Olivine, sulphuric acid debated as geoengineering climate solutions

By on November 19, 2014

Scientists are debating the use of geoengineering to combat climate change, the New York Times reported. One proposed solution involves spreading olivine, a green mineral that is readily available worldwide, across the globe. When olivine is unearthed, it removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

If sufficient olivine is used, scientists predict it could eliminate enough carbon dioxide to deter rising temperatures. However, critics say it would take to too long to make a difference and efforts to secure it could increase greenhouse gases.

Another proposed method is squirting sulfuric acid droplets into the stratosphere to mirror sun rays back into space, decreasing temperatures. But this method would require a lot of acid and would not eliminate existing carbon dioxide in seawater. Researchers believe more research and field experiments are needed to better understand geoengineering’s benefits and disadvantages.

Top image: Crystal of olivine. (Credit: Rob Lavinsky via Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-SA-3.0)

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