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Release of methane deposits

Methane is a gas which is 80X more powerful than carbon dioxide, in absorbing infra red rays of sunlight which are reflected from the earth’s surface. It is the presence of these greenhouse gases in the upper atmosphere which are leading to global warming.

The continent slope sediments in the Artic Ocean in eastern Siberia contain a vast quantity of frozen methane in the form of hydrates. Measurements made by scientists on board a Russian research vessel have found that bubbles of gas emerging from these sediments contain 4 to 8 times the normal methane levels. What seems to be triggering this release is that average temperature in the first 6 months of 2020 was 5 C higher than the long term average.

If such outcomes are confirmed next year then such releases on a much larger scale could accelerate global warming
[Guardian news 28/10/2020]

Possible ecosystem collapse

Biodiversity of species and preservation of their ecosystems form the basis not only of our food chain, but also impact on our climate in numerous ways. Human activities which result in the loss of biodiversity can lead to collapse of ecosystems, loss of wildlife and their habitats

A report commissioned by Swiss Re, one of the world’s largest reinsurers, has concluded that one fifth of countries globally are at risk of their ecosystems collapsing due to a decline in biodiversity and their related beneficial services.

Moreover in September at the UN Biodiversity Summit, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guteres observed that ‘none of 2020 biodiversity targets agreed in Aichi in 2010 will be achieved and that “Biodiversity and sustainable ecosystems are central to achieving our Sustainable Development Goals but too often environmental health is down played’.
[Guardian news 13/10/20]

Restoring degraded landscapes

If land that has been degraded by human exploitation can be restored to its previous level of biodiversity then this could be one of the quickest and cheapest ways of limiting climate change and enabling plant species and wildlife to be restored.

This increase in biodiversity would result in storing substantial amounts of carbon dioxide through photosynthesis , the most abundant of the greenhouse gases.
[Guardian news 15/10/2020]

Carbon capture and storage

BP, a major oil company which has exploited the oil deposits under the North Sea for 40 years, is now leading two multi-national partnerships to transport million tonnes of carbon dioxide yearly from carbon capture projects in the Teesside and Humber regions of the UK and to store this gas in salt caverns under North Sea. This should result in storing almost half of the UK’s industrial emissions from 2026 onwards.

Carbon capture and storage is considered a vital measure in attaining the UK’s legally binding target of zero carbon emissions by 2050.
[Guardian news 27/10/2020]



 

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