The climate crisis: Can smart ideas save the planet?

af | 14. juli 2023 | Geoengineering

​Can high-tech solutions help protect the climate? What would be the side effects of further human intervention in nature?

Attempts are being made to reduce the CO2 in the atmosphere with technical solutions. For example, new carbon capture technology that can extract CO2 from air and water, even if the amount currently captured is minimal and not enough to prevent the climate crisis and its consequences.

Still, there is no shortage of ideas. Adding basalt rock dust to agricultural fields not only binds carbon dioxide but keeps the soil fertile. Biochar, made from organic waste, has a similar effect.

Some ideas are bolder: A protective screen of particles in the upper layers of the atmosphere could filter sunlight, as seen with the eruption of the Pinatubo volcano in the Philippines in 1991. The millions of tons of sulfur dioxide spewed into the stratosphere cooled the earth significantly.

Theoretically, aircraft could be used to deliver the particles. But experts warn that the consequences for humans and the weather would be felt worldwide and could never be fully controlled.

DW Documentary