The South Pole Observatory recorded carbon dioxide levels that have not been seen on Earth in four million years on May 23, 2016. According to Tech Insider, among the other climate-based records exceeded so far, the experts believe that the high concentration of CO2 measured in Antarctica is a terrifying event.
The planet has experienced a lot of changes that will affect people in a couple of years. So far, Earth has experienced the warmest spring ever, the 13 hottest months ever recorded in a row, an incredible severe El Niño and the extinction of the first mammal which occurred due to human-caused climate changes.
Carbon dioxide levels that have not been seen since woolly mammoths walked the earth were recorded in Antarctica. The carbon dioxide levels were recorded over 400 per million (ppm). The last time the levels were this high the climate was wetter, both poles were 18 degrees Fahrenheit warmer and the Arctic was not tundra but was covered in forests. Tech Insider reported that should the researchers not succeed in diminishing the carbon dioxide levels, in 100 years this event could be catastrophic for about 44 percent of humanity.
Carbon Dioxide Could Be Useful in The Great Lakes
Besides the numerous disadvantages carbon dioxide has, the by-product of breathing also has some benefits. For example, it is required by green plants for photosynthesis. Moreover, the plentiful Asian carps that invaded Great Lakes could be controlled using CO2.
Both silver and bighead Asian carp could invade Great Lakes after escaping into the wild during flood episodes. They are considered a threat to other fish and fishing mainly because they are disturbed by the passing motorboats. When disturbed they jump out of the water and sometimes land in the boats.
In order to block the spread of the carp, specialists tried to create an electric barrier. However, but that is not the only solution. Another solution would be carbon dioxide gas infusing into the water would encourage the carp to move into a research pond created in Wisconsin and operated by U.S. Geological Survey.
The specialists have not yet found the exact way in which carbon dioxide can be used against the fish, but according to Michael Donaldson, a University of Illinois researcher, “the results are encouraging because there is a need for additional methods to prevent the entry of Asian carps into the Great Lakes.”
Iceland Found a Way to Store Excess CO2
Although it is a small country, Iceland is known all over the globe for relying on renewable sources to generate electricity. According to “The Washington Post,” in 2007 Icelandic researchers started a project called CarbFix, which took small quantities of carbon dioxide emissions and stacked them in the rocky ground 400 to 800 meters in depth.
Excess CO2 would be dissolved into water and pumped into the basaltic rock formed from the cooling of lava. As a result of a chemical reaction, the water would turn the carbon dioxide into a carbonate by connecting it with the calcium, magnesium, and iron that is found in high amounts in basaltic rock.
According to the Icelandic study, it would be possible to store about 40,000 tons of CO2 per year. Perhaps their innovation could help the Earth, but the carbon dioxide would have to be transported to locations where basalt can be found.
By Bianca-Ramona Dumitru
Edited by Cathy Milne
Tech Insider: Earth’s atmosphere is traveling back in time, and that’s a very bad thing
The Columbus Dispatch: Carbon dioxide could be useful against Asian carps
The Washington Post: This Iceland plant just turned carbon dioxide into solid rock – and they did it super fast
Image Courtesy of Ian Britton‘s Flick Page – Creative Commons License