Could the world’s greatest climate change fighter be right in your backyard?
Some people are counting on high tech solutions and off-the-wall innovations to solve climate change – from wrapping Greenland in a blanket to filtering out some of the sun’s rays with a giant space sun shield. Researchers have even come up with machines that cost just $20,000 a piece that can pull carbon dioxide right out of the air.
In a report released in Feburary 2015, researchers from Oxford University asked a question that you might already be thinking ̶ what about the ‘machines’ we already have, covering millions of acres and absorbing carbon dioxide for free every day? What about trees?
These researchers found that planting trees and improving the soil are probably our best bet for helping the atmosphere, especially since they are low cost and relatively low risk. To be specific, they recommended increasing the amount of forested area by planting trees where there aren’t any and burying biochar (a dense charcoal) to sequester carbon while also increasing soil fertility overall.
Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs) like those mentioned above are not the only tools in our box when it comes to fighting climate change, but combined with initiatives to reduce the production of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, they could help keep global temperature rise in check.