Phasing out coal and burning trees for fuel can tackle global warming, says scientist

September 15th, 2008 - 6:22 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Sept 15 (ANI): In a move to reduce the danger of increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, one of the worlds top scientists has suggested that all coal power stations must be phased out by 2030 or they should be equipped with special “carbon capture and storage” equipment and instead people should turn back to burning trees for fuel.

Professor James Hansen was the first leading scientist to announce that global warming was taking place, 20 years ago.

Now, he has said that coal power stations should be equipped with special “carbon capture and storage” equipment that stops gas escaping into the atmosphere

He has even claimed that it is imperative that people should return to using wood as a fuel as the world has already exceeded the danger level for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

He stressed that burning trees rather than fossil fuels to generate electricity, and capturing and storing the resultant carbon is needed for pulling down the greenhouse effect to safe levels.

His call will warn governments and environmentalists, who are concentrating on the already daunting task of limiting carbon-dioxide build-up, and still allowing it to rise well above present levels.

Currently the level of carbon dioxide is at 385 parts per million (ppm), about 100ppm above what it was at the start of the Industrial Revolution.

Now, it is increasing at the rate of about 2ppm a year. The most ambitious international efforts focus on stabilising it at 450 ppm, though few see this as achievable.

However, according to Hansen, this goal “is a recipe for global disaster, not salvation” and that present levels have already “brought us to the precipice of a planetary tipping point”.

“If we go over the edge we will transition to an environment far outside the range that has been experienced by humanity, and there will be no return within any foreseeable future generation, The Independent quoted him, as saying.

Now, he is sure that 350 ppm is the absolute maximum that may help in avoiding the loss of the polar ice sheets and other disasters.

He says that all coal power stations must be phased out by 2030, unless they are equipped with special “carbon capture and storage” equipment that stops the gas escaping into the atmosphere.

And I they managed to do that, the level could be stabilised at 400 ppm.

After that carbon levels could be brought down to 350 ppm “within a century” by following a vigorous programme of planting trees to suck up carbon dioxide coupled with the use of carbon capture equipment when the trees are burnt, and improvements in agricultural practices. (ANI)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in South Asia |

Subscribe