While significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are essential for managing the climate crisis, it is now apparent that limiting the increase in global temperature to less than 2 °C above pre-industrial levels cannot be achieved without active removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.
Carbon dioxide can be removed from the atmosphere in various ways- for example, by planting trees or by direct air capture with subsequent burial in geological storage reservoirs. In this talk, our visiting scholar Professor Rachael James talks about enhanced rock weathering. This technique aims to speed up natural weathering processes that capture CO2 and convert it to hydrogen carbonate ions (alkalinity) or soil carbonate by amending agricultural soils with crushed silicate rocks and harnessing the photosynthetic energy of the crops to increase weathering rate.
Rachael James is Professor of Geochemistry and until recently Deputy Head of School (Research and Enterprise) in the School of Ocean and Earth Science at the University of Southampton, UK.