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Synthetic Trees

A report from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME) suggests that a forest of 100,000 artificial ‘trees’ could be ‘planted’ near depleted oil and gas reserves to trap carbon in a filter and bury it underground. The carbon suckers look like fly swatters, but researchers say that once fully developed, the ‘trees’ could remove thousands of times more carbon than a real tree.

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In addition to artificial trees, the IME report suggests growing algae in tubes on the sides of buildings. The algae, which traps carbon during photosynthesis, could be collected and transformed into charcoal, which could then be buried underground. The report also points out the benefits of painting roofs white, which reflects sunlight and helps mitigate heat island effect in urban areas.

While the ideas sound good in theory no one has quite mastered carbon capture and storage. And even the engineers themselves warn that these geo-engineering projects won’t provide a solution to global warming–they’re meant to be used in conjunction with larger, more long-term efforts to reduce global carbon emissions.

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Story from http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/09/03/100000-synthetic-trees-could-help-combat-climate-change/#more-58709

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