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Engineering geology – a possible solution to climate change

The effects of climate change are causing massive damage to our environments and habitats around the world, with weather patterns seriously affected. Just this year we have seen the devastating effects of climate change around the world with hurricanes, floods, droughts and wildfires, and the situation is set to get worse in the future.

Over the past years, many climate change conferences have been held There have been warnings from current and former Secretary-Generals of the United Nations that we are heading for disaster, as well as numerous reports from the United Nations and other global environmental agencies warning that the situation cannot continue as it is. The problem is that industries with polluting emissions do not take the necessary actions to deal with reducing carbon emissions.

The dangers of carbon emissions were highlighted early in the 1965 of the President American Lyndon Johnson by a team of experts warned of the warming of the atmosphere. It was they who initially suggested that the atmosphere could be changed to deal with carbon pollution but their proposals did not receive much attention, although they are certainly worth pursuing because all our other attempts have not been sufficiently successful. Even if developed countries succeed in reducing their own emissions, developing countries still rely heavily on fossil fuels as a cheap source of energy and are likely to use them long into the future.

The atmosphere has already absorbed a huge amount The greenhouse gases that have accumulated over time and that have warmed the planet. Therefore, even if carbon emissions are reduced, we cannot deny that extreme climate changes will continue. What we need now is to use innovative methods that help absorb gases from the atmosphere so that our stifled planet can get rid of the toxins that are already present to reduce its temperature. Planting trees and removing carbon from our oceans so they can absorb more carbon are great long-term strategies, but we need something more urgent because these things will take years to implement and show results. What is needed is a more radical solution to deal with emissions trapped in our atmosphere.

Engineering geology, in the form of solar radiation management, is a concept that deserves more attention. The most studied technique is the introduction of sulfur particles into the atmosphere to reflect sunlight and cool the planet’s temperature. While this procedure can lead to other problems, the work of physicist David Keith, published in the New York Times in October 2021, shows that the benefits outweigh the risks of this cheap, fast-acting solution. Any such action must be accompanied by a rigorous system of monitoring, checking for adverse effects such as ocean acidification and minimizing as needed. According to Keith, this technique known as stratospheric aerosol injection can be done using a controlled amount of sulfur to reflect enough light to cool the planet by one degree. This may not sound like much, but it is a huge measure in terms of addressing climate change.

In addition to stratospheric aerosol injections, I advocate researching other techniques in greater depth such as boosting the radiative regression factor, which increases the Reflection of clouds or the Earth so that more sunlight is reflected back into space, and the possibility of using reflectors in space to achieve the same result.

Some have said that such an approach would lead to industries abandoning carbon alternatives where there would be no There is a huge incentive to invest in carbon neutral technologies. But they should be tasked with continuing their efforts to explore and test alternatives because any choice involves compromise. We must consider all technologies that can help us extract carbon from our rickety atmosphere.

In addition to these measures, we need to invest more in long-term solutions such as afforestation, ambient air capture, and fertilization Ocean, ocean alkalinity promotion and other technologies. By diversifying solutions, we can build a resilient world that can handle future carbon challenges.

As president of the Confederation on Sustainable Urbanization in New York and a longtime advocate for climate change issues, I say we must consider engineering geology approaches to address these The issue where it is clear that pledges and promises in international meetings are not sufficient to deal with this real threat to our existence.

Talal Abu-Ghazaleh