A University of Cambridge professor claims refreezing the Earth’s polar regions and capturing carbon dioxide from out of the atmosphere would roll back the harms of global warming.
Sir David King, a former chief scientific adviser to the UK government, said that time “is no longer on our side” to tackle climate change.
“What we continue to do, what we do that is new, and what we plan to do over the next 10 to 12 years will determine the future of humanity for the next 10,000,” he said.
Other ideas could include spraying salt water high into the atmosphere in the Arctic to “whiten” clouds there and reflect heat back into space, as well as growing more vegetation to remove carbon dioxide from the air. But the cost to research and implement these techniques safely is proving the biggest hurdle.
Unprecedented changes are required by society to prevent global temperatures rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius according to the UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change. The panel called for countries to cut carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 and to net zero by 2050.
The UK recently went eight days without using any coal power after decades of investment in alternative energy sources, the longest run without burning the fossil fuel since the industrial revolution during the late 1800s.
There will be no electricity in the UK supplied by coal power at all by 2025, and the government believes the last coal plant in the UK could close as early as 2022 due to emissions charges.