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Can we engineer our way out of the climate crisis?

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The New York Times or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: In Iceland, a significant technological project named Mammoth, aimed at combating climate change, is being powered up
• This machine plans to vacuum vast quantities of air, extract carbon dioxide, and sequester it in ancient stone underground, potentially altering Earth's atmosphere's composition to combat global warming

🔭 The context: Technologies like Mammoth, previously considered fringe due to their cost and impracticality, are gaining mainstream attention as the climate crisis worsens
• These climate interventions, ranging from solar radiation blocking to ocean iron fertilization, represent a shift towards active attempts to manipulate nature to fight climate change

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Mammoth, powered by clean geothermal energy, symbolizes a growing recognition of the need for drastic measures to address climate change
• Its method of turning carbon dioxide into a solid, thereby removing it from the atmosphere, highlights innovative approaches to reducing global carbon emissions, though it also raises questions about the viability and ethical implications of such large-scale interventions

⏭️ What's next: The adoption of technologies like direct air capture is expanding, with companies like Occidental Petroleum building larger facilities
• These efforts reflect a broader shift towards corporate and governmental investment in carbon removal solutions, even as debates continue about their effectiveness, risks, and the potential for distraction from reducing fossil fuel reliance

💬 One quote: "We need more information so we can make these decisions in the future," (Alan Robock,  professor of atmospheric science at Rutgers University)

📈 One stat: Mammoth is capable of capturing up to 36,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, a small fraction of annual global emissions, underscoring the challenges of scaling such technologies to make a significant impact on climate change

Click for more news covering the latest on climate change

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