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Mace & Crown | August 22, 2017

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Mitigating Climate Change with Technology

Mitigating Climate Change with Technology
Audra Reigle
Contributing Writer

Although an accepted phenomenon, many people have their doubts about global warming being as threatening as it’s made out to be. Research from William Happer at Princeton University showed “a doubling of CO2 will only cause a 0.6℃ warming,” according to Breitbart. Despite the varying opinions, we know that machines and robots are being developed to help combat the high amounts of carbon dioxide in the air.

To help keep temperatures from reaching dangerous levels, massive amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) can be removed from the air, according to CNN. However, while it is possible to suck carbon from the air, it’s not easy. There are two important factors: where the carbon would be stored and how much it will cost.

With a machine developed by scientists at Arizona State University, the removed CO2 can be used to create manufactured goods and buildings.

The director of ASU’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions, Dr. Klaus Lackner, is working with a team of ASU scientists to create such a CO2-sucking machine. The contraption looks like a large box with a large sail. When air flows over these sails, they will catch CO2. When the sail gets wet, the CO2 will be released and harvested for immediate use or storage. The device is currently being developed for use in greenhouses at ASU, but it’s possible other CO2-pulling machines could created after this one.

climate change

Boston Treepods is an urban intervention which contains a system that is capable of removing carbon dioxide from the air and releasing oxygen using a carbon dioxide removal process called “humidity swing.”

In a different effort to lower CO2 levels, a group called SHIFTBoston is developing Treepods, according to Gizmag. Treepods are man-made trees designed to clean the air. These Treepods would be planted around Boston to not only help reduce CO2 levels in the city, but provide light as well. They would be made with recycled materials, such as the plastic used to make water bottles. Treepods would have two sources of power: first, through solar power and second, through kinetic energy from a man-operated play device attached to the tree.

However, the air isn’t the only thing polluted in this world. Water sources have their own share of pollution. To solve this, a tiny robot has been developed to paddle through the water and eat waste, according to Popular Science. By consuming waste and feeding the bacteria inside of it, the “row-bot” gains electricity to power the device until all of the waste is gone. It was presented at an international conference in Hamburg, Germany in October 2015. It was presented as a device that would not be completely reliant on humans to recharge it. A person would be able to just drop it in the water and wait until all of the waste is gone.

With the looming threat of global warming, these new technologies could change it affects our future. Not only would these devices clear pollution from air and water, but it’s possible they could allows us to manufacture goods and increase the availability of them. Overall, these technologies could create a better world for us and reduce the risk of climate change and global warming.