming of the past few hundred years has been seen before, and in all previous instances it heralds a new ice age. Scientists would do better thinking how we might deal with that, or the energy afforadbility crisis we'll see if the madcap CCS dreams become the norm, or when (and not if) the easily available gas and oil resources start to run out.

        The unfortunate thing is that there's probably pretty universal agreement that we need to move away from fossil fuels, however most policy is being dictated by short term panicky Chicken Little thinking that it's all about CO2, linked to ludicrous and artificial target dates, and thus the solution is a few wind turbines, a bit of solar, eating insects, and catching the bus.

      2. HereAndGone

        Re: Climate Change Denial

        Jellied Eel said, "...but then neither does man-made CO2 given it's a teeny fraction of the natural CO2 sources and sinks..."

        For the eleventy-billionth time, XKCD explains it succinctly:

        Earth Temperature Timeline>

        Be sure to scroll to the bottom for 20-21 century effects.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I expect better from the Register than anti-scientific misinformation.

        The statement that "the world has been slowly warming since the depths of the last Ice Age" is unequivocally untrue. The planet warmed and cooled multiple times during the (multiple) ice ages of the Quaternary period. Starting around 17,000 years ago there was a prolonged warming trend that melted the northern hemisphere glaciers, finishing around 10,800 years ago (it varies depending exactly where you were).

        The rate of warming was very gradual from 10800 BP to the late 1800s/early 1900s, although there were some variations in the Younger Dryas, Mediaeval Warm Period, and Little Ice Age. These tracked with atmospheric CO2 stabilizing at ~280 ppm from 10800 BP to 1880. For reference, glacial atmospheric CO2 was ~200. Starting around 1880 atmospheric CO2 began to rise - it hit 300 in the early 1900s, 350 in the late 1980s, 400 in the mid 2010s and is currently 420ppm.

        Think about that - there was a difference of 80ppm between full glacial and full interglacial conditions, and we have added 140ppm in 150 years. Most of the effects of that enormous change have yet to be seen.

        Anyone who doesn't think we are in a crisis is uninformed about the scientific processes at work or the history of the planet over the past 2 millions years (or longer). Just because *you* don't understand radiative physics, heat transfer, carbon budgets, and atmospheric processes doesn't mean there aren't many thousand of people who do - and they are the ones who have been raising the alarm on this topic for the past 40 years, with negligible impact

        1. Art Slartibartfast

          Yes indeed, measurements indicate CO2 concentration has risen 140 ppm in 150 years, but keep in mind that natural emissions are 21 times larger than human caused emissions, so we caused a whopping 6.6 ppm of that increase, i.e. less than 5%. Going to net zero, even if China, India and the US would fully achieve this too would not make a measurable difference.

          1. Sapient Fridge

            Sorry to disagree but humans are actually responsible for most, if not all, of the 140ppm CO2 rise. You are right that our CO2 emissions are low compared to nature, but we are adding ancient carbon on top of the natural cycle. Over 150 years it adds up to the extra 140ppm we see today.

            If you have a bath where you fill it at 10 litres per minute and have water draining out at 10 litres per minute then the level won't change. If you then add even a tiny drip from another source the bath will eventually overflow. That's what humans are doing with CO2. We are digging up ancient sequestered carbon and adding it on top of the natural production/absorbtion cycle.

            https://skepticalscience.com/human-co2-smaller-than-natural-emissions.htm

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Sorry to disagree but humans are actually responsible for most, if not all, of the 140ppm CO2 rise. You are right that our CO2 emissions are low compared to nature, but we are adding ancient carbon on top of the natural cycle. Over 150 years it adds up to the extra 140ppm we see today.

              Only if you completely ignore the 'Greening of the Earth', which is a well documented, natural response to both CO2, and warming. And also why OCO-2 shows carbon plumes over rainforests. Of course you could completely ignore the natural carbon cycle and assume that's as a result of rainforest clearing.. But then what effect did the Mesoamerican and Amazonian populations have on past climate given deforestation has shown evidence of very large populations that would have needed a lot of cleared land to sustain? Perhaps the Conquistadors attempts to 'civilise' those peoples and force them into new cities, along with introducing new diseases allowed forests to grow back, and caused the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age?

              But according to 'experts' the LIA & MWP either didn't happen at all, or were localised. There's plenty of historical evidence to show past climate change, and none of the supposed 'experts' can demonstrate how significant climate change could be local, or regional. It's far simpler to show how UHI and other man-made events are contaminating our present temperature data though.

              1. Roland6 Silver badge

                >” evidence of very large populations”

                “Large” based on our understanding of the technology and state of advancement back then, minuscule by todays standards.

                >” Only if you completely ignore the 'Greening of the Earth’ “

                Valid to ignore, because of timescales and human activity. Timescales because the greening happened over geological timescales not human ie. We need it to go full throttle in the next decade or so, secondly humans have shown they are really good at deforestation etc. ie. Cutting back the “greening” and burning it…

                >” and none of the supposed 'experts' can demonstrate”

                And none of the nutters (or “supposed experts you refer to) can point to a previous advanced society of 9+ billion humans surviving the size of climate we are f potentially facing, BSL we are stepping into the unknown, knowing that the many of the models are based on chaos theory; hence the butterfly wings saying.

                1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                  “Large” based on our understanding of the technology and state of advancement back then, minuscule by todays standards.

                  Nope. Large based on archaeological evidence uncovering large population centres. Then given the size of those populations, and less advanced agricultural techniques, would have required large land areas to support those populations.

                  Timescales because the greening happened over geological timescales not human ie.

                  Nope. Here's some science-

                  https://terra.nasa.gov/news/modis-shows-earth-is-greener

                  Over the last two decades, the Earth has seen an increase in foliage around the planet, measured in average leaf area per year on plants and trees.

                  Ok, that one attributes it to 'man made' effects in China and India but there is plenty of other data showing the same thing. Again anyone with a basic understanding of science would know that this is an expected response to both warming, and CO2. If you go find studies on soil cores, they'll also show plenty of past periods of variable growth, ie depth of plant matter and also stuff like char layers that show fires are not a symptom of 'global warming'.

                  BSL we are stepping into the unknown,

                  Only if you choose to remain ignorant. Otherwise you might realise that most plant life evolved when both CO2 levels and temperatures were much higher than today. Again this is why greenhouse growers elevate both temperatures and CO2 levels to increase yields. And there's more good news given crops can require less H2O when CO2 levels are elevated. This might help California, which after all went from being a bunch of citrus farmers to hosting millions of climate deniers, creating obvious stress and competition on it's water resources. Building big cities where the land can't support them is very much a man-made 'climate' problem. Luckily for California, it's politicians seem to be doing their best to de-populate the state. Too bad about their declining tax base though.

        2. Marty McFly Silver badge
          Mushroom

          It is all rubbish and the height of hubris. This planet has gone through, and will continue to go through, cycles of heating and cooling. There is not a damn thing we can do about it, and it is arrogant to think we can.

          The real issue here is save the humans from their own destruction. Humans are a minor surface disorder in the scope of this planet's history. A couple strong tectonic shifts in the right spots, pop off a few super volcanos, toss in a random giant meteor, and the humans are gone. Wait an eon or two and this planet will have erased every trace of our existence. And it will heat & cool many times in the process.

          Who are we to think we can control the future of this planet? We can only control our existence on it.

          1. cyberdemon Silver badge
            Mushroom

            I think you are delusional if you really believe that humanity hasn't had much of an impact on this planet. Just look at deforestation, factory farming, and the latest trend of chopping down trees and burning them because they are cheaper than oil (and because we can scam politicians into thinking this is somehow good for the planet..) Micro-plastic pollution is having an utterly terrible effect on wildlife.

            Ok on the scale of Billions of solar orbits, you could say that all life is a blip. But that doesn't really help anyone does it..

            As to whether or not CO2 is solely to blame.. I actually have a degree of sympathy for Piers Corbyn there. But nevertheless it is obvious that humanity's continued expansion is unsustainable. I agree with Agent Smith on that one.. Globalisation has allowed us to grow beyond the planet's means to support us, and when globalisation collapses.. See icon.

        3. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          These tracked with atmospheric CO2 stabilizing at ~280 ppm from 10800 BP to 1880. For reference, glacial atmospheric CO2 was ~200. Starting around 1880 atmospheric CO2 began to rise - it hit 300 in the early 1900s, 350 in the late 1980s, 400 in the mid 2010s and is currently 420ppm.

          Tracked and measured.. how, exactly? We had the same instruments as used today at Mauna Loa 12ka ago? Or are you talking about ice & a slice? Thousands of years of CO2 data compressed and condensed into a few short lengths of ice core, with the (in)famous Vostok core claiming to show 400ka or so of CO2 data in <40 slices. The uncertainties around those data are...? And then there are the boring little questions about why CO2 levels increased following warming, so lagged temperature, not lead. Or why the Earth enters, and more importantly exits Ice Ages. Dogma assumes the Earth's orbit changes and we go for a wander.. Quite a large wander given the orbital changes required to raise and lower insolation. The alternative would be solar variability, but dogma assumes that's a constant, even though we know it's not. But as with Milkankovitch cyles, solar also has problems with effect exceeding cause.

          Just because *you* don't understand radiative physics, heat transfer, carbon budgets, and atmospheric processes doesn't mean there aren't many thousand of people who do - and they are the ones who have been raising the alarm on this topic for the past 40 years, with negligible impact.

          Sure. Great climate 'scientists' like Al Gore. It's had a collosal impact on his bank balance, as it has for many of the Profits of Doom. Or, perhaps having followed this debate for getting on for 20yrs, it's much the same as it ever was-

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius#Greenhouse_effect

          Derivations from atmospheric radiative transfer models have found that α \alpha (alpha) for CO2 is 5.35 (± 10%) W/m2 for Earth's atmosphere

          Or they're not. But that was challenged by some 'denier', Knut Ångström in 1900. Given advances in climate 'science', Ångström today would probably be hounded out of academia for challenging the 'consensus' instead of being an absolute unit. 123yrs later, we've refined our knowledge of CO2 and now know there are 4 absorption and emission points, 3 of which overlap with H2O. This leaves only 1 narrow wavelength for CO2 to have any real effect. Because spectrometers can be tuned to only measure those wavelengths, we can measure any radiative forcing at surface, and TOA, upwelling or downwelling.. Which shows that αCO2 is nowhere close to 5.35W/m2. And funnily enough, if high values for CO2 sensitivity (along with other assumed 'forcings' and 'feedbacks') are plugged into climate models, they diverge from reality very quickly.

          And then there's the assumed logarithmic relationship between CO2 and temperature that gives an expected temperature increase per doubling of CO2. Because that's logarithmic*, we've seen virtually all the warming CO2 can do already for this doubling, and the next would require burning every scrap of carbon on the planet to hit. Obviously this can easily be tested, and explains why greenhouses don't use CO2 for heating, as well as boosting crop yields.

          But it's been an incredibly lucrative scam, and capturing farts in a jar is just the latest wheeze to generate billions from regulatory capture.

          *Anyone who wants to amuse themselves can think about what that means. The less CO2 in the atmosphere, the greater the temperature increase. Climate 'science' really is based on homeopathy.

          1. Toe Knee

            Kudos

            @Jellied Eel

            I'll be the the first to admit they're out of their depth on climate modeling and chemistry, so I don't have any reason to challenge your statements. On the other hand, I do respect the consensus of those who do, and have made it their life's work: we ARE having a non-insignificant effect on planetary climate (with all the attendant problems).

            That being said, I do appreciate your well thought out response, and will have to do some more (admittedly cursory) investigation. We all need more good faith, fact based discussion like what you've brought.

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: Kudos

              That being said, I do appreciate your well thought out response, and will have to do some more (admittedly cursory) investigation. We all need more good faith, fact based discussion like what you've brought.

              Do it! It really is fascinating, and along the way, you'll probably find out why people become sceptics. Eventually you'll find something that makes you go 'hmm, that doesn't sound right'. Along the way, you'll get used to seeing zombie arguments. People confidently regurgitate 'facts' like '97% say..', or even the xkcd cartoon. Those are amusing give the chap behind 'SkepticalScience' was a cartoonist, not a climate scientist.

              But-

              https://xkcd.com/1732/

              Comes with a couple of warnings Limits of this data: Short warming or cooling spikes might be 'smoothed out' by these reconstructions, but only if they're small or brief enough. It then takes 22,000yrs of synthetic data, and splices on 150yrs of better, observational data to illustrate it's point. How do we know for certain there weren't other, similar 150yr intervals that were 'smoothed out'. We know this happens in climate 'science'. Most famously with the infamous 'Hockey Stick' that spliced instrumental data onto wooden thermometer data to hide the decline.

              It hides the MWP and LIA by simply stating MWP in Europe and some Northern regions. (Too regional to affect the global average much). We know that glaciers have advanced and retreated since 22ka ago. We know that retreating glaciers or icepack has exposed vegetation, or in Greenland's case, settlements where vegation and agriculture existed where it's too cold for it now. That obviously and strongly suggests that it was warmer in the (relatively recent) past than it is today. So then the stock answer from the climate 'scientists' is either outright denial of the MWP, or the 'regional' claim, without proposing any mechanism that could explain why Greenland was warmer then, than now.

              Or just take the strange case of NY. With temps only 4C colder than our current 'unprecedented' warming, much of it was under a thick layer of ice. Here's wiki-

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City#Climate

              Showing an annual average temperature of NYC of 8C. Ice melts at.. what temperature? For much of the year NYC's comfortably above freezing, having a humid subtropical climate, even with a 4C cooler global temperature. But that really just demonstrates how pointless 'global' temperature records and reconstructions are. We know NY froze, we have no idea why, or why it later defrosted. And then for extra fun, go read the papers cited, eg Marcott (2013) and the criticisms those papers attracted.

              1. Roland6 Silver badge

                Re: Kudos

                >” the infamous 'Hockey Stick'”

                I seem to remember the well funded US based denier group that then took the data and did their own corrected work also came up with a hockey stick…

                1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                  Re: Kudos

                  I seem to remember the well funded US based denier group..

                  Then I'm sure you'll be able to cite it.

                  And I'm sure you'll be able to cite they were better funded than the, say, $600bn for 'Green' schemes Biden bundled into his curiously named 'Inflation Reduction Act'. Oh, and that would be in addition to the $100bn a year the UN's demanding under COP to save the planet. Give generously, or millions of climate 'scientists', lobbyists and activists will be unemployed and unemployable. See also-

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Strong#Controversy

                  Maurice Strong was a close adviser to former UN Secretary General Koffi Annan and became embroiled in what is now known as the Oil for Food Program Scandal and reportedly received millions of dollars from North Korean and Iraqi lobbyists.

                  The oil man who took a $400,000 personal cheque and gave the world the UN Environmental Programme.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      130 Mt CO2 Pa Does look very low.

      “ The average carbon dioxide coefficient of distillate fuel oil is 426.10 kg CO2 per 42-gallon barrel (EPA 2022).”

      So 130 Mt is roughly 305 barrels per year.

      It is estimated the world consumes more than 88 million barrels of oil per day…

      [ https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/oil-consumption-by-country ]

      1. adam 40 Silver badge

        Yes I think someone forgot a few powers of 10?

        In any case I'd like to see a Carbon Capture plant actually up and running, to prove or disprove the engineering.

        Could we not run (say) a gas turbine into a CO2 purifier, and then pump the resultant captured CO2 into a depleted gas field under the North Sea?

        It would be interesting to measure all the extra inefficiencies this imposes, in real life, not just a design, and also monitor the CO2 deposit for leaks etc.

        If it proves to be feasible, it would be an extra string to our bow.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Yes it would be interesting to see a carbon capture plant up and running; for the UK it would need to process the equivalent of one supertanker of oil per day just for the UK to stand still on carbon emissions, additional plants would be necessary to address the hundred years or so of backlog…

          This also gives some idea of the scale of the output: a supertanker of carbon every couple of days or more likely the output will be more bulky and so a couple of supertankers per day.

  3. Art Slartibartfast
    IT Angle

    This is bonkers

    Climate policy is many times worse than anything climate change has in store for us. The basis for CO2 being the bogeyman and humans causing irreversible damage through emissions is severely lacking. The costs for climate policies are crippling to our economy and therefore our wellbeing, and for what? A temperature difference that we cannot even reliably measure and to achieve a goal of 1.5°C that was arbitrarily chosen.

    Billions of dollars and decades went into climate research, and still the IPCC cannot state with any certainty whether climate sensitivity is 2.1°C or 7.7°C or anything in between per doubling of the CO2 concentration, all the while admitting that their climate models run too hot. Speaking of which, why are there so many climate models? Because they cannot select a single one that has proven predictive skill. The climate scare is absolute bollocks.

    1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

      Re: This is bonkers

      I look forward to your next post where you explain why weather forecasting is shit, because sometimes they say it's going to rain and it doesn't

      1. Art Slartibartfast

        Re: This is bonkers

        The thing is that weather forecast is only a couple of days out. Climate models try to predict over 70 years ahead, and during each iteration the errors in the starting conditions and calculations compound and make the results utterly useless. Have you ever examined the calculation methods used in climate models or the outputs of those models? They have programmed hard limits to ensure the outputs don't fly off the rails, like producing temperatures below absolute zero. And then they turn up the heat by using maximum emission scenarios, originally designed to test the limits of the models, and present that as the business as usual scenario. They do this because the actual business as usual scenario does not yield results that are scary enough.

        To put it differently, take away the models and there is nothing much left. Look at Table 12.2 in IPCC AR6 where they state:

        " low scientific confidence in the existence of any visible “global warming” effects in the form of weather extremes:

        Air Pollution Weather (temperature inversions)

        Aridity

        Avalanche (snow)

        Average rain

        Average Wind Speed

        Coastal Flood

        Drought Affecting Crops (agricultural drought)

        Drought From Lack Of Rain (hydrological drought)

        Erosion of Coastlines

        Fire Weather (hot and windy)

        Flooding From Heavy Rain (pluvial floods)

        Frost

        Hail

        Heavy Rain

        Heavy Snowfall and Ice Storms

        Landslides

        Marine Heatwaves

        Ocean Alkalinity

        Radiation at the Earth’s Surface

        River/Lake Floods

        Sand and Dust Storms

        Sea Level

        Severe Wind Storms

        Snow, Glacier, and Ice Sheets

        Tropical Cyclones"

        1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

          Re: This is bonkers

          How else do you think a complex system should be modelled? Or are you suggesting we don’t model It at all and just hope for the best?

          I used to know someone that worked at the met office, years ago, They would store every data point,, then whenever they wanted to adjust the model they would then rerun it on historical data to see how well it would have predicted the future. Tweak and repeat. Think about what sort of of model you get at the end of that - it’s not going to be pretty.

          You seem to think that for a model to be good it must be simple. But complex systems are not simple. It’s why we need experts who work on complex stuff for their whole lives, and why we don’t leave the analysis to people who get confused by measuring temperature (easy) and predicting temperature (hard), as you did in your original post, then decide “it’s all bollocks”.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: This is bonkers

            I used to know someone that worked at the met office, years ago, They would store every data point,, then whenever they wanted to adjust the model they would then rerun it on historical data to see how well it would have predicted the future.

            That sounds really impressive, until you ask, or look for how many data points (ie variables) and how many grid cells are used in the typical climate model. And the answer is they generally predict the past, and thus future very badly. Ok, so this is out of necessity because even though places like the Met Office get regular injections of cash and silicon, modelling a hugely complicated thing like a planetary weather system is a very wicked problem. So by necessity, they are very crude approximations of reality.

            It’s why we need experts who work on complex stuff for their whole lives..

            No we don't. Experts need this to continue in employment and increase their pension pots. But practically ever day the Bbc tells us we're doomed! Doomed I tell you! So if they already know the answer to this stuff, why are we still wasting money on this when we really only need 1 GCM that's accurate and reliable? Now that the 'science is settled', surely the money should be spent on adaptation and mitigation. And for good measure, hedging in case the 'Ice Age' predicted in the '70s becomes true..

            1. ChoHag Silver badge
              Holmes

              Re: This is bonkers

              > > It’s why we need experts who work on complex stuff for their whole lives..

              > No we don't.

              Ooh I like that one. Can I keep it?

              1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

                Re: This is bonkers

                You are Michael Gove and I claim my five pounds.

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: This is bonkers

          So for an encore are you now going to prove that black is white?

          The IPCC assessment criteria are a joke!

          The criteria are more about backing a do nothing approach, once (and there is a big if on whether the criteria really will show this) the criteria are satisfied there is no simple mitigation, it’s hold on for the ride time…

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: This is bonkers

      Bwahahahahhahhaha!

      Oh wait, you're serious?

      BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    3. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: This is bonkers

      Billions might have gone into research but you may have noticed (if you've been following the news) that billions of dollars have been spent by energy companies to spread FUD about fossil fuels so that conservation would not interfere with their business. We have known since the early 70s that there was a problem and what was likely causing it. Fixing it required people to change their ways; all we got was "Morning in America" as the can got kicked down the road.

      We're running out of road now. I'm skeptical of carbon capture myself because it feels like another attempt to kick that can. (Anyway, I want my oxygen back.) The simplest way to sequester carbon is to grow trees and bury them -- that is, put the coal back into the ground.

      1. cyberdemon Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: This is bonkers

        There has also been rather a lot of FUD spread about nuclear power over the last few decades... Cui bono? The trillion dollar fossil fuel industry, perhaps? The renewables gang, too.. We all know that Wind and Gas are symbiotic.

        And now we have flipping Drax and the biomass/BECCS lobby pretending they can deliver "negative emissions"..

        One point I agree on is that we have run out of road.. It is too late to power our current civilisation with nuclear. Toxic politics has made it impossible to build nuclear power stations in an acceptable timeframe and cost.

        The only likely outcome AFAICT is a devastating third world war which will bring the human population back to a sustainable level. Perhaps a few Inuit tribespeople might survive.. Hopefully they can someday build a new and better civilisation on the lessons of our doomed one.

        1. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: This is bonkers

          China is planning at least 150 new nuclear reactors in the next 15 years, more than the rest of the world has built in the past 35

          1. cyberdemon Silver badge

            Re: This is bonkers

            Because in China, local landowners and planning objectors are simply relocated to Xinjiang, and protesters are suppressed with machineguns

      2. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Re: This is bonkers

        "Billions might have gone into research".

        Have you noticed the deniers of reality never, ever talk about the $5+ trillion annual subsidies the Fossil Fuel industries have been receiving for decades but bleat endlessly about minor, temporary subsidies given to renewables.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: This is bonkers

          Have you noticed the deniers of reality never, ever talk about the $5+ trillion annual subsidies

          Oh, we do. But when we point out the majority of those 'subsidies' are actually discounted VAT, the real deniers can't accept that reality. Which is that fossil fuels are actually very heavily taxed given royalty payments, duties, 'windfall taxes', or in the UK, just a special higher rate of corporation tax. If you want to see real subsidies, you really need to look at the billions going into the 'renewables' scumbags and explain why the UK has one of the highest electricity costs in the world. Funny how that works when the scumbags also tell us that their product is the cheapest form of generation, and can only get cheaper!

          Except of course when there are no-bids for the latest round of CfDs, and the scumbags are threatening to pull out of some lowballed bids due to 'rising costs'. Cognitive dissonance is strong with the true reality deniers..

          1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

            Re: This is bonkers

            At least your first sentence admits that you are in denial.

            Science is based on the presumption that the accepted consensus is wrong; the scientific method relies on disproving, not proving, a hypothesis. The group of people who have tried the hardest to debunk the theory of man-made global warming are... climate scientists. They’ve been taking measurements of historical CO2 (yes, you can, from deep ice, and yes, it is accurate - like any system, the more you sample, the more accurate it becomes), examining and re-examining the models, and in all that time, the hypothesis that human activity in the last 10 years is changing the climate cannot be disproved.

            Meanwhile, we have the other camp who have ready answers for every concern people might have about their way of life needing to change. Don’t worry, the data’s wrong, it’s not man-made, we can capture the CO2, it’s a conspiracy, the scientists are on the take... you name it, there’s an answer for it. That refusal to admit doubt, to say that there’s even the slimmest chance that the other side is right... that is the first warning sign that you’re being asked to believe things that are on the wrong side of measurable reality.

            You raised the cui bono? argument elsewhere.. so let’s play that out. Who does benefit if the climate-change scientists are correct? Really, nobody - things are going to be pretty bad, to be honest. I don’t see a clear, organisable group that is small enough to be able to properly coordinate such a campaign of “misinformation”, yet well-resourced enough to push it through against the evidence of reality, who would actually become enriched or more powerful if humanity weans itself off fossil-fuel energy. The only candidates I’ve ever heard proposed for this role boil down to conspiracies about New World Order and other anti-Semitic trash...

            Reversing the question, it’s very easy to see the beneficiary if the climate-change science is wrong: the oil and gas producers. The shift in fossil-fuel consumption from high-volume fuelstock to low-volume industrial use (yes, we will still need oil for plastics an pharmaceuticals) would destroy the regimes in charge of certain oil-producing states, who never diversified beyond getting the shit out of the ground, and who use their petroleum incomes as a way of exerting outsized pressure on world politics. Those same actors have a lot of money, are few in number, and have a history of lobbying.

            The high number of conspiracy theorists who include climate-denial in their set of beliefs should ring an alarm bell or two. But then, conspiracy theories find their most fertile ground in minds that would rather believe in a malign omnipotence than accept banal, unpleasant truths about reality.

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: This is bonkers

              Science is based on the presumption that the accepted consensus is wrong; the scientific method relies on disproving, not proving, a hypothesis.

              Bit of both really. Come up with a theory, test that theory, falsify it, or publish. Climate 'science' has turned that on it's head, and any scientist to dares to challenge the dogma is immediately branded a heretic, excommunicated and branded a 'denier'. They used to be labelled 'sceptics', until they realised scientists are supposed to be sceptics.

              They’ve been taking measurements of historical CO2 (yes, you can, from deep ice, and yes, it is accurate - like any system, the more you sample, the more accurate it becomes),

              Really? Being, well, science you should be able to quantify the accuracy, along with explaining boring sciencey stuff like gas diffusion rates in snow, compacted snow and ice. And no, you are wrong about sampling, but then that catches out climate 'scientists' unfamiliar with the field, eg Rahmstorf and his novel 'smoothing'' method, which turned out to be a misapplication of a simple triangle filter. But this is quite common and statisticians have to try and explain that oversampling can just amplify noise, especially when using techniques intended for uncorrelated data. Most climate 'signals' are correlated.

              Of course a lot of climate 'scientists' simplify the process by selection bias and pre-screening, eg the infamous Hockey Stick again where samples were cherry picked to create the desired shape. But I guess you don't use stuff like atomic clocks or GPS to tell the time, you just oversample a large pile of broken clocks.

              Who does benefit if the climate-change scientists are correct?

              Well.. that one should be obvious. Again it keeps climate 'scientists' off the streets. Mostly. Some engage in outright activism and lobbying, but not all scientists can make the money people like James Hansen or Michael Mann have done from their art. Then there are all the NGOs lobbying on behalf of all the 'Green' industries that have sprung up to 'save the planet'. Obvious ones being the 'renewables' scumbags who've made billions reinventing pre-Industrial technology. Despite the modern windmills having exactly the same limitations as the ones we ditched a few centuries ago when we developed better power sources. Then there's all the people making money from carbon trading, offsetting, or just trying to flog carbon capture scams. Funnily enough, the oil & gas industry can profit from that one given they have large storage fields, or can just use CO2 for enhanced recovery.. Providing the CO2 is cheap enough, which it won't be. Instead a lot of money and energy will be wasted to have no statistically significant effect.

              But as I also mentioned. If the science is already 'settled', why do we need so many climate 'scientists'. They know all the answers now, so surely the money should be diverted into adaptation and mitigation? Or maybe more people should be asking why the 'crisis' we're supposedly solving is slipped from preventing 3C warming, to 2C, to only 1.5C. Answer to that one is really simple. Based on the science, CO2 sensitivity has been revised downwards. With lower sensitivity, you can't get there from here, so 3C becomes an impossible target. 1.5C though is well within the bounds of natural variability.

              1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

                Re: This is bonkers

                If the science is “settled”, why do we need so many climate scientists? Because it’s not settled. Only denialist morons say that positions are definite and unchangeable, because they wish to keep the status-quo (which isn’t that static if you just look back a few decades; but I suppose history also wrong). Nothing is ever settled in science - that is the point. For global warming, the phenomenon is known, the best-fit explanation is human CO2 production, but the system by which these effects occur is complex and finding the best bang-for-buck from reductions is something that’s worth discovering. This isn’t unique to climate research: we know how gravity works well enough to aim spacecraft at rocks hundreds of millions of miles away, yet we’re still researching it. And if you think there’s big money in climate research, you have no idea of the actual figures: $500M annually out of a total global estimated spend on academic R&D of $1,920,000 million (that total is a low estimate).

                And to correct your misunderstandings: a rise of 3.0ºC (current trend-line) is the failure case, 2.0ºC was the agreed minimum limit that would avert major damage; 1.5ºC was the desired target, including a margin of safety. None of these numbers has changed. Do you have this much difficulty understanding spec-sheets too?

                I asked who benefits, and you gave me a hazy maybe-group of people who lack any kind of cohesion between them. Scientists? You don’t know any scientists (as was already clear from your postings)

                you can’t get those fuckers to agree on anything, and you expect them all to band together into a cabal? NGOs? You have a warped idea of how much cash and influence these organisations have... nobody in Greenpeace is able to send judges on private cruises, that’s for sure. As for the people building wind-farms and solar arrays, I wonder why you have such an irrational hatred of engineering companies building wind-farms: they’re the same engineering groups who build airports, highways, railways, and power stations... this is an opportunity for them, but it replaces other work. Incidentally, you cannot build an efficient wind turbine without modern aeronautic theory, composite materials, magnetics and electronic controls, but go ahead and put another one of your dreary quote-marks around it and call it pre-industrial if you want to demonstrate a lack of knowledge. (Why was it NASA that was tasked with developing wind generation systems by the US Government in the early 1970s?)

                The oil companies as a group, are the losers, and the reason they won’t benefit from “advanced CO2 capture” is the same way I won’t benefit from selling perpetual motion machines online.. That’s what this article was pointing out.

                The other dude who says the Chinese are ignoring climate change has been swallowing too much American propaganda - the Chinese are well aware of climate problems, as most of their population lives close to sea level. But despite a nasty coal habit, they’re pulling their energy generation and transportation away from fossil-fuel at a faster rate than the west - even if they’re run on coal-electricity all those rail lines and electric buses are lower CO2 transportation per passenger trip than gasoline or diesel passenger cars. It’s been clear for a while now that, China, as an industrial latecomer, is aiming to skip the remainder of the petroleum age and instead secure an unassailable position as a technology leader in the post-oil economy (solar panels, wind turbines, energy storage, electrical vehicles). Meanwhile, half of the US’s politicians are happy to hand that future to the Chinese, because their buddies in the oil business buy them boat-trips, hookers and blow...

            2. Bbuckley

              Re: This is bonkers

              No mate it is you who are in denial that the eco ideology is an entirely imaginary communist thought weapon. If this were not true how come only the western world cares about the coming doom - China and it's henchmen allies are laughing all the way to the bank.

    4. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: This is bonkers

      "The costs for climate policies are crippling to our economy and therefore our wellbeing" Says who? The people who made Truss PM is who. The same peole who have destroyed the UK.

      1. Bbuckley

        Re: This is bonkers

        Nope. Says the 99% of ordinary citizens who are not going to pay any more eco-tax.

    5. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: This is bonkers

      >” The costs for climate policies are crippling to our economy and therefore our wellbeing, and for what?”

      Never ending growth can only happen in books and the imagination, by all measures we are beyond what our planet can provide and sustain our lifestyle and a 9+ billion population. So the question isn’t if but when will our economy and society crash…

      Some experts, ignoring climate change and going on consumption and population growth, suggest circa 2040 when the wheels fall off the current world economic order… [Aside I’ve been looking for more on this, but back of the envelope calculations based on a 1970 report which projected Earth could support 3 billion people consuming 3 Earth’s of resources for circa 200 years indicate 50 years down the road, for 9 billion its 20~30 years… ]

  4. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

    Untested? If only

    I thought the whole problem with CCS is that it has been tested and doesn't work? See for example https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/apr/21/emissions-wa-gas-project-chevron-carbon-capture-system-pilbara-coast

    Incidentally I couldn't recall the details so googled "Australia CCS project". The first page of links is mostly sponsored by Aramco, Chevron et al - firms with deep pockets and bad image problems. If they could make CCS work, we'd have already heard about it.

    1. adam 40 Silver badge

      Re: Untested? If only

      That's very interesting, so I wonder what the engineering problems are? Is it a problem with the reservoir they are injecting into, the pumping, "pressure management" (whatever that is?)

      What I'm getting at is, can it ever be made to work (if you had a better reservoir/better engineering/etc?) Can it be made to work "better" (they had some limited success)? Or, is it fundamentally a flawed concept?

      We need more details, the newspaper article is a good starting point.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Carbon capture at home?

    Is there a way that individuals can do their bit, by capturing CO2?

    Obviously, planting trees, shrubs, etc (and/or not cutting down existing greenery) is one way.

    But surely there must be an energy efficient way (ie where the total energy used to capture the CO2, does not in itself create more CO2 in the first place).

    Lithium Hydroxide can capture CO2, but is it worth buying this...

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Carbon capture at home?

      If the lithium hydroxide was made from lithium carbonate you only get back to where you started apart from any extra CO2 from the extraction of the carbonate and the generation of the enrgy to convert it to the hydroxide.

    2. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: Carbon capture at home?

      "Is there a way that individuals can do their bit, by capturing CO2?"

      Try using Ecosia.

      https://www.ecosia.org

    3. Filippo Silver badge

      Re: Carbon capture at home?

      >Is there a way that individuals can do their bit, by capturing CO2?

      Not really. You can plant trees, but that carbon will get released again when they die, unless you bury them. You can use trees that live long, long enough that by the time they die humanity will hopefully have got its shit together, but that's unreliable and you'll run out of space quickly anyway.

      >But surely there must be an energy efficient way (ie where the total energy used to capture the CO2, does not in itself create more CO2 in the first place).

      Not really. If it stays CO2, then it's a gas, which makes it difficult to contain reliably and long-term in any meaningful quantities.

      If it gets turned into something more stable, then you'll need more energy than was produced by burning the carbon in the first place. There are no catalysts, no tricks, no nothing to get around this, and there never will be. You cannot negotiate with thermodynamics.

      You could do it with renewables or nuclear, of course, but if you have a surplus of that, the most efficient thing you can do, by, like, whole orders of magnitude, is to shut down fossil power plants until there are none left. Once you've shut down the last fossil plant, then carbon capture starts making sense.

      Or you can plant trees, which, in terms of the energy calculations, are basically inefficient-but-extremely-cheap solar panels. That works, but the scale at which it makes any impact is well beyond what individual efforts can do.

      >Lithium Hydroxide can capture CO2, but is it worth buying this...

      I'm pretty certain that the energy required to mine and process that stuff is going to outweigh whatever CO2 you can capture with it. And you'll still have to spend energy to stabilize the carbon, see above.

      1. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Re: Carbon capture at home?

        "Not really. You can plant trees" To replace the millions we have chopped down.

        1. Filippo Silver badge

          Re: Carbon capture at home?

          Absolutely! It's just not something you can do individually, not on a scale that makes much of a difference. Most people in cities don't have a place where they could plant a tree. Some people have a garden, where they can plant a few trees, but that's about it. The great deforested areas are owned by people who really don't have any intention of planting trees there, and will not do so unless coerced by a government. On the other hand, reducing direct & indirect energy usage is something most of us can do to some degree.

          1. Ghostman

            Re: Carbon capture at home?

            Well, I've got about 15K trees on my property, and my neighbor has pretty close to that amount. Add to that we live almost in the center of a small town, so I think we help "adjust" the co2 in our area. We agreed to not cut down live trees unless they were blown over by a storm, and use the wood to help heat our homes, which causes us to pull less power from the local grid during really cold days.

            1. adam 40 Silver badge

              Re: Carbon capture at home?

              So how you improve on that is, fell trees a few at a time, convert them to charcoal, and use the syngas to heat your home.

              Bury the charcoal on-site.

              Plant more trees to replace the ones felled.

    4. Julz

      Re: Carbon capture at home?

      Yes, have less/no kids.

  6. ecofeco Silver badge

    Utter Grift

    Stopping emissions is the ONLY way we are going to accomplish anything.

    Should we, say, plant trees? Hell yes! Waste less? Hell yes again! But it's all literally pissing in the ocean (of gas) if we don't stop emissions at scale. Not capture. Not reduce. Stop.

    Anything less is just an astroturfing money grab. Grift.

    Oh course, we will do none of that until too late.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Utter Grift

      Which we will not achieve by the magical thinking of e.g. switching to electric cars. The "dirty" secret is that stopping emissions will require such major changes to behaviour that the public will run any politicians out of office should they attempt to introduce them. Personally I think we are stuffed until the impacts become so obvious that even twats like climate deniers grasp it. Unfortunately the oceans could be evaporating by that point.

  7. Andy 73 Silver badge

    Energy cost

    We release energy when we put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere - kinda the point really. Putting that CO2 back into a stable form means (a) a huge mass of carbon-based substance (remember we're ultimately trying to store Gigatons) and (b) pretty much as much energy as we got out in the first place.

    I've no doubt Carbon capture schemes can be shown to capture carbon - but if we are essentially proposing to at least double our energy costs, and require several orders of magnitude more scale than even the most optimistic current scheme, there has to be a question as to whether this is a viable solution or a bit of a grift for "green entrepeneurs" to run pet projects.

    1. cyberdemon Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Energy cost

      > I've no doubt Carbon capture schemes can be shown to capture carbon

      I've no doubt that I can take a piss in the ocean. But I'd be rather deluded if I said that it would have a significant effect on its overall pH.

      Carbon capture schemes a) don't work, because they require a rather infeasible amount of er, energy, to work, and b) aren't stable. The CO2 even if it could be captured, is much harder to store for thousands of years, per TWh than nuclear waste

      What they -are- useful for, is as a money spinner for owners of empty oil wells.

  8. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

    Carbon capture isn't the only solution

    It's not a binary choice. There are other alternatives to consider. Some of them cheap, quick and effective.

    Ocean iron ferilisation is one such. Small scale experiments showed increased kelp growth and vastly improved fish stocks. The local biology absorbed carbon from the ocean, which in turn absorbs it from the atmosphere. It was off Alaska I think, and the local salmon stocks bloomed in the year after the experiment.

    It's literally dirt cheap and scales easily. But despite provable successes it doesn't get the required attention of funding because it's not doing anything to reduce CO2 production.

    Same as planting trees. The planet has lost something like 3 trillion trees. Restoring a substantial chunk of those would suck vast quantities of CO2 from the air and lock it away. But again, that doesn't reduce those demonic emmissions.

    Swarms of reflective or light blocking statites could orbit at the Earth/Sun Lagrange point to reduce incoming sunlight by a tiny percentage. Doesn't need to be huge. Less than 1% is enough to drop the temperature quickly. If it goes to far, program the swarm to eject some of their members. If it's not enough, add more to the swarm.

    All these solutions could be implemented relatively quickly, if we collectively wanted to, without crippling our economies, without spiralling energy costs, without rushing to electrify everything before individual countries, never mind the world, are actually ready for the vastly increased demands on their electrical grids.

    1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

      Re: Carbon capture isn't the only solution

      The moon is about 0.2deg², the entire sky is 41,252deg², so the moon covers roughly 0.000484% of the sky. And you want to cover 1% - I'm not sure I can imagine a less appropriate use of the phrase "doesn't have to be huge".

      Call me a luddite, but dumping iron in our rapidly-acidifying ocean or building something 2,000 times the visible size of the moon do not strike me a viable solutions, although I admire your confidence in our species to terraform without any unexpected side-effects..

      I'm with you on the trees though.

      1. druck Silver badge

        Re: Carbon capture isn't the only solution

        To reduce energy from the sun, you only need to cover 1% of the Sun, not the 1% of the entire sky.

        1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

          Re: Carbon capture isn't the only solution

          Spoilsport :-)

  9. Bbuckley

    So the alternative to carbon capture is ... the end of Human civilisation by self-harming suicidal net zero. Wow. What a choice we have.

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