The Capture and Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide

bullet1 The Environmental Reasons

bullet2 Climate Change

This is the reason that some of the global community is looks at the capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide. Climate Change has been defined by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

It is known that the earth's climate has natural variations and is a complex system, which can change in a few hours. Even with today's technology it is not possible to predict with any great accuracy its behaviour beyond a few days. Written records for temperature in particular only go back to 1860, and even these must be carefully checked and any apparent changes in temperature that these show might not be true. If the locations of the measurements are within a town and started in the 1860's, it could well show an increase in temperature, but this could solely be due to the increase in size of the town. It is known that a growing town will have an effect on the local climate. For studies further back in time, we must relay on other means of gathering climate evidence. These are tree-rings, coral, ice-caps and ocean sediments. They all contain clues as to the climate of the past, which help scientists in modelling the past climate. However, although it may not be absolutely accurate, these models may help in the prediction of the earth's future climate.

Due to the earth's nature, the emissions that have already happened may take some years to cause any effects. This means that even if we were able to rid the earth of all the man-made things that emit carbon dioxide today, some climate change will still happen due the the historic emission. It could be many years in the future before the full extent of the historic, present and future emission are known. However there is some evidence that some climate change is already taking place. Although the natural variation in the climate makes it difficult to identify the effects of mans carbon dioxide emissions, scientist believe that "the balance of the evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate." As already stated the full extent of the climate change may not be known for some time, it is also unknown the exact nature and timing of the effects of climate change will have on each individual countries.

The effects of climate change could be as follows:

  • Rise in global temperature
  • Rise in mean sea levels
  • Risk to humans
  • Ecosystems under threat.