Blogs

Nature Podcast: Climate Rocks!

Jul 8, 2020

On this week’s podcast, an ambitious Mars mission from a young space agency, and how crumbling up rocks could help fight climate change.

Researchers have assessed whether Enhanced Weathering – a technique to pull carbon dioxide out of the air – has the potential to help battle climate change. Research Article: Beerling et al.

Listen in at 12:12

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Dr Emily Cox – Guest post: How public attitudes towards CO2 removal differ in the UK and US

Jul 7, 2020

With global greenhouse gas emissions still increasing – and Covid-19 lockdown restrictions merely causing a short-term dip – the challenge of holding global temperature rise to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels is looking ever more formidable.

Achieving this goal looks increasingly unlikely without taking previously emitted CO2 out of the atmosphere – using carbon dioxide removal (CDR) or “negative emissions” techniques.

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Podcast: Rock Dust to the Rescue!

Apr 28, 2020

Hi and welcome to this week’s Fix the Planet. I’ve been chatting to people about a method of carbon-dioxide removal that doesn’t grab the headlines in the way that CO2-absoring machines and tree planting do: scattering pulverised rock over the Earth’s surface. Many rocks naturally absorb CO2, but this doesn’t happen fast enough to avert the sort of dangerous warming we’re headed for.

“Essentially, it’s a natural process that happens anyway in the world, but at a comparatively slow rate,” says Mike Kelland, LC3M PhD Student at the University of Sheffield, UK. Breaking up the rock, a process known as enhanced weathering, increases its surface area and the rate at which CO2 is absorbed.

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Beyond Carbon Pricing: Policies for Carbon Dioxide Removal

Jul 26, 2019

What policies are needed to implement carbon dioxide removal? Read the latest blog from LC3M Researcher, Dr. Emily Cox at Cardiff University and Neil Edwards, Professor of Earth System Science at the Open University.

“A major concern is that whatever the state of readiness of negative emissions technologies or ‘NETs’, the policy frameworks that would be needed to implement CO2 removal are almost non-existent. However, as we show in a new paper in Climate Policy (Cox and Edwards 2019), there may be more policies for carbon dioxide removal already in existence than we previously thought.”

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Can plants help us avoid a climate catastrophe?

May 9, 2019

Read David Beerling’s blog, with Oxford University Press, on why we actually have to start removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, safely and affordably, within the next 20 years. Drastic phase-down of our carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels will be insufficient to avoid catastrophic human-caused climate change. Enter, the kingdom of plants…
Hundreds of millions of years ago, plants bioengineered a cooler climate as the spread of forests lowered atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. We now think it may be possible to mimic those processes to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere…

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How ‘enhanced weathering’ could slow climate change and boost crop yields

Feb 20, 2018

Guest post by Prof David Beerling and Prof Stephen Long to coincide with the Nature Plants paper ‘Farming with crops and rocks to address global climate, food and soil security’, published 19 February 2018. The paper tackles the under-discussed technique of CO2 removal called “enhanced rock weathering” and highlights the potential wider benefits for crop yields and soil health, and sets out a research agenda for the next steps.

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Rock, paper, mini-series

Apr 5, 2017

Biology Letters has just published a mini-series on “Enhanced rock weathering: biological climate change mitigation with co-benefits for food security”. To coincide with publication, we asked Guest Editor, Professor David J. Beerling FRS, why he commissioned this series and what the research can tell us about the future.

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