Giant fly-swat shaped "synthetic trees" line the road into the office, where blooms of algae grow in tubes up the walls and the roof reflects heat back into the sky - all reducing the effects of global warming.The IME report can be found here. Its recommendations are smart, and not just because they are consistent with my own related work, which you can see here:
All this could be a familiar sight within the next two decades, under proposals devised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers to alter the world's climate with new technology.
A day after John Prescott, the former Deputy Prime Minister and Environment Secretary, warned that negotiations for a global deal to cut carbon emissions were in danger of collapsing, the institution is recommending a series of technical fixes to "buy time" to avert dangerous levels of climate change.
It says that the most promising solution is offered by artificial trees, devices that collect CO2 through their "leaves" and convert it to a form that can easily be collected and stored.Tim Fox, head of environment and climate change at the institution, said that the devices were thousands of times more effective at removing carbon from the atmosphere than real trees.
In the first report on such geo-engineering by practising engineers, the institution calculates that 100,000 artificial trees - which could fit into 600ha (1,500 acres) - would be enough to capture all emissions from Britain's homes, transport and light industry. It says that five million would do the same for the whole world.
Pielke, Jr., R.A., 2009. A Perspective Paper on Climate Engineering, Including an Analysis of Carbon Capture as a Response to Climate Change, Copenhagen Consensus Center.
Pielke, Jr., R. A., 2009. An Idealized Assessment of the Economics of Air Capture of Carbon Dioxide in Mitigation Policy, Environmental Science & Policy, Vol. 12, Issue 3, pp. 216-225. See FAQ Page on Air Capture.