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Artificial Trees That Absorb CO2 – Hot Planet Preview – BBC One

trees absorb carbon dioxide but they release it during the night and when they decompose so professor Klaus Lackner an engineer Alan Wright have been designing a tree which could be more efficient than the real thing it was here at biosphere 2 in Arizona that the idea was first conceived biosphere 2 was the largest completely airtight artificial ecosystem ever built the perfect place to study how changes in carbon dioxide would affect the planet after working on several prototypes Klaus and Alan now think they might have finally cracked it this was an early design more like a cabinet than a tree inside a plastic that absorbs co2 these plastics are in exchange resins which are commonly used in water preparation if you disseminate water or make the ionized water this is the kind of stuff you would use you can buy it commercially in large quantities at first I used chemicals to wash the co2 out of the plastic so it could be reused but this needed too much energy to be viable then they made a discovery that was quite simple it happened after they set up a basic experiment using nothing more than an airtight Bell Jar hooked up to a carbon dioxide monitor an experiment they repeated for me here on top you see the plastic material which absorbs the co2 it has been wrapped in thin strips around the frame the level of co2 in the bell jar starts at 386 todays atmospheric levels as expected the plastic immediately absorbs it so the levels of co2 in here are really low around about 140 okay but what they do next they feel is the real breakthrough and so simple they don't the plastic in water and we'll just put it back in there those are the game now the air inside cannot escape back in the bell jar the wet plastic immediately starts to release the absorb co2 okay and the levels are already going on yes so we're going to see it's beginning to trend up and it will pick up over time as the co2 is given off by that material so just by making it wet it's now releasing the co2 that was previously trapped yes I mean it's wet it doesn't want to see you too so it pushes it off it's as simple as that it's as simple as that it's amazing it is and then you can dry it out again when it dries out again it will grab more co2 we'll do this over and over and over and over and can literally do this hundreds and hundreds of times having ensured that rainfall will not release the co2 Allanon class and now building a full-scale artificial tree when finished it will have a central drum with panels of the special plastic and a humidity control system by altering the moisture levels it will absorb and then release the co2 for storage this process requires no chemicals only a very small amount of energy and a water supply the vision of the future for these kind of artificial trees is that they can capture the carbon dioxide nobody else can catch that's their advantage that is their strength they estimate that a single tree will absorb about a ton of co2 a day about 75 cars worth 60 million trees could potentially absorb all the co2 we currently emit and that's not all this is one of the few options available to actually go back and reduce the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere from the level we are already at or will be in 50 years from now back down to where it is safe all this absorbed carbon dioxide would of course need to be put somewhere but that's where other new technologies come in like the geological storage of co2 that's being tested in Utah and because co2 levels are the same around the planet a great forest of artificial trees could be placed right on top of storage sites so the co2 wouldn't have to be transported you

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What if there were 1 trillion more trees? – Jean-François Bastin

Translator: rami durbas verified: omar idmassaoud With a height of about 84 meters, This is the largest known living tree on the planet. It's called General Sherman, These giant sequoias have sequestered approximately 1,400 tons of carbon in the atmosphere Over its estimated life of 2,500 years on Earth. Few trees can compete with this carbon effect. Today, however, humanity produces more than 1,400 tons of carbon every minute. To combat climate change, We need to sharply reduce fossil fuel emissions And drawing in the excess carbon dioxide to restore the balance of our atmosphere Of greenhouse gases.

But what can trees do to help this struggle? And how do you sequester carbon in the first place? Like all plants, trees consume atmospheric carbon Through a chemical reaction called photosynthesis. This process uses energy from sunlight To convert water and carbon dioxide into oxygen And carbohydrates that store energy. Then the plants consume these carbohydrates in the opposite process It's called the breathing process, which turns it into energy It releases carbon back into the atmosphere. However, in trees, a large part of this carbon is not released. Instead, it's stocked in a new wood texture. During their lifetime, the trees act as carbon reservoirs And it keeps pulling in carbon as long as it grows. But when the tree dies and decays, Some of the carbon will be released back into the atmosphere. A large amount of carbon dioxide is stored in the soil.

Where it can survive for thousands of years. But eventually, that carbon will also leak back into the atmosphere. So if the trees will help combat a long-standing problem Like climate change, It needs to survive to sequester that carbon For as long as possible and at the same time to multiply quickly. Is there one type of tree that we can plant that meets these criteria? Some species are fast-growing, long-lived, and super insulated Can we spread it all over the world? Not to our knowledge? But if such trees exist, It will not be a good long-term solution. Forests are complex networks of living things. There is no single species that can thrive in every ecosystem. The trees that are most sustainable when planted are always native trees; Types have already played a role in their native environment. Initial research shows that ecosystems Those with a natural variety of trees have less competition Resource and better resistance to climate change. This means we can't just grow plants to pull carbon; We need to restore depleted ecosystems. There are many areas that have been cut short Or develop it and it is time to retrieve it.

In 2019, a study led by Crowther Zurich Laboratory It analyzed satellite images of tree cover located in the world. By combining these images with climate and soil data. By excluding areas essential for human use, They concluded that Earth could support About one billion hectares of additional forest. It is approximately 1.2 trillion trees. This stunned number surprised the scientific community, Which prompted more research. Scientists are now citing more conservatively but still noticeable. According to their revised estimates, these ecosystems can be restored Capture 100 to 200 billion tons of carbon, That's more than a sixth of human carbon emissions. More than half of the potential forest canopy As for the new restoration effort, it can only be found in 6 countries. The study can also provide an insight into current restoration projects.

Like the Bonn Challenge, It aims to restore 350 million hectares of forest by 2030. But here is where it gets complicated. Ecosystems are incredibly complex. It is unclear whether it would be better to restore them with human intervention. It could be the right thing to do in certain areas It is simply to leave her alone. Additionally, some researchers are concerned about forest restoration On this scale it may lead to unintended consequences. Such as the production of natural biochemicals At a pace that could actually accelerate climate change. Even if we manage to regain these areas, Future generations will need to protect it Of the natural and economic forces that previously depleted it. Collectively, these challenges weaken confidence In restoration projects around the world. And complexity in the process of rebuilding ecosystems It shows how important protecting our current forests is.

But we hope to recover some of these depleted areas It will give us the information and condemnation necessary to combat climate change On a larger scale. If we get it right, these modern trees may have time to grow Into carbon-bearing giants..

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