One of the ways that scientists propose that we tackle the problem of global warming is to actively remove greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, from the atmosphere. To be an effective compliment to reducing our CO2 output from transport and industry, carbon sequestration will have to be done on a massive scale, meaning that the materials used in the process will need to be plentiful. One of those materials, magnesite, readily absorbs CO2, but there are both practical and economic limits keeping industry from mining the mineral in quantities large enough to be effective. However, researchers in Canada have discovered a way to quickly produce the mineral artificially.
A new study has found that the temperature increases from global warming may be twice as bad over what previous climate studies have forecast. This study made use of historical data from previous geological periods when Earth’s climate was 0.5°C-2°C warmer than the 19th Century’s pre-industrial average, illustrating that the consequences of runaway global warming could spell the collapse of many ecosystems, ranging from the Sahara Desert becoming green, to tropical regions converting to a fire-prone savanna.
A recent review of global hurricane data has revealed that the occurrence of powerful cyclones has increased dramatically since 1980, with the number of strong Category-5 storms having more than tripled, with a disturbing trend for these storms to both reach their peak wind speeds farther north and dump ever increasing amounts of rainfall, flooding areas that normally wouldn’t experience weather this extreme.
Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory has reported that worldwide carbon dioxide levels reached a new record high in April, hitting 410.31 parts per million (ppm). This is the highest concentration of this greenhouse gas seen over the course of human history–and prehistory, for that matter–as the Earth’s atmosphere hasn’t seen CO2 levels this high in well over 800,000 years, and possibly as long as 20 million years.