As talks aimed at slowing global warming drag on, researchers are pushing new ideas that some are calling last-ditch attempts to avert the worst effects of climate change.
Some proposals are uncontroversial, such as using charcoal to lock carbon dioxide into soil or scattering carbon-absorbing gemstones. Richard Branson, the billionaire chairman of Virgin Group Ltd., has offered a $25 million prize for the best solution in the field known as geoengineering.
Other ideas to cool the planet have scientists worried about unintended consequences. There are proposals, untested at scale and with uncertain costs, to block the sun’s rays with airborne particles or seed the oceans with carbon-absorbing iron. That they’re even being considered reveals both frustration over government inaction and skepticism that policy alone will solve the problem.
“For the last 20 to 30 years, governments, at the back of their minds, have assumed that mitigation is the main way forward,” said Mark Maslin, a fellow at the U.K.’s Royal Geographical Society. Researchers now realize that the planet needs “other urgent ways of dealing with CO2.”
Read More: Scientists Are Coming Up With ‘Last Ditch’ Remedies for Climate Change – Bloomberg Business