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The artificial forests of the future


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9 replies to this topic

#1
wjfox

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http://www.guardian....-climate-change

The artificial forests of the future – big picture

Giant fly-swats and freight containers may help prevent catastrophic climate change, say engineers. The Institution of Mechanical Engineers has come up with some ideas for what "artificial forests" - technologies that absorb CO2, in a similar way to trees - could look like in the future. These structures would use chemical processes or natural carbon sponges such as algae to take in carbon and store it, or even turn it into useful products.


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As global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, sucking carbon dioxide out of the air may be one way of trying to combat climate change. This image of what appear to be giant fly-swats and freight containers shows what the artificial forests of the future might look like. The United Nations climate chief, Christiana Figueres, said recently that the world might need to look at such options in order to avoid the worst effects of global warming. Tim Fox, head of energy and environment at IMechE, said: "It is clear that work needs to be done to cut the amount of greenhouse gas emissions people produce. But we also need to look at creative and ingenious ways of preventing climate change by taking out the emissions we have already put in the atmosphere, particularly CO2 – essentially cleaning up air." He said the technology to make these contraptions already existed, though some of it is at a very early stage, and called for more funding for research and development

Photographer: imeche.org.uk

#2
TreeHandThing

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I know this may sound stupid, but could these things be so efficient that they take out too much CO2?

#3
Craven

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I wouldn't worry about that :)
"I walk alone and do no evil, having only a few wishes, just like an elephant in the forest."

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#4
Shimmy

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i'm sure they'll be an off switch if we need to turn some off for a while

#5
Shimmy

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although maybe if we gave them sophisticated AI they might go mental and refuse to turn off. Resulting in a terrible situation of global cooling, sea levels decreasing and advancing ice sheets. Though we could always just nuke them, unless for some reason we had integrated our defence system AI with the artificial forest AI.

#6
TreeHandThing

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I was mainly referring to the plight of plants.

#7
Logically Irrational

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Any plans on where these forests would be built? There's obviously certain areas in which they would be most useful, such as roadways. Would they actually be built in cities or on the outskirts?

This would have to be second priority, after the AI threat of course. I say ice sheets and nukes would be bad. :blink:
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

#8
GNR Rvolution

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Saw a program on these a few years ago, was reviewing a number of different options for airborne CO2 removal and this were definitely the frontrunner in my views. They certainly seemed more controllable than some of the other methods they suggested. Certainly I think that if, as some protagonists report, we have already passed the point where reduction in CO2 emission is good enough, we certainly need to be looking at ways to remove it.
All right, brain. You don't like me and I don't like you, but let's just do this and I can get back to killing you with beer.

#9
wjfox

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Saw a program on these a few years ago, was reviewing a number of different options for airborne CO2 removal and this were definitely the frontrunner in my views. They certainly seemed more controllable than some of the other methods they suggested. Certainly I think that if, as some protagonists report, we have already passed the point where reduction in CO2 emission is good enough, we certainly need to be looking at ways to remove it.

It will require massive government subsidies though. And the right-wing aren't going to like that.

#10
GNR Rvolution

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Saw a program on these a few years ago, was reviewing a number of different options for airborne CO2 removal and this were definitely the frontrunner in my views. They certainly seemed more controllable than some of the other methods they suggested. Certainly I think that if, as some protagonists report, we have already passed the point where reduction in CO2 emission is good enough, we certainly need to be looking at ways to remove it.

It will require massive government subsidies though. And the right-wing aren't going to like that.


Maybe we could 'persuade' them that it produces oil as a by-product?
All right, brain. You don't like me and I don't like you, but let's just do this and I can get back to killing you with beer.




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