Putting huge amounts of carbon dioxide below ground could be a better, more efficient tool to combat global climate change than scientists previously thought. A recent study, released on Thursday, found that storing CO2 underground turns out to be a viable plan to limit greenhouse gasses.
Experts looked at carbon dioxide which accumulated naturally below ground level, for the last 100,000 years and concluded that it had not eroded the rocks covering the deposit. This shows that putting CO2 underground could be an option worthy of taking into consideration, to stop climate change.
To make a difference in climate change, the carbon dioxide should remain underground for 10,000 years, at least. Capturing and burning carbon is a potential answer for reducing carbon footprints from gas and coal-powered facilities. But this strategy could turn out risky for the planet, and it also has financial and legislative challenges.
One of the big obstacles which keep carbon capture from being implemented is the unknown. We don’t yet know how it will behave in the long term, underground, co-author of the study, Mike Bickle said.
However, his team’s study shows that carbon could act safe and maintain predictability over hundreds of thousands of years.
Led by experts from the Cambridge University, the team drilled into the rock bed and analyzed how eroded these layers of rock were.
Currently, storing carbon dioxide underground is done by injecting it as a dense fluid, below several layers of rocks, which are leak proof.
But because carbon dioxide will not be injected in its natural state, it’s difficult to say how exactly it will behave, the study found.
This kind of carbon reducing practice is still very controversial. The idea behind it is to catch carbon dioxide from industrial facilities, right before it spreads into the atmosphere and keep it below ground level, or even inject it below layers of rock where oil is found, to pump out more oil.
Some say that the process could save humanity from the dangers of greenhouse emissions and climate change, others believe that it’s potentially risky, expensive and takes the attention away from environmentally friendly energy resources, like solar power, wind or water energy.
Image Source – Wikipedia