Friday, 28 August 2009

'Fake trees' could fight climate change

Forests of "fake trees" should be planted across the country to reduce the impact of climate change, according to a study.

By Ben LeachPublished: 8:05AM BST 27 Aug 2009

The scientists argue that a single synthetic tree could capture ten tons of carbon dioxide from the air every day
Experts claim the devices would be able to soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. 100,000 of them would remove the carbon emissions of every car, lorry and bus in Britain.
The scientists argue that a single synthetic tree, which would be two-thirds as tall as a wind turbine, could capture ten tons of carbon dioxide from the air every day, making it thousands of times more efficient at absorbing CO2 than a real tree.

The study, by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, into how technology could prevent climate change argues that using technology to remove CO2 from the atmosphere could buy the world vital time.
The trees, which would cost around £15,000, would be coated with synthetic materials that absorb CO2, which would then be removed and stored underground in depleted oil and natural gas reservoirs.
The study also calls for pots of algae that absorb CO2 from the atmosphere to be used to line buildings. The algae could then be used as green biofuels for cars.
Painting buildings white can also help reduce the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the Earth, keeping it cool. The institution wants millions of pounds to be invested in research on technology to beat the threat of global warming to Britain.
Dr Tim Fox, one of the report's authors, said: "Geo-engineering may give us those extra few years of transition to a low- carbon world and prevent any one of the future climate change scenarios we all fear."
The report also claims that unless we act soon global warming will continue unabated and predicts that global temperatures could increase as much as 6c by 2100, creating food and water shortages, sea level rises and massive refugee crises.