Geography in the news 1
November 12, 14
Article dated November 9, 2014 from The New York Times (online): http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/10/science/earth/climate-tools-seek-to-bend-natures-path.html Accessed November 12, 14
Climate tools seek to bend nature’s path
Dr. Schuiling, a retired geochemist from Netherland, has proposed a new solution of global warming by making the use of olivine, a green-tinted mineral found in abundance around the world, which could absorb the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere when they are exposed to the air. Dr. Schuiling advocates to spread the olivine on fields and beaches and using it for dikes, pathways, even sandboxes so that humans can utilize it to slow down the rise in global temperature.
Such idea for countering the global warming is an example of geoengineering solutions since they seek to manipulate the nature. Serious discussion about the practicality and rationality about them has been undertaken and they’re considered controversial. Some people argue that the geoengineering solutions are impractical because it works too slowly and is time-consuming and undertaking them on a global scale seems to be impossible. However, Dr. Schuiling argues that industry extracts and transports huge quantities of coal, oil and gas and if society decided that geoengineering was necessary, it’s possible to do the same with olivine. Also, he believes small things could make a big difference.
Besides the olivine, there is another example of utilizing the geoengineering, which is mimicking the volcano. The volcanic eruption will release quantities of sulfur dioxide and the gas quickly formed tiny droplets of sulfuric acid, which acted like minuscule mirrors and reflected some of the sun’s rays back into space. Based on this situation, there is one another geoengineering approach to reduce global warming is to mimic the volcanic action by spraying sulfuric acid droplets into the stratosphere. But this approach is not perfect as well. The droplets can’t last long and they require continuous actions and are also time and labor consuming. In addition, people from some underdeveloped countries are quite skeptical of this kind of geoengineering approaches because the climate change in these countries is largely due to the activities of industrialized countries, so it’s hard for them to trust the so-called advanced approaches from the brainchild of scientists from those countries.
From my point of view, finding the most suitable approaches to eliminate the global warming still has a long way to go. It not only requires scientists and geographers’ efforts, but also need global cooperation regardless of regions, politics and religious etc. Even if we must be come across a lot of technological obstacles, political troubles or ethic issues, human beings still can’t give up making every effort to come to a compromise toward the global warming issue. I am quite appreciated to see China and US reach climate accord after months of talks staking out an ambitious joint plan to curb carbon emissions as a way to spur nations around the world to make their own cuts in greenhouse gases. Advanced technology can help humans a lot in slowing down the climate change, but meanwhile, our awareness of eliminating the global warming and strong intentions to cooperate are also essential to deal with this issue.
Henry Fountain. “Climate tools seek to bend nature’s path” The New York Times. November 9, 2014. Web. <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/10/science/earth/climate-tools-seek-to-bend-natures-path.html >.
Mark Lander. “U.S. and China reach climate accord after months of talks” The New York Times. November 11, 2014. Web. < http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/12/world/asia/china-us-xi-obama-apec.html>.